3 Different Kitchen Pests and How to Avoid Them

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Mon, Feb 25, 2019 @ 11:50 AM


The kitchen is a common place for people to find pests, especially cockroaches, mice, and pantry moths. Knowing where these pests come from, what they eat, and how you can get rid of them can help you take care of your home. Here's what you need to know about kitchen pests.

1. Cockroaches

Cockroaches are a common problem in urban areas and apartments. Cockroaches are generally associated with poor sanitation, but if you live in an apartment building with many people and several units, any of your neighbors could be the source of the infestation. This can make eliminating cockroaches very challenging.

What Do Cockroaches Eat?

Cockroaches eat food scraps, greasy foods, starches, and garbage. In the absence of human food, cockroaches will eat any decaying matter including trash, cardboard, paper, and hair.

How Can You Get Rid of Cockroaches?

A common saying is that for every cockroach you see, there are ten you don't see. If you see cockroaches in your kitchen, this means many others are in corners, under appliances, in cabinets, and in hidden parts of your home. To get rid of all of your cockroaches, you'll need to use a combination of bait, poison, and environmental controls.

For example, keep your kitchen clean. Use multi-purpose cleaner on all surfaces, including the counters, floors, and in the sink. Clean every night after dinner. Take out the trash nightly, and do not leave dishes in the sink.

Hire a professional to use poisons or baits as necessary. Your pest control professional can decide which poisons or baits are most appropriate given the number and type of cockroaches that you see in your home.

How Can You Prevent Cockroaches?

The best way to prevent cockroaches is to keep your kitchen clean with the methods described above. Also, use caulk or steel wool to seal your home and prevent cockroaches from entering through cracks. Your pest control person can help you identify some places where cockroaches could enter your home.

2. Mice

Like cockroaches, mice are attracted to places where people live because they like to scavenge on the food that people leave. Mice often live outdoors until winter and enter the home when the weather turns cold outside.

What Do Mice Eat?

Mice eat just about anything they can reach. They're excellent chewers that can easily eat holes through cardboard boxes and bags to reach foods like cereal, crackers, and bread. Mice are likely to eat any dry food. They're also attracted to water leaks because they need the moisture to drink.

How Can You Get Rid of Mice?

Poisons and glue traps tend to be the easiest way to get rid of mice. They do not respond to spray. A good pest control person can help you with this since they'll be trained to place poisons and glue traps in the most strategic areas.

Use environmental controls to make your home less hospitable for mice. Pack up your dry foods in hard containers like plastic tubs or jars, because this makes finding food difficult for mice. Fix any leaks in your home, or work with your landlord to have them repair leaks.

How Can You Prevent Mice?

You can prevent mice in the same way you prevent roaches: by keeping your home clean and food inaccessible. Keep food garbage in a trash can with a lid that closes tightly. Store all food in plastic tubs with lids that close.

3. Pantry Moths

Pantry moths commonly enter the home through food packages. Once they're in the kitchen, they can be very hard to eliminate. Infestations may start small, but over time, these pests can take over your kitchen.

What Do Pantry Moths Eat?

Pantry moths eat grains, nuts, candy, oats, rice, and flour. You'll find them living in close quarters with these foods. In fact, pantry moths will live in jars, bags, boxes, and other containers that contain these foods. You'll be able to identify them in your foods by their webs and larvae.

How Can You Get Rid of Pantry Moths?

To get rid of pantry moths, you'll have to get rid of all infected food sources (check all of your boxes and bags). Then, work with your pest control person to take further action. Your pest control person may need to spray your kitchen, but before this can be done, you'll have to clear out your shelves of dishes and foods.

How Can You Prevent Pantry Moths?

You can prevent pantry moths by inspecting all foods before storing them in your home and throwing away infected foods. You can also prevent pantry moths by freezing foods like grains and cereals before storing them in your cabinets; this kills all larvae.

Contact Us With Questions

If you have more questions about kitchen pests and how you can prevent them, contact an expert. At Greenleaf Organic Pest Control Management, Inc., we're happy to help. Call today!

Tags: cockroaches, mice, Moths

Cockroach Myths and Misconceptions | Greenleaf Organic Pest Management

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Wed, Mar 07, 2018 @ 07:53 AM


Cockroaches: Common Myths and Misconceptions

If you're like most homeowners, the word cockroach sends shivers down your spine. There are approximately 4,500 different species of cockroaches across the globe, and about 30 of those will wreak havoc in homes. However, before you believe everything you've read or been told about cockroaches and cockroach infestations, it's important to know that a lot of this information isn't accurate.

Here are a few of the most common myths and misconceptions associated with cockroaches.

Cockroaches Are Only Found in Filthy Houses

If your home is immaculate, you might think that you're immune from a cockroach infestation. Unfortunately, even people with a clean home can harbor cockroaches. These insidious insects are searching for three things that are found in every home: food, water, and shelter.

Keeping your home cockroach-free, however, is possible. Here are a few tips to help your home less attractive to cockroaches:

  • Store your food in airtight containers, including your pet food
  • Never leave food sitting out. Leftovers should be tossed or stored immediately.
  • Take out your garbage each night
  • Eliminate any standing water inside or around your home

Eliminate as many entrances to your home as possible. Repair any damage to your foundation and siding. Run a bead of caulk around any cracks or gaps in your windows. Cockroaches can invade your home in winter, so practice these exclusion techniques year-round.

Cockroaches Are Gross, but They Can't Make Me Sick

Cockroaches make your skin crawl, but you might think they are merely a disgusting nuisance that won't make your family sick. Unfortunately, cockroaches carry a variety of life-threatening illness, including salmonella, cholera, dysentery, leprosy, and the plague. When the cockroaches eat your food, it can spread these illnesses through their saliva and feces.

The fecal matter of a cockroach can also cause an allergic reaction in adults and children. If anyone is suffering from asthma in your household, the cockroach feces can make the condition even worse.

Small Cockroaches Aren't Dangerous

Cockroaches come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You may be frightened of huge cockroaches invading your home because these varieties are dangerous. There are four different varieties of cockroaches that most Americans will encounter: American cockroach, oriental cockroach, German cockroach, and brown-banded cockroach.

The American cockroach can reach lengths of three inches. However, the other three varieties will only reach lengths of less than one inch. Understanding the type of cockroach that is in your home will help an exterminator determine the best way to eliminate the infestation.

For example, German cockroaches are very common in warmer climates.  German Cockroaches, are brought in rather than come from the outside. Grocery stores, restaurants, schools and many other places are the most common way they find their way into our homes.  Always inspect bulk items, like cases of soda’s, potatoes, onions and many other items.

The adult is light brown and is typically around one-half inch in length. This variety has wings, although it cannot fly, and harbors a variety of bacteria that can make your family sick.

Cockroaches Can Live for Years Without Their Head

Another bizarre myth associated with cockroaches is the idea that this insect can live for months or years without its head. In reality, a cockroach cannot survive for years without a head, but it can live for around a week after being decapitated. This is possible because a cockroach has an open circulatory system.

A cockroach can breathe through small holes on the body, meaning it can still function without a mouth to breathe. The cockroach will eventually die because it still needs a mouth to eat and drink.

Stepping on a Female Cockroach Will Release Its Eggs

Many homeowners are reluctant to kill a cockroach inside their home by stepping on it because they believe that if it's a female, stepping on it will release all the eggs and you will start a full-scale infestation. This is another myth for many reasons. A female cockroach lay their eggs inside a shell called an ootheca. Some species of female cockroaches lay the eggs inside the ootheca and then release the sac.

Other varieties do keep their egg-filled ootheca on their body until the eggs hatch. However, if you were to step on this type of cockroach, you would not open the ootheca, and instead, you would kill the mother cockroach and all the eggs. So stomp away!

Cockroach Infestations Are Easy to Handle

One of the most common and pervasive myths associated with cockroaches is that if you only see a couple in your home it will be easy to handle the problem on your own. Unfortunately, if you've notice a single cockroach scurrying across your floor, chances are there are several more hiding out throughout your home.

If you notice a cockroach, do not try to handle the infestation yourself and instead, contact a professional. An exterminator will have the tools and experience necessary to determine how cockroaches are entering your home, and how to put an end to the infestation.

Cockroaches are an issue across the United States. If you have any further questions, or need an exterminator to fight a cockroach infestation your home, contact the professionals at Greenleaf Organic Pest Management.

Tags: cockroaches

The 411 on Cockroaches

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 @ 01:42 PM


The 411 on Cockroaches

You tiptoe into the kitchen late one night, hoping to enjoy a delicious late-night snack. You reach for the handle of the refrigerator, listening closely for sounds of movement from anyone else in the house, when suddenly, you know: you're not alone in the kitchen.

You flip on the light and spin around, and that's when you spot it-the cockroach scuttling across the floor.

Cockroaches are one of the nastiest pests in Los Angeles, and they're everywhere. Thousands of homes and apartment buildings in LA have cockroach infestations, and these creepy crawlies are more than just gross-they can spoil food and even cause allergic reactions and asthma symptoms, especially in children.

Want to learn about this pest and how to get rid of it? Read more below.

Why Are Cockroaches a Problem?

You'll find four major species of cockroaches in LA-the German cockroach, the oriental cockroach, the brown-banded cockroach, and the American cockroach. Like all species of this insect, LA cockroaches are drawn to moist, humid, dark areas.

Of course, you can find cockroaches just about anywhere, including in homes and in multi-level housing buildings, schools, hospitals, restaurants, offices-anywhere with food or storage areas. The dirtier the location, the more likely you'll be to find an infestation.

Cockroaches are pesky. They can damage paper and fabric, create stains, and even stink if there are enough of them in one area. They can transmit salmonella because of their contact with human excrement in sewers, causing food poisoning and spreading bacteria. As mentioned above, they can also provoke asthma and allergies, especially in young children.

How Can You Identify a Cockroach Infestation?

There are a lot of good reasons to avoid places with cockroach infestations. The creepy-crawliness aside, cockroaches are a danger to your health. But what if the infestation is in your own home?

You can usually spot cockroaches pretty easily. They leave clues, including droppings and stains, and you can usually catch them scuttling around, especially if there are a lot of them. Cockroaches are social, and if you see one, you can be sure that there are many others lurking about.

Cockroaches are nocturnal, so you're most likely to catch them at night, especially if you flip on a light in a dark room. Cockroaches avoid light, so they'll start moving as soon as the light turns on as well as detecting air current changes with their cercie, cockroaches think with their behinds, in a manner of speaking. On their posterior ends, cockroaches have a pair of appendages called cerci. Fine hairs on the cerci detect air movements. Nerve cells connected to the hairs help the cockroach make sense of the information.

Cockroaches like tropical environments, so if you know that you have cockroaches on the premises and have a place in your home that is often warm, dark, and wet, you're most likely to spot them there.

How Can You Prevent a Cockroach Infestation?

If you don't have cockroaches around and want to avoid them at all costs (which most humans do), there's something very important you can do: keep your house clean.

Cockroaches love filth and disrepair, and you're most likely to find them in places that aren't very clean. Doing the following can help you to avoid an infestation:

  • Wash your bedding, clothing, and textiles frequently.
  • Sweep and vacuum the floors at least twice a week. Do not leave food crumbs on the floor.
  • Wash your dishes immediately instead of leaving them in the sink.
  • Clean and disinfect areas where food has been prepared.
  • Keep storage areas organized, clean, and dry.
  • Empty the trash and take it to the dumpster every day.
  • Do not allow clutter, clothing, and other possessions to pile up. Clean and disinfect the bathroom.

A clean home eliminates a lot of things that cockroaches are attracted to, like food and bacteria. You might have to work a little harder to keep your house clean than you would in other places of the world, where cockroaches just aren't a problem, but trust us-you don't want cockroaches in your home.

What Can You Do If You Already Have an Infestation?

Even if you keep your home spotless, there's always a chance that cockroaches will find your home attractive. After all, this is LA, and Southern California's warm, tropical climate is the perfect place for cockroaches to live and breed. One of the most common species of cockroach is the German roach which unlike the others, is brought in from outside sources such as grocery stores, schools and other places food is found.

If you have an infestation in your home, the very first thing you should do is call an exterminator. Your local extermination company knows which chemicals to use to get rid of bugs while still keeping your family and pets safe. Cockroaches are notoriously difficult to eliminate completely, and an exterminator might be the only way to protect your home from these nasty pests.

After calling the exterminator, there are a few additional things you can do until their truck arrives:

Eliminate the cockroaches' food and water sources. The cockroaches will come back if they can find an easy food and water source, so try to discover where the bugs are getting their daily supply and cut it off.

  • Find and destroy hiding places. Look for cracks in your walls, alongside door frames, and beneath cabinets. Seal these cracks to make it difficult for cockroaches to come back.
  • Use bait and traps. This will help you monitor the cockroach population after the exterminator sprays.
  • These tricks will help you to get rid of cockroaches now and avoid them in the future.

From here on out, you can enjoy your midnight raids on the refrigerator, knowing that there won't be a cockroach watching your every move. We all agree-cockroaches aren't really something you want in your home. Call your local exterminator today and get your infestation eliminated.


Tags: cockroaches