Have you noticed tiny flies buzzing around your home? The dreaded fruit flies have arrived and they won’t go away, despite your efforts to keep things tidy.
Let’s make one thing clear: Fruit flies are not a cleanliness issue. They can invade your home no matter how clean it is—and because they can lay eggs on almost any surface, they can quickly get out of hand. These tiny nuisances breed quickly, which is why you might notice a single fruit fly one day, and then a swarm only a day or two later.
Fruit flies are active all year, but they’re more common at the end of the summer and into the fall, when fruits and vegetables are especially ripe or fermented. Fruit flies can come in on the produce you buy at the farmers market or the pumpkin patch down the road. However they arrived, never fear: Learning how to get rid of fruit flies is simple and easy.
How to Prevent Fruit Fly Infestations
Knowing how to kill fruit flies is an important housekeeping skill. But the best guard against these annoying pests is to make your home less attractive for snacking and laying eggs. Here’s how to keep fruit flies at bay:
Rinse Your Produce
When you bring home fresh produce from the grocery store or market, wash it off before putting it away. This gets rid of any lingering residues that could attract fruit flies…and as a bonus, it removes germs. Two parts water and one part vinegar cleans produce and kills some bacteria that could prolong ripening. Wash your produce with a cloth and your vinegar solution and rinse thoroughly to get rid of the vinegar odor.
Empty the Trash Regularly
Taking the trash out every day not only helps prevent fruit flies, it keeps your home looking and smelling fresh. Use fresh trash bags each time and if one has leaked, rinse out the trash can and dry it before replacing the bag.
Empty and Clean Your Recycling Bin Often
Your recycling bin can contain everything from empty soda bottles to discarded milk jugs—the perfect attractants for fruit flies. Empty your recycling bin often, and rinse and dry it before replacing the liner or bag.
Sweep and Mop Up Food Crumbs Daily
All those little crumbs from sandwiches, bagels, and pastries may be hard for you to see, but fruit flies will pick up the scent right away. Sweep and mop daily and pay extra attention to hard-to-reach places, like the space between your refrigerator and counters.
Don’t Keep Produce on the Kitchen Counter
As produce ripens and ferments, fruit flies seem to appear like magic. Put ripening produce in the refrigerator or in paper bags on the counter. The cold slows down the ripening and the paper bags keep the fruit flies from reaching your fruits and veggies.
Don’t Leave Dirty Dishes in the Sink
All that gunk on dirty dishes is just too much to resist for fruit flies looking for a snack or a spot to lay their eggs. Washing dirty dishes right away reduces breeding grounds and minimizes food sources.
Keep Sink Drains Clean
Cleaning the drain in your kitchen sink with vinegar can help reduce the aromas of food debris in the drain. If you have a garbage disposal, clean the baffle and the top of the disposal, then pour in vinegar and baking soda. Turn on the disposal and run hot water for 30 seconds to flush all the food particles.
How to Kill Fruit Flies
Create a Fruit Fly Trap
Fruit flies like sweet, fermenting things, so you can use ripened fruit, old wine, stale soda, or apple cider vinegar to lure them. Fill a jar partially full with your lure of choice, cover the top with plastic wrap, and poke small holes in the top. The fruit flies will enter the jar through the holes to get to the attractant, but they won’t be able to get back out. Place a few of these jars around the house near sinks, food cabinets, and trash cans.
Use a Dish Trap to Kill Fruit Flies
Another way to kill fruit flies is by drowning them. Pour a small amount of cider vinegar, wine, or other liquid bait into a dish and add three drops of dish detergent. The fruit flies will be attracted to your lure, and when they land on the surface, the detergent breaks the surface tension and the fruit flies drown.
Get Rid of Fruit Flies Using Safe Commercial Traps
From sticky fly paper to plastic fruit fly traps, there are plenty of effective and safe ways to get rid of fruit flies. You can also find eco-friendly fruit fly sprays for non-food surfaces like mop heads, under sinks, around drain covers, garbage cans, and other areas.
Let a Carnivorous Sundew Plant Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Popular with gardeners and fruit fly haters alike, these plants trap fruit flies on their sticky leaves and then digest them. Killing fruit flies couldn’t be more natural, and you’ll have an ongoing solution for future infestations.
Use these tips to keep fruit flies out of your home and to get rid of them if they get in. And if you need help getting your kitchen, or any other room, fresh and clean, why not let The Maids do it? We’ll sweep and mop, wipe down counters, and even take out the trash to keep those pesky fruit flies out of your home.