Interior Pests

12 Mistakes That Make Your Kitchen More Attractive to Bugs

If you want a pest-free kitchen, the name of the game is CLEAN. You’ll be more successful in deterring bugs if you keep crumbs and food waste to a minimum. So, to keep insects out of your kitchen, don’t make these careless mistakes.

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Not Running the Dishwasher Regularly

Even if you rinse dishes before you put them in the dishwasher, there is bound to be food residue left behind that will be a beacon to bugs. Sure, dishwashers are well sealed to keep water from coming out, but it’s no problem for little six-legged critters to find their way in.

Related: 9 Ways You’re Loading the Dishwasher Wrong

Leaving Dishes in the Sink

A sink of dirty dishes is like a smorgasbord for bugs. Don’t put off doing the dishes. Wash all your plates, pots, and pans immediately after each meal if you want to avoid attracting an army of insects to the kitchen.

Related: 10 Things Always to Keep Near Your Kitchen Sink

Using Cardboard Boxes for Storage

Cardboard boxes are good for deliveries, but they’re not the kind of thing you should rely on for storage purposes. Because they’re corrugated, they provide lots of lovely little spaces where cockroaches and other insects can lay their eggs. When those eggs hatch in your home, you’ve got a heap of trouble—and plenty more bugs! Put cardboard boxes in the recycling bin as soon as you finish unloading them.

Related: 11 Things Never to Keep in Your Garage

Leaving Crumbs on the Table

Be sure to wipe down tables thoroughly after clearing all the dishes and putting them in the dishwasher. Any crumbs left on the table are a potential food source for a host of bugs.

Related: 7 Tips for Quick and Easy Cleanup After Dinner

Not Sealing Food Tightly

Open containers of cereals, crackers, pasta, rice, and even bagged flour and sugar are major bug-attractors. At the very least, roll the interior bag down a few folds before clipping it closed with a clothespin or chip clip. It’s best to keep loose grains, flour, and sugars in airtight canisters or containers, or at the very least to seal an opened bag in a large zip-lock.

Related: 14 Instant Fixes for a Total Pantry Makeover

Not Taking Out the Trash

Just as you shouldn’t leave dirty dishes in the sink, you should not let the trash can get too full. It’s best to seal it tightly and take it out at the end of every day.

Related: 9 Little Tricks to Make Trash Day Less of a Chore

Leaving Out Leftovers

Put away any leftover food as soon as the meal is over. If you don’t, you’re just inviting bugs to set up camp.

Related: 9 Genius Ways to Store Your Holiday Leftovers

Not Wiping Down the Counters and Stove

Just as you should clear the dishes off the table after every meal, you should also wipe down the counters and the stove after every meal too. Any crumbs or spills you leave will be an irresistible temptation for the six-legged set.

Related: 10 Bugs That Are Living in Your House—And How to Get Them Out!

Not Sweeping Regularly

Crumbs and stray pieces of food are bound to go wayward during meal prep, and some of them will inevitably end up on the floor. After you wipe down the counters, do a quick sweep of the kitchen floor at the end of the day. That will go a long way toward reducing the food supply for any unwanted critters.

Related: 9 Products You Will Love If You Hate Cleaning

Not Wiping Down Bottles

If you don’t wipe down bottles, particularly syrup bottles, before you put them back into the pantry, you’re making a big mistake. Any sticky residue left behind on bottles and containers can be a food source for bugs.

Related: 10 Reasons Bugs Love Your Home

Ignoring Your Appliances

Don’t leave for work before emptying out the grounds from your coffee maker. While you wouldn’t think old coffee grounds would be a desirable food source, plenty of bugs would be happy to take up residence in there and chow down.

Related: 9 Bad Habits That Are Killing Your Appliances

Not Rinsing Recyclables

Those last few sugary drops left in a soda bottle can make a scrumptious meal for insects. Do yourself a favor and rinse your recyclables out before putting them in the recycling bin. Not only will you discourage bugs, but you’ll tamp down odors too.

Related: The 10 Biggest Myths About Recycling

Shoo Fly

Keep things clean, and you’ll keep bugs at bay.