Bugs are unwanted guests that require you to find different ways to deal with them. Fruit flies are no exception. You need smart and long-term solutions to get rid of them. To distinguish fruit flies from drain flies and fungus gnats, fruit flies are usually light or dark brown and have red eyes.
If not dealt with, fruit flies can cause health problems. The eggs the females lay on your fruits cause contamination. Also, fruit flies fly around picking bacteria from different sources like feces and manure. Once they land on your produce with these bacteria, contamination is inevitable.
What causes fruit flies in the house
Fruit flies are drawn to your house by rotting vegetables and fruits. The female fruit flies mostly lay their eggs inside decaying, rotting, or overripe fruits. And because they lay hundreds of eggs, it is essential to take action immediately when you notice the first fruit fly in your home before you experience an infestation.
Fruit flies are also attracted to fermented products like beer or wine. They also love trash cans if they have food sources. Luckily, there are a few home remedies for fruit flies you can use to get rid of them.
How to get rid of fruit flies once and for all
Keep your surfaces clean
This way of getting rid of fruit flies is as simple as it sounds. Keeping your countertops and surfaces clean always will deter fruit flies from your house. Fruit flies hate clean surfaces. Keep your sink clean, and your sink drain free of food residue. These food particles will make your drains and other similar spots the perfect breeding ground for fruit flies.
Also, take out your trash and wipe down your trash can with a cleaning product like bleach to disinfect it and deter fruit flies from swarming around it. It is essential to ensure your house is as clean as possible.
Dump overripe or rotting fruits
Another easy way of getting rid of fruit flies is to throw out any overripe, rotting or decaying produce. It is essential to check your vegetables and fruits and dispose of any pieces you find to be too ripe, as well as those that are rotting and decaying. Throwing them out destroys the potential breeding ground and food source of fruit flies.
Dilute a cup of bleach with a gallon of water and pour down the mixture in the infested drains. Bleaching keeps the drains clean and free of any residue that may attract fruit flies.
Use fruit-fly spray
You can use store-bought fruit-fly sprays or make your own. Fruit-fly sprays help get rid of the flies once and for all and as quickly as possible. The best fruit fly spray is easy to make. You can use lemon to get rid of fruit flies as its scent repels fruit flies.
To make the spray, pour two ounces of hot water into a spray bottle. Add about ten drops of lemongrass essential oil while the water is still hot. The mixture is ready for use. You can spray it directly on the fruit flies when you see them.
Use fruit-fly traps
You can use fruit fly traps to get rid of fruit flies overnight.
Leaving a bottle of stale beer or old wine in fruit-fly prone areas will attract the fruit flies. The stale drink and the smell of wine will lure the flies into the narrow-necked bottle that keeps them trapped. For surer success, you can add a few drops of dish soap into the drink. The soap reduces surface tension, and once the flies land on the drink, they sink and drown.
Apple cider vinegar trap
You can also use apple cider vinegar to trap the fruit flies. Fill a jar with apple cider vinegar and cover it with plastic wrap. Ensure you seal off the edges with a rubber band and perforate the wrap with small holes using a sharp tool like a toothpick. The apple cider vinegar attracts fruit flies, and when they get inside the jar through the holes on the plastic wrap, they will not be able to fly out. You can place a few traps in fruit-fly prone areas in your house.
Vinegar and a paper cone trap
Pour a little vinegar of choice in a jar and add a few pieces of overripe fruit. Roll a piece of paper to form a paper cone and stick it on the neck of the jar like you would a funnel. The scent from the overripe fruit will attract the fruit flies, and they will get inside the jar. The paper cone, however, acts as a barrier that makes it impossible for the fruit flies to get out of the jar.
Soap and apple cider vinegar for fruit flies
You can also mix apple cider vinegar with dishwashing soap. In the jar with apple cider vinegar, add two or three drops of dishwashing soap and mix thoroughly. When you combine the vinegar with soap, it exudes a stale sweetness that attracts fruit flies. The soap also works by reducing the liquid’s surface tension, which causes the fruit flies to be immersed as soon as they land on the vinegar-soap solution and cannot escape. Pour out the mixture and refill weekly or as needed until your house is free of fruit flies.
Use store-bought fruit-fly traps
If the DIY remedies do not work, you can opt for a store-bought fruit-fly trap whose active ingredients are the malic acid found in fruits and sodium lauryl sulfate, which is used in soaps as a surfactant. The best store-bought fruit-fly trap should come in a stand-up jar. This feature makes it easy to use as all you need to do is open the jar and leave it on your countertop and let it work its magic.
What home remedy kills fruit flies
In addition to the methods of getting rid of fruit flies discussed above, you can try the following ways also:
Use boiling water/white vinegar
Pouring boiling water or white vinegar down your drains is a simple and fast way to get rid of fruit flies. Fruit flies inhabit moist areas like sink and shower drains. Pouring boiling water or vinegar in these spots is a great way to kill them.
Use soapy water
Fill a bowl with water and add a few drops of dishwashing soap. Mix thoroughly until the mixture is foamy. Place your bowl under direct light at night. The light reflection in the bowl attracts fruit flies, and once they land on the mixture, they cannot escape because the soap reduces the surface tension of the mixture.
How to prevent fruit flies from infecting your house again
After getting rid of the pesky pests, you will need to take a few preventive measures to ensure they do not infect your house again. These methods will help destroy their food sources and deter them from getting inside your house again:
- Observe cleanliness in your house. Cleanliness will prevent the fruit flies from getting inside your house. Clean spillages, especially of fruit juices or liquor, as soon as they occur. Ensure your food storage areas are also clean and dry.
- Make it a habit to dispose of any overripe, decaying or rotting products in your house.
- Always store the fresh food that you have opened, vegetables and fruits in your fridge. Exposing them on the countertops will attract fruit flies. Also, ensure you cover any uncovered food items with plastic wraps, foils or upturned bowls.
- After purchase, ensure to wash the produce once you get home to get rid of any larvae or eggs.
- Regularly empty your trash cans, daily if you can. The dirt in the trash can is a great food source for the fruit flies. Keep your trash can clean and free of spillages.
How to get rid of fruit flies without killing them
Sometimes, you do not need to kill the pests to get rid of them. You can use the overripe or rotten produce against them.
- Find a disposable container and put it in the rotten or overripe fruit or vegetable.
- Cover your container with plastic wrap.
- Perforate small holes in the plastic wrap.
- Place your container in a fruit fly prone area and leave it overnight. The fruit flies will get inside the container to investigate the rotten produce. Once inside, they cannot get out.
- Pick your container full of fruit flies and dispose of it. You can repeat this process until you no longer see any fruit flies inside your house.
Check this too: How to Get Rid of Carpet Beetles
Alternatively, here’s another method you can use.
- In a large bowl, place a peeled, overripe banana.
- Leave the bowl uncovered in a fruit fly prone spot.
- Clean your house and dispose of all rotting and overripe produce to ensure the only food source for the fruit flies is the peeled banana in your bowl.
- Find a plate that can cover the bowl and keep it close.
- Once the fruit flies enter the bowl, slide your plate over it to cover it to trap the flies inside.
- Take your bowl outside, a reasonable distance from your house, uncover it and shake it so that the flies take off.
- You can repeat this process until your house is fruit fly free.
Regardless of the method you choose to get rid of fruit flies, it is essential to get rid of them as soon as you notice them. Natural or home remedies are the best methods to use as they are non-toxic and are, therefore, safe to use. In addition, they are inexpensive, and most are readily available in your kitchen.