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Keeping kitchen pests at bay

By Edited Jul 8, 2016 0 0

Ants, cockroaches and pantry moths (weevils) gather in the kitchen because it is warm and has a plentiful food supply, but this is the last place you would want to use pesticides containing toxic chemicals. Natural alternatives are just as effective and are better value as well. Always try the least toxic treatment first.

Basic know-how:

· Block gaps in walls, around pipes, between skirting boards and floors to prevent pests getting in and then breeding.

· Keep your kitchen garbage bin firmly covered and empty it frequently.

· Use sticky traps, baits and fly swats. They harm only the insects that get caught in them and not humans, pets or native animals.

· Do not leave dirty dishes lying around. Make sure you do the washing-up before you go to bed each night.

· Do not let loose papers accumulate; keep them in a sealed box.

· Do not turn out natural predators such as huntsman spiders and daddy-long-legs. They trap and eat lies and other insects.

Keep a clean ship:

Commonsense is the first line of attack in keeping pests at bay. They cannot have a party if there's nothing to eat.

Keeping kitchen benches spotless and train the family to clean up after themselves. Transfer everything in the pantry into pest-proof storage containers. Weevils often come home with you from the shops, and leaving unopened packets around not only provides food for the weevils already in your kitchen, but possibly introduces more to your cupboards.

Keep an eye on use-by dates and use your groceries in date order. Avoid buying too much and doubling up on items you rarely use. Wipe up shelf spills and regularly clean cupboards, washing them out with detergent. Add a few drops of pest-repellent oil of cloves to the wash water. Even if you find just on weevil egg or grub in a product, throw the whole thing out. (Flours and grains can be composed.)

To deter weevils, scatter bay leaves or cloves on cupboard shelves and tape them inside container lids.


Ants are a nuisance only when they decide to move in , so try to encourage them to leave before taking more drastic measures.

Avoid leaving uncovered food on kitchen benches, wipe up spills immediately, wipe out the oven and grill pan after you have used them. If you can, keep outside garbage bins away from the house. Try placing pots of ant-repellent herbs such as mint, pennyroyal, rue or tansy alternatively you could use dried bunches of theses herbs – near troubled spots.

Consider creating a barrier at the ants' entry points. For example, sprinkle a narrow unbroken trail of cayenne pepper, black pepper or salt across their path or you could draw a line with chalk. Frequently wipe the windowsill with oil of cloves or eucalyptus oil, ants dislike these strong odours. Dust cracks in cupboards with diatomaceous earth, the tiny sharp particles of this fossilised silica are lethal to crawling insects, but do not affect humans or pets. Use food-grade not pool-grade, which may irritate your lungs.


Do not put out the welcome mat, and try to disturb them regularly so that they do not get too comfortable. Fewer places for them to live means fewer cockroaches.

To deter newcomers, install good-quality screens on all your doors and windows. Make sure you promptly fix leaking taps and pipes – cockroaches love damp, dark, warm places. They will even congregate in the cavity of your dishwasher door. Thoroughly clear away all food each night, including any pet food and birdseed. Regularly move around loose stored items, such as plastic bags, towels, toiletries and under-sink products because cockroaches love to nest among them.

Place sticky traps near cockroach breeding areas. Try mixing low-toxicity bait such as borax with sugar or jam in a small lid. Rather than using surface sprays, environmentally friendly pest controllers use a heat gun to flush out cockroaches from under cupboards and behind fridges. This burns their wings, causing them to die later. To discourage cockroaches, save the ends off cucumbers and place them in cupboards. Other repellents are vanilla beans, dried pyrethrum daisies and pyrethrum dust (from garden centres) – although the latter should be used with caution and strictly according to package instructions. Smear the inside of a glass jar with oil, then half fill the jar with beer. They will get in but they will not be able to get out.

The information contained here-in is suggestions and if you choose to use the remedies recommended please exercise caution at all times. Thank you for reading this article.



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