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7 Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Are you suffering from a fruit fly infestation in your kitchen?

You're not alone — fruit flies are most active throughout the summer and early fall since it's fruit harvest season, affecting thousands of homes across the country. Don't fret, our guide will teach you how to get rid of fruit flies so you can avoid pests in your home, and keep your fruit untouched.

  1. Create a trap with apple cider vinegar, plastic wrap and a rubber band.
  2. Create a trap by putting leftover wine in a jar.
  3. Combine vinegar and dish soap as a trap.
  4. Trap them with a paper cone and old fruit.
  5. Combine milk, sugar and pepper to trap them.
  6. Use lemongrass spray on kitchen surfaces.
  7. Purchase store-bought traps.

7 Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

apple cider trap

Apple Cider Trap

To make this trap, pour an inch of apple cider vinegar into a cup, place the plastic wrap around the top and secure it with a rubber band. Then, poke a few holes into the plastic wrap. The fruit flies will be attracted to the apple cider vinegar but will be trapped in the cup by the plastic wrap. If your fruit fly infestation is unruly, place a few of these traps in the areas where they’re most active.

Red Wine Trap

This trap is similar to the apple cider trap. Pour an inch of your old red wine into a jar, cover it with plastic wrap, and poke a few holes in the plastic wrap. Place the jar where you see that the fruit flies are most active. The red wine will attract the fruit flies and the plastic wrap will prevent them from escaping.

red wine trap
vinegar and dish soap trap

Vinegar and Dish Soap Trap

For this trap, pour an inch of regular vinegar into a bowl and add a few drops of dish soap to it. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar, but the soap will reduce the surface tension causing the fruit flies to drown.

Paper Cone and Fruit Trap

Take a jar and put a few pieces of old fruit in the bottom. You can pour a little vinegar in the bottom of the jar too. Then, make a cone out of scrap paper and place the cone in the jar with the point facing the bottom. The fruit flies will be trapped inside the jar due to the shape of the paper cone.

paper cone and aged fruit trap
milk, sugar, pepper trap

Milk, Sugar, and Pepper Trap

Use a cup of milk, four tablespoons sugar, and two tablespoons of ground pepper. Mix these ingredients together and then simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place it where the fruit flies are most active in your home.

Lemongrass Spray

If you don’t want to kill the fruit flies, but you want to drive them away, lemongrass spray is a perfect option. Take a spray bottle full of water and add around 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil. Spray the mixture on countertops, windowsills or directly on the fruit flies as you find them. The spray will not only keep the flies away, but it will also add a refreshing scent to your home.

lemongrass spray trap
store-bought fruit fly trap

Store-bought Traps

Lastly, there are a handful of store-bought traps that work well. If you just can’t seem to get rid of the fruit flies, you can use a fogger, disposable fruit fly trap or fly lights. Foggers are very invasive and require you to clear your kitchen of all loose items. Fruit fly traps and lights are easier to use, but be aware that they can be expensive and full of chemicals.

Where do Fruit Flies Come From?

Fruit flies lay their eggs on moist surfaces that contain yeast and other bacteria. When the eggs hatch, the fruit fly larvae eat the yeast and bacteria.

Fermenting fruit is a great breeding ground for fruit flies because old, over-ripened fruit contains exactly the type of bacteria and moisture that the larvae needs to grow. The bacteria from the fermentation process is also found in wine, soda, trash and other sugary or fermenting substances.

Fruit flies are typically most active in the summer and early fall when homes in the U.S. are filled with fruits and vegetables.

What Attracts Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies are attracted to yeast and bacteria that comes from fermenting and sugary substances. They're attracted to these substances because yeast and bacteria are necessary for fruit fly larvae to grow. These are the most common items that attract fruit flies:

  • Ripe or rotting fruit
  • Wine and beer
  • Dirty drains and garbage disposals
  • Left out trash
  • Spills of sugary or fermented liquids

How to Prevent Fruit Flies

Once fruit flies have infiltrated your home, they can be difficult to remove. That's why taking precautionary measures to prevent fruit flies are necessary to avoid a fruit fly infestation. By following the tips below, you can stop fruit flies from entering your home.

  • Throw away old fruits and vegetables
  • Take out trash and keep it sealed
  • Keep fresh fruits and vegetables in airtight containers
  • Clean drains and garbage disposals

Where do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs?

Female fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs, which can hatch in as little as 24 hours. Their ability to breed quickly makes them difficult to contain once they start reproducing. By understanding where fruit flies lay eggs,you can better contain their breeding grounds. Below are the most common places to find fruit fly eggs:

  • On fruits and vegetables
  • Down dirty drains
  • At the bottom of trash cans
  • In dirty garbage disposals
  • Mop buckets

Can Fruit Flies Make You Sick?

There are no specific illnesses that have been linked back to ingesting fruit flies or ingesting items that fruit flies have been in contact with. Spoiled food will make people sick for many reasons, but it's likely unrelated to fruit flies. There are concerns that fruit flies transported from other parts of the world may spread contaminates from those areas, but nothing has been confirmed.

Although fruit flies aren't harmful, they can be quite the nuisance. When bringing new produce in to your home, always be sure to wash them fully to prevent bringing in any fruit fly eggs.

Source: Sermo

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