How to Get Rid of Bugs in the Kitchen

Give bugs the boot with our tips for keeping a clean cooking space.

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Picture this: You sleepily head to the kitchen for a late-night glass of water. As you clumsily flip on the light, you see it. An unsightly roach scurries up the wall and out of sight. After your initial gross-out dance, you wonder … Was it alone? Where is it now? Should I be concerned there may be a roach colony taking residence in my kitchen?

Young Girl Screaming in Reaction to Cockroach


Photo by: Getty Images/Kaycna Wrrn Chay/EyeEm

Getty Images/Kaycna Wrrn Chay/EyeEm

The short answer? Yes. When you spot one roach, chances are it is not alone. And sadly, the annoyance and embarrassment of having pests in the kitchen isn’t even the worst of it. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), roaches are infamous for spreading many different types of bacteria, including E. coli, salmonella and even parasitic worms. And to top it off, their droppings and saliva are known to cause issues for allergy and asthma sufferers. Let the gross-out dance commence.

Thankfully, roaches are not as indestructible as we are led to believe. And getting rid of them is within your reach. So wash out that glass you once thought was clean, pour yourself some water, and settle in. We’re going to show you how to take back your kitchen.

Kitchen With Dirty Dishes

Messy Open Kitchen

This messy kitchen could do with a major clean-up, starting with the dirty dishes.

Photo by: Aaron Wessling

Aaron Wessling

The first step? Clean up. The more cluttered and messy your kitchen is, the more hiding spots for your multi-legged friends. Start your kitchen clean-up by ridding the space of all clutter, washing any dirty dishes, cleaning off the countertops and scrubbing the sink. Now the real work begins.

Dirty Kitchen Sink With Dishes

Messy Kitchen Sink

A messy kitchen invites pests in and offers plenty of spaces to hide.

Photo by: Aaron Wessling

Aaron Wessling

One common spot for pesky pests is the often-overlooked cabinet beneath the sink. Start by taking everything out and wiping it all down. Scrub the entire cabinet, making sure you focus on the hard-to-reach corners, then spray with a product designed to kill roaches. If you have other pest problems, such as ants, opt for an ant bait that can be placed in the back corners and will last for several months at a time, but do not use a pesticide and bait in the same area. Continue by wiping out each cabinet.

Once your cabinets are clean and clutter free and your sink and countertops are sparkling, you’re ready to move on to the floors. If you’re going to keep pests at bay, a dirty floor covered in crumbs isn’t going to cut it. Vacuum the space regularly, using your vacuum’s brush head to reach under cabinets and into every corner. Pull out the fridge and stove to ensure no crumbs are lurking underneath.

Woman Vacuums Kitchen

Vacuuming Under Cabinets

To ensure your kitchen floors stay clean and to keep bugs at bay, use your vacuum's brush attachment to vacuum underneath cabinets and other hard to reach places.

Photo by: Aaron Wessling

Aaron Wessling

When everything is spick and span, spray a bug barrier product in the common areas these insufferable insects like to enter, making sure all food and food-prep areas are safely out of the way.

Woman Sprays Pest Repellant

Spraying for Bugs in the Kitchen

To repel pests, consider a pest spray on baseboards and under cabinets.

Photo by: Aaron Wessling

Aaron Wessling

Think beneath the cabinets, on baseboards, corners and around windows. Consider using ant baits beneath the fridge, in corners and near plumbing fixtures. Keep up this super clean routine and say buh-bye to creepy crawlies.

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