Yikes! Bugs in the litter box – what to do?

Reader's Question:

I have a bit of a pest problem in the room where my cat's litter box is. I've noticed some tiny flies and ants lurking around the box. Does the litter box tend to attract bugs and other unwelcome critters into the home? If the litter box does do this, what can I do?

Amanda B. from Chicago, Illinois

Worrying about bugs and your cat's litter box is completely natural. Sadly, yes. Litter boxes can attract bugs, especially if not cleaned regularly.

The dampness and odor of cat urine and feces can appeal to flies, gnats, and insects. These insects can lay their eggs in the litter box, leading to an infestation.

But I've been there! Here are some tried and tested tips you could try for your own kitty's litter box.

Keep Your Litter Box Clean

To prevent flea infestations in your cat's litter box, keep the box very clean by frequently emptying it and scrubbing it with detergent and warm water.

Never use bleach!

To learn why litterbox + bleach is dangerous and what to do in case it happens, read: Accidentally Cleaned The Litter Box With Bleach – What Should I Do Now?

If fleas have already infested the litter box, empty it completely and thoroughly clean it to remove all traces.

Then, refill the box with a smaller amount of fresh litter to make future cleaning and maintenance easier.

This will help disrupt the flea life cycle and keep the litter cleaner for your cat.

I recommend having separate litter boxes for multiple cat households to prevent an overload of waste from attracting even more bugs. 

Learn more about this rule: How Many Litter Boxes per Cat Should You Have?

Build A Candle Trap

To prevent pests, use a candle trap near your cat's litter box. Light a candle in a water-filled container, turn off other lights, and place the trap nearby.

The flame will lure the bugs and either burn their wings or trap them in the water. Adding dish soap helps ensure they can't escape.

Create A Rotten Fruit Trap

People with old, rotting fruit inside their homes can use it to eliminate fruit flies.

Place the gross piece of fruit into a container, cover it with plastic wrap, and jab a few holes into it. This trap will attract the flies into it while not giving them a way out. 

Use A Vinegar Trap

To create an effective gnat trap, mix warm water, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and dish soap in a container.

Place the trap on a ledge or shelf near the litter box, out of reach of your pet. It should work quickly, with many gnats dropping dead within a day.

Replace the solution every few days. If you don't have vinegar right now, beer, wine, or sweet fermented liquids can also work.

Buy A Few Fly Traps

Hang a few commercial fly traps from the ceiling where they're low enough to catch those fruit flies but high enough to keep them away from your cat.

Click Here To See Fly Traps 

Deploy a Bug Zapper

Bug zappers are usually used for killing giant insects, such as mosquitoes. But if you have one, placing it on a shelf near your cat's litter box wouldn't hurt.

Click Here To See This Indoor Pet Safe Bug Zapper

Stay Positive, My Feline-Loving Friends!

While dealing with bugs in your cat's litter area can be frustrating, remember that this too shall pass.

With some diligence about cleaning the box regularly and deploying a few clever traps, you'll have that litter corner bug-free in no time.

Stay patient during this process. And give your cat some extra snuggles - you've got this!

Before you know it, your kitty will be doing their business in a fresh, pest-free zone once again.

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clean cat litter box with shovel on a light wood floor. Does The Litter Box Attract Bugs