Do you get a lot of fruit flies in your house? It's no fun opening up a cupboard or the fridge and seeing piles of fruit flies buzzing around. You probably want to get rid of them as fast as possible. But how exactly are you going to do that? How do you keep fruit flies away from your home? Dealing with unwanted fruit flies can be a real pain. If you've ever encountered this problem, you know that fruit flies are pesky little creatures. They seem to appear out of nowhere and will find any source of rotting food to lay their eggs in.
There’s some good news: fruit flies are not as difficult to get rid of as you might think. There are multiple things you can do, and once you know how they work and where they’re coming from, destroying them becomes much easier. Simple ingredients like your trusty floor cleaner or all-purpose cleaner can work wonders!
Why do fruit fly infestations happenSometimes the fruit flies in your kitchen are the result of a rotting banana under the sink or a musty pile of dishes you forgot to wash. But other times, you open your cupboards and scream, "Where did all these freaking fruit flies come from?!"
Fruit flies are such common household pests in many areas that scientists have studied them for decades. But there's still plenty we don't know about why they infest our homes, how to get rid of them, and whether it's really true that they're not attracted to fruit at all. This makes using home cleaning products and all-purpose cleaners for home care extremely important.
The first thing to understand about fruit flies is that their name is somewhat misleading. Fruit flies don't necessarily always come from fruit. In fact, they can breed on just about any organic material that produces alcohol or sugar when it starts to rot.
Common causes of infestations:
- Highly fermentable fruits and vegetables like bananas and potatoes.
- Beer bottle caps (or any other kind of fermentable liquid).
- Dirty mops or sponges.
- Moldy drainpipes.
Why are fruit flies badFruit flies are mainly an annoyance because they're so common and so hard to eliminate. However, these insects also carry bacteria and spread disease. They're also thought to be responsible for the transmission of viruses that affect tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables.
Fruit flies don't bite people or animals. Their larvae may feed on plant roots and decaying produce, but they won't eat healthy fruit or vegetables. Still, no one wants fruit flies buzzing around the kitchen.
Fruit flies have been known to contaminate food products. They have been known to spread at least 29 types of bacteria, six types of parasitic worms and more than 60 viruses.
How to stop an infestation
Apple cider vinegar:
The easiest, fastest way to eliminate fruit flies is by using a trap. All you need is a jar and some apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. Here's what to do:
Pour about one-half inch of the vinegar into the bottom of a narrow-necked jar or bottle (this could also be an empty soda bottle).
Add three drops of liquid dish soap (it must be liquid). The soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, so the flies sink and drown.
Put the lid on your jar or bottle (you can even use plastic wrap secured with a rubber band if you don't have a lid). Make sure it's airtight so that no more fruit flies can get in or out. Poke holes in the top with a toothpick, skewer or paper clip so that the flies can get inside but not out again.
If you have any banana peels, you're halfway to a fruit fly trap. Place the peel in a jar or small bowl, then fill it with water and dish soap or all-purpose cleaner. The flies will be attracted to the scent of the banana, but once they land on the surface of the water, they'll get stuck.
Clean the drains
Keep drains and garbage disposals clean. When drains are clogged with food or hair, fruit flies can breed in them. To keep them at bay, scrub your drains regularly with hot, soapy water and a pipe brush. You can use The Better Home’s enzyme-based floor cleaner or all-purpose cleaner to break down the organic matter. You can also pour baking soda, white vinegar or bleach down the drain to kill larvae and any lingering fruit flies that may have escaped your trap.
Follow these steps to prevent infestations:
- Empty garbage containers daily, especially those with food waste
- Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter overnight
- Clean up food spills immediately
- Keep countertops dry and clean
- Put fresh produce in the refrigerator quickly
- Keep fresh produce away from overripe fruit