Kitchen Trash
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Bugs and Mice in the Trash Can

Your kitchen trash can is a treasure trove for mice and insects. Because pests often invade homes in search of food, leaving your trash can improperly sealed or overflowing could make your kitchen the setting of a pest infestation.

These pesky invaders include: cockroaches, rodents, flies and ants.

Trash Can Pest Identification


There are several types of cockroach species, including the American cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, the Oriental cockroachand the German cockroach. However, they all have similar physical features and behavioral characteristics that make them easy to identify as cockroaches:


Although there are several types of rodents that are known to cause infestations, house mice and Norway rats are likely to invade kitchens. They are attracted to food, including any waste found in your kitchen trash can.

Here are some ways to determine what kind of rodent has infiltrated your kitchen trash can:

House mice:

Norway rats:


House flies and fruit flies are two bugs often seen around kitchen garbage cans. House flies are attracted to all kinds of food, while fruit flies are, fittingly, most interested in fruits and vegetables. Although there are several types of fly species, their appearances are similar and easily identifiable:


Odorous house ants, Argentine ants and pavement ants are the species of ants you’re most likely to attract with uncovered kitchen waste. They are notorious for finding and feasting on food in your home, and kitchen trash cans are a main source. Odorous house ants tend to prefer sweet, sugary foods, while Argentine ants and pavement ants target more savory foods like meat, bread, oils and fats.

You can use these characteristics as a guide to help you identify ants in your kitchen trash can:

What are the Signs of a Bug or Mouse Infestation in Trash Cans?

To determine if your kitchen trash can has become a hotbed for kitchen pests, there are several signs that may indicate a larger infestation:





Where Do Trash Can Insects and Rodents Come From?

Kitchen trash cans are especially attractive to pests because they contain food items. Your discarded food wrappers, expired leftovers, produce and the bits of food you scrape off your plate could all be a tasty treat for a nosy pest.

Pests can enter your home through any openings to the outside. This can include any cracks, crevices or holes in the walls of your home as well as holes or tears in window or door screens.

How to Keep Pests Out of the Trash Can

By keeping your home well-maintained and your kitchen tidy, you can effectively discourage pests from feeding off of your kitchen trash can.

Here are some simple, helpful tips to keep your trash can pest-free:

Find a Pest Control Professional for Garbage Can Bugs and Mice 

Wondering how to get rid of insects in your 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. They will look for moisture accumulation from leaky pipes, signs of pest damage to food products in the pantry and more.

Find a PEST PRO in your area

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