Getting Rid of Unwanted Pests in the Kitchen

Kitchen pests are an issue most households deal with at one point or another. There are some preventative steps that can be taken to reduce to number of pests that like to invade a home, but even the cleanest kitchen may see these little critters trying to move in at one point or another.


Some kitchen pests can be eliminated without professional intervention. Commercial pest control can be a viable solution, but not all professional solutions are safe for pets or small children. The cost of professional pest control can also be high and may not be affordable for everyone.

The following is a look at the most common kitchen pests, the pros and cons of DIY vs. professional pest control, and the average pest control costs. This will help determine what the best solution is for tackling specific issues when it comes to pests in the kitchen.

Common Kitchen Pests

The type of pests found in a kitchen will vary depending on the location of the house, the seasons, and recent weather conditions. Across the United States, though, there are certain pests which can be commonly found in most kitchens no matter how nice the home or how clean it is kept. These common pests include:

  • Ants
  • Cockroaches
  • Fruit Flies
  • Pantry Pests
  • Rodents

Ants are commonly attracted by food crumbs and grease. Some types of ants are especially drawn to sugar and will get into anything sugar-related, even sweet drinks.

Cockroaches are also attracted by food particles as well as heat and moisture. Cockroaches can carry E.coli and other types of bacteria and are known to increase allergies and allergic reactions.

Fruit flies are attracted to yeast found in decomposing fruit and are so tiny they can get into just about anything.

Pantry pests most often refer to grain beetles and meal moths, both of which like to infest various dried goods such as flower, crackers, nuts, and pet food.

Rodents are constantly looking for food and shelter. If they think they have found good options for both in a kitchen they may move in and prove difficult to remove. Rodents are notorious for spreading viruses as well as carrying ticks, lice, and fleas. They can also destroy electrical wires and wood, causing structural damage and increasing the risk of an electrical fire.

DIY or Professional Pest Control?

DIY pest control can be a great option as it can be less expensive than hiring a professional. Home remedies can also cut down on the use of chemicals and ensure that preventative measures and pest treatments are safe for children and pets. DIY methods aren't always effective, though, as they are based on a certain degree of guessing and can't always penetrate to the source of the infestation.

Professional pest control is always a good idea if an infestation seems to be out of control. Often, if a handful of ants or cockroaches are present, that means there are countless more hiding in the walls or floorboards. Rodents especially can be extremely destructive and reproduce rapidly. Professional pest control can be pricey, but most companies offer some kind of warranty or guarantee that the pests will be dealt with.

Pest Control Costs

The cost of pest control can vary depending on the size of the house, the extent of the problem, the type of pest, and the frequency of the visits.

Most pest control companies will charge a base price, usually between $134 - $198, for an average 1,500 sq. foot house. Some companies charge an additional $25 per 1,000 square feet.

The extent of the problem will also influence the overall cost. If a pest infestation is particularly widespread, the quoted price may be higher than the average treatment.

Some pests such as squirrels and mice can be taken care of with a one-time treatment to remove the existing rodents while sealing up their entrances into the home. Other pests such as ants and cockroaches may require multiple or on-going treatments.

Visits can be one-time, initial, or periodic/ongoing. One-time visits cost the most as issues haven't been minimized with multiple treatments. Initial visits are often the least expensive and include the assessment and maybe a few minor fixes. Ongoing pest control will cost the most overall, but will cost the least per visit, and may be required for particularly bad infestations of ants, cockroaches, and more.