No kitchen is safe from fruit flies when you have rotten fruit lying around, so you’ll inevitably need to learn how to get rid of these tiny pests. Anyone can get a fruit fly problem without warning, and they will often come in come in swarms, making them even more problematic. If you don’t act quickly, you might find a few adult fruit flies can lead to a fruit fly infestation in just a few days.
Here, we answer your question, “Why do I have fruit flies in my kitchen?”
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What are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies (also known as vinegar flies or by their scientific name Drosophila Melanogaster) are tiny insects that have a brown color and red eyes that can be easily confused with drain flies or fungus gnats. A fungus gnat is black in color and is commonly found around houseplants, where they lay eggs within the soil. Drain flies are commonly found around dirty drains, hence their name, or even in garbage disposals — they also have V-shaped wings that make them look like small moths.
Why are Fruit Flies in My Kitchen?
To understand why the common fruit fly is invading your home, you need to find out what brought them there in the first place. This tiny creature will typically be found inside fresh fruits and vegetables you purchase from your local grocery store. Washing your food thoroughly can help eliminate adult flies, but there’s no way to tell if they laid eggs already.
Plus, if they find a substantial food source in your kitchen, they may just set up camp and make it their new home. Once inside your house, they will look for fruits and vegetables along with other rotten food inside your trash cans to lay their eggs. Larvae from fruit flies will quickly hatch after a day or two and will spend a whole week munching on overripe produce.
Leaving food particles and food debris in your kitchen drain or failing to empty your kitchen compost bins and leaving organic material inside can create the perfect breeding grounds for tiny maggots. After a week or more, they’ll turn into fully grown adults that will then take over laying eggs around your home — this rapid reproduction is the reason why it’s so hard to get rid of them. If your home has been overtaken by common fruit flies, hold off from calling pest control for now and try these homemade traps and commercial solutions first.
How to Eliminate Fruit Flies
Apart from using store-bought traps, here are a few DIY options that you can try to safely and quickly rid your home of these annoying pests.
Deep Clean Your Kitchen
The first step to eliminating fruit flies from your home is to remove any decayed food where they could’ve laid eggs; this includes throwing away everything sitting on your kitchen counter. This may seem wasteful, but you won’t want to eat that bowl of fruit once it has larvae inside it. Unless you’ve completely erased these bugs from your kitchen, don’t leave anything on your kitchen counter, and wash all new produce thoroughly before storing it in your fridge.
These pests may also use the trash bin to continue their life cycle, especially if there are food scraps and organic matter inside, so may want to empty it regularly. It’s also a good idea to pour hot water down the drain after washing dirty dishes and emptying out sugary drinks to ensure your kitchen sink drains properly. If you notice leaky pipes, be sure to contact some sort of plumbing service to ensure that food waste isn’t spreading along your kitchen.
Clean surfaces are also essential, so be sure to wipe down any dirty surface you see. Moreover, you shouldn’t leave any food items behind, and keep your kitchen as clean as possible to stop female fruit flies from producing more eggs.
Apple Cider Vinegar Trap
While cleaning your whole kitchen will prevent the adult female fruit fly from giving birth, you’ll also want to rid your home of all the bugs flying around. The best way to eliminate them is to create a DIY fruit fly trap made from easy-to-source pantry staples. In a small bowl, pour a small amount of apple cider vinegar and mix it with a few drops of dish soap.
This solution works better for fruit flies compared to white vinegar since it smells like a fruit bowl or a piece of fruit — red wine can also work but it’s more expensive to use, so opt for old wine if you have any. Microwave this mixture over 20 seconds then place it inside empty cans around your home where they will attract flies. The dish soap will reduce the liquid’s surface tension and trap the flies; you should be able to see results after a few hours.
Using a Bottle to Capture Them
Another way to trap flies is using a bottle — it can be from fruit juice, beer, wine, or even a spray bottle, any of them will work well. To get started, simply place plastic wrap over the top of the bottle, and secure it with a rubber band; poke in some small holes at the top. This is an easy to trap flies because once they get in when they’re lured by the smell of fermenting grapes, they’ll get stuck and die.
Purchasing a Fly Trap
If you don’t have the tools you need to make the homemade solutions suggested above, there are plenty of fruit fly traps that can be bought online or from your local home improvement store. A jar trap will come with a liquid that can be poured into apple-shaped traps which will attract the bugs and drown them. Other options come in containers that are shaped like a spice jar — all you need to do is to keep the lid open and put it in the right place in your home.
How Fast Can I Get Rid of Fruit Flies?
While it would be great to quickly banish fruit flies during the summer months, it’s just not possible once your kitchen faces an infestation. You can kill flies using a fly swatter or by spraying them with alcohol but these aren’t long-term solutions. The best and fastest way to clear out your kitchen of these pests is to remove overripe fruit and vegetables where they might lay eggs.
The above methods are the best ways to protect your home from these insects during the early fall and late summer months — these solutions can help to protect your home from E.coli, which can be transferred from fruit flies. By ensuring that your fresh produce is clean and ridding your home of decaying matter, you’ll be able to drive these pests away. To make sure that you don’t have future infestations, maintain cleanliness around your kitchen so that they don’t find places they can turn into a home.
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