How Do I Rid My House of Fruit Flies and Prevent Them?
Farmer’s market visits and fresh produce are staples during Wisconsin summers. With that comes tiny pests that want to treat themselves to the produce after it has been sitting at your house for too long; these little pests are called fruit flies. Fruit flies are small brown bugs with red eyes that feed on rotting fruit that show signs of mold and overripeness.
They can lay their eggs in the trash or overripe fruit, which typically hatch within a day or two. Within a week, those fruit flies will produce their eggs, creating a cycle of infestation that will become more difficult for you to get under control. If you want to stop fruit flies from flying around your kitchen or prevent them from appearing in the future, we have some tips and tricks for you!
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Deep Clean Your Kitchen
If fruit flies are already swarming your kitchen, your first step is doing a deep clean of your kitchen. Throw away any overripe fruit lying around and take out the trash afterward. Once all garbage is out of your kitchen, take the time to use your favorite cleaning spray and wipe down your countertops and garbage can to ensure that any fruit fly eggs on the surface are dead.
You’ll also want to ensure you’re cleaning your sink’s garbage disposal. Fruit flies are attracted to the leftover food particles in your sink drain, making it the ideal place to lay eggs and begin their life cycle. To prevent this, you can take ½ cup of salt, ½ cup of baking soda, 1 cup of vinegar or a half-gallon of water, and 1 cup of vinegar or bleach to pour down the drain. Let it sit for at least six hours before pouring boiling water down the drain.
Set a Trap With Apple Cider Vinegar
Once your kitchen is clean, you can set your apple cider vinegar trap. Pour a small amount of apple cider vinegar and a dash of dish soap into a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the mixture for a few seconds to increase the scent for the flies to be attracted. The dish soap will reduce the surface tension of the water so that when the flies land in the liquid, they will drown.
Apple cider vinegar mimics the scent of fermenting fruit, which is why you should use it versus regular white vinegar.
Capture Them in a Bottle
Another do-it-yourself (DIY) option is to take an empty bottle of beer, wine, or fruit juice with the dregs still on the bottom of the bottle and place plastic wrap over the opening. Secure the wrap with a rubber band and poke a few small holes in the top. When the flies go through the holes and to the bottom of the bottle for the leftover liquid, they’ll become stuck and eventually die.
Buy a Fruit Fly Trap
If you don’t want to use one of the DIY fruit fly traps listed above, you can buy one online or from a home improvement store. On Amazon, the TERRO Fruit Fly Trap mocks the look and shape of an apple. Place some of the ready-made liquid inside the trap and next to the fruit in your kitchen. After a week or so, you should see fruit flies trapped inside. Flypunch is a similar option to the TERRO Fruit Fly Trap, but it mimics the look of a spice jar.
You can also place these Fruit Fly Sticky Traps in the dirt of a houseplant in your kitchen to catch fruit flies. Overall, this will not cure fruit flies bugging you, but it will help catch those flying around and hopefully limit the number of flies you have in your home.
How to Prevent Fruit Flies
Check Your Food Before Purchasing
If you’re grabbing a bunch of bananas, check for any cracks in the fruit to ensure no bugs or eggs are resting there. Checking your food is an excellent habit for any fresh food you might be purchasing. That way, you know what you’re bringing into your home.
Clean Your Food
Once home, wash and dry your unrefrigerated produce as soon as possible. Cleaning your food will help remove any bugs or eggs on the surface and prevent pests from buzzing around your home. It will also be more sanitary for you as you eat!
Regularly Clean Your Kitchen
As mentioned above, cleaning your kitchen if you have a fruit fly infestation will also help you take the precautions necessary to prevent it. Regularly clean your kitchen of spills, clean your sink drain, throw out overripe produce, and take the garbage out before it starts to smell.
Contact a Pest Control Professional
Fruit flies are common, and most homes have them in the summer. If you do have signs of fruit flies in your home, don’t wait to find a solution! They will only continue to multiply, causing more annoyance for you and your family and making it more challenging to get rid of them. Follow the above steps or contact a professional pest control service for more advice and information.