Fruit flies are the bane of summertime. One day your kitchen is a place of sanctuary, and the next it’s filled with pesky little flies that seemingly came out of nowhere. Fruit flies are never something you want in your house. They’re lifespan is 40 to 50 days, which is much longer than anyone wants them around. To get rid of fruit flies for good, you need a long term solution that starts with prevention. If your preventative measures don’t work, you’ll need smart tips to make yours a fruit fly-free home. Take a look at how to get rid of fruit flies with our 10 tips.
Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?
Fruit flies are drawn to fermenting fruits and vegetables and love high-fructose substances. Female fruit flies lay their eggs on the surface of overripe, decaying or rotting fruit and can lay up to 500 eggs at one time. They can also lay their eggs in sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, garbage bags, and damp mops and sponges.
When the larvae hatch, they feed on the surface of the decaying fruit too. If that doesn’t make you want to want to banish fruit flies for good, I don’t know what will. Since the flies are so teeny, they can sneak into houses through windows and door screens and you’ll typically find them around unrefrigerated produce in your kitchen and rotting food in the trash can.
Fruit flies can be really hard to get rid of, so it’s imperative to take preventative steps to keep the little pests out of your home. If it’s already too late, we’ve rounded up tips for how to get rid of fruit flies once and for all.
How to Prevent Fruit Flies
1. Clean Down Your Surfaces
The first step to preventing fruit flies is to thoroughly wipe down all countertops and keep drains free of food particles and residue. These spots are the ideal place for fruit flies to breed, so be sure to keep them clean.
2. Store Away Problem Food
Don’t leave ripened fruit or vegetables like bananas, onions or tomatoes exposed- keep them in the refrigerator so the fruit flies can’t get to them. If you do keep any fruit or vegetables on the counter, they should be washed and covered. Fruit flies also tend to like alcohol and other sugary drinks so be sure not to keep things like open bottles of wine or cider out on the counter.
3. Get Rid of Any Rotting Fruit
Check your fruits and vegetables for rot, decay or overripeness. Throw out any questionable pieces to prevent female fruit flies from laying their eggs on these surfaces.
4. Check Your Windows
Since fruit flies are tiny, it’s easy for them to enter your home, even through the smallest openings. Keep your windows and doors sealed tight and make sure your window screens are functioning properly. You should also seal any gaps around the windows, especially ones around air conditioners.
5. Empty Trash Cans/Compost Bins Often
Empty your kitchen trash cans often, especially if they contain food and drink items. This also goes for your compost bin as it’s filled with food.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Fly Trap
A free and effective homemade fly trap can be made by filling a bowl or glass with apple cider vinegar and covering it with plastic wrap. Seal the edges with a rubber band and poke tiny holes in the top with a toothpick. The vinegar attracts the flies and once they’re inside, they won’t be able to escape.
2. Dish Soap Trap
Fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar and add a few drops of dish soap, mixing well. You can leave it uncovered on your countertop as the soap cuts the surface tension of the vinegar so the flies will sink to the bottom and drown.
3. Make an Alcohol Spray
Make a DIY alcohol spray by placing 91% isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle. It will kill flies on contact and means you aren’t using a dangerous and toxic pesticide spray.
4. Try Beer or Wine
Leave a bottle of old wine or beer out where fruit flies have been hovering. They’ll be attracted to the smell and the narrow neck of the bottle will help keep them trapped inside.
5. Use Rotten Fruit To Your Benefit
Rather than tossing out rotten or open food, put the food in a disposable container. Cover the container with plastic wrap and poke holes in the wrap where fruit flies congregate. The flies should swarm to the inside of the trap, then you can dispose of them whatever way you like.
If fruit flies are giving you a headache this summer, try our tips for preventing and getting rid of fruit flies once and for all!