There are various pest risks in kitchens, for instance ants, flies and cockroaches. Many countermeasures include killing the animals. What vegan methods of pest control are there?

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    At the risk of stating the obvious, one method is prevention - keep floors and other surfaces clean and don't leave crumbs etc. that might attract pests in the first place.
    – user216
    Apr 17, 2017 at 16:09
  • It's really odd when you find yourself in the position of thinking "hmm... don't want to use that pesticide, it looks like there is something made from cows in it..." ... then you realize that there is a difference: You're eg fighting a fly infestation, not a cow infestation :) Apr 24, 2017 at 10:35
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    I live in a tropical jungle environment, cleanliness is a must and geckos are my friends. Aug 23, 2021 at 9:57

4 Answers 4


Keep everything clean of food and water, to prevent them from moving in where there is sustenance. Make sure that openings to outdoors are sealed. For flies and bigger bugs like cockroaches, you can transport them outside (maybe a ways away so they don't just come back), near some shelter/food, so they'll remain where you leave them.

I don't mind house spiders (they'll eat the flies). Centipedes can be scary, but they also do a great job of pest control - eating ants for example, so I usually try to put them in my garden if I find them in my house; although if you have ants in your house, a centipede might be a solution! (Centipedes can sting humans, but usually don't, and it's not a dangerous sting).

Ants - the small "sugar ants" you will see are usually a symptom of having food sources accessible to them. Of course removing (or killing) those little ants won't do much, since they have a colony centered elsewhere. Key is removing their sustenance, and another trick is to thoroughly wipe clean their trails. Since they use scent to navigate back to food sources, if you clean the surfaces, it will slow them down if the trail is gone. You can also use something with capsaicin (spicy peppers) and coat certain key areas where you want them "not to walk" but I've only had mixed success with that technique.

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    Very minor point: centipede bites can apparently be pretty serious (wiki link).
    – user116
    Apr 19, 2017 at 6:41
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    @JoeRocc : Centipede bites vary, but the most common house variety aren't considered dangerous: "they are generally considered harmless to humans.[13] Bites are uncommon, and the forcipules of house centipedes are not strong enough to easily penetrate human skin." (From Wiki: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…)
    – Kiochi
    Apr 20, 2017 at 1:30

Keeping dry goods (flour, grains, sugar...), especially those that are only infrequently accessed, in truly airtight containers (bail lock jars, clip lock plastic boxes etc.), will make sure that such foods are not infested by eg moths or ants, and that infestations can be easily kept from spreading to other containers. Also, in case there is a pest problem that needs major cleaning, these can be washed from the outside without damaging the contents.


Pest Control in Jungle Kitchens

We live in a jungle village in southern Sri Lanka. Our house is mostly open. There is a 9" carved wood scroll work above every outside door and window and the roof sits 6" above the outside walls to aid air circulation. The doors and windows are open from the end of morning mosquito time to the beginning of evening mosquito time. We do not use air con.

We get our share of bugs.

We have giant ants, big ants, medium ants, small ants and micro ants, most in red or black. We have mosquitos, roaches, moths, flies and lots of bugs that I do not know the name of.

When there is food scraps and crumbs about, we have a lot more ants and roaches than when there is no food.

We also share our home with many Geckos. They are wonderful at keeping the bug population down, but they do poop.

The medium red ants do a good job of cleaning this up and stay off our kitchen counters.

We have learned not to leave inside lights on at night. leaving an outside light on at night seems to draw the flying bugs from the house, where even more geckos hang out.

We also have many pests in the garden that we share with a young Monitor Lizard and a young mongoose. This is another story.


Having fought long and hard with the millions of tenacious ants that want to eat my food, I have only found one effective solution, which is to find and block their point of entry.

I spray some repellent whose active ingredients are apparently lemongrass oil, Himalayan cedar oil, and neem oil. It might sound dubious, but this repellent is extremely effective. Ants do die if it lands on them, but that can generally be avoided by brushing them clear first (but I recommend removing them from the house, as otherwise they will cleverly find some other route to and from their colony from the vicinity of your kitchen). They will strenuously avoid the area for at least a few hours (if they haven't established a strong track, they usually don't return at all). In the meantime you can fill the hole with grout or PVA glue or something or if there isn't a hole you can block, spraying repellent again every day for about 3 days does the trick.

The same repellent works for cockroaches and can be used to block some points of entry.


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