No one can dispute that the heart of every home is the kitchen. It is where families gather to make meals, laughter and memories. The moment that the dishes are done and the lights go out however, the kitchen can become home to a new kind of family. A multitude of household pests will naturally gravitate toward the largest food source in the home, your kitchen.

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Who are these unintended invaders? Some common pests include ants, cockroaches, cereal and pantry bugs and rodents. As soon as it’s safe they come out of the hiding spots that you didn’t even know existed, and indulge in what you don’t think of when you leave your kitchen. Your trash can calls to them when it is full of food scraps. Crumbs left in cupboards and on the counter make a lovely snack, as do that spilled sauce that you didn’t notice on the floor. Everything from a loaf of bread with aneasy to chew through plastic bag, to cookies left on a plate on the counter, becomes fair game the moment your back is turned.

The best prevention for making sure that your kitchen is used by your family alone is to follow a few household rules. Make sure that your floors and counters are always clean. Clean up spills and crumbs immediately. Thoroughly clean floors and your entire kitchen at least once a week. Also, you should keep the sinks clean and dishes done every day and take your kitchen garbage out every day as well.

Do not keep ripe fruit or baked goods out on the counter and keep cereals and other grains in airtight containers made of a hard plastic. If vermin cannot smell it, they will not be as likely to come looking for it. Another attraction for pests is your pet food. When your dog or cat is done eating, pick up their leftovers and put them away for a future meal.

It takes a little bit more than a clean home to prevent your space from becoming a shelter to pests. Even if you keep things clean, rodents and other unwanted pests can get into tiny openings around your stove and water pipes. Make sure that these areas are well sealed to prevent entry.

If you do find that one or more of these kitchen pests has taken up residence in your home, do not hesitate to call in a professional pest management company to help you deal with them. They can quickly diagnose and eliminate your problem leaving your kitchen pest free.