Pest control in homes and especially kitchens can be tricky. If applied wrongly some pesticides have the potential to be harmful to humans, too. India, having a warm climate is home to a range of pests, which will thrive all year round, with certain seasonal peaks. Here are some insights into common house remedies. I am not sure whether all of them would be successful, but most of them should work in deterring pests to a certain level. However, in the case of established pest infestations, it would make sense to get some pest control expert’s advice.
1. Use environment-friendly and human-safe pesticides and repellants. It is cheaper mid to long-term and above all safer for everybody involved. I have seen recently some street vendors in Bangalore and Chennai selling various powders, which they claimed would kill any pest, for a very minimal fee. They could not tell me what chemicals it contains and hence I wouldn’t suggest trying it out at home, as the risks for health and environment might be quite high. There are certain home-made repellants, as long as they are on a herbal basis and include spices herbs or other harmless stuff, I think they are worth a try. In case they should not work, well at least the house will smell nice (if you use cinammon, bay leaves, cloves, etc.)
2. Guidelines for general Pest Prevention
Sanitation and Exclusion are the keywords when it comes to prevent pest issues, even before they arise.
- Keep the area clean: Clean all spills right away. Consistently mop floors and wipe down countertops and tables.
- Isolate garbage: Use tight-fitting lids on waste receptacles. Throw out garbage promptly. Wash your garbage cans every day.
- Seal entry points: Make sure all windows and doors are tightly sealed. Do not leave open unscreened windows or doors. Cover vents and drains with screens.
- Inspect new supplies: Check all incoming goods for signs of pest infestation, such as cockroaches, meal moths and others. Cockroach egg cases are commonly found in the rim of LPG cylinders. Immediately dispose of anything suspect.
Guidelines for specific pest control
Keep your building clean and seal cracks and crevices. Home remedies to repel ants to some extent are the following: Cinnamon, cayenne pepper, black pepper, vinegar, chalk, talcum powder and bay leaves.
Flies need damp, decaying or fermenting organic material to breed. The best way to keep flies away is to consistently clean breeding areas. Probable breeding areas include garbage cans, moist mops, sides of drains and drain traps. A home remedy to clean drains safely is done by using pure vinegar, followed by baking soda and boiling water.
Other than keeping breeding areas clean or professional pest control services, there are several monitoring devices to reduce fruit fly numbers, for example the following traps.
- Bottle traps: Cut holes five inches from the bottom of a two liter bottle. Fill with bait like wine, beer or a solution of vinegar, water and honey. Suspend from ceiling to trap and drown flies.
- Ultraviolet fly traps: Decorative ultraviolet fly traps are available. Some zap bugs and some trap them. Never use zappers indoors, or you might find pieces of fly in your food, because the zappers let insects explode on the electric grids.
To prevent cockroaches from invading your kitchen, eliminate their access to food and damp, dark areas. Clean consistently. Seal garbage in plastic bags or containers and put wet rags and sponges in airtight containers overnight. Hang mops up to dry. Fix leaky faucets and drains. Plumbing is like a cockroach’s highway system, so cover vents and floor and sink drains with screens.
A full-grown rodent can pass through a hole as small as a dime. Get possible entry points sealed to prevent mice from entering. Keep the perimeters of your establishment clean and the grass well-cut to discourage mice from hiding around your building and looking for a way in. Store garbage in locked containers.
If you have mice in your establishment, deal with them immediately, The best thing to do is to call a pest control expert, with experience in dealing with rodent infestations. Traps are effective, but many codes ban them from food service establishments. Traps also take several days to work because rodents are wary of new additions to their environment. If you want to do it yourself (for reasons of revenge, hahaha), try one of the following traps:
- Live traps: Also known as “Have-a-Heart Traps,” live traps capture the mice in a metal mesh cage. Make sure you release the mouse far away from your building. Find and seal the mouse’s point of entry.
- Snap traps and glue traps: Many consider these traps to be inhumane. Check your local codes, because often glue traps are banned from restaurants and other food service establishments. If you must, use a flat board glue trap or a snap trap with a sensitive, expanded trigger. Position the traps against wall at a 90º angle.
All in all, there is a lot everybody of us can do to prevent his home from becoming a favorite spot for pests. Should infestation go out of hand, I would always suggest you to consider the help of an expert.
Hope that helps and I am wishing you all a summer that does not get too hot.