Fruit flies, also known scientifically as drosophilia, are little pesky insects that are always poised to share with you your piece of fruit uninvited. Fruit fly problem is quite common in many kitchens and becomes a point of concern when they take over your kitchen groceries and fruits, becoming a nuisance that you want to get rid of in an instance. If you have experienced altercations with these little buggers, and wondering how to get rid of them, then don’t worry. By following this ultimate guide to get rid of fruit flies, you will be happy again in your kitchen. Before taking a further step to get rid of them, it is important to know how to curb their rapid breeding. They have a very short lifespan of between 8-10 days, which means that they breed and multiply rapidly. It is estimated that a single female fruit fly will lay up to five hundred eggs and hatch them on fruit surfaces. Here are steps and methods that you can use on how to get rid of fruit flies.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies Using the funnel method
- 2 Plastic Wrap and Jar
- 3 Using a little red wine
- 4 Milk, sugar and pepper mix
- 5 Auntie Fannie’s Fly Punch
- 6 Using sprays and other products
- 7 Using drain Gel
- 8 A grade treatment by a professional
- 9 Clean waste receptacles
- 10 Dispose rags, sponges and damp mops
- 11 Wipe all surfaces and counter tops
- 12 Always inspect when buying and storing fruits
- 13 Prevent any impending infestation
How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies Using the funnel method
This is one of the easiest home methods that you can use to trap the fruit flies. The first step is to make a funnel, of which you can easily construct by folding and rolling a piece of paper to form a cone or funnel shape. Seal the ends of the funnel using a tape in order to close in any spaces when laying the trap. The next step is to place a bait, preferably one with a strong scent. In this case, you can use apple cidar vinegar which has a strong smell irresistible to fruit flies. To make the smell even stronger, you can heat the vinegar beforehand so that the fragrance is strong and durable. Next is to identify the favorite hangout corner of the fruit flies. Place the baited funnel in a jar or bottle and take it to the most afflicted area. The flies will come in numbers and get trapped in the funnel. Since they are not clever enough to exit through the entrance, your trap will have worked efficiently and what remains is for you to either spray the trapped flies or release them outside. This is an ideal method when you want to trap fruit flies in large numbers.
Plastic Wrap and Jar
In this method, plastic wrapping is used to trap the fruit flies. Fruit flies like fruit juice, sap and scent. So what is best than to lure them with what they like the most. Find pieces of fruit, and especially the rotting pieces and place them at the bottom of the jar. Cover the jar using the plastic wrap and tighten it around the neck of the jar using rubber bands to secure them properly. Place several of such jars strategically around your house where the flies have infested in large numbers. Poke each of the jar plastic wraps using a toothpick and taking one of the jars outside where there is warm sun. The fruit flies will be attracted to the oozing smell and will get trapped in the jar without finding a way out. When you have captured enough of them, then comes the time to kill. Submerge the jar in warm soapy water and hold it down until they are dead. You can repeat the process over again to ensure no more fruit flies. The big advantage of this method is that you can trap as many flies with little effort while still making use of your long sitting produce.
Using a little red wine
One thing in common between fruit flies and us is that they can get intoxicated and drunk just like we can. This method is quite effective and similar to other traps, once the fly gets in the wine bottle, it can’t figure a way out and will end up drowning in the wine. But first, it will have to get drunk and intoxicated before it will be unable to get out of the bottle and therefore drown. Just like the plastic wrap and jar method, you can put red wine in several bottles and place them strategically while wrapped in plastic and then make several holes. The flies will get trapped and die when they get drunk and drown as a result.
Milk, sugar and pepper mix
This ingenious technique has been used since the 1850s and was first used to get rid of fruit flies in New England. To use this method, you will need a pint of milk, a quarter pound of raw sugar and two ounces of ground pepper. Next, combine the mixture in a saucepan and heat slightly for about ten minutes. Once heated, pour the mixture in wide shallow dishes and place them in strategic places around the house. Use shallow dishes so that you can drown more fruit flies. For a very strange unknown reason, most fruit flies will be rushing to the mixture and within no time they will succumb to the allurement after suffocating. To make this method even more effective, you can add a drop or two of dish soap which will prevent the flies from landing and flying away.
Auntie Fannie’s Fly Punch
This is a chemical product that has been used by many other people who prefer it to home remedies. Aunt Fannie’s fly punch is a mixture of natural active ingredients such as malic acid and sodium lauryl sulfate which are effective in getting rid of fruit flies. The product also comes with a stand up pouch and what you have to do is to remove the top of the product and place it strategically. It works well and will result in the death of many flies, yours will be just to count the bodies.
Using sprays and other products
When it comes to sprays, you have a variety of options from home-made sprays to commercial sprays. When using home-made sprays, you can look for an empty spray bottle and fill it with a suitable agent such as rubbing alcohol. By using the spray method, you can spritz where the flies have gathered or where they seem to come from. You will then watch them fall down dead and yours will be to sweep them off. Other spray solutions include
- Windex- this is a very efficient spray solution and can effectively eliminate small bugs including fruit flies. It kills almost instantly after you identify the hangout spot of these little buggers
- Clorox cleaning spray- when using Clorox, you will need to first ventilate your room to allow free flow of fresh air. Clorox has a strong smell and it is not advisable to use it when you fear for you indoor air. Also remove any near foods during spraying as this could affect the food if contact is made. It is however a very effective spray and will kill fruit flies immediately after spraying.
- Water- a mist of water too can be used in a spray bottle to form a mist which will dampen the wings of the flies making them unable to fly momentarily. During this time, you can sweep away the fallen flies or even squash them away. This method is cheap but still requires you to squash the flies afterwards after spraying.
- Pyrethrin spray- this insecticide spray is suitable for getting rid of adult fruit flies. It is however not recommended to use it kill the eggs or prevent further breeding. It is also suitable when you need to get rid of fruit flies which have heavily infested a certain place by using the pyrethrin automatic dispenser. It is very effective and kills fruit flies immediately upon contact. Make sure to ventilate the room or kitchen and put away and food or fruits.
Using drain Gel
A common breeding and habitat place for fruit flies is the drain. Here they are able to breed in numbers and multiply. To get rid of them, you might consider using a drain gel, most of which can be bought in the market. Using a drain gel as an option is especially good when soap and boiled water does not seem to do the trick to get rid of fruit flies. When using the drain gel, it is advisable to follow the given instructions by the manufacturer. You can then do the process repeatedly after some days in order to completely get rid of the flies. This method works well and it is suitable when you want to prevent further breeding of the flies.
A grade treatment by a professional
This method can be used when the infestation is serious and seems to get out of hand. By contacting a professional, you can have your home treated with a residual insecticide which mostly targets the breeding place of the insects. There would be no need of this method if you constantly keep your kitchen clean together with the foods and fruit. It is however a good option to get rid of the flies once and for all.
Clean waste receptacles
The most popular breeding place of fruit flies is in the waste receptacles. The recycling bin, trash can and compost bin are known to be harbors of thousands of eggs which eventually hatch into fruit flies. As soon as you notice signs of infestation, it is recommended that you do a thorough cleaning of the trash cans using soapy water which is hot. Also take out the trash cans as often as possible and do frequent cleanings each week. This eliminates possibility of hatching while keeping the trash cans sparkling clean. If you are throwing any empty bottles inside the bin, make sure that they are empty and clean. Dirty bottles also become popular breeding grounds if not well disposed. Finally, ensure that you have a tight lid to always cover the bins after throwing dirt and stuff inside.
Dispose rags, sponges and damp mops
Rags, sponges and damp mops can easily become breeding grounds for fruit flies. Make sure you throw them away or clean thoroughly using hot water, or the hot water cycle in your washing machine. The dampness enable the fruit flies eggs to hatch quickly, which would lead to rapid multiplication in their number.
Wipe all surfaces and counter tops
Fruit flies are drawn by messy juices, saps and spills. More often, when spills are made in the kitchen, they happen to fall on the kitchen countertops and if not wiped immediately, then fruit fly infestation is a must. To avoid this, ensure you wipe all surfaces clean including the counter top and sink. This will prevent infestation and breeding therefore keeping your kitchen clean and safe. Also, clean any cracks of crevices that you might notice. Keep away any sugary stuff and juices that may attract the insects. It is also good to check for any spills on the floor and wipe them immediately if there are any. Clean dishes immediately after use wipe them too to avoid any dampness. Doing this will effectively keep away any fruit flies.
Always inspect when buying and storing fruits
When buying fruits, check to see whether they are fresh or can stay for a longer while without getting juicy or rotten. If there is any fruit with a cut or that has been damaged, throw it away since it may contain fruit fly eggs right from the grocery. This prevents further spreading and breeding. Next, wash and thoroughly clean your fruits before storing them. Wipe them dry and store in an open bowl.
Prevent any impending infestation
To prevent any infestation from occurring in future, create a trap near your stored fruit bowl. This will consist of a small container having a mixture of two teaspoonful of vinegar cider, teaspoons of water and dish soap drops. The mixture will attract and drown any fruit flies that may be flying around the bowl of fruit thereby preventing them from laying eggs on the surface of the fruits.