Kitchen bugs are a serious problem. They can contaminate your food, damage your kitchen, and cause serious health issues. In this guide, we will look at what you should know about kitchen bugs, why you might have kitchen bugs in your kitchen, the most common types of kitchen bugs, and how to get rid of these pests for good.
Let’s get started!
What You Should Know About Kitchen Bugs
Kitchen bugs are common in most American homes.
Insects can be found in all corners of your home and sometimes, they are in places that you might not expect. The kitchen is a common place to find these annoying pests because of all the food that is present there. It’s important to know what type of insect is invading your home and kitchen so that you can take action against them.
The types of kitchen bugs you might encounter that could lead you to look into kitchen bugs identification often depend on where you live. This is because some types of bugs are more common in certain regions than others.
For example, ants and termites are known to be very common in the Southern part of the United States while cockroaches and fleas tend to be more prevalent in coastal areas near the ocean.
Kitchen bugs can be a common problem throughout the year, but they can also be most common during certain seasons, especially if you live in specific environments or locations. For example, ants may become more active during spring when food sources are plentiful due to warmer temperatures outside. When this happens they can easily find their way into your home if you’re not careful.
And while kitchen bugs are annoying, they can also be dangerous. This is one of the reasons it is so important to look into kitchen bugs identification so that you can have a good idea of what you are dealing with in your home.
Unfortunately, kitchen bugs can be dangerous because they can spread germs and bacteria on their bodies that can lead to food poisoning. Some kinds of kitchen bugs also carry disease-causing germs on their bodies or in their feces. These germs get into your food when you touch the bugs or their droppings with your hands or cooking utensils.
Furthermore, even if they are not dangerous to your health, kitchen bugs can contribute to hundreds of dollars of food waste in your home.
So, while it is important to look into kitchen bugs identification, it’s also important to ask yourself why you might have kitchen bugs in the first place.
Why Might You Have Kitchen Bugs In Your Kitchen
Improperly stored food could be a reason you are dealing with kitchen bugs. So could fruit on countertops.
Most people may find one or two bugs in their kitchen. But when you find them in large numbers, it could be because they’ve been there for a while and multiplied. Unfortunately, bugs in the kitchen are not always easy to get rid of.
But how did you get bugs in your kitchen, and how can you use our kitchen bugs identification guide to get rid of them?
Insects can enter through ventilation systems, through open windows, or through doors that are left open. They can also enter through cracks and crevices in walls or floors. They may even be carried inside on clothing or on food containers.
When it comes to where to look for insects in your kitchen, you can start in the basic areas. Look beneath appliances, in the back of cabinets, along corners of your countertop, and even beneath your table or around your trashcan.
Remember, insects won’t always stay in your kitchen. If you’ve found bugs in your kitchen and after you’ve used our bugs identification guide to identify them, it’s also important to look for signs of insects in every room of your home. This includes bedrooms, bathrooms, basements, attics, and even crawl spaces.
Some common signs of bugs include:
Droppings: The first sign of an infestation is small black or brown droppings that are irregular-shaped. These come from cockroaches and other insects like silverfish and ants. If you see these droppings in your kitchen, it’s time to use our kitchen bugs identification guide below to find out what you’re dealing with.
Shed skins: You might also see shed skins of moths or beetles on the floor or countertops. This means they have been around for a while and may have laid eggs or contaminated food. If you notice these signs, check pantry foods for signs of eggs, larvae, or waste.
Chewed food bags or boxes: Insects like cockroaches chew through cardboard boxes and other packaging materials to build nests inside them or eat your pantry foods. This can lead to not only food contamination but also food-borne illnesses like e-Coli and salmonella.
Insect Larvae: You might see some insect larvae in your kitchen if you have a bug infestation, especially if you are dealing with moths, beetles, or flies. These tiny crawling creatures look like small worms or maggots.
And signs of the bugs themselves: If you see any actual cockroaches, spiders, beetles, or ants, then it’s time to use our kitchen bugs identification guide below.
But what are the most common types of kitchen bugs?
When you think of kitchen bugs, you probably picture cockroaches and ants. But there are other insects that can creep into your kitchen and make it their home as well. Some of the most common include:
- Common Fruit Fly
- Indian Meal Moth
- American Cockroach
- Flour Beetle
- Drugstore Beetle
- Common House Fly
Let’s learn more about these insects below.
Common Fruit Fly
The fruit fly is commonly attracted to fermenting fruit and sometimes even wine.
The common fruit fly is a small, yellowish-brown fly that lays its eggs in fermenting or decaying organic matter. It has been known to feed on fermenting fruits and vegetables, but also on garbage, cheese, manure, and other decomposing organic material.
Fruit flies are attracted to sweet things such as overripe fruits, soda pop, and wine. They are also attracted to soiled dishes and garbage.
These kitchen bugs are extremely annoying because they can be seen buzzing around your kitchen. If you see these pests, you’ll want to use our kitchen bugs identification guide to determine for certain they are fruit flies so you can work on how to get rid of them. They have a tendency to hover around food items like rotting fruits and vegetables as well as spoiled foods such as meat or cheese. You may also see their larvae in these areas as well. The larvae resemble tiny maggots that can infest any type of food left uncovered for too long.
Indian Meal Moth
Indian Meal Moths are often attracted to light, but it is their grubs that are most damaging.
The Indian Meal moth is a small, brown moth that feeds on grain products. The larvae of this insect are in the destructive stage and it feeds on grain products such as flour, cornmeal, and cereal. The Indian meal moth is a common pest of stored food products in homes.
The adult moths are small, about 1/2 inch long with a wingspan of one-inch wings that are pale yellowish-brown with darker bands across them. They have feathery antennae that are dark above and light below. The females lay eggs on or near food sources.
In the adult stage, the meal moth is attracted to light and heat sources, so it tends to fly around windows and doors. You’ll likely find the moth flying around your kitchen at night if you leave lights on during this time period. The moths also like warm places where they can lay their eggs — such as flour, grains, cereals, and dried fruits. This is why you might see holes in these items when you open your pantry or kitchen cabinets in the morning after discovering an infestation.
American Cockroaches are some of the most common kitchen pests in the United States.
The American cockroach is a pest that lives in warm, moist areas such as basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and sewers. They are nocturnal insects that like to hide in dark places during the day. When they are active at night, they can be seen scurrying around at a high speed on walls and ceilings.
American cockroaches are attracted to sweets and grease so they often infest areas where these items are present. They will also eat a wide variety of different foods including pet food, cardboard, and even other insects if they get hungry enough. They prefer to live outdoors but will invade homes if there is ample food available for them inside the home.
When you see one or two roaches running around your kitchen during the night, this could indicate that there may be larger numbers of them hiding somewhere inside your home or business establishment. If you see large numbers of roaches running around during the day, you almost certainly have an infestation. Once you have used our kitchen bugs identification guide to determine if you do have roaches, your next step is to get rid of them.
Ants can be especially problematic because they can live in such large colonies.
Ants can also be a nuisance because they often invade kitchens and pantries. Ants are social insects that live in colonies with a queen and workers. They are found in nearly every state in the U.S. Ants have six legs, two antennae, compound eyes, and one pair of wings (in some species). Most ants have black, yellowish, or brownish bodies with darker markings on the abdomen.
Almost all ants are attracted to food and they especially love sugary foods like soda or candy, as well as greasy foods like butter or bacon grease. They will also eat crumbs from cookies or bread left out overnight.
Ants are also attracted to moisture, so if you are using our kitchen bugs identification guide to find out if you have ants and you live in a humid environment, you could be onto something.
Drain flies are often attracted to the gunk that builds up in your sink.
Drain flies, also known as moth flies or sewage flies, are small, brown, or gray flies that live in your drains. They are attracted to the bacteria and organic matter that builds up in drains, so using our kitchen bugs identification guide for pests in your drains could lead you to identify drain flies.
The larvae of drain flies can be found in almost any type of food waste. If you have fruit or vegetables rotting in your sink or garbage disposal, then you may have drain flies nearby.
Drain flies aren’t just attracted to your kitchen because they like rotten food; they’re also attracted by grease and other organic matter from animal fats that have settled on a surface over time (think bacon grease). They love moisture so if there is condensation building up on a window or countertop then there is likely a good chance you will see them congregating around these sources.
The flour beetle gets into sacks of flour and other grains.
Flour beetles are small insects that live in flour and other grains. They feed on milled cereals, including wheat, rye, barley, cornmeal, and rice. Flour beetles can also infest pet food and birdseed.
There are many different types of flour beetles in the United States. The most common species that you’ll likely encounter when looking at our kitchen bugs identification list is the confused flour beetle.
Flour beetles have a tan body with brown wing covers and spots on its abdomen. The larva is yellowish white to pinkish gray with a dark head capsule. Adults have four pairs of legs plus two pairs of wings, while larvae have six pairs of prolegs and no legs or wings at all.
Flour beetles are attracted to light, so if you see them flying around your kitchen during the day, there’s a good chance they’re not coming into your home by accident; they’re likely looking for food!
The drugstore beetle gets its name from its habit of infesting pharmacies.
Drugstore beetles are a type of beetle that is commonly found in the United States. The name comes from the fact that they can often be found in pharmacies and other stores where medications are sold. These beetles also feed on pet food, birdseed, and dried fruit, which is why they may be one of the bugs on our kitchen bugs identification list.
The drugstore beetle is a small, brown beetle that measures one-eighth inch long. They have a flat back and distinctive wing covers called elytra which cover their wings to protect them when not in use.
There are over 150 species of drugstore beetles in North America. They are most common in warmer climates, such as Florida and Texas, though they can be found throughout all 50 states and Canada.
Drugstore beetle larvae are scavengers, feeding on dry goods such as cereal, flour, and other grains, pet foods, and drugstore products (hence the name). Adult beetles will also eat these products, but they prefer live prey such as moths and other insects.
Silverfish are interesting looking insects that are common kitchen bugs.
Silverfish are flat, wingless insects that range in color from gray to brownish-yellow, with a white belly. They are about 1/4 inch long when fully grown. Silverfish are nocturnal pests, meaning they come out at night and hide during the day. They feed on books, wallpaper paste, starch adhesives on stamps and envelopes, grains such as flour and cereal products, and other household items containing protein-based materials such as glue or paste made from animal bones or hooves (e.g., bone meal).
There are two different types of silverfish in the United States: firebrats and fishmoths (also known as bristletails). Firebrats are more common than fishmoths, but both species feed on a similar diet of cellulose materials such as paper or cardboard which makes them ideal pests for homes.
If you do have silverfish and have used our kitchen bugs identification guide to identify them, it’s a good idea to act. While they are not as common as some other kitchen pests on our kitchen bugs identification guide list, they can be destructive if they get out of control.
Gnats are incredibly annoying kitchen bugs that can bite.
Gnats are small, winged insects that are closely related to flies. There are many different types of gnats that can be found in the United States and they often infest homes, particularly during the summer months. They aren’t considered a serious pests; however, their bites can be irritable and sometimes painful.
Gnats are attracted to food sources such as garbage cans and other organic matter that may be present in your kitchen area. You may also see them around piles of mulch or moist soil near your home since these areas provide breeding grounds for other insects like mosquitoes. Gnats will also look for dark areas where they can hide out during daylight hours such as under appliances or in pantries.
These pests are also attracted to anything that smells sweet or decaying organic matter like fruit peels or leftover food scraps. When these pests enter your home, they tend to congregate near drains because they’re drawn to moisture and warmth. They also like moist areas like window sills where condensation gathers after a shower or bath.
Since these tiny bugs love dark places with lots of moisture, it’s common for them to appear inside homes during springtime when temperatures rise and rain starts falling again after winter months of dry weather.
Common House Fly
The house fly is one of the most common pests in kitchens.
The common house fly is another one of the most common insect pests found in homes and businesses. They are also commonly found in kitchens, which is why you may be using our kitchen bugs identification guide to determine if this is the pest you are dealing with.
The house fly itself is not dangerous, but its larvae can be a source of foodborne illness if they contaminate food or come into contact with open wounds.
The common house fly is a small, dark gray fly that looks similar to a wasp. It has two sets of wings, which it uses to fly rapidly when it senses danger. Flies are attracted to light and buzzing noises, so they often appear around windows and doors or at night when you turn on lights.
These flies are attracted to food scraps and garbage, so keep these items away from your kitchen area. You should also try to make sure all dishes are washed after use and not left out overnight on counters or tables where they could attract flies.
If you see large numbers of flies near windows or doors during daylight hours, chances are you are dealing with house flies in your kitchen as well. Let’s talk now about how to reduce kitchen bugs in your kitchen using some common products and steps.
Best Products For Getting Rid Of Kitchen Bugs
It’s important to choose products that are safe to use in kitchens.
We all know that bugs can be a real nuisance in our kitchens. Whether you’re dealing with ants, roaches, flies, or other bugs on our kitchen bugs identification list, it’s important to choose the best products for getting rid of them.
Here are some tips for choosing the best products for getting rid of kitchen bugs:
First, look for natural ingredients or ingredients that are safe to use in areas where food is stored and prepared.
Avoid products with petroleum-based ingredients or solvents like xylene or naphtha (both of which are flammable). These types of ingredients can be dangerous if they’re inhaled or ingested and are not ideal for use in kitchens or for use around children or pets.
Below are some of our favorite products we recommend you use if you are dealing with any of the kitchen bugs listed in our above kitchen bugs identification guide.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Control Spray
Wondercide Indoor Pest Control Spray is a non-toxic solution that gets rid of kitchen bugs, including cockroaches and ants. The product contains essential oils that are safe for people, pets, and the environment.
The spray is a concentrated formula that comes in an easy-to-use spray bottle. The product is made from plant-based ingredients, including peppermint oil, clove oil, cinnamon oil, and eucalyptus oil. These essential oils are known to repel insects from your home.
To use Wondercide Indoor Pest Control Spray, shake the bottle well before spraying it on surfaces where bugs live or congregate. You can spray it directly on insect infestations or near areas where you’ve seen bugs coming in or out of your home.
Hot Shot Kitchen Bug Killer
The Hot Shot Kitchen Bug Killer is a fast-acting spray you can use once you have identified bugs on our kitchen bugs identification guide. This is a product that is designed to kill ants, roaches, crickets, and other common household pests. It takes effect quickly and leaves no lingering odors or stains on surfaces.
To use this product, simply apply it directly to the areas where you see pests. Then wait for them to die off.
Hot Shot Kitchen Bug Killer is easy to use throughout your home. You can apply it underneath sinks and behind appliances such as stoves and refrigerators where you see bugs hiding out. You can also apply it to cracks around windows or doors if you notice insects coming inside from outside.
How To Get Rid Of Kitchen Bugs In The Kitchen And Keep Them From Coming Back
Keeping your family safe from kitchen bugs requires ensuring your environment is clean consistently.
If you have a bug problem in your kitchen, you’re not alone. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that almost 80 percent of homes have insects inside them. While most of these bugs are harmless and simply come from outside, some can cause damage to your home and even spread disease.
Here are some steps you can take to get rid of kitchen bugs and keep them from coming back:
Clean up crumbs and spills. This is a big one because it’s an attractant for ants and other crawling insects like silverfish or cockroaches. Clean up crumbs on countertops, tables, and floors daily and sweep up any spills as they occur. Also, clean out your sink drain regularly so it doesn’t build up with food particles that could attract bugs.
Keep food sealed off from pests by storing it in airtight containers or lidded containers with tight-fitting lids — especially if they contain sugar or oil as these are two favorite snacks for ants! If you have a pantry full of open bags of flour or sugar that aren’t being used immediately (which we don’t recommend), put them in airtight containers at least until they are needed again so they don’t attract kitchen pests that require you to look up a kitchen bugs identification guide like ours.
You can also try using houseplants to repel bugs from your kitchen. Certain plants naturally emit an odor that bugs find offensive, so they’ll stay away from them. Here are some common plants that do this:
- Garlic chives (Allium tuberosum)
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Costmary (Tanacetum balsamita)
- Catnip (Nepeta cataria)
- Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
- Mint (Mentha spp.)
You might also try using essential oils. Essential oils like peppermint, citronella, and lemongrass all repel insects and even kitchen bugs that you’ve found on our kitchen bugs identification list above. You can add a few drops of the oil to a cotton ball and leave it near any windows or doors where bugs may try to enter your home. The smell of the oil will deter them from entering through those areas.
Another way to get rid of kitchen bugs on our above kitchen bugs identification guide list is to make sure you clean and vacuum regularly. If there are crumbs on the floor or countertops, they’ll attract ants and other insects looking for food sources. Vacuum up crumbs regularly so they don’t become a food source for pests in your kitchen.
It’s also wise to avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink. If there are dirty dishes sitting in the sink overnight, they’ll provide water sources for bugs like fruit flies and mosquitoes that thrive in moisture-rich environments like dirty dishes left out overnight after being used for dinner or lunch earlier in the day.
We also suggest you make sure that your garbage is sealed in a bag at all times. Don’t leave it outside or in an uncovered trash can overnight — this is where flies and other pests like to hang out and lay their eggs.
Last, if you have discovered you have moths or drugstore beetles from our kitchen bugs identification list, it’s best not to store dry goods like flour and sugar in paper bags because they’re more likely to allow these beetles to reproduce and spread. Instead, freeze the contaminated food (if you want to keep it but kill the pests) for at least two days and then remove it and store it in airtight containers.
And remember, if you do have kitchen bugs that you have identified from our kitchen bugs identification guide, you’re not alone.
Share your thoughts and stories with us and any tips you might have for getting rid of them! Thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.