Did you know that your kitchen can easily become a popular hangout for a wide variety of bugs if it is not regularly cleaned, and food is not stored properly?
From flies that hover around the room, to mysterious bugs spotted in your pantry or cupboards, as soon as you see one of these pests you have identified a possible contaminant in your kitchen.
But don’t panic! By being able to figure out just what can hide in your kitchen, you can eliminate the cause before the problem arises.
What to look out for
The majority of kitchen pests typically consist of beetles or moths that love a humid environment to feed and breed. Let’s look at the most common ones to watch out for:
There are a few species of grain beetles that like to chow down on various grains such as flour, biscuits, crackers and pasta.
These are rather hard to find as they are microscopically small (around 1/10 of an inch) – a size which works to their advantage when creeping through gaps in your cupboards and unopened food containers.
Like most insects, the grain beetle will lay eggs near to food so that the larvae can feed once hatched.
Indian Meal Moth
Despite its name, this creature is not on the prowl for a Korma. They will in fact feed on the same types of snacks that the grain beetle feasts upon. You can determine an Indian Meal Moth by its tan coloured wings.
Whilst the moth will not cause any damage, its worm-like larvae will get hungry. The mother will typically lay between 200-400 eggs, which when hatched will disperse, spin a web of silk and get feeding.
As the name suggests, these tiny black beetles are a little bit evil. They literally surround themselves with their food, taking refuge inside grains such as rice, wheat and sunflower seeds. The female will also hatch her eggs within the grain.
As well as moths and beetles, you may also have to contend with fruit flies. As the name suggests, these flies love to be around fruit – particularly pieces which are beginning to ferment. They will quickly multiply by laying eggs on the skin of fruit.
How to prevent an infestation
Feeling a little queasy about the thought of these visitors making themselves comfortable? Luckily, prevention is simple enough!
Inspect your food
When you go shopping for dry goods, check the cleanliness of the shelf it has been stored on. A store with a high shelf turnover (regular restocking) will be much less likely to attract infestations.
Keep it clean
By mopping up any crumbs or food particles, you can make it difficult for pests to live and multiply. Never use pesticides near food, and always stick to natural cleaning products.
Don’t forget your oven and microwave!
It’s easy to let dirt build up in your oven or microwave over time as it can be a hassle to clean. However, the build-up of crumbs and dirt can be appealing to any bug looking for a feast. For full confidence in a sparkling oven, why not have it professionally valeted?
Make it difficult
Store all dry foods in air tight containers such as Tupperware and empty coffee jars. Thoroughly clean these before use. These will also help to keep food fresher for longer.
Store any fresh fruit in your fridge and dispose of it as soon as it begins to rot.
Cool things down
As these creatures love warm environments, try keeping dry goods and fruit near well ventilated areas.
We hope you have found this post useful. Do you have any extra tips for warding off any nasties? Head over to the Ovenu Facebook Page and let us know!
Dirty kitchen image via BigStock Photo
Grain Beetle image via BugGuide
Indian Meal Moth image via Wikipedia
Rice Weevil image via Wikipedia
Fruit Fly image via Wikipedia