After bringing home ripe bananas, your home is filled with minuscule, annoying bugs. What’s going on? Swatting doesn’t get rid of fruit flies, and it seems that they multiply every night! They lay eggs on unrefrigerated fruit and can come from your garden, the farm, or even from the grocery store. Fruit flies can be tough to get rid of because their life cycle is only 8 days long! Luckily, there are a few things you can do to reclaim a creepy-crawly free kitchen.
Getting Rid of Fruit Flies
Remove food sources to get rid of fruit flies
The first plan of attack is to get rid of the adult fruit flies’ food sources. This means any fruit or vegetable that is out in the open. Store fruits and veggies that can’t be refrigerated like bananas or onions in airtight containers. Before doing this, be sure to wash everything that could possibly have fruit fly eggs on it very thoroughly with soap, to get rid of remaining bugs and their eggs.
Pour boiling water down all drains
Sink drains can be an ideal breeding place for fruit flies, as it’s moist and often filled with old food. Clean out your drain to remove their habitat, and then pour boiling water down the drain to kill any eggs that may have been left behind.
Clean the inside of garbage bins
Are you seeing a theme here? These bugs love places where rotting food ends up, so leave no corner unscrubbed. Using warm water with a little bit of bleach, be sure to get the corners. Because fruit fly eggs are nearly imperceptible to the human eye, it can be an arduous task to get rid of all of them. If you’re unsure that your bins are clean enough, take them outside and give them a good spray with the hose.
Make vinegar traps
While this strategy won’t deal with the eggs of the fruit flies, it will cut down on the number of adults. Fill a glass partway with apple cider vinegar, and add a few drops of dish soap. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the cup and secure with a rubber band, making sure it’s tight as a drum. Using a fork or a toothpick, cut some small holes in the wrap and set where fruit flies usually congregate. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, wine that’s nearly gone bad will work as well.
Scrub the baseboards
The baseboards are an often neglected part of the kitchen, but lots of old food can gather here. Be especially mindful of corners next to dishwashers or pantries.
Preventing Fruit Flies
Once you’ve gotten rid of the fruit fly scourge, it’s vital to take preventative measures to make sure they stay gone for good.
Keep Cloths and Sponges Out of Sight
Fruit flies love moist places with rotten food, so wet dish rags and sponges are an oasis to the critters. After using a rag or sponge, be sure to take it to a laundry room to clean and dry.
Stop Leaving Dirty Dishes in the Sink
Just like wet sponges, dirty dishes tell fruit flies that your kitchen is a great place to raise generations of children. Even dishes drying in a rack can be a potential spot for the bugs to lay their eggs, so be sure to fully dry and put away all plates and cups to avoid a fruit fly daycare in your kitchen.
Get Covered Trash Cans
This is one of the most effective tips for preventing fruit flies, because even if your kitchen is pristine, fruit flies will lay eggs in the trash and continue to plague your kitchen. A good trash can with a lid or cover will not only prevent bad smells from wafting through your house but will also deter fruit flies from becoming your new roommates.
Keep Ripe Fruit in the Refrigerator
This last tip is the most simple way to keep fruit flies out of your home; keep ripened fruit in a cold environment where the bugs can’t live or lay eggs. It might be a pain, and take up important refrigerator space, but it’s the best way to keep fruit flies from taking over during their peak time, which is peak summer.
When you become a victim of a fruit fly infestation, there are certain things you can do to get rid of the pests and make sure they stay away. If the situation becomes more than you can handle, it may become time to call your local exterminator or pest removal specialist. If you use these tips, however, you should be able to get rid of fruit flies without chemicals and all by yourself.