Common Small Bugs in Kitchen | How to Get Rid of Them?

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You may have learned how to get rid of cockroaches in kitchen cabinets but need to know how small bugs in kitchen get there and what to do about them. There are different little buts that can get into your kitchen, storage areas, onto shelves, a food preparation area, and invade your pantry. Among the common pests found in kitchens, you may come across pantry moths, carpet beetles, grain beetles, and Indianmeal moths. If you're willing to learn how to identify small bugs in the kitchen, how they've wound up in the kitchen, and how to prevent and control pest populations, here's our guide on what you need to know!

Identifying the Most Common Small Kitchen Bugs

Aside from getting rid of ants in the kitchen, you might deal with pantry moths, grain beetles, Indianmeal moths, and carpet beetles:

  • Pantry moth: these tiny moths, which normally have wingspans of half an inch, are brown or gray in color and drawn to dried foods like cereal, museli, grain, and flour. These are the usual foods where they lay their eggs, which hatch into little worms.
  • Grain beetles: these are tiny brown beetles that are also drawn to panty stapes like grain and cereal. are tiny, brown beetles that are drawn to cereal, grains, and other pantry staples. Known for being about 1/10 of an inch long, grain beetles can also infest processed foods like candy, chocolate, almonds, and other nuts.
  • Indianmeal moth: These gray or brown moths have wings that are 1/2 wide and also hatch their eggs in different pantry items.
  • Carpet beetle: the carpet beetles are either black, brown, or yellow and are 1/8 inch long insects. These pests are found in preserved food or fabrics, the carpet, or upholstery in the kitchen.

These are the most common small bugs in kitchen areas and storage.

tiny bugs in kitchen

Common Areas Where These Bugs Can Be Found in the Kitchen

If you've ever had to deal with bugs in flour, you know just how common pests are in the pantry. However, these bugs can be found in:

  • Pantry items: cereal, grain, flour, cake mix, wheat, and other baking goods or pantry staples attract these bugs into the kitchen. Bugs in rice are more common than most people think!
  • Cabinets and cupboards: insects will find their way into kitchen cabinets and cupboards if pantry items are stored there.
  • Countertops and drawers: food preparation and storage areas are prone to bug infestation.
  • Appliances: some bugs will thrive in toasters, coffee makers, and microwave ovens.
  • Containers: food storage containers can also house bugs if they've found a way into these boxes or Tupperware.

Information on How To Properly Identify the Bugs

Before learning how to get rid of small bugs in kitchen storage, shelves, or food preparation areas, you need to:

  • Pay attention to the physical characteristics and habits of the bug. Take note of its size, shape, color, or pattern as well as where you found them in the kitchen.
  • Use resources like descriptions online, photos, and videos to better understand what kind of pest you're dealing with.
  • Consult a qualified entomologist or professional exterminator for information on the bugs in your kitchen.
  • Look for signs of an infestation in other areas of your kitchen and house. You may notice oval-shaped bugs, white eggs, fecal stains, bites all over your body, dead bug bodies, a bad odor, or larvae.

Causes of Small Kitchen Bug Infestations

Small bugs in kitchen areas could appear because:

  • Your kitchen is messy and not maintained. If you've got trash laying around, dirt, or debris buildup, liquid spills, food crumbs, and scraps, your kitchen is an ideal environment for bugs.
  • Your kitchen has a source of water. Moisture and humidity is the key to survival and reproduction so pests may be drawn to your kitchen if it has water sources. This may be your dishwasher, sink, faucet, or drain.
  • The window or door was open and they made their way inside the room. Some bugs can crawl or fly in from plants in the garden and then infest your kitchen.
  • There's structural damage around your kitchen or home. If there are gaps in the floor, cracks in the window, holes in the roof, or fissures in the door, bugs can easily find their way into your pantry.
  • You brought in fresh produce or other food products from the grocery store, restaurant, or warehouse that were already contaminated.
  • Bugs from the bathroom made their way into the kitchen and invaded your pantry shelf or cupboards.
  • Your area's recently experienced a drought and the bugs were drawn to your home.
  • Your pet accidentally brought pests into your home and kitchen.
  • The bugs attached themselves to your clothing or personal items and made their way into the kitchen.
  • Your kitchen is warm and inviting to pests.

Most bugs will unintentionally find their way into your home but be drawn to the kitchen because of bread, mold, beans, grain, cereal, or other items in your pantry.

Prevention and Control Measures

To prevent small bugs in kitchen spaces, shelves, storage areas from being a problem:

  • Keep your food sealed: use airtight containers, glass containers, and plastic bags to store your food properly.
  • Check on your food storage: do inventory and a routine check every once in a while to see if there's a bug infestation.
  • Clean your kitchen: the best way to keep the bugs away is by cleaning that spill on the countertop, vacuuming the floor, wiping up crumbs, and keeping your kitchen spotless.
  • Examine food products and items beforehand: before storing away any pasta, dried fruit, seeds, beans, spices, or even just a vegetable, take a good look at it. If there are any signs of an infestation on your food products or pet food, dispose of them immediately.

If you've got bugs in the kitchen space or pantry area, you need to get rid of them as soon as possible.

Controlling Kitchen Bugs

To control small bugs in kitchen spaces, you can use:

  • Natural pest management techniques: you can use a DIY essential oil spray (e.g., peppermint oil), a white vinegar solution, or diatomaceous earth, or introduce ladybugs or parasitic wasps to get rid of bugs in your kitchen. You can use a vacuum cleaner to physically remove these bugs from the kitchen as well. You can also read our article on does vinegar kill moth larvae?
  • Chemical solutions: there are different insecticides and pesticides that you can use to get rid of kitchen bugs. If you're using a chemical product use the right product for the specific type of bug you're dealing with. Use extra care following manufacturer instructions on the pesticide or insecticide packaging because you're using them in a place where food is prepared and consumed. Also, keep chemical products (e.g., borax) out of the reach of children and animals or pets.

You can use one or both natural and chemical methods to effectively control or get rid of kitchen bugs.

Professional Extermination

Homeowners or renters may consider a professional pest control business instead. If this is the case and the small bugs in kitchen spaces or areas call for an exterminator:

  • Identify the species if you can! If not, a professional pest control business and its exterminators can perform the identification themselves and create a customized treatment strategy as needed.
  • Opt for a comprehensive pest control method. This may include a combination of chemical solutions, baiting systems, and traps.
  • Preventive measures should also be taken into account because you don't want another infestation.
  • Ask about their follow-up services and treatments to make sure that all of the bugs have been effectively exterminated and that there's little to no chance that the insects will be back.

mini bugs in kitchen

Bottom Line: Small Bugs in Kitchen

Small bugs in kitchen, a problem for homeowners and renters everywhere in the United States. Though some bugs are nearly invisible to the human eye, they can cause big problems by crawling around the kitchen walls, getting into the refrigerator, or infesting pantry staples. The most common types of bugs that you'll find in the kitchen include pantry moths, grain beetles, carpet beetles, and Indianmeal moths but in this article, we've outlined some characteristics above!

If you suspect you have small bugs in the kitchen, you can clean up your kitchen, seal any potential entry points, store food away properly, routinely check on your food storage areas, and inspect food items brought into the kitchen. If you're sure that there are bugs in the kitchen, use a natural repellant or control method, a chemical product, or call a professional exterminator.

FAQs on Small Bugs in Kitchen

What common little bugs kitchens?

Pests seen in kitchens include pantry moths, grain beetles, Indianmeal moths, and carpet beetles. However, you may also find a housefly, weevil, fruit fly or gnat, caterpillar, fungus gnat, spider, flea, ant, bed bug, termite, or another pest in the kitchen.

How can I recognize the tiny kitchen ants in my house?

You can take note of the insect's size, color, pattern, and behavior. You can also refer to online materials and look at bug descriptions and pictures to help you figure out what species is in your kitchen. Additionally, you can reach out to a pest control business and talk to a specialist to learn more about a specific bug.

Where in my home might I locate tiny kitchen bugs?

Small bugs in kitchen spaces mean that you can find them in cupboards, the pantry, drawers, and other storage spaces. Some bugs can be found in furniture around the kitchen, on the countertop, in the kitchen drain, or around the refrigerator.

How can I avoid having an insect infestation in my kitchen?

The best ways to prevent an insect infestation in your kitchen area are by keeping it clean, storing away food properly, routinely checking for signs of an infestation, and inspecting food or drinks before they're brought into the space.

Can expert pest specialists treat a kitchen bug infestation?

Yes, professional exterminators are equipped with the techniques, products, and experience to deal with kitchen bug infestations as well as prevent an invasion from happening in the first place.

What effects do infestations of kitchen bugs have overtime on food and kitchenware?

Small bugs in kitchen areas can harm cookware, appliances, and kitchenware over time. Also, bugs in the kitchen mean that your food is susceptible to contamination. Contaminated food can lead to household dissatisfaction, a loss of appetite, or allergies.


Abigail Clemente

Abigail is an experienced content creator who has worked with several big names in the home decor and interior design industry. She comes to our team with almost 6 years of experience of working as a full time content writer.

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