How to Get Rid of Kitchen Bugs

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The easiest way to get rid of fruit flies and to prevent them in the first place involves starving them.
Image Credit: © by Martin Deja/Moment/GettyImages

Kitchen bugs may be little more than a nuisance, but they make your kitchen feel unclean. That alone is reason enough to go on a bug-fighting crusade. Restore your kitchen to the safe haven your family knows and loves by knowing the best way to get rid of kitchen bugs.

Get Rid of and Prevent Fruit Flies

Have tiny little bugs flitting around your kitchen? They're probably fruit flies. It shouldn't be hard to trace them back to their origin to confirm: you'll find them munching on fruit left on the counter, on scraps in an open-top garbage can, or even on food left in the sink or garbage disposal.

The good news is that fruit flies don't carry diseases outright. However, they can spread bacteria. Do you really want the same bug that's been in your garbage to land on the apples on your counter? Gross.

The easiest way to get rid of fruit flies and to prevent them in the first place involves starving them. Give them nothing to eat. Don't leave food out on the counter; put it in the pantry or fridge instead. Close up your trash can or bags, and take the garbage outside right away. Run the garbage disposal often and scrub anything even remotely enticing off your counter tops.

Removing Small Insects Around the Drain

If you notice tiny black bugs in your sink, it's no coincidence. Many types of bugs are attracted to the damp, dark space in drains, but they tend to move in and lay their eggs when there's a ready food source in the drain, as well. In other words, if you have tiny black bugs in your kitchen sink, there's probably a lot of debris stuck inside.

Just like with fruit flies, if you remove the source of the food, the bugs will move on. It's not necessarily a fun job, but it does the trick: unscrew the u-trap underneath the kitchen sink and give it a good scrub with a plumber's brush. Scrub the pipe leading from the sink straight down to the trap, too. Screw the plumbing back together and flush it well with water.

Getting Rid of Pantry Moths

As the name implies, pantry moths feast on food in your pantry and lay their eggs in that food. Unless you enjoy getting some extra "protein" with each bite, a pantry moth infestation is something to tackle with vigor. You'll need to inspect everything in your pantry and throw out anything that has signs of eggs or moths. Take the trash outside right away.

But you'll need to go a step further and scrub any food storage containers, as well, because pantry moth eggs can stick to the surface. Scrub your entire kitchen because the larva tend to move around and hunker down in corners where food isn't necessarily present.

Prevent a new infestation of pantry bugs by thoroughly inspecting food before purchase or putting it in the freezer to kill any larva. Pantry moths don't carry disease, but like fruit flies, they can spread bacteria.

Dealing With Ants in Your Kitchen

Seeing one ant in your kitchen means there are dozens or even hundreds following close behind. Large black ants are likely carpenter ants. You can purchase traps for these ants to place strategically around your kitchen. However, you also need to throw out infested food stuffs, squish as many ants that you can, wipe down surfaces that might have invisible spills, and store food in airtight containers to prevent future infestations.

No matter what type of indoor bugs invade your kitchen, it only takes one infestation to realize the importance of prevention. Keep your kitchen clean and store food in tight containers so they don't have much to eat in the first place, and take swift action if you do notice kitchen bugs.


Cathy Habas enjoys distilling even the most complicated home improvement tasks into bite-sized pieces. She believes in empowering homeowners one article at a time.

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