What To Do About Kitchen Pests?



Autumn is a wonderful time of year, with a lot to celebrate. Cold and crisp yet sunny mornings. Walking to work on a carpet of fine mist and crunchy leaves. Warm, cosy clothes, that feeling of optimism that permeates the air as undergraduates swarm to major conurbations and bring their hopes, dreams and positivity with them… And, of course, the increasingly ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte. Yet, while we may celebrate the unique bounty autumn brings us, we cannot escape the simple fact that (as they say in Westeros) Winter is coming. Still, the oncoming colder weather and darker skies needn’t be a source of gloom and negativity. We don’t have to spend the transition into November and eventually December hiding under a duvet armed with a giant bag of Wotsits and a jumbo pack of Rich tea biscuits binge watching Stranger Things. We can be just as social and enterprising as we are in warmer climes, we just might have to move the party indoors.


For many, as autumn bleeds into winter this is the perfect time for dinner parties and cocktail parties that celebrate the sweet and smoky tastes and scents of the season. This means we’ll be spending a whole lot of time in the kitchen. Yet, while the urge for spring cleaning has long since passed us, as the weather grows colder, it’s important to remember that we won’t be the only ones seeking shelter from the coming cold indoors. Over the coming weeks and months, it’s possible that your home, and more specifically your kitchen, could become a target for all kinds of unwelcome intruders, being the haven of warmth and abundant food that it is. In fact, even if you’re lucky enough to live somewhere like Australia or New Zealand where spring is well underway, your home is likely to be targeted by pests emerging from their homes and looking for new places to shelter, feed and breed.

If you plan on making your home a social hub that’s synonymous with good food, delicious drinks, fun and frolics over the coming weeks (whatever weather they may bring) it behoves you to ensure that your kitchen is not only clean and tidy but free from harmful intruders. This includes the ones that are too tiny to be seen but can do a whole lot of harm to you, your guests and your loved ones.


Cockroaches

They’re not only creepy and ugly and a guaranteed deterrent to more welcome guests, but cockroaches are persistent scavengers who can do a great deal of damage. Larger species like the American and Australian cockroach can fly in through open windows while smaller species like the German cockroach can squeeze their way through even the smallest and unlikeliest crack. As well as being unsightly and annoying they can also trigger allergies, aggravate asthma and spread bacteria and diseases through the shedding of their skin particles. An unchecked cockroach infestation can facilitate the spread of salmonella and gastroenteritis throughout your home. The legs and bodies of cockroaches can be riddled with bacteria that cause these illnesses and easily deposit them on your food and cooking utensils.


A cockroach infestation is best handled by a pest control expert like Allpest cockroach control or your local equivalent. A combination of wet sprays, gels and insecticidal dust is usually the only way to completely eradicate a cockroach infestation. You can, however, mitigate the risk of infestation by ensuring that your kitchen is spotlessly clean, rubbish is disposed of quickly and regularly, that food spills are cleaned up quickly and that out of sight areas like underneath cupboards are cleaned and swept regularly.


Ants

Whether you’re in the midst of a British autumn or an Australian spring it’s likely that ants are still a nuisance. From the early days of spring right through to the dying days of autumn, these persistent pests have a habit of infesting even the cleanest and tidiest of homes all across the world. While they may seem innocuous enough in small numbers, ant colonies can be fertile breeding grounds for a range of diseases including E. coli, Streptococcus, Salmonella, Shigella, and Staphylococcus. Though a relatively low risk pes in terms of health hazard, they can still ruin a well planned dinner party.

Identifying and sealing points of ingress is an important measure in keeping ants at bay, provided that there is no evidence of an ant colony in your home or garden. If you’re looking for a safe way of keeping ants away from your home, I recommend;

  • Vinegar

  • Lemon juice

  • Coffee grounds

  • Chalk

  • Ground cinnamon

Any of these will keep ants at bay without harming them.


Rodents

Rats and mice may look cute but they can be extremely harmful to us when they get into the kitchen. They’re ravenous eaters and extremely fast breeders meaning that if left unchecked their populations can quickly spiral out of control. Moreover, their urine and droppings can lead to a range of health issues when they get into your kitchen counters and / or come into contact with food. Aside from making sure that your kitchen is kept immaculately clean and that foods are cleared away quickly after use, it’s worth investing in some sonic repellents to make sure that they steer clear of your home over the coming months.


Bugs & Bacteria

Even if you’ve scrupulously ensured that your home is impregnable to bugs and vermin, it’s important to remember that not all pests can be seen by the naked eye. Your kitchen is still vulnerable to bacteria which can enter the home and our bodies through the food we eat. The three worst offenders are the likes of listeria, campylobacter and salmonella.

These bugs, when ingested can have a range of unpleasant and in some cases even fatal effects. Fortunately, good habits can keep these malign bacteria at bay, such as;

  • Thoroughly cooking meats and cheeses.

  • Washing raw vegetables thoroughly before eating them.

  • Separating raw and cooked foods

  • Washing your hands and utensils after preparing uncooked foods.

  • Consuming perishables as soon as possible.

  • Never cooking raw meats in a microwave.

  • Avoid bringing uncooked meat into contact with raw foods like salad leaves.

  • Wash your hands after using the toilet or handling pets.

  • Wash your hands after handling raw meats.

As you can see, it doesn’t take all that much to keep your home safe from unwelcome harmful invaders and ensure that your dinner parties and cocktail parties are the stuff of legend for the rest of the year!