The refrigerator was designed to keep and prolong the freshness and edibility of your food. As such, it should be one of the safest places where you can store your food.
But what will you do if you find bugs in your fridge? After shrieking or uttering something in terror, the next best thing to do is to take a deep breath and try to understand the whole situation.
How Do Pests Get Inside the Fridge?
Gnats, flies, ants, and roaches are the most common bugs that can get into your fridge. They can enter your refrigerator through crevices, cracks, or some broken corners.
If you shop at a food store or supermarket that has a bug problem, you may be bringing these pests home with you unintentionally. Since these bugs like dry and processed foods, they may live inside bags of rice, cereals, grains, or potatoes. When you place these foods in the fridge, the bugs will soon escape and begin living off the other edible products you have in the refrigerator.
What Should You Do After Seeing These Bugs?
If you see bugs in the fridge, the first thing you have to do is to check inside each container for bugs, larvae, or cocoons. Throw away all the items that the pests came from and anything that they may have touched. Do not eat these products since bugs carry bacteria that can cause different types of diseases when ingested.
Next, you have to clean your refrigerator. Start by unplugging and emptying the fridge. Place the “safe” or untouched foods in containers. Make sure you put items that need to be kept frozen in sealed containers and packages in a cooler to keep them cold.
Once you have emptied the fridge, remove the drawers and shelves. Wash them thoroughly with hot water and dishwashing liquid in the sink. You can also use distilled white vinegar or lemon juice. To clean the refrigerator’s interior, use a sponge or rag dipped in a solution of hot water, dishwashing liquid, and vinegar. After wiping all the areas, rinse with hot water and clean rags.
Make sure you wipe the gasket around the refrigerator door as well. While doing this, check for worn spots or holes. If the gasket has several holes, you will have to replace it to prevent bugs from entering your fridge. Pull the fridge out and clean carefully behind and under it, too.
How Can You Keep Your Refrigerator Pest-Free?
To keep ants and roaches away from your refrigerator, mix equal parts of sugar and baking soda and drop or sprinkle the resulting product under and around the fridge. The sugar will attract the pests while the baking powder will kill them.
You can also place white camphor balls or insect powder around and under the exterior of the fridge to repel ants and cockroaches. However, be careful not to put any of these products inside to avoid contaminating your food.