How To Pest Proof Your Kitchen

So you want to learn how to pest-proof your kitchen?

I like to keep a clean house and the last place I want to see pests is in my kitchen. Bugs, insects, and rodents are drawn to your kitchen as a bear is attracted to beehives. Why is this the case?

Pests are attached to the smell of the foods you keep on hand. You have to take preventive steps if you want a pest-free home. There are a few actions you can take to pest-proof your kitchen.

How do you pest-proof your kitchen?

8 Ways To Pest Proof Your Kitchen

1. Freezer Or Refrigerator More Food

Your freezer and refrigerator are secure and pest free. Pests don’t like the cold and do not want to freeze to death so they stay clear of these two appliances. Food stored here is not at risk to be overtaken by rodents, insects, and bugs.

Instead of leaving foods out in the open, why not consider placing some food in your refrigerator? There are probably a few foods sitting on your kitchen counter, in your cabinets, or pantry that should be refrigerated but is not.

You can free up cabinet space and pest-proof your home by relocating these foods that should always be kept in the fridge

  • Ripe bananas
  • Ripe avocados
  • Apples
  • Nuts of all kind
  • Tortillas
  • Condiments

2. Fix Leaky Pipes and Faucets

A leaking faucet that needs to be fixed.

Do you have leaky pipes or faucets in your kitchen? If so, you want to get these fixed up and repaired right away. It’s likely these are or could become a major water source for any pests you see hanging around the kitchen.

Like humans, pests need food and water to survive. If you cut off food and water they will not hand around to starve to death.

So if your faucet or pipes are leaking get them fixed asap, to prevent an infestation. An easy fix would be to seal any leaks you have with caulk or spray form. This works for minor leaks, but for a more difficult job, you may have to replace a few items to stop the water from flowing.

3. Keep Your Food In Pest Proof Containers

Pest proof kitchen containers sitting on the counter.

You should store your food in airtight pest-proof containers. This will control and eliminate odors in your kitchen. Pests can seek out and eat what they have a hard time smelling.

Resealable plastic food containers and glass jars are your best friends when it comes to keeping bugs, insects, and rodents out of your food.

Now you might be thinking. Why should I buy these containers? I heard rats and mice can chew through anything. You’re right! A hungry and motivated rodent will chew through just about anything in desperate times.

But remember this is just one recommendation out of many. If you do the things we suggest to pest-proof your kitchen, it won’t get to a point where rodents will have to eat through your plastic containers.

Don’t forget to keep your food containers off the floor.

4. Keep Your Counters Free of Food

Have you ever stop to consider, roaches and mice walk across your countertops carrying disease that contaminates your food and make you sick. That said, how often do you wipe down your kitchen counters?  Every day, a few times a week, once a week, or only when I have too.

You should wipe down your kitchen counters and any appliances you routinely touch on a daily basis.

Additionally, do not leave food sitting around. Pickup or remove crumbs immediately.

5. Clean Your Kitchen Regularly

Women cleaning her kitchen to prevent pests.

Pests are not attracted to your kitchen by accident.

They love what you have going on. This is especially the case when you leave leftover food lying around. They like to when you leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Crumbs, grease, and sticky things, they love these too.

We like to say clean, clean, clean to keep the pests away. You should be cleaning your kitchen counters, stove, and refrigerator — wipe these down daily. Sweep the floor and mop too. This is easily done it you dedicate some time at the end of the day for cleaning.


Don’t forget about your trash. The smell and aromas from your trash can and will attract unwanted pests. Make sure your trash cans are tightly covered as best as possible. Take out your trash on a regular basis, well before it starts stinking up the house and enticing bugs and rodents.

My last word of advice is to clean your kitchen more often than other rooms in your home.

6. Run Your Garbage Disposal Often

One of the best tips we found is to limit the amount of food we place in our trash cans. In fact, we try not to throw away any food scraps.  Instead of throwing our leftovers and food waste in the garbage can, we run the garbage disposal.

We have made our kitchen less appealing to pests by reducing the amount of food we place in our inside trash and outdoor garbage cans.

Beware, some food doesn’t grind up to well. Food items such as bones, pasta, potato peels, pits, and seeds are problematic and should not be placed in the garbage disposal.

7. Remove Your Pets Food and Water

Dog eating from bowl and ready to drink some water

If you have inside pets their food and water could be a major feeding source for unwanted visitor. Most pet owners leave food and water out all day long– sometimes at night too. Food just sits there in the bowl until the pet eats it all. I will admit, I did this too before learning this was not a good idea.

You’re just inviting pests in your home by leaving pet food out and unattended.  That said you should not leave out pet food or water. It’s best you train and condition your pests to eat and drink shortly after you place out their food.

You can leave water for them to drink throughout the day as they get thirsty. But definitely before dark, you want to put away the pet food and their water.

One last word of advice. Please clean your pet’s food and water bowls often. This should be done for sanitary reasons and so that dry particles of food are not readily available for pests.

8. Seal Off All Possible Entry Points

Pests can squeeze through the tiniest of holes and make their way into your kitchen. This is why you have to look for any cracks or holes pests can use to enter your kitchen. You should especially look for gaps around your stovepipes and water pipes, as these are common entry points for mice, roaches, and ants.

When and if you find any holes they are easy to repair and fix.

All you have to do is use a glue or caulking gun to seal up any holes are crack you find. By doing so you have cut off their entryways into your home.

Related Questions

How do I protect my food from mice? To protect your food from mice keep it in plastic, glass, or metal kitchen containers. Also never store food product on the floor. They should be placed on a shelf at least 12 inches from the ground.

What are some common kitchen pests? Common kitchen pests included bugs, insects, and rodents such as ants, cockroaches, beetles, flies, gnats, mice, rats, and weevils. These pests are attracted to food, water, and shelter in your kitchen. If you eliminate these, your kitchen pest will be kept to a minimum.

Why do kitchen bugs come out a night? Kitchen bugs come out at night because many of the bugs are nocturnal. They also come out at night because they are able to eat and move around without being bothered by you.

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Lynn Edwards

I founded DIY Pest Control Guide with the intention of sharing practical, user-friendly pest control strategies. If you need assistance, reach out to me at - I'm here to help you reclaim your peace of mind.

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