How to Ret Rid of Common PNW Household Pests

There’s nothing like reaching into a dark cupboard to pull out baking supplies and instead finding a steady stream of industrious ants helping themselves to your bag of sugar.

Household pests love the same things we do: a nice warm home and an endless supply of food. It’s ok to not want to offer up your pantry to these unwelcome housemates. One of the best places to start on preventing pests in the home is sealing up your food supplies and keeping droppings at bay.

But even the cleanest of homes can have bug problems. Here are a few ways to get rid of some of the common household pests in the Pacific Northwest.


Unfortunately, ants milling around our food aren’t as cute as the ones in A Bug’s Life. Protect your supplies by finding tightly sealed containers to store your sweet foods that ants love, like honey, sugar, jellies, etc.

Check for any open areas in the backs of your cupboards or floorboards where the ants might be making their entrance, and seal those off.

You can also set ant traps that can poison and kill an entire colony. However, some people prefer gentler methods, like using soap to erase the scent ants trace to find your food, or setting out spices like pepper or used coffee ground to deter the ants. Here are some more natural prevention suggestions from Healthline.


There are a few types of moths that can plague the home, eating everything from your grains to your plants to your clothes.

If you have an infestation of pantry moths, the best way to cure it is by prevention. Box up every grain, every bag of crackers, every plastic sack of rice. Put them all in air-tight containers that the moths cannot eat through (sadly, plastic bags will not be sufficient to prevent a moth from getting in). Also check that spaces where you have frequent crumbs are constantly cleaned, like the toaster tray or the pantry.

For clothes moths, dry clean clothes, especially those like wool or cashmere that the moth larvae love. Like food, you can store clothes that you aren’t wearing in air-tight containers.

Fruit flies

These little creatures are small, but their stomachs are seemingly endless as they hover endlessly around the ripe banana you have sitting on your countertop. Keep your food stored away rather than on the counter, and if you don’t have a seal-tight compost bin, consider freezing your scraps.

You can also set traps for fruit flies by mixing dish soap with wine or beer, pouring it into a glass, and filling it with a bit of water. Modern Farmer recommends this trick as the fruit flies won’t be able to escape the bubbles!


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