How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Pantry and Kitchen

Is there anything worse than opening up your pantry or kitchen cabinet to find that ants or other bugs have invaded? Not only are they pests, but they can cost you a lot of money if you have to replace the food they've ruined. Here are a few tips and precautions for how to keep those critters from invading your food spaces, too.

How to keep bugs out of your pantry and kitchen

1. Store Dry Goods in Airtight Containers

Storing your dry goods in airtight containers will not only make them stay fresher longer, but will keep bugs from being able to smell the goodies inside of them. There is also no way for bugs to get inside the containers if they are sealed properly.

Store dry goods in airtight containers to keep bugs out.


Recycle glass jars to store your dry goods. It's a great way to reduce waste and keep your dry goods safe from bugs.

2. Keep Cereal in Easy-to-Open Containers

Keep things like cereal and loose snack items in easy-to-open containers that seal when you shut them. Since kids are more likely to access these items, you want to make sure that they're in containers that are easy to access yet airtight. This should keep the ants from smelling and entering containers that hold cereals that may contain sweeteners.

Keep cereal in easy to open containers

3. Take Snack Items Out Of Their Boxes

Take all individually wrapped snack items out of the boxes they come in and place them in open stackable containers. Bugs love cardboard and can easily sneak into the boxes that most snack foods come in. By taking them out and placing them in open bins, you can keep a better eye on them and use some of the tips below to keep bugs from invading.

Take snack items out of their boxes

4. Use Peppermint to Repel Ants and Spiders

Ants and spiders detest the smell of peppermint. Place a few drops of peppermint essential oil onto a cotton ball and place in any cabinets where you store snacks, chips or any items that may entice bugs. If they smell peppermint, they will retreat.

Use peppermint to repel ants and spiders

5. Use Cinnamon to Repels Bugs, Too

Cinnamon works a lot like peppermint oil. If bugs smell cinnamon, they will stay away. You can put a little bit of ground cinnamon in a small bowl to place in your pantry, place cinnamon sticks in various areas of your kitchen or add a few drops of cinnamon oil to a cotton ball and place in your cabinets.

Use cinnamon to repel bugs

6. Draw a Chalk Line to Deter Ants

Miraculously, ants will not walk across a chalk line. If there are certain areas of your home where ants tend to enter, draw a chalk line and just watch… they will not cross it! You can also outline the bottom of your pantry with chalk to keep ants from entering.

Ants will not cross a chalk line

7. Keep Ants Out of Pet Food Bowls With Petroleum Jelly

Got pets? Keep ants from getting into your pets' food bowls by drawing a ring around the bottom of their dishes using petroleum jelly. Bugs can't and won't try to cross them to enter your pets' food bowls.

Use petroleum jelly to keep ants out of pet food bowls


For extra defense against bugs, start outdoors. Consider using a pesticide around the perimeter of your home to create a long-lasting barrier that protects against bugs getting indoors in the first place.

This post is sponsored by Ortho