Fruit flies can be found in homes, restaurants, groceries, and other places where food can rot and spoil. Adults are about an eighth of an inch long and have crimson eyes. The front half of the body is tan, while the back half is black.
Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other organic materials that are moist and organic. The small larvae continue to eat near the surface of the fermenting mass after emerging.
The fact that the larvae eat on the surface means that damaged or overripe portions of fruits and vegetables can be taken away without the rest of the fruit or vegetable being thrown away for fear of retaining any growing larvae. Fruit flies have a huge reproductive potential.
If given the chance, they will lay roughly 500 eggs. It takes roughly a week to complete the lifecycle from egg to adult.
In the kitchen, ripe fruits and vegetables attract fruit flies in particular. Drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops, and cleaning cloths are all places where they can breed. A moist sheet of fermenting material is all that is required for the development.
Infestations might start with overripe fruits or vegetables that have been affected before being brought into the house. Adults can also fly in via poorly screened windows and doors from the outside. They are mostly bothersome pests.
They do, however, pose a risk of contaminating food with germs and other disease-causing organisms.
Origin and reasons why fruit flies are in your kitchen
Fruit flies are attracted to fermenting fruits and vegetables and thrive on high-fructose foods, despite the fact that they seem to appear out of nowhere.
Female fruit flies lay their eggs on the surface of overripe, rotting, or decomposing fruit, as well as inside it.
Prepare to be disgusted if you think that’s gross.
At any given time, a female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs!
As a result, it’s critical to take action as soon as you notice the first fruit fly. After hatching, the larvae feed on their surroundings for a few days before maturing into fully developed adults. Fruit flies have a relatively short life cycle.
They can mate just two days after becoming adults which means your cleanup clock starts right away.
What is the best way to get rid of fruit flies?
Look for the source
The first step is to determine where the flies are coming from. Throw out any open food items and scrub the area clean if they’re hanging out near them. To disinfect the area, you can use any form of cleanser. In other circumstances, simply removing the fruit flies’ “nest” is enough to drive them away.
Ensure that all surfaces are clean
The first step in getting rid of fruit flies is to wipe off all counters thoroughly. As much as possible, keep food particles and residue out of sink drains. If you don’t, these areas will become ideal breeding grounds for fruit flies.
Throw away any produce that is overripe or decaying
Check for rot, deterioration, or overripeness in all fruits and vegetables. To prevent female fruit flies from laying their eggs on these surfaces, dispose of any suspicious items.
Make use of apple cider vinegar
Fill a dish or glass halfway with apple cider vinegar, cover with plastic wrap, rubber band the edges, and punch tiny holes in the top. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar, and once inside, they won’t be able to get out because of the plastic wrap barrier.
Combine the apple cider vinegar and dish soap in a bowl
Fill a bowl halfway with vinegar and stir in a drop of dish soap. The stale sweetness of the apple cider vinegar tempts flies, and the dish soap reduces the surface tension of the liquid, leading the flies to become immersed and unable to escape quickly after investigating the solution.
Beer or wine are good options
Place an old bottle of wine or beer near the area where the fruit flies were discovered. The stale beverage will entice them in, but the bottle’s short neck will act as a natural barrier, trapping them within.
Make use of a store-bought trap
If your handmade fly traps aren’t functioning, go to the local hardware store and get a sticky fly trap. These traps are effective against both common and fruit flies. Place the trap in the troublesome area and remove it once the sticky area has been filled. You can swap out the trap as needed.
Employ the services of an exterminator
An exterminator should only be used as a last resort. This is usually effective, although it can be expensive. The pesticides used to get rid of the fruit flies may also cause problems for you or your pets. If the fruit flies return after the provider has treated your home, the company may treat it again for free or at a discounted charge.
Make use of discouraging scents
Peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and clove are among the natural smells that fruit flies despise. You can hang dried herbs around the house in paper tea bags or muslin sacks, or use essential oils from these plants in a diffuser. A delightful benefit is that your house will smell wonderful after you’ve completed this task.
Dishcloths and sponges should be changed on a regular basis
Sponges may be necessary kitchen tools for keeping things clean and tidy, but they often attract food leftovers. Even if you don’t see them, they’re accumulating inside. Moreover, fruit flies lay their eggs on them. To avoid this, replace these things on a weekly basis.
How to create a fruit fly trap at home
Do you have a swarm of fruit flies in your kitchen or bathroom that you’re trying to get rid of? What a disaster! We understand that it feels like you’re fighting a losing battle, but we assure you that controlling fruit flies is easier than you think. Making this simple, homemade trap from things you already have in your cupboard will swiftly rid your home of fruit flies.
What you need
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dish soap
- Tiny bowl or jar
Make your own dryer sheets instead of going to the store. All you need for endless loads of super-soft laundry is a sponge, water, and fabric softener, as demonstrated in this video. These reusable DIY washing sheets are both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Despite the fact that vinegar is the principal ingredient and is generally safe to eat, liquid dish soap is not. Keep this solution out of children’s reach.
- Remove any overripe fruit that could attract fruit flies.
- Fill a jar or small basin halfway with apple cider vinegar.
- Pour a few drops of dish soap into the container without mixing.
- Place the trap in the area where the fruit flies have been sighted and wait for it to work. The container will soon be overflowing with drowned fruit flies. Rinse and repeat as needed.
Why does vinegar work?
Vinegar is a multipurpose, natural, and eco-friendly kitchen product. It is an affordable element in many cleaning DIYs, in addition to its culinary purposes. In addition, unlike a lot of commercial goods, vinegar does not generate any hazardous or harsh fumes.
The scent of the cider vinegar attracts fruit flies, who will seek to land on its surface. The fruit flies, on the other hand, are in for a big surprise: the dish soap destroys the surface tension of the vinegar, allowing them to fall in and drown. Put an end to that irritating infestation.
- You might also want to use a bottle with a narrow neck.
- Even after you’ve caught your fruit flies, keep a fruit fly trap on your kitchen counter. This trap will keep infestations at bay in the future. It can be stored in an attractive container so that it does not stick out. Because vinegar evaporates over time, top it up when you see it’s running low.
What’s the difference between gnats and fruit flies?
The first thing you should do if you see little black beetles flying around is to identify them. Fruit flies and fungus gnats, which have a similar appearance, are easily confused. Fruit flies vary in color from light tan to reddish-orange and brown, while gnats are gray or black. Fruit flies prefer overripe fruit and other produce, and they thrive on high-fructose foods. Fungus gnats, on the other hand, dwell in soils and on plants, so if you see them, the problem isn’t necessarily in your fruit bowl.
If you don’t have any vinegar on hand, a piece of overripe fruit in an open plastic bag can be used to catch fruit flies. Wait for the fruit flies to congregate on the fruit before carefully sealing the bag to keep them trapped within.
Prevention of future infestations
Here are some good options if you want to attempt something other than creating a trap:
- Infestations are frequently caused by bringing diseased fruit home from the grocery store or produce stand. If you see fruit flies when shopping, avoid any product that is near them. You can bet there are a lot of fruit fly eggs on that product in your kitchen, just ready to hatch. When you consider that a single fruit fly may lay 500 eggs, it’s easy to see why you should skip the bananas you planned to buy.
- To dislodge fruit fly larvae, rinse those that are washable once you arrive home: apples, stone fruit, bananas, citrus fruits, and so on. You can use plain water or one of the fruit and vegetable washes offered in the produce section of your grocer.
- Fruits and vegetables should be consumed before they get overripe or go bad. Fruit flies like ripe or fermented produce to lay their eggs on. Refrigerate them for even greater results.
- Clean your kitchen. Fruit flies can land on your counters and lay eggs, even in your sink. In fact, make sure there’s no food waste left in your garbage disposal or drain.
- Take away your trash on a regular basis. A fruit fly will be attracted to small amounts of juice or wine left at the bottom of bottles. If you can’t recall the last time you cleaned out your kitchen trash can and recycling bins, now is the time to do so before the fruit flies remind you that you’re overdue.
Is it possible for a fruit fly infestation to harm my health?
A fruit fly infestation can be dangerous to your health if left untreated. Fruit flies are known to take up bacteria as they fly around and deposit it on fresh foods. They’re especially attracted to dung and other wastes, which can include pathogens like E. coli. They then spread the bacterium throughout. Female fruit flies also inject batches of eggs into fresh fruit after mating. The fruit becomes contaminated as a result of this.
What can I do to prevent the fruit flies from returning?
Keep food storage facilities clean and dry to avoid new infestations. After you’ve opened a package of fresh food and taken a bite out of it, don’t leave it out. Take out your trash on a regular basis and clean up any spills inside or on your trash cans.
Is it possible to kill fruit flies with mere bleach?
If you discover fruit flies in your drain, you may want to try pouring bleach down it. While this may kill some larvae, it will not be enough to eliminate the problem. This is because bleach is too quickly washed down the drain to conduct a thorough job. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to get rid of a fruit fly infestation. You may save time and effort by taking proactive efforts in cleaning and waste disposal.
What’s the lifespan of fruit flies?
Fruit flies, contrary to popular belief, may live for more than 24 hours. They can live for up to 40-50 days under ideal conditions.
Where do fruit flies lay their eggs?
Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, and they prefer to lay them in fermenting fruit or other sweet, decomposing organic matter. Fruit flies are the easiest way to detect an infestation since they fly over your house. They can be found in kitchens and other places where food is kept.