To cockroaches, the kitchen is prime hunting and gathering ground, and for mold spores there's plenty of moisture in and around the refrigerator. All that roaches and mold spores need to make their lives perfect is a human who scatters crumbs, spills liquids, and forgets about the spaghetti that slipped down between the stove and counter. If you don't want to play host to such guests, you'll have to keep things clean. Very clean. Concentrate on keeping the kitchen clean every day. Then do a heavy-duty cleaning job every month. Before you know it, you'll have an allergy-proof kitchen.
Preventing Pesky Cockroaches
Here are some tips for controlling the cockroach population:
- Immediately wash all dishes. To a cockroach, a dirty pan left to soak is the ideal wine and dine venue.
- Dispose of all waste into a sealed garbage container. If you dump food scraps down the garbage disposal, turn it on and rinse it out right away.
- Get your animal companions used to set feeding times. While Fluffy or Fido might enjoy the convenience of 24-hour dining, so do cockroaches. Pet food that's left out is an open invitation to roaches, and unlike the cat, they aren't picky.
- Sweep out or vacuum kitchen corners and underneath major appliances to remove all crumbs. Don't forget to clean the drip pan under the stove and the crumb plate in the toaster. Use a warm, soapy rag to wipe up messes.
- Keep countertops free of clutter. The more "stuff" there is, the more places for neglected food scraps to hide and the longer it takes to clean.
- Use glass, plastic, or metal containers to store all food in cabinets and on countertops.
- Like magicians, cockroaches can magically squeeze in and out of tight spaces. Seal off spots between cabinets and around piping and door openings.
- A pile of brown paper bags or newspapers not only makes for a perfect hiding place, but also a secluded, warm love nest for roaches. Place old papers in a sealed plastic box in the garage.
- Use natural roach traps. When disposing of dead cockroaches, be careful not to allow body parts or fecal material to catch the breeze.
- Cockroaches are tough to get rid of, so don't despair if you see one. Just keep up the cleaning.
Stopping Mucky Mold
Here are some tips for inhibiting mold growth in your kitchen:
- Immediately wipe up spills, especially those with the potential to migrate underground, i.e., underneath tile, under appliances, and into the carpet.
- Keep the kitchen well-ventilated, just as you do the bathroom. Don't put wallpaper on top of old wallpaper, and keep walls free of clutter, which collects grease and, in turn, traps dust and attracts insects. Get scrubbable wallpaper.
- Avoid keeping houseplants in the kitchen, especially around windowsills. These are already perfect places for mold growth.
- Buy easy-to-clean kitchen furniture, preferably made of wood, plastic, vinyl, or glass. Fabric-covered furniture easily absorbs spills, collects crumbs, and attracts mold.
- Clean the often-neglected drip pan underneath the refrigerator to prevent it from becoming a watering hole for roaches, not to mention a mold colony. Molds can also be found around the door's perimeter, especially in crevices of (the appropriately named) molding.
- Eat your food. That's right. Don't forget about it and leave it to rot in places where the refrigerator light doesn't shine.
- Immediately clean up any spills in the refrigerator unless you want instant mold.
- Replace carpeting with vinyl, tile, or hardwood.
- Cover all boiling liquids to prevent the escape of excess moisture.
- Wash out the garbage can and deodorize the garbage disposal occasionally.
Now that we've covered the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, it's time to continue our tour of allergy-proofing your home. Have you ever thought of the allergens that might hid in your rug? The next section concentrates on allergy-proofing your floor coverings.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.