Are fruit flies the most annoying small insect of all time? The debate rages without end, but it is entirely possible that this statement rings true. It is very likely that if you have seen one, their other buddies are lurking just around the corner. Suddenly, your entire kitchen is full of these pesky nuisances. What a drag!
Luckily for you, the process of getting rid of fruit flies is not that difficult. You can kill them or drive them off fairly easily. The most important suggestion is that you always remember to be as thorough as you can. If not, the fruit flies will be back stronger than ever.
1. Are these really fruit flies?
Catch one of these bugs and have a look at it. Pull up an image of a fruit fly if you are unsure of what they look like. If you have a different small pest, you will have to use a different strategy to get rid of them.
Try hanging some flypaper around areas where you have seen these flies if you are unable to catch one or if you don’t want to touch one. Common household fruit flies are usually about 1/8th of an inch long (or 3 millimeters), and they often have a brown colour to their body with yellow bodies and red eyes.
Fruit flies are also pretty terrible at flying. They will often fly into you accidentally while you are going about your business.
2. Destroy any food sources or breeding grounds.
Remember that food sources and breeding grounds for fruit flies are the same place. If you get rid of the source, you get rid of the issue!
Fruit flies ‘inject’ their eggs into different foods they like. You will often find fruit flies in any area that they can find food sources, like your kitchen.
You always want to be thorough when you are cleaning. Make sure you go through every room in your house that might have some food in it. If not, you will have to start everything over.
Fruit flies love moist organic materials, like fruit and vegetables, for instance. They are especially attracted to any peels or overripe/rotting fruit you might have around, so be sure to toss all of this out. They also like dirty sponges, juice, spills, and other types of messes. Rinse out any beer bottles you have after you have slammed your suds, as fruit flies are attracted to the leftover sips.
3. Giving your kitchen a makeover.
As fruit flies tend to center around your kitchen, this should be the first place you start. Get rid of any standing liquids, and flush your drains with ammonia or drain cleaners. Fruit flies could be breeding in your pipes!
Make sure you regularly empty your trash, especially your green bin. If possible, try and locate your composting bin for your organic materials outside so you can try and avoid this problem in the first place. Make sure your trash cans are locked, or tightly closed, so that fruit flies cannot get inside them.
Carefully clean everything else. Are there any hidden spills, perhaps under your fridge or stove? Look through your cupboards for any forgotten food (sacks of potatoes are common culprits). Be thorough. Try looking for areas you wouldn’t think of normally, like under your sink.
Try smelling for any areas that are obviously off. This can help show you where to clean next.
Put all of your fruits and vegetables in your fridge, or at least cover them up so fruit flies can’t get to them.
4. Clean the rest of your house.
The kitchen is usually your first stop, but it is not always your last! Check your living area for any old food, or any spills. Walk barefoot if you have carpet to see if there is a moist area on your carpet anywhere.
Just like your kitchen sink, it is a good idea to flush your bathroom sink with a dry cleaner. Check under your cabinets for any possible leaks.
5. Don’t let them inside.
Fruit flies often come into your house from outside. This is particularly the case if you have lots of bushes or other types of vegetation close to your house, or if you have a dumpster nearby. Try and move these if you can so they are further from your residence.
Make sure all of your windows have screens on them, and try and fix any small cracks. If you think they are coming in your windows, you can also try using a portable bug light to drive them away.
6. Fruit fly bottle trap.
Fruit flies usually only live for about two weeks. Mark your calendar from when you first see a fruit fly, and see if they are gone after this time is completed. If not, the problem is not yet solved!
Fruit fly traps are a great way to help speed the process along. Find a narrow necked bottle, and fill the bottom with fruit juice, beer, vinegar, or soda. Put a few drops of cooking oil or dish soap into this bottle. Any bugs that try and get this liquid will be trapped once they fly into the liquid.
Place the area in a high traffic area for fruit flies, like your kitchen. Getting rid of fruit flies has never been easier!
7. Bowl traps.
Don’t sweat it if you don’t own a bottle, as you can try the same trick with a bowl. Perform the same steps as you would for the fruit fly bottle trap, but use a bowl instead. The biggest difference is that you will cover the top with plastic wrap, and poke some small holes in this wrap. The fruit flies can fly in, but they won’t be able to fly out!
8. Store bought traps.
There are also several store bought traps you might consider purchasing. You might want to try your own version first, of course.
Flypaper is a classic and fairly cheap solution you might consider. It doesn’t work the greatest, however, as it is designed for houseflies rather than fruit flies, and it doesn’t look nice hanging in your kitchen. If you want to try this solution, be sure to hang some fly paper near a light source to help attract the fruit flies.
You can also buy a bug zapper, which works using light to attract all kinds of bugs. Once they get close to the light, the bugs are quickly zapped and killed.
Don’t let fruit flies get you down! They are slow, sluggish, and stupid. You are better then them! Get rid of fruit flies by getting rid of their breeding grounds. Once they have no more food to eat or nest in, they will die off or move on. Use your traps to clean up any of the fruit flies that are still humming around. Good luck with your flies, and hopefully you will have your house back in no time!