How to get rid of icky kitchen pests

Aug 20, 2009 at 6:36 p.m. ET

There's nothing more irritating - or downright icky - than finding ants on your kitchen floor or fruit flies hovering around your fresh fruit. To keep kitchen pests at bay, follow these simple steps.

Woman with Fly SwatterStep 1: Keep it clean

If there isn't any food out to attract pests, you won't have to worry about getting rid of them! Be sure to keep all surfaces as clean as possible. Wipe down countertops, sinks and the kitchen table after preparing meals. Be sure to sweep the floors, too, especially if you don't have a four-legged friend to take care of stray crumbs for you.

Step 2: Use peppermint oil

To eliminate ants naturally, clean counters and cupboards, then wet and wring out a washcloth and add a few drops of essential peppermint oil. Wipe down all counters, tables and cupboards. You may need to add a few more drops of the oil. It will leave your kitchen smelling great, but ants hate the smell!

Step 3: Catch the fruit flies

To clear your kitchen of fruit flies, you have to trap them. To do so, take a clean, empty plastic soda or water bottle and drop in a piece of fruit such as a slice of apple. Then make a "funnel" by rolling up a piece of paper — make sure one end is very small and the other is wide. Place the small end of the funnel into the bottle. The flies will fly in, but they won't be able to get out. To keep them at away, be sure you don't have rotten or overripe fruit lying around.

Step 4: Eliminate the roaches

If you discover roaches in your kitchen (gross!), be polite and make them a little snack. Here's the recipe: 1 part powdered boric acid, 1 part white flour and 1 part granulated white sugar. Place it on paper or foil trays at the back of drawers and cabinets and under the refrigerator and stove. Make sure dogs and children cannot access this "roach snack" as boric acid is highly toxic. But it'll be lights out for the roaches. Good night!

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