You probably want to know how to get rid of fruit flies if the pesky insects are always around within your property – whether it is inside your house or in your garden. The fruit flies aren’t only annoying but they can be disgusting and dangerous at the same time. If you have an open house where you allow fresh air to enter, the fruit flies may take benefits from such a situation. And having them causes embarrassment for homeowners because other people may think that the house is dirty, not well-taken care of, and neglected. In reality, having fruit flies doesn’t necessarily mean that your house is dirty. If you understand the situation, then you can combat the problem and get rid of them for once and for all.
The Common Causes
As it was stated before, having fruit flies around the house doesn’t mean that you are a lousy or a bad homeowner. According to experts, fruit flies are generally attracted to decayed, rotting, or ripe produce and fruit. The smell of cooked meat (like fish or chicken) is something that they like too. They are also highly interested in fermented items like wine, liquor, and beer. If you have fruit trees at home, these flies are attracted to the smell of the fresh fruits, even at the very early stage. So, don’t be too sad or be too hard on yourself when you find those flies within your perimeter.
When the female fruit flies lay her eggs, she can lay around 500 eggs within one time. In just about 24 hours, the eggs will hatch. This what makes this issue uncontrollable. Of course, there are some ways for you to prevent the flies from entering the house. They are:
- You should keep the veggies and fruits inside the refrigerator
- When you have overripe produce, simply throw them away
- It would be great if you have a garbage bin with a lid so flies won’t be able to lay eggs in the bin – yes, it is super possible
- Take out your garbage regularly
- Wash the produce when you arrive at home. This seemingly simple action will remove any potential larvae or eggs
- When you have alcohol or fruit juice spills, clean them up right away
- If you have extra budgets, you can consider installing a mesh net door on the inside of the existing door. Such a door enables you to open the main door without having to worry about any insects (or animals) coming into the house. Such a door also enables good air circulation so you make sure that you have clean and fresh air without allowing insects to come in.
What if homeowners use bleach to kill the flies? Is it possible? Well, if you find them in the drain, doing so may kill only some larvae, not the whole larvae or even the eggs. It’s because the bleach only passes down the drain and it moves too fast before it can thoroughly kill the entire eggs or larvae.
It’s a good thing that there are several home remedies or home recipes that you can prepare for the fruit flies. The ingredients aren’t expensive and they are quite easy to make.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies In Your House Or Garden
Plastic Wrap and Apple Cider Vinegar
Remember that fruit flies are attracted to fermented produce? Well, this trap works by using the principle. For this DIY work, put a little amount of apple cider vinegar in a bottle or a glass. It doesn’t have to be full – just a bit would be enough. And then, use the plastic wrap to cover the opening (on the glass or bottle). Use a rubber band to secure the wrap. Poke some small holes on the plastic so the flies can enter. Once they are inside, they can’t escape or go out. You can make some of these traps and place them on the areas where the fruit flies often linger. If you have fruit trees, the traps can be placed around the tree. You can also place them in the kitchen.
Keep in mind that you don’t use white vinegar for this. You use cider variety like apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or red wine. White vinegar won’t work. Read Also: How to Get Rid of Fire Ants
Old Fruit, Vinegar, and a Paper Cone
Use an unused jar for this trap. Pour a little vinegar inside the jar, along with a chunk of the ripe fruit. Choose a very ripe one for the trap to succeed. Roll a paper to form a cone and then stick it to the jar. Make sure to place the narrow opening (of the paper roll) down. The flies would be attracted to the smell of the vinegar as well as the rotting produce. They would fly into the jar, but because of the complicated structure of the cone, they won’t be able to get out. This is one of the most effective ways on how to get rid of fruit flies.
Dish Soap and Vinegar
What if the fruit flies become super smart and they can avoid the previous traps? Well, you can still try other methods on how to get rid of fruit flies. This time, you can combine dish soap and vinegar for the trick to work. Place the vinegar on a bowl and then just have 3 drops of the soap to it. Simply leave it open and uncovered. Once the flies are drawn to the vinegar, they won’t be able to fly again. The soap would cut the vinegar’s surface tension, causing the flies to sink and then drown.
Beer or Old Wine
If you don’t have vinegar, or if you want to try another alternative, you can try using the beer or old wine. Simply leave out the open bottle – make sure that there is little leftover inside. The construction of the bottle with its skinny neck will make the flies stay trapped inside it. If you want to have a bigger success, have some drops of the dish soap so the flies would be drowned in the solution.
There are several commercial products that you can use to trap and kill fruit flies although people have different opinions about them. A lot of homeowners may be okay with chemical products, but some prefer the natural ones. Well, if you are looking for a commercial product with very little chemical substances, you can find some products. One of which is Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch. It’s a product whose mixture is combining the malic acid (you can find it in fruits) and sodium lauryl sulfate (a type of surfactant in soaps). It is sold in a jar. When you want to use it, simply open up the top, leave it on the table (or any area that you wish), and voila! You will be amazed by the results.
Fruit flies love very ripe mushy fruits, like bananas. So why not making use of them? You can create a trap like a funnel one by placing a chunk of ripe bananas on the bottom. Whether you add vinegar or not, the trap will work – according to some people who have tried it before.
Plants also work, especially those carnivorous types that will prey on the insects. Have the carnivorous sundew plant. It usually has sticky leaves so insects won’t be able to get away. Venus flytrap is also another good alternative for the fruit flies issues, especially if they are constantly around.
Covering the Fruits
In case you have fruit trees, it must get on your nerves to find the early stage of fruits that have been infested with the eggs and larvae. You can tell from the black dots visible on the skin – they have been manifested underneath the skin of the fruits. One way to do it is to cover the fruit with a plastic. Don’t forget to make one or two holes so it still has good air circulation and the plastic doesn’t trap in heat. This may work, but there are two downsides to this method.
One, this can be an overwhelming task because you need to do it one by one. Second, if the fruit has been infested by the flies even during the early stage, covering it up with the plastic won’t help. In case you want to check whether a fruit (from the tree) has been infested by the flies or not, you can do this simple trick. Make a hole on the fruit and then put it in the refrigerator. Leave it for at least a couple of hours. If it has been infested by the flies, their maggots would come out from the fruit and you can see them clearly on the rack. The maggots can’t stand the cold; that’s why they would try to leave and escape the fruit. This is one simple way on how to get rid of fruit flies.
Maintain the Cleanliness and Tidy up
Fruit flies are always searching for a way to find a breeding spot. And they love damp and humid spots. That’s why you need to remove damp cloths or manage your garbage bin. Damp dish rags or kitchen towels are ideal as breeding grounds, especially if you have used them and then completely forget about them. Remove and wash them and the flies won’t go near.
Choose the garbage bin with lids. Rot and decayed garbage are also ideal for fruit flies. But when you put a lid on the bin, it removes their chances to breed. You need to remove ripe fruits from the counter. Simply put them in the refrigerator. Or you can place them in a sealed plastic on the counter so flies won’t be able to land on those fruits. When you cook fish or chicken, put a lid over the cooking pan. Never leave the pan open or the flies may lay their eggs on your food. Imagine that!
For the fruit trees, consider using basil or lavender essential oils. Lemongrass and incense are also good to repel the flies. You can mix it and spray your fruits with the oil. It is believed to keep those pesky insects at bay.
These are ways that you can try on your own. Consider tweaking with the mixture or consistency to find out what works best for you. Feel free to try these methods of how to get rid of fruit flies and good luck!