30 of Our Best Tips for Dealing with Mice, Mosquitos, Ants, and Other Pests

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While pests and bugs could be a downside any time of 12 months, there can definitely be spikes throughout these hotter months — particularly whereas, say, you’re attempting to get pleasure from a pleasant meal exterior. So with Memorial Day weekend proper across the nook, we thought we’d take a minute to spherical up our easiest ideas for dealing with (and stopping!) mice, fruit flies, roaches, mosquitoes, and extra. These ideas may also help inside your kitchen and in your yard. Scroll by means of and then inform these little buggers to buzz off!

1. Make your individual fruit fly entice.

3. Make certain the kitchen is dry.

We spoke with Marche Shelton, proprietor of Nexpro Pest Control in Atlanta, Georgia, to search out out what residents can do to maintain their kitchens pest-free. Here’s what he needed to say: “One of the first things is to keep everything dry. Make sure there’s no excess water around the counter and no water sitting around anywhere in the kitchen.”

It’s not simply cooking or cleansing water that may draw pests, both. “Check to make sure there are no leaks.” Not solely do leaky pipes or dripping taps waste water and pose the standard moisture issues of rotting wooden and mildew, however they’ll additionally make your kitchen hospitable to roaches and different pests. 

4. Wipe down pantry cabinets.

You know to not depart meals out and to wipe up splatters and spills, however right here’s a reminder to verify your pantry too. Errant flour, pasta, nuts, spices, beans … all of them turn out to be a goal for pests. Make it an everyday behavior to verify your pantry cabinets and wipe up messes. Also, look for poop whilst you’re in there. Mice have a tendency to cover when people come round, however they’ll depart poop behind as a transparent signal they’ve been energetic.

5. Get rid of plastic luggage and equipment containers.

Here’s an awesome cause to cease gathering plastic purchasing luggage. And to lastly get rid of all these equipment containers you’ve been saving simply in case. “Don’t store plastic bags in your cabinets. That draws bugs. Don’t keep boxes to small appliances. Roaches love cardboard and plastic bags,” Shelton says. By slicing down on areas the place bugs can cover and shelter, you’re making your kitchen much less hospitable to roaches and slicing down on areas the place they’re snug dwelling and reproducing. 

6. Upgrade your trash can.

One Kitchn staffer had a mouse downside in her condo when a downstairs neighbor began renovating. She swears that switching to this rubbish can — with its rubber gasket seal — helped her clear up the issue as soon as and for all. Why not make it just a bit bit more durable (or not possible!) for mice to search out your dinner scraps?

Read extra: The Trash Can This Kitchn Staffer Swears Ended Her Mouse Problem Once and For All

Even in case your trash is safer than the Pentagon, you’ll nonetheless need to empty it regularly. As in, earlier than it begins to scent unhealthy! It’s not simply mice that may very well be drawn to your trash, however flies may additionally come to put eggs in there. “The biggest horror stories I’ve heard are when people forget to take out the trash [before vacation] and come back to an infestation after a week,” says Dave Lofquist, an related licensed entomologist and technical coaching supervisor at Arrow Exterminators.

Sure, it seems to be cute however shelf paper can be food for cockroaches. “We think of crumbs and left-out food as their food source, but when that goes away, roaches have no problem finding other things to eat,” says Howard Bright, the proprietor of Anti-Pesto Bug Killers. Just skip it.

9. Store meals in hermetic containers when attainable.

Anything that’s not in a glass or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid runs the danger of contamination, particularly gadgets like flour or cereal that are available in luggage or cardboard packaging. “Some rodents can even get through plastic containers, but that’s more rare,” says Dr. Michael Bentley, employees entomologist for the National Pest Management Association.

10. Don’t depart any meals out. 

This one appears like a no brainer, till you do not forget that bowl of pretzels that you just left sitting on the counter. Put meals away as quickly as you’re completed with it, and preserve as a lot as attainable within the fridge or the freezer, quite than on a shelf. At the very least, put issues in containers!

11. Don’t depart soiled dishes within the sink.

Don’t depart pots and pans within the sink. You don’t need to head all the way down to the kitchen to discover a mouse licking up your plate!

12. Clean out your toaster’s crumb tray.

While you’re on Crumb Patrol, make sure you verify the toaster. Toasters nearly at all times have a crumb tray and they should be emptied. If you don’t, it’s very seemingly that mice will discover their manner in. There is one thing very unsettling about seeing mouse poop blended with errant every part bagel spices. Trust us.

Related: How to Clean the Toaster

13. Spray round home windows with a vinegar/water resolution.

“There’s an easy way to deter bugs (particularly spiders) from making their home in yours — one that doesn’t involve spraying pesticides indoors, one that I learned from my mother,” says Shifrah Combiths, one of our common contributors. “Mix a 50/50 solution of water and white vinegar and spray around your window frame. Do this indoors, and outdoors too, if you’re able to.”

Read extra: My Mom’s Solution for Keeping Spiders Out of the House

14. Pick up these incense-like sticks.

These Madison James Flyaway Sticks are so beloved, they have an inclination to promote out commonly. They’re in inventory proper now so, you probably have a difficulty with mosquitoes and different bugs in your yard, choose some up.

15. Set up an outside fan.

Flies can’t, um, fly tremendous effectively within the wind. If you could have a coated patio, take into consideration putting in a ceiling fan. Otherwise, simply arrange some moveable outside followers. Even these battery powered followers connected to spray bottles may provide some extent of safety.

16. Rethink the flowers close to your patio.

The bugs that flutter round your outside desk may very well be there as a result of of the flowers you could have across the perimeter. “Honey bees, for example, are drawn to wildflowers, lavender, sunflowers, goldenrod, honeysuckle, and herbs like chives, oregano, and thyme,” says Dr. Jim Fredericks, chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association. Maybe take into account some replanting and transfer flowers elsewhere and encompass your patio with vegetation as an alternative?

 17. Make an natural centerpiece.

Fill a vase with a mixture of basil, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, or mint for a bouquet that can preserve the flies (and different bugs) away. Bonus: It seems to be and smells nice, too!

18. Use UV gentle to catch fruit flies.

19. Set up a butane-powered mosquito repeller.

As you may see simply from this submit alone, there are so much of issues that may make it easier to repel mosquitos. Some work higher than others (though we’ve examined — and love! — every part on this submit!) and this one continues to impress us. It makes use of a mini butane tank to warmth up a mosquito repellant pad and is actually as straightforward to make use of as turning on a swap.

Read extra: This Simple $22 Gadget Is My New Favorite Way to Keep Mosquitos Away

20. Or strive one which’s rechargeable.

A brand new launch from Thermacell, this one is rechargeable so that you don’t have to fret about stocking up on these mini butane tanks.

21. Dissolve a number of of these in close by standing water.

22. Arm your self with a super-charged fly swatter.

23. Add dryer sheets underneath your desk legs.

24. Keep the meals and drinks inside — or a minimum of coated up.

Swatting away at bugs is futile. You comprehend it. We comprehend it. We all comprehend it. Your greatest wager is to maintain meals and drinks inside and let folks serve themselves in there. If that’s not lifelike (perhaps you don’t need folks getting in and out of the home), attempt to preserve issues as coated up as attainable. Drink out of cups with lids, use pitchers with tops, and put collapsible covers over dishes.

25. Get one of the perfect mousetraps available on the market.

Get the mistaken mousetrap and you could possibly wind up simply providing an all-you-can-eat buffet of peanut butter. If you could have indicators of mice (their left-behind poo, chewed up packages, for instance), store from this record beneath.

Read extra: The Very Best Mousetraps You Can Buy on Amazon

26. Clean underneath your home equipment.

It’s surprising what number of crumbs can accumulate underneath your home equipment! Make certain you pull them out and clear underneath them commonly! This will assist get rid of something that would appeal to mice and roaches.

27. Follow the FIFO rule.

FIFO stands for “first in, first out” and, not solely does it make it easier to eat issues earlier than they flip, however it additionally helps to be sure to don’t open a brand new field of cereal if there’s a half-eaten field already within the pantry.

28. And be sensible about what you purchase in bulk.

That big field of crackers gained’t prevent any cash if you need to name in an exterminator to get rid of the pests who began feasting on stated field. The longer one thing sits in your pantry, the larger the window of alternative for pests to get in there, warns Scot Hodges, director of skilled growth for technical providers at Arrow Exterminators.

29. Use flour or cocoa powder to kill roaches.

High on the record of issues cockroaches love: cocoa powder and flour. Mix equal components of cocoa powder or flour with diatomaceous earth (you will discover it at your native ironmongery shop) and sprinkle it the place you’ve seen cockroaches. Diatomaceous earth is non-toxic to pets and people, however it kills bugs by destroying their exoskeletons. The roaches will take the “bait” again to their nest and feed it to the opposite roaches, who may also die.

Read extra: H(*30*)

30. Know when it’s time to name in a professional.

Sometimes, pests and bugs may very well be a symptom of a much bigger downside. If you could have points regularly or the pests appear to be multiplying, it might be time to name a pest management skilled. They may also help you determine an unknown meals supply (like a lifeless animal within the wall — it’s not unusual!) or some extent of entry you will have neglected. You can discover licensed professionals in your space on

Of course, that is simply a place to begin! Do you could have a tip for dealing with bugs or pests — inside or out? Tell us within the feedback beneath!

Lisa Freedman

Lifestyle Director

Lisa Freedman is the Lifestyle Director at The Kitchn. She has by no means met a cheese or a washi tape she did not like. She lives in New York state with her husband and their pup, Millie.

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