How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies For Good
I don’t know about your neck of the woods, but here in Seattle the September has done little in the way of diminishing the fruit flies. Especially given the fact that Seattleites as a societal sect are big fans of composting; the fruit flies are still happily flitting through the air like little brown twinkle lights, except, you know, without any of the twinkle and with all the disgust of a hoard of tiny flies infiltrating your every food source.
Fruit flies have one skill: being able to detect fruits and veggies from great distances. Their tiny size allows them to creep in through window screens, window and door frames, and more. Evidently, they can also travel by way of the produce you bring home from the grocery store. Other relevant (and grotesque) facts: fruit flies lay eggs on the skin of ripe or fermenting fruits and veggies, and they can go from egg to adult in eight days. (If you want to know more and likely make yourself vom, check out the article I used as my source).
I recently read a tweet that said, “That’s it, I’m ready to just start naming the fruit flies and calling them housepets.”
I reserve the use of obnoxious colloquials for only the times they are truly warranted, and in response to said tweet I would say, “Right?!”
Okay, so here’s how to ditch the things. (Do it for my sake, at least? They really gross me out, okay?)
There are more stray food bits spattered around your kitchen than you realize, but unfortunately for you, the fruit flies do. Your first line of defense is to deep clean your kitchen. Wipe down all surfaces, including cabinet doors, the stove, and countertops. Clean the sink thoroughly, making sure to clean around the drain itself, which can be a breeding ground (I barely managed to type that out) for fruit flies.
2. Do the dishes immediately
If you’re on the quest to quash fruit flies, delaying washing dirty dishes is a big time no-no. (Ha! That’s the case anyways!) The food remnants on used dishes act as a siren song to fruit flies and will set back your extermination process considerably.
Didn’t you mention you’ve been wanting to get more disciplined about doing your dishes? Hey, you’re so welcome!
3. About that trash
Throwing food away in the trash can is like creating a feast for the flies and then sending them formal dinner invitations to boot.
Instead, utilize your garbage disposal or compost bin. Also, be sure to take out the trash regularly (and possibly daily if the situation is really dire).
4. And about that compost bin
If you choose to keep your compost bin inside, then you must be diligent about taking it out daily. You can also move the collection bin outside, and immediately deposit your compost into it.
5. Protect the produce
Any produce you have stored on the counter or in the pantry should be covered. If your produce is in a basket or bowl, you can easily employ a plate, a pan lid, a painting board or other such items as a lid. You can also try transferring produce stored at room temperature into a closed paper bag, or if it won’t be too harmful to the produce, store them in the refrigerator.
6. Don’t forget the sponges, dishtowels, mops and more
These can all be fertile breeding environments for fruit flies. Wash dishtowels regularly, discard very soiled sponges and mops, and be sure to sufficiently clean all rags and sponges. This is so gross.
7. Make a trap
Once you’ve done all you can to establish an unappealing home for fruit flies, it’s time for some offensive measures. There are a variety of traps you can make using household items, and this one has proven effective for me.
What you’ll need:
– Distilled apple cider vinegar
– Dish detergent
– Plastic wrap
– A bowl, jar or cup,
– An instrument for pricking holes
Pour a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into the vessel of your choosing. This is your bait, as fruit flies love the stuff.
Next, pour a few drops of dish detergent into the vinegar. This breaks the surface tension and makes the flies drown.
Cover the cup or bowl with plastic wrap, and then poke holes using fork tines, an awl, or just a pin.
Then, set out your trap and watch those flies dwindle.
Good luck, and be sure to leave any tricks you’ve found useful in taming the flies in the comments below!First image credit: Photography by Boo George, Model: Alessandra Ambrosio; “Call A Wave.” LOVE magazine, F/W 2012.
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