Easy, effective DIY hack to get rid of fruit flies for good! Keep your kitchen and produce fruit-fly free with these housekeeping tips.
Fruit flies are among the most innocuous house pests but seriously: how annoying are they?
They loiter in dark clouds over your counters, making your kitchen feel messy and unkept and they take away the satisfaction of having an otherwise sparkling clean home.
No clean house can feel clean with insects flying around and when you have spent hours working hard to clean areas big and small, having nothing to show for it is just demoralizing.
Because this is the problem with fruit flies: they do not come because your house is dirty and they do not go away just giving the room a good clean (although that helps too!).
Let’s have a look at why fruit flies arrive and what you can do to easily get rid of them once and for all.
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Where do fruit flies come from?
Fruit flies are tiny insect who feast on fruit and produce or, more precisely, the by products of their fermentation.
Adult female fruit flies lay eggs on the external layers of fruit and vegetables and the larvae, once the eggs hatch, burrow into the fruit, feed themselves and replicate the process.
Fruit flies have a notoriously short life span however, they reproduce fast!
This is why you usually see them in groups and this is why just swatting one of them is unlikely to solve your problem.
Good to know: while the idea of fruit flies festering in your produce is pretty gross, it is good to know that they are mostly innocuous to your health and even useful to the environment and us since they feed on decomposing produce, helping to eliminate it.
They usually enter your home from the surface of your produce, especially is ripe and juice. They particularly love fermenting vegetables but also wine, beer and soda and they usually fester around fruit bowls, compost bins, garbage bins with dirty wrappers or food waste and drains.
How to get rid of fruit flies
The first thing to do when tackling a fruit flies problem is: identify the culprit!
Sometimes the problem is obvious: the banana you left in the fruit bowl before a weekend trip. Other times it may be less obvious, such a spill of a bit of soda over a counter or a piece of fruit that fell unnoticed and ended up in a hidden corner.
Identifying the problem area is not enough to solve the problem but will make it is a crucial step to eradicate the problem once and for all.
Once you have found the problem, removed the offending items and given the area a good clean, then you are ready to set up traps.
Don’t worry! Fruit flies traps and easy to make and cost next to nothing: plus, they are incredibly effective!
How to set up a fruit flies trap
To set up a trap for fruit flies, you need:
- A large glass
- Cling film
- Beer or a piece of ripe fruit
- A fork / toothpick
1. Take a large glass and pour/add in something that will attract fruit flies: beer works very well but also a piece of banana or a core of a ripe apple. Soda can work too and wine as well although the yeasty smell of beer tends to be a winner here!
You do not need to waste good quality beer on this or large amounts: a bit of it leftover from your glass is more than enough.
2. Cover the glass with cling film and use a fork or toothpick to make small holes in it: the idea is to create a situation that makes the fruit flies able to smell the trap and get in, but make it difficult for them to get out.
3. Place the glass where the fruit flies already fester and leave it overnight: chances are, in the morning you will wake up to a glass full of drowned fruit flies (I know, gross! But effective).
4. Throw the liquid and fruit flies in the sink and then run the faucet for a minute or more to make sure potential eggs will not be able to hatch in your drain.
How long does it take to get rid of fruit flies?
How long it takes to get rid of fruit flies depends on many things including season, how many you are dealing with and origin of the problem.
For a kitchen infestation of fruit flies, expect the trapping to go on for a couple of days at least.
How to prevent fruit flies
Now that you have gotten rid of your fruit flies problem you want to make sure it never happens again. A few things can help.
- Do not buy more fresh produce than what you will realistically consume: it may take a little trial and error but only buying what you need (and can keep) will also make a difference to your household budget while keeping fruit flies away from counters and bins.
- Keep ripe produce in the fridge
- Use disposable, compostable garbage bags to dispose of fruit scraps: tie them closed so fruit flies will not get in and make your compost bin their home!
- Wipe clean all surfaces and pay extra attention not to leave food scraps around the house, especially if you have kids or pets who may drag them out of sight.
- Wipe clean containers and bins so you don’t have sugary smells: even a small spillage on the side of the bin is enough for these pesky fliest to fester!
Getting on top of a fruit flies problem can take a little work but don’t get discouraged: they happen to everyone, they don’t mean you can’t keep a clean house and they will go away.
Got a mosquito problem too? Head over and read all our handy hints for ridding your home & yard of mozzies