7 Home Remedies for a Pest-free Kitchen

Keep the pesky, unwanted guests away with these non-toxic kitchen solutions

Joyoti Mahanta

Keeping your kitchen sparkling clean and pest free just makes hygienic sense. It’s a nightmare otherwise. The hot weather, open windows/doors, the smell of food leftovers equals pests. Here’s how you can repel these pesky, unwanted guests, with everyday ingredients found in your kitchen, minus any pesticide worries.

1. Eucalyptus Oil: You may slip into sweet comfort during a spa, thanks to the pleasant smell of eucalyptus oil that they use, but critters don’t feel the same way.  This essential oil has a sharp aroma that repels potential hazards like cockroaches, bugs and flies. You can make a repellent spray by adding ¼ teaspoon of eucalyptus oil to one cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well to mix (as oil does separate from water), and spritz it around your kitchen. As the eucalyptus oil evaporates, it will ward off pests and flies from the kitchen air. You could also use a diluted version of eucalyptus oil to wipe your counter tops and cupboards.

2. Cloves: Houseflies and bugs hate the smell of whole cloves. Hence, placing whole cloves near doorways and windows can stop them from entering your kitchen. You could make sachets of whole cloves and hang them or tape them in other rooms as well. Adding a few drops of clove oil to your regular cleaning products will also make it disagreeable to pests.

3. Coffee: You may need your daily cuppa to get through the day, but it can prove fatal for bugs, especially ants. Coffee beans and grounds gets rid of stubborn smells from your kitchen that attracts pests in the first place. But there’s one way of putting recycled coffee grounds to good use—sprinkle around the windows, entrances, drainage points, they can ward off bugs, ants and pests.

4. Vinegar: The smell of vinegar tends to linger for long, and fruit flies, house flies and ants don’t like it. Dilute a bit of this strong-smelling liquid with water to wipe your kitchen countertops, and spray it in every nook and cranny of your kitchen where these pests could be hiding.

5. Basil: It’s impossible to go swap-swap behind every fly, but what you grow in your kitchen window boxes can keep the menace outside. Grow some basil plants near your kitchen to form an LoC—the smell will ward off insects, while leaving your kitchen smelling fresh.

6. Bay Leaves: This herb has many haters from the pest department. From silverfish, wood pests, moth, beetles, weevils, cockroaches, ants, flies, they are all repelled by the aroma of bay leaves. You could leave a few dried bay leaves in your cabinets. Or you could make a mixture of bay leaves and cinnamon sticks and tape the sachet to your kitchen walls and cabinets. A few dried bay leaves can also be placed in your flour or grains canister so that they don’t get infested.

7. Lemon: When life gives you lemons, scare spiders with them. Spiders dislike the smell and concentration of the acidic lime. You could either dilute lime with water and spritz the solution in and around your kitchen as a prevention, but use undiluted lemon juice in emergencies situations. The leftover lemon peels can be placed in kitchen and cabinet corners to ward off moths and other pests.

Image: Shutterstock.com


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