5 Foods In Your Home That Attract Pests Plus How To Repel Them!

Like humans, the pests constantly search for food, an accessible shelter to raise a family, and water sources. All these foods in your home that attract pests are present in our homes. The swarms of these bugs are more common in summer and make the familiar living places unpleasant.

However, controlling these bugs is easy; by adopting certain habits. Homeowners can repel the fruit flies in the first place by removing or covering the fruit bowl with a towel. Read on and find out 5 foods in your home that attract pests.

5 foods in your home that attract pests

Rotting fig fruit will attract rodents, fruit flies, and other pests

The improper handling of kitchen waste leads to attracting pests.

Moreover, the poor maintenance of the kitchen sink pipes and tap attract cockroaches. Finally, the poor storage of processed grain foods attracts rodents and other problems, thus bringing lots of trouble for homeowners. 

Most importantly, there are certain practices by which we can repel the crowd of unwanted pests.

5 foods in your home that attract pests

Cockroaches set eyes on their favorite food

5 Foods in Your Home that Attract Pests

Pests are annoying indoors or outdoors, but their presence is always a result of some food items that attract their attention at home. Here are the five foods in your home that attract pests and troubles.

  1. Fruits and vegetables (Fresh produce attract lots of fruit flies)
  2. Food crumbs attract black ants and cockroaches
  3. Cereals and flours attract grain beetles
  4. Peanut butter attracts rodents and cockroaches, fruit flies
  5. Loaf of bread attract rodents

Related: Common Pests on Succulents and Easy Treatments for Them! Let’s Learn All!

Fruits and Vegetable 

Pests on apple

Household pests on apples

The fresh vegetable and fruit bowl attracts the fruit flies on your kitchen counters or tables. Fruit flies smell the food from far away when you leave your fresh produce uncovered. So, leaving your vegetables exposed in kitchens will attract flies. 

These flies will lay around five hundred near the fresh produce in their concise life cycle. Not only are these flies bothersome for indoor spaces, but they also contaminate fresh fruits and vegetables with E.coli and Salmonella.

So the best way to stop the constant infestations of these flies is to cover the fruits and vegetable baskets with clean towels or store them in a refrigerator.

Food Items (Slices Of bread And Sugary Treats)

Banana bread slice

Banana bread slice attracts the ants and common household fly

Like fresh fruits and vegetables, the slices of bread are the favorite food of rodents or just like any food item humans love to eat. Unfortunately, these grain-processed foods attract pests (rats) to inside homes.

fruit flies - 5 foods in your home that attract pests

Fruit flies infestations after they found the rotten fruit in the kitchen

Sugary items—uncovered and unattended on your kitchen counters or shelves attract black ants and common houseflies. The sweet beverages and drinks are irresistible to butterflies and beetles.

In addition, their presence around foods is noisy and contaminates them. So, the best way to repel these pests is appropriately storing the sugary things in an air-tight container. Also, spread cinnamon at the kitchen entrance door, near the sink, to repel ants.

Related: 7 Common Pests That Feed On Hibiscus Leaves & How To Get Rid Of Them!

Cereals and Flours

cereals and flours - 5 foods in your home that attract pests

Cereal grains and flour attract the red floor beetle and rice weevil

Red flour beetles and rice weevils are the common grain pests. These pests infest the breakfast cereals with no protective measures when stored for extended periods. For example, one of the standard treatments for pest control involves placing neem oil in stored grains.

Rodents are also a common problem for these stored grains. Use BONIDE Mouse Magic to repel them from homes, sheds, garages, and basements.

Mouse magic

BONIDE Mouse Magic

Food Crumbs

food crumbs

Small salty or sugary food pieces attract the black ants and other tiny

Small pieces of bread crumbs attract the ants because they have sweet teeth, and leaving them on the floor will draw the whole colony of ants. To avoid ants infestations, clean and properly dispose of the crumbs in garbage bins or compost piles.

Related: How to Effectively Control Houseplant Pests?

Peanut Butter

peanut butter

Peanut butter is the favorite food of ants and cockroaches

Peanut butter attracts more ants with a sweet tooth and is attracted to sugary food items such as jam and wine bottles. However, other ants have more salty teeth and invade peat nut butter for high protein and fat.

To avoid the ants, do not let the peanut butter jars open after breakfast use—spread cinnamon powder in the corners of your kitchen and cabinets.

Best Practices To Repel The Common House Pests

The following are simple and easy to apply practices and habits to repel the common house bugs:

  1. Properly store pet food in airtight containers and keep them in dry and cool places; otherwise, they attract red flour beetles and weevils.
  2. Dirty dishes attract the common house flies and bring lots of annoyance. To avoid their arrival, they lay eggs in them, prioritize washing dishes, and then cover them with clean clothes.
  3. Store your sugary food items in bug-free places in tight containers.
  4. Remove the cardboard boxes if they are not used; otherwise, they’ll attract silver critters or silverfish. These bugs prefer places with partial airflow and hide in these boxes.
  5. Store the glass wine bottles properly because mishandling immediately leads to broken bottles and spills. 
  6. In summer, the regular visits of stink bugs are also a common practice. So to repel them use mint essential oil (mix one part of mint oil per five parts of water) and spray it at the entry zones of your window and doors.
  7. In summer, the regular visits of stink bugs are also a common practice. So to repel them use mint essential oil (mix one part of mint oil per five parts of water) and spray it at the entry zones of your window and doors.
  8. Properly store the ripe fruits in cool temperatures before they degrade and attract many insects.
  9. Other organic remedies to repel bugs indoors involve using neem oil, soapy water spray, fly traps, garlic, and hot chili spray.

Frequently Asked Questions

What food kills rats?

The foods toxic to rats are blue cheese, green potato, poppy seed, and bitter almonds, which can kill these grain pests quickly.

What are the Most Common Pests in the Kitchen?

The most common pests in the kitchen are drain flies, ants, cockroaches, rodents, and fruit flies. All these pests destroy the stored food items and contaminate them with bacterial and fungal spores that are hazardous to humans.

What 4 Conditions Elements Attract Pests?

The following four conditions attract the bugs inside:

Food residues such as fruit and vegetable peels and rotten foods attract flies, rodents, and cockroaches. Flies lay eggs in the food waste and worsen the situation because they complete their life cycle within three to four days. Thus, making the places uninhabitable.

High humidity and moisture contents provide the bugs with safe havens to stay and thrive, especially crickets. However, places rich in moisture contents with dark conditions attract cockroaches. 

To repel these pest problems, keep the indoor areas dry and well aerated. Also, repair the kitchen pipes, which provide moisture to these bugs and are the real culprit. 

The improper handling of food items also attracts ants and cockroaches to your kitchen. Keep the kitchen counters neat and clean with antiseptic spray and remove food crumbs.

Are Bugs Attracted to Sugar?

The most common house bugs are attracted to sugar like humans. They also have a sweet tooth for sugary and salty items. Ants are attracted to candies, sticky, sugary honey, cake, and wine bottles.

What Foods Attract Fruit Flies?

The perishable food items such as tomatoes, strawberries, grapes, melons, and squash attract the fruit flies. Rotten vegetables, fruits, onions, and potatoes also attract massive infestations of flies.

Are Food Pests a Source of Food Poisoning?

Yes, food pests can cause human illness upon consuming contaminated food items. For example, flies and cockroaches contaminate food items with Salmonella, which causes food poisoning. 

How do Pests Affect Food Safety?

Food pests damage the food items that are aimed for human consumption. For example, these bugs negatively impact the quality of fruits and vegetables; even fungal pathogens contaminate the stored grains and make them inconsumable for animals and humans.

All such actions of pests put food safety at risk and need proper measures to control them.

Does Lemon Juice Attract Bugs?

The pungent aroma of lemon juice repels the common flies, caterpillars, earwigs, and spined citrus bugs. Lemon juice aroma interferes with the neural transmission activity of insects’ nervous systems and makes them unconscious (dizziness).

Does Black Pepper Keep Bugs away?

Black pepper protects plants by killing and repelling harmful pests and is most effective in killing sawflies and eastern tent caterpillars.

Sources for Further Reading

  1. Choe, D.-H. (2013, March). Pantry Pests Management Guidelines–UC IPM. University of California Statewide IPM Program. Retrieved July 31, 2022, from http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7452.html
  2. Suiter, D. (2015, May 1). The Tawny Crazy Ant, Nylanderia fulva, in Georgia. University of Georgia Extension. Retrieved July 31, 2022, from https://extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.html?number=B1378
  3. Kitchen Pests [fact sheet] | 1. (2018, February 14). Extension. Retrieved July 31, 2022, from https://extension.unh.edu/resource/kitchen-pests-fact-sheet

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