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Common Kitchen Bugs & Insects

For most of us, the kitchen is the heart of the home, filled with love and delicious food. While the appetizing aromas that come from this room can bring together the closest of family and friends, people are not always the only ones that you might find gathering in the kitchen. Pests – including ants, cockroaches, rodents, house flies, fruit flies and pantry pests – can all be found in this part of the house. Learning how to get rid of insects in the kitchen is key to your family’s health and safety.


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Kitchen Bugs Identification

Ants in the Kitchen

If ants are found marching one-by-one across the kitchen counter, they are most likely odorous house ants, Argentine ants or pavement ants.

When trying to determine if you have ants in your kitchen, look out for the following characteristics of these home invaders:

All three species mentioned above have ambitious appetites and are attracted to food and moisture, making kitchens an ideal gathering spot. Odorous house ants prefer sweets, while Argentine ants and pavement ants have been known to eat meats, bread, oils and fats. Commonly nesting near moisture sources, ants can be found in wall voids near water pipes and beneath leaky fixtures, including those under the sink.

If the pest in your kitchen match the description above, you likely have ants. However, we recommend contacting a pest control professional to know for certain. 

Cockroaches in the Kitchen

Cockroaches are one of the most common kitchen insects and health code violations in restaurants and other commercial kitchens, but they frequently infest household kitchens, too.

Although there are several different cockroach species, they all generally have the following characteristics:

Do the pests in your kitchen match this description? These skilled hitchhikers can make their way into the heart of the home via cardboard boxes, grocery bags and beverage cartons.

Rodents in the Kitchen

Also known to catch the eye of health inspectors, rodents are regular kitchen invaders as well. These are some of the common signs of a rodent infestation:

House mice and Norway rats are the most common culprits, as they are often enticed by the food and nesting options that kitchens have to offer. If you see any of the rodent infestation signs in your kitchen, contact a pest control professional.

Flies in the Kitchen

Homeowners may also notice house flies and fruit flies in the kitchen.

Although there are many different fly species, the following characteristics are typical of those commonly found in kitchens:

While house flies feed on a wide variety of human foods, fruit flies, per their name, have a particular appetite for fruits and vegetables. Leaving ripe fruit and vegetables sit out on the kitchen counter is a sure-fire way to invite a family of flies to the table.

Pantry Pests in the Kitchen

Referred to as stored product pests or pantry pests, merchant grain beetles and Indian meal moths tend to gravitate towards kitchen cabinets and pantries due to their particular palates.

Signs of pantry pests in the kitchen include:

As their name implies, merchant grain beetles are commonly found feeding on grains such as cereals and products containing corn or corn meal. On the other hand, Indian meal moths have a more balanced diet consisting of dried fruits, nuts, and pet food. If you see any of the above signs in your home, or need help identifying an infestation in your kitchen, contact an exterminator.


Why Insects and Bugs are Attracted to the Kitchen

Bugs love kitchens because they provide three of the essential elements that pests need to survive: food, water and shelter. When the temperature drops, the kitchen becomes a particularly attractive harborage site for pests seeking shelter and sustenance. The abundance of food and moisture in this household area, coupled with the warmth provided by cooking appliances, helps make pests feel right at home in the kitchen. Additionally, cluttered cabinets and trash serve as ideal nesting sites for rodents. Similar to bathrooms, leaky faucets or refrigeration appliances can cause moisture to accumulate, only further beckoning insects to the kitchen.

Tips to Prevent Common Kitchen Insects

The key to keeping pests out of the kitchen is to eliminate their access to food and water sources, which they need to survive. This can be done by practicing excellent sanitation in the kitchen:


To prevent kitchen bugs from gaining access to the home in the first place, we recommend the following:


Threats Posed by Kitchen Bugs

The insects known to infest kitchens can contaminate food and cause serious health issues if left untreated. House flies have been known to transmit over 100 different pathogens, including typhoid, salmonellosis and tuberculosis. Rodents are particularly troublesome, as they can spread disease, bring fleas into a household, and their urine can trigger allergic reactions in children. Cockroaches, arguably the kings of the kitchen, can trigger allergic reactions while also spreading seven human pathogens, six parasitic worms and 33 different kinds of bacteria.

How to Get Rid of Insects in the Kitchen

Wondering how to get rid of insects in the kitchen? If you find any pests in the kitchen or suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional. A qualified professional will conduct a kitchen inspection to identify the source of the problem and recommend a proper course of treatment. He or she will look for moisture accumulation from leaky pipes, signs of pest damage to food products in the pantry and more.

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