Your kitchen is one such place where bug sprays can do more harm than good. And sadly, it is also one area where you see the most insect infestation. This problem increases massively in the monsoon and summer seasons, with diseases and infections being carried in by the pests.
But let’s not forget, India is a haven of natural remedies and homespun solutions. So, unsurprisingly, we have a ton of natural ways to get rid of small insects that like to make your kitchen their home.
Easy Ways to Get Rid of Stubborn Insects from Your Kitchen
Before we discuss remedies, let’s get the most obvious thing out of the way. Insects are significantly less attracted to clean kitchens. So, if you want long-lasting protection from small insects, focus on keeping your kitchen clean and spotless.
Take out food trash daily, clean counters and the cooktop after every cooking spree, wash utensils soon after using them, and empty out cabinets for regular cleaning. You need a deep cleaning schedule for your kitchen after every season.
Sometimes, even this is not enough. Some houses are generally prone to pests and roaches, and sometimes bugs appear inexplicably in the cleanest of spaces. For those instances, we have eight hassle-free solutions that can help you keep the kitchen hygienic year round.
1. Neem for 200 Insect Species
The neem tree is a boon for human beings. Almost all parts of this plant are useful in multiple ways and can be added to your list of home remedies for great results. Neem oil kills over 200 species of insects like white flies, aphids, thrips, etc.
Mix a few drops of neem oil with plain water or soapy water and spray the solution in the corners of your kitchen. Make sure not to miss any spot that might harbour insects. This will also drive cockroaches away. Alternatively, sprinkle neem powder in different areas of your kitchen to keep insects away.
2. Peppermint to Kill Insects and Spiders
Peppermint is a magical ingredient that elevates food and keeps your kitchen hygienic. Mint leaves and peppermint oils are great at repelling small insects, ants, spiders, and even mice. On top of that, it makes your kitchen smell wonderful.
Get peppermint essential oil, mix it with water and spray around windows, doors, and vents. You’ll see a significant reduction in incoming insects. You can also keep crushed and dried mint leaves in a shallow bowl to keep flies and mosquitoes away from your kitchen.
3. Coffee Grounds for Stubborn Pests
For stubborn pests that keep returning to your kitchen, there is a good old trick that will surely work. The smell of coffee, that wakes you up in the morning, can drive away insects from your kitchen as well.
Place leftovers of fresh coffee grounds in tricky spots around the kitchen through which you suspect the pests are coming in. Put them near doors and openings to block the insects at their source. The strong aroma of coffee repels many different types of insects. But it’ll smell great to you, so that’s a bonus!
4. Apple Cider Vinegar to Drive Moths and Drain Flies Away
Drain flies live in kitchen sink drains and thrive in wet and humid areas. They’re a real menace in the tropical climate and can bring in many diseases. Similarly, small moths are often attracted by kitchen lights and may fall in your food. The best way to drive them away is through vinegar.
Go one step further and get apple cider vinegar to drive these pests away. Fill a bottle with the vinegar, cover it with a plastic wrap, and poke some holes in the plastic cover with a safety pin or toothpick. Make the holes big enough that insects get attracted to the smell and enter the bottle to get trapped.
5. Lavender for Fleas
Fleas are gross, harmful, and annoying to say the least. To keep fleas, flies, and mosquitoes away from your sacred kitchen, use the beautiful and fragrant lavender plant.
You can make a solution with lavender oil and water to sprinkle around the kitchen. Or place sachets of dried lavender in the kitchen shelves to keep insects away. Lavender has a heavenly smell and doubles up as a room freshener. So, it’s a win-win situation for you.
6. Onion + Baking Soda for Cockroaches
Cockroaches are the biggest menace to any kitchen. They can survive nuclear radiation longer than humans and are known as one of the most resilient living beings on earth. Naturally, they’re a pain to remove from your kitchen.
One of the best ways to achieve this is with onions and baking soda. Chop up an onion and add a tablespoon of baking soda. Then, place this mixture in the corners of your kitchen. Reapply it daily at night to get a roach-free kitchen year round.
7. Cinnamon to Kill Ants
Another common kitchen insect is the ant. They’re attracted to so many kitchen ingredients that it is difficult to keep track. To ensure ants stay away from your sugary food, use cinnamon.
Ants are said to hate the smell of cinnamon. Use this to your advantage by placing cinnamon powder in cracks and corners that ants might emerge from. You can also add any essential oil to cinnamon powder and spray it around the kitchen, or place cinnamon sticks to avoid mess.
8. Cloves and Bay Leaves to Repel Weevils
Weevils are those icky beetles that get into your rice, flour, cereals, and pasta. They ruin your favourite grains after entering the kitchen through cracks and gaps. Cloves and bay leaves are highly effective and natural repellents for weevils.
The easiest way to protect your grains from these insects is to place a couple of bay leaves or few cloves inside the containers. Their strong smell repels weevils and keeps your starchy grains fresh for a long time.
It is always preferable to choose natural ways to get rid of small insects in the kitchen as insecticides and chemical sprays can contaminate your food and utensils. And when you’re in the land of natural remedies, why choose something artificial?
Simple and cheap kitchen ingredients work well to protect the space from insects and bugs, like we listed above. Check out HomeLane for more such tips to maintain a beautiful home.