Say Bye to Fruit Flies
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Fruit flies can be really annoying and they seem to arrive out of nowhere. Females can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, so you need to take action immediately if you spot one. If you do not, your kitchen can be overrun within a couple of days. Here is how to get rid of fruit flies.
What Makes Fruit Flies Different From Other Bugs?
Fruit flies and gnats are both very small, so they often look very similar to the naked eye. However, gnats are smaller than fruit flies, may bite and frequently move in large swarms.
Fruit flies do not bite and they are generally found near overripe fruits and vegetables as these are their choice of breeding grounds. However, they will also breed anywhere moist such as fermenting material, drains and garbage disposals.
Start at the Source
Having fruit flies does not necessarily mean that your whole house is dirty. It may just mean that a particular area needs attention. For instance, if a single piece of fruit has fallen under your refrigerator, a female fruit fly may have laid hundreds of eggs in it and this could be the source of your fruit fly issue.
The most effective form of pest control is prevention. If you can find out what is drawing the fruit flies, you can deal with an infestation more effectively. For instance, if you have some open garbage bags lying outside or dirty dishes piling up around the sink, you can deal with the source of the problem.
Things to Keep in Mind
Make sure that any food leftovers are disposed of in a tightly sealed trash can as fruit flies love rotting food. If you spill sugary juice, clean it up immediately. Keep your sink drains free of food particles or they can become the perfect breeding spot for fruit flies.
You may be bringing fruit fly eggs home with you in the fruit you buy, so wash it as soon as you get home. You may not think about washing bananas and they may be covered in sticky substances from other fruits that are very attractive to fruit flies. As soon as fruit starts to become overripe, toss it or put it in the refrigerator.
Make Your Own Trap
If you have done what you can to try to prevent an infestation but you still see fruit flies, you may have to use some items in your pantry to get rid of them. There are many DIY trap instructions on the internet, from using apple cider vinegar to beer, wine, fruit juice and banana slices.
- The one DIY trap that many people say works well is to use apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar, add a drop or two of dish soap and mix it in well. Place the bowl in an area where you frequently see fruit flies, such as near the kitchen sink.
- The apple cider vinegar draws the flies in and they cannot escape. This is because the dish soap decreases the surface tension of the liquid. You will need to use quite a few of these traps to make a difference.
- Vinegar, a paper cone and some old fruit will also work. Place overripe fruit and a little vinegar in a jar. Roll up some paper into a cone and place it in the jar with the narrow end facing down. The rotting fruit entices them into the jar and cone makes it difficult for them to get out again.
There are plenty of over the counter products for controlling fruit flies. There are products that you can place on a counter and those that flip open for the fruit flies to find their way in.
You can use specially formulated plastic strips that slowly diffuse an odorless vapor that repels fruit flies.
If fruit flies are living inside your drain, there are products that you can pour down the drain to kill fruit flies and their eggs and others that plug into the wall and use UV light to trap flies.
There will always be a few flies that make their way into your home. If they do appear, it is best to deal with them immediately as the life cycle of a fruit fly is a short one and eggs quickly become adult flies.
It is easy to create your own homemade traps to take care of the adult flies or to buy products, but these do not deal with the eggs that may be concealed somewhere and are ready to hatch.
Dealing with all the breeding spots is the only way to properly take care of an infestation. If you do not provide fruit flies with what they need to survive – food, standing water and a place to live - they will soon disappear.