So you’ve faced “bug”-mageddon in your kitchen. Or worse, some furry “friends” decided to make a home under your floorboards. Now what? Well, it’s likely time to consider a kitchen renovation. Depending on the scale of infestation, you may consider some small changes and clean up, or a total rip-out and redo. This article will address how to recognize that you’ve got a pest problem, great new kitchen designs and renovations to implement after dealing with pests, and how to prevent infestations in the future.
How to Recognize you’ve got a Pest Problem
The stress of dealing with a pest infestation in your kitchen may be enough to leave you needing a visit with a massage therapist. Here are a few early signs you should use to recognize a pest infestation as well as some of the most common pests you could find in your kitchen.
- Cockroaches: There’s nothing more offputting than seeing a cockroach scuttle across the floor under the oven or fridge. Not only do they look gross, but they also carry 33 different kinds of bacteria, like E. Coli, salmonella, and parasitic worms.
- Fruit Flies: Regardless of their name, fruit flies don’t come for old or moldy fruit. They have the strange ability to detect yeast on fermenting fruit, even from very far away. Because they’re so small, they can easily come into your home through screens and small cracks in your doors or windows.
- Rodents: Seeing a rodent run across the floor of your kitchen could be one of the worst things to witness. Winter is the season that you are most likely to deal with rodents. Mice and rats carry dangerous germs and diseases like salmonella and hantavirus. They can also bring in other pests like fleas, ticks, and lice. With rodents, you want to focus on preventing and keeping them out rather than fighting them once they’ve already gotten in. A female mouse can have babies every three weeks which would be a much bigger problem for you.
- Droppings: One telltale sign of rodents in your home are their droppings. If you find the small brown pellets in your cupboards or on your floor, it’s likely that rodents are not far from them.
- Scratches and Chew marks: If you’ve left food out on your counter and later come to find that it looks like something small has taken a bite, that could be another sign that you’ve got pests. Scratch marks in cabinets is another sign that they’ve moved in.
- Insects: Recognizing that you’ve got insect pests in your kitchen is easier than recognizing rodents as you’re more likely to see them. Fruit flies will be buzzing around near any over-ripe fruit. Though they’re small, you’ll still be able to see them. Cockroaches are a little more difficult to spot as they usually hide under or behind appliances and only come out when it’s dark. However, they tend to gather around water, so you could find them near your sink or under your sink.
If you find a few signs and think you may have pests in your kitchen, simply googling “how to get rid of pests” won’t solve your problems. You’ll need to work with a professional exterminator to make sure that you’ve really rid them all from your home. After they’re gone, it may be time to consider a renovation and some great new kitchen designs to prevent them from getting in again.
Kitchen Renovation Tips After Dealing with Pests
While dealing with pests is stressful and having to renovate your kitchen after dealing with them may not be ideal, there are quite a few benefits that could come from it. The biggest plus is that you won’t have any more pests, which is a huge plus. While home insurance won’t cover the cost to repair after a pest infestation, a kitchen renovation will add huge value to your home. In fact, even a minor kitchen remodel can get you more than an 80 percent return on investment. So the money you spend now will be recouped in the future if you choose to sell. Here are a few renovation tips and great new kitchen designs to consider as you remodel your kitchen.
As you consider great new kitchen designs to prevent pests from getting in the future, you’ll want to start with the cupboards. Pests like rodents can easily enter through holes in hardwood flooring and cupboards, and with the wrong materials, they can even chew their way in. As you replace your kitchen cupboards you’ll need to consider what materials will be best for your budget and situation. Here are a few of the most popular options.
- Hardwood: When it comes to great new kitchen designs, hardwood cabinets are at the top of the list. Hardwood is one of the most durable options and depending on the type of wood, can even be scratch resistant. It’s also one of the most classic looks and can fit almost any type of style. The one drawback of hardwood cabinets is that they are among the most expensive options. But as they are more durable, they may be more resistant to pests.
- Metal: Another popular modern option is metal cabinetry. Aluminum and stainless steel are two of the most used options. This choice would be the safest as far as keeping out pests. They are also great for giving your kitchen space a more modern look. However, they are more prone to scratching and are one of the most expensive options.
- Plywood: Plywood is another option as far as great new kitchen designs. The thing to keep in mind with plywood cabinets is that there are different grades of plywood. They are graded from AA through E, with each becoming less expensive, but also looking cheaper in quality. Plywood is one of the most budget-friendly options that can still look nice. However, keep in mind that the different grades will also have less durability towards pests.
Flooring is another important aspect of your kitchen remodel to consider when you are trying to prevent future pest infestations. When you’re planning great new kitchen designs for your remodel, there are a few flooring options to choose from:
- Hardwood: Hardwood is the most popular flooring option and brings the greatest return on investment. Just like hardwood cabinets, hardwood flooring is a classic look that goes with almost any style. However, hardwood flooring is generally the most expensive option and needs a decent amount of care to keep it looking good. You’ll need to make sure to get it properly sealed and cared for, otherwise you may find yourself need to perform water restoration after water damage or filling scratches and dents.
- Laminate: Laminate flooring is a more budget-friendly option that can have a look similar to hardwood flooring. It comes in a variety of color options and is much easier to install than many other flooring choices. However, it can be prone to moisture damage so if it’s used in the kitchen needs to be wiped down anytime water spills to keep it from rotting or having other issues.
- Ceramic: Ceramic is one of the most durable flooring options. It’s non-porous so it’s waterproof, making it a great choice for a kitchen area. It’s more difficult to install so, you’ll likely need professional help, but unlike other types of flooring, individual parts can be replaced so if you have chips or cracks, repairs will be done on a much smaller scale.
Regardless of the type of flooring you select, you will want to work with a flooring service company to ensure that the installment is done properly and that there are no cracks or crevices that pests can use to get into your home in the future.
Another renovation option you may need to consider after a pest infestation is appliances. Depending on the type of pests you dealt with, your appliances may have damaged wires that could be a fire hazard or just make them unusable altogether. As you consider great new kitchen designs for your area, you may consider moving where you had your appliances located or replacing them. Many custom homes come with generic appliances, so it may be time for an upgrade anyway.
As you are considering new appliances, you will have to decide between gas or electric for your fuel source. There are pros and cons to each choice, it just depends on your specific situation and budget.
While replacing appliances now will likely have a larger price tag, remember that better appliances also means more home value. If you make better, longer-lasting choices now, your home value will be higher and more appealing in the future if you choose to sell.
Protecting your Home from Pest Infestations in the Future
After you’ve implemented the previously mentioned great new kitchen designs, you’ll want to protect your renovated space from issues in the future. Here are a few steps you should take to protect your new kitchen:
- Keep the area clean: One of the main causes of pest infestations is leftover food sitting around. Make a habit of keeping your kitchen clean. Wipe down your table and countertop after preparing food. Don’t leave food sitting out. Try not to leave dirty dishes sitting in the sink overnight. You may even consider floor cleaning services once a month to keep up on any crumbs or food materials that spill into hard to clean places. As you’re renovating and apply great new kitchen designs to your space, keep these hard to reach places in consideration. You’ll also want to clean out your cabinets on a consistent basis.
- Keep up on the trash: Allowing trash to sit in your kitchen for a prolonged amount of time is like an open invitation for pests to come into your kitchen. Make a habit of taking the trash out before it starts to overflow. The same goes for the recycling bin. Make sure it’s taken out and emptied consistently.
- Check on fruit bowl: Many people have a fruit bowl sitting on their counter or table. While flies and other pests don’t suddenly pop up in fruit, they can be attracted to overripe or rotting fruit. Check on the fruit in your bowl often and move it to the fridge or toss it when it starts to get too ripe.
- Repair doors and screens: If you notice any tears or holes in screens on your door or windows, repair them as soon as possible. Pests can get in through even the smallest holes. If there is space under your doors, install a door sweep to keeps pests from entering there.
- Don’t underestimate caulking: Proper caulking in cracks in the floor and walls is a great inexpensive way to keep pests out. Pests can enter your home in even the tiniest openings, so closing those options will help you have better control over keeping your home pest free.
- Hire a pest specialist: One of the best ways to keep pests out is to work with pest exterminators or a pest control company. Having your home checked regularly by a professional will allow you to deal with a problem early on before it becomes a real issue.
Dealing with a pest infestation is the last thing anyone wants to experience, especially in their kitchen. If you apply these tips for prevention and renovating your kitchen, you will save yourself from the stress of having to fight pests out of your kitchen in the future.