Pest Issues

How to Deal with Pests in Your Refrigerator

Andrey_Popov /

The refrigerator in your home is one of the best inventions that we, as humans, have come up with. Before there was no sure way to store food for longer periods of time without it getting spoiled.

Sadly, you can still get a pest infestation in your fridge and that’s bad. Those bugs carry diseases that end up crawling and eating your food, which means there is a big chance for you and your family to consume contaminated food. That’s why you have to deal with refrigerator infestations as soon as they’re noticed.

Table of Contents:

What bugs can be found inside your refrigerator?

While fridges and freezers are mostly safe from vermins, they aren’t 100% pest proof. The only thing that makes fridge pest infestations uncommon is the fact that most pests avoid colder climates.

This doesn’t mean there are no common household pests that can’t infest your fridge. In fact, all of the infesting pests are brought in either with produce or because the food in the fridge isn’t frequently revised and cleaned. So, which are the most commonly found bugs in the fridge…

House Flies

irin-k /

Flies are everywhere, especially when it’s hot outside. It’s pretty common to see a housefly inside your home, but did you know that those little flying insects can find their way into your fridge, too?

The best thing about flies is that they won’t lay their eggs in the fridge as it’s too cold. The cold temperature will also make them slow, which makes it easier to catch and remove them from the fridge. Still, this doesn’t mean that they won’t cross contaminate your food while walking all over it.

Fruit Flies

nechaevkon /

Fruit flies have no problem surviving in a fridge. If you store your fresh fruits inside your fridge, then there’s a big chance of a fruit fly invasion. Infestation can appear in other parts of the house like the bathroom, as well.

Just like normal flies, fruit flies can cross contaminate your food. One way to prevent infestation is to just wash your fruits before storing them in your fridge. However, if there are already swarms of the little insects in the fridge, then you can try trapping them with jar filled with vinegar or a mix of wine, soap and water.


Armin Rose /

While the lifespan of gnats is around seven days, you wouldn’t want them even for a second in your fridge.

If you have gnats inside your fridge, they’ve most likely come from some vegetable that you’ve put in recently.

The best way to get rid of the gnats in your fridge is to wash all organic food under the tap and open the doors of the fridge to let them out.


fotorawin /

While roaches most likely would’ve found their way from the outside of your fridge, you’d want to deal with them immediately.

A cockroach infestation can become a huge complication very fast. Cross contaminating the food in the fridge is just one of the issues. Perhaps there is a bigger problem in the form of cockroach nest hiding somewhere in your home. So do yourself a favour and investigate further in the kitchen and other areas of the house.

How you got pests in your fridge?

Most of the time vermins would find their way in your fridge by accident. Pests would usually be in organic matter. Meats and packaged foods are generally pest-free.

Sometimes you may get them inside your fridge while you’re looking for a particular item. They would crawl up, or fly in, without you even noticing.

Additionally, the pests can find their way into your refrigerator because of a problem with the appliance. For instance, the seal might be failing, leaving a clear path for flies and other bugs to your fresh food.

If you’re renting, pests may have even found their way inside the fridge when it wasn’t used. This would mean that the problem has been present for much longer than you’re thinking and they may be even between the walls of the fridge, and not only in the cold department.

If that’s the case, we would suggest throwing it out and replacing it with a new unit.

You may also like:
Pest Issues
Common Bathroom Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

How to clean your refrigerator from a pest infestation?

If you think there’s a chance of removing the pests, as they haven’t settled in your fridge, then your best bet is to clean it thoroughly.

Step 1: Remove all food

Remove all of the food that’s in your fridge. If you haven’t cleaned old food for a while now, this would be the perfect opportunity to do so.

This may be a way to find the source of the infestation, as well. Go through all your food, check the expiration date on the label, etc.

Make sure to thoroughly clean any organic food like veggies and fruits, Also, remove any spoiled food.

Make sure you remove everything from the freezer, too.

Step 2: Remove all of the shelves and drawers in the fridge

Unplug your fridge from the wall. This would begin a defrosting process, which would make it much easier when you have to clean the walls inside the refrigerator.

It’s also good for the fridge, as with years of usage ice tends to build up, which makes the fridge less efficient in keeping the temperatures cool, and it uses more electricity to do so.

Remove the drawers and shelves from the fridge and set them aside.

Step 3: Clean the walls of the fridge

When you unplugged the fridge, a defrosting process has started, meaning the ice should be much easier to scrape and there even could be a little bubble on the bottom of the fridge.

With the use of a scraper remove the leftover ice from the walls. If this hasn’t been done in years you may have a lot to remove. Get yourself a bucket and a sponge in order to mop the water that will begin dripping from the walls of the fridge.

Make sure you’re working quickly because with the freezer defrosting as well, the amount of water you have to collect will increase significantly. We recommend keeping the door of the freezer closed, as the ice inside will keep the temperatures cooler for longer.

Step 4: Clean the drawers and the shelves

Once you’ve cleaned everything inside the fridge you can clean the drawers and the shelves, too.

Most often they’re made out of glass and plastic. This means you can wash them under the sink with dishwashing liquid only. Dry them with a towel to remove the water stains and place them back into the fridge.

Step 5: Turn on the fridge and place the good food

By this time the bugs should be gone. You’ve removed any spoiled food, everything is clean, things should be looking good.

Plugin your refrigerator and place the good food inside. Do the same with the freezer. However, if you had stored meat in the freezer and the meat has defrosted, throw it away. You should never eat meat that has been frozen more than once.

You’ve done the best you can for removing the vermin from your fridge. Keep in mind that pesticides should not be used inside the fridge. They can be a health hazard to you and your family.

Prevention tips

There is only one way to prevent bugs from crawling in your fridge. Before you store any organic food, make sure you wash it thoroughly under the sink.

Cleaning it with tap water will remove any insects that you can’t see. You’ll be placing clean food in your fridge.

There is also the idea to keep your fridge as cold as possible. However, there are no guarantees that this will actually kill the pests in your fridge. It’s more likely that they’ll simply become inactive.

Pest control inside your fridge

Unfortunately, there is no way you can conduct pest control inside of your fridge. Pesticides can be dangerous to your health, and you can have a huge health problem if you decide to DIY pest control in your fridge.

If the problem persists, we would advise to replace your refrigerator and call a professional pest controller to inspect your property, as the problem may be coming from another place.

Need a pest controller?

Find a professional to take care of the pest problems.

Add a valid postcode e.g. 3000
  • We're certified:
4 3 Votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x