Get Rid of Common Household Pests using Simple Ingredients from your Pantry
A Post by Bridgette Brenneman
Gnats driving you nuts? Ants in your pantry? Here’s how to manage:
Home management tips and tricks vary depending on your personal household needs. For example, in my home I’ve been dealing with a few typical summertime pests. I’ve had to develop new management techniques to add into my routine to deal with these awful pests. I even plan to make a page in my home management folder specifically for pest management. Do you suffer through summer pest annoyances? Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to minimize household pests in my home.
These flying little pests have been the bane of my existence for the past 3 weeks or so. I’m not certain of the variety of gnats I’ve had in my home- but they bite, and the bites were super itchy. It became my mission to rid my house of gnats.
After trying a few different homemade gnat traps, I settled on one that was both simple and very effective. It’s now my go-to gnat trap and has been very effective in whittling down my kitchen gnat population. Here’s how it works:
Apple Cider Vinegar Gnat Trap
What you’ll need:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Plastic Wrap
- Small cup or bowl
Fill the bottom of a small cup/bowl with a bit of apple cider vinegar- I usually fill the cup so it has about half an inch of vinegar in the bottom. Cover your bowl/cup with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in an area that is highly populated by gnats, and poke a couple of small-ish holes in the plastic wrap. The holes should be large enough for the gnats to get in easily, but small enough that they have trouble getting out. The gnats then crawl into the bowl and trap themselves in the vinegar. This along with a few other pest management techniques, has been instrumental in cutting down my pest problems.
Do you have ants in your house? It seems that in every house I’ve lived in, at least once every summer a steady stream of ants would appear in the kitchen. It starts with one or two of them, no big deal. Next thing you know, you walk into your kitchen to make breakfast and there is line of the little pests marching across the wall and into the pantry/cupboard.
In the past, I’ve used ant traps from the store to try to fix my ant problems. However, this time I decided to try a DIY ant poison made with ingredients that I already had at home. I was a bit skeptical at first, but to my surprise and wonder it worked really well! I can safely say that I’ll probably never use a store bought ant trap again. I’ve had to use this recipe twice, but both times it fixed my problem within a day and I haven’t seen an ant in my house since! Here’s how you can end your ant woes and win back a pest-free kitchen:
DIY Ant Killer:
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon Borax
Combine ingredients, stirring well. Next, decide where and how to place the ant poison. When I used this recipe, I kept in mind to put the ant syrup in places where my dog and/or 2 year old wouldn’t easily be able to get into it. I found that the easiest way to do this was to dip a cotton ball into the syrup and place it in an area where the ants were congregating. For example: I placed soaked cotton balls in my pantry cupboard, and behind the toaster in the back corner of the counter.
Not only is this recipe effective, but works quickly. The ants instantly turned their focus to the syrup, eating it up and taking it back to their home to share with their friends. The next day there were only 3-4 ants left to be seen, and after two days there were no ants at all. I then removed the cotton balls and wiped up around the areas with a damp and soapy rag.
Management Tips to Keeping Pests as Bay:
I’d love to tell you that these DIY pest remedies are a “one and done” type of deal; but to effectively keep pests at bay, it takes a regular routine of management techniques to actually fix the problem. For instance, setting out a gnat trap is an awesome start to getting rid of the pests. However, identifying the place where the gnats are reproducing or where they’re attracted to in the first place is how you’ll actually fix the problem. Some basic management techniques that I use to prevent pest problems in my kitchen include:
- Immediately dispose of any food scraps or bad leftovers. Any food left sitting out will become an instant bug attractant.
- Keep a clean sink: try not to let dirty dishes set in the sink for too long- dirty dishes and greasy dishwater won’t just get stinky, but will attract pests.
- Keep the kitchen sink drain plugged when not in use. This is probably the most effective management tool I’ve used in eliminating gnats in my home.
- Take out trash daily- especially if there are food scraps or dirty diapers in there. At least until you have your pest problem under control, it is a good idea to take out the kitchen trash daily to avoid attracting more pests or encouraging the ones already there.
- Avoid letting empty cans/bottles sit about. I try to remember to recycle my cans/bottles, but I usually end up with a stash of boxes and bags of them sitting by my door. These also attract gnats and ants.
- Keep floors and counters clean. Crumbs on the floor and counter may attract ants. Try to keep these areas tidy.
By implementing these basic management skills in the kitchen, you will be able to effectively get rid of household pests and prevent further infestations. It can be hard to keep on top of these tasks daily, I definitely struggle with some of these. All I have to do is blink and the sink is full of dirty dishes again, encouraging my gnat problem. However, if you are disciplined and keep on top of it you can enjoy a pest free kitchen!
Do you struggle with kitchen management? Between keeping up with dishes, meal planning, and general kitchen chaos- some weeks the kitchen feels like a lost cause. Throw in a few gnats and an ant problem and I feel about ready to burn the place down! Thankfully, my mother (Kim) has covered these home management struggles in her book “Home Management: Plain & Simple” (get it here). With the tips and tricks she’s accumulated and passed on through her writing, you can now be equipped with the tools you need to survive the hard days and make your best days better! For even more home management tips, check out the worksheets in the free resource library.