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Ways to Repel Insects in Your Kitchen

Ways to Repel Insects in Your Kitchen

It’s starting to look a lot like summer, and we are more than ready for some outdoor fun and adventure. But there are some adventures that we’d rather keep outdoors: insects. Your kitchen is a natural breeding ground for insects. That might not be what you want to hear, but it’s a fact.

Crumbs that fall on the floor or get stuck in sneaky little corners are welcome treats for creepy-crawleys. Even your fruit basket can turn into a paradise for fruit flies, where they can multiply within minutes. Like you, we want to avoid using poisonous pesticides and harsh chemicals, especially where you're preparing food for the whole family. But here's the good news: there are a handful of precautions and common pantry items that can help keep those bugs at bay.

Below we have collected some natural home remedies to make sure insects stay out of your kitchen.

Prevention is Key

The main rule for keeping pests out of the kitchen is eliminating their access to food and water sources. The first thing you can do is keep the kitchen neat and clean. Make sure to wipe all the crumbs from your kitchen counters, cabinets and refrigerator every time you use the kitchen. A few crumbs might not seem like a big deal, but it can be a feast for an army of ants or a family of mice. 

Other preventative measures include bringing out the garbage in sealed bags on a regular base and storing your foods in airtight containers. Keep the kitchen sink clean and dry when possible and try not to let dirty dishes pile up. 

If you feel like your kitchen has a more structural problem and is regularly infested with cockroaches or ants, we recommend sealing any visible openings. That means gaps around your doorframes, cracks in the windowsill and small holes in the floors. Even a leaky faucet or loose pipes can be an entry point for bugs. Time to tighten up!

To ensure insects are out of your way use a professional product for that!

You can always top that up with some extra natural repellents, which you can use as decorative elements!

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves protect your dried goods from all kinds of pests that may hide in your pantries. Bugs of all kinds hate the pungent smell of the leaves – dried and fresh alike. Make sure to store your dried foods in airtight plastic containers topped with a bay leaf. Alternatively, you can also put a bay leaf in plastic bags with your rice, grains and cereal.


A basil plant can serve as both a flavour enhancer and pest control strategy. The best of both worlds! Try keeping a plant on your kitchen counter. It’s wonderfully fragrant and tasty in recipes and there are plenty of insects that can’t stand the smell.

Fun Fact: Rosemary bushes planted outdoors have a similar effect on mosquitos.

Essentials Oils

Essential oils like lemongrass, citrus, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, citronella and lavender have naturally repellant properties and can ward off many pests. Mix a cup of water with 25-30 drops of oil and put it in a spray bottle. Shake it well and spray the lovely smelling concoction into suspicious crevices and spots around your kitchen. As the water dries, the oil will slowly evaporate into the air and keep flies and bugs away. Beware, however if you have pets: Tea tree and eucalyptus oils can be toxic to dogs if they breathe it in.