Aside from the fact that they are palatable and appetizing, fruits are a rich source of vitamins and minerals. This is the reason why the majority of the households have fruits on their tables. But what if your stack of fresh produce is being infested with fruit flies? What will you do?
How do you get rid of fruit flies for good?
- Look for the source of fruit fly infestation.
- Store fruits, vegetables, and other food items in closed containers.
- Throw away overripe and decaying fruits and vegetables.
- Set-up fly traps.
- Regularly clean and sanitize the common areas of your house.
In this article, we’ll discuss the nature and characteristics of fruit flies, the efficient strategies in getting rid of them, and the excellent types of traps that may be used in controlling these pests.
What Do Fruit Flies Look Like?
Adult fruit flies are 1/10 to 1/5 inches in length with a yellowish to brownish or brownish-black color. Their eyes are brick red due to the effects of two pigments namely xanthommatin and drosopterins, while their abdomen is filled with black striations.
Fruit fly larvae are also very tiny and minuscule. They are shaped like a maggot and have a creamy white color.
Do Fruit Flies Bite?
Fruit flies do not bite as they don’t have pointed mouthparts and don’t feed on blood. However, they can be carriers of bacteria and viruses that may cause diseases and illnesses in humans. They can spread these harmful microorganisms on the surfaces where they land.
Where Do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs?
These tiny creatures usually lay their eggs on fermenting food, fruits, and vegetables. However, they may also give birth to moist and damp environments, garbage, feces, and other decaying materials.
Will Fruit Flies Go Away on Their Own?
Fruit flies do not go away on their own. They will continue to infest as long as there are decaying or rotten food items, garbage, and unwanted dirt inside your house. This means that as long as these insects can find a potential habitat within your abode, they are more likely to stay and reside on it for a long time.
What Causes Fruit Flies in the House?
Fruit flies may start to lurk around your house if they spot overripe or rotting fruits and vegetables that are not kept properly. However, they may also be drawn to garbage, trash cans, empty bottles, cleaning mops, and moist conditions. In short, they are primarily attracted to decaying materials, dirt, and damp environments.
What Do Fruit Flies Hate the Most?
These tiny insects despise the smell of eucalyptus, peppermint, basil, lavender, clove, and lemongrass. Thus, it is advisable to fill the fly-infested areas with the scents of these plants by putting them in tea bags or small sacks and hanging them afterward. You can also purchase essential oils of these herbs and incorporate them in a diffuser or mist spray.
Why Do I Have Fruit Flies in the Bathroom?
Fruit flies may also be present in the bathroom because of their desire to fly around moist, warm and wet surroundings. It could also be due to the presence of dirt or debris on the drains and sinks, which entices and attracts them to stay around.
How Long Will a Fruit Fly Live Without Food?
A fruit fly can live without food for seven days. They will start to feel weak and appear frail on the fourth day and will likely die after a week of no food and provisions.
Should You Throw Food Away if a Fruit Fly Lands on It?
You should probably throw away your food once a fruit fly lands on it as there is a high chance that it is already polluted with harmful microorganisms. These flies are excellent carriers of bacteria that are known to cause health problems and issues if you happen to ingest contaminated food items. Also, when they stay on your food for longer periods, there is a big possibility that they have already pooped and vomited on it.
Can Fruit Flies Survive With Just Water?
Although fruit flies thrive in damp and moist settings, they cannot live with just water in their digestive tracts. They also need food and provisions to survive and continue their daily activities. It is said that they can endure living up to a week without eating anything.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies for Good?
1. Look for the source of fruit fly infestation.
Finding the source and reason for their infestation means looking for their habitat. This can be done by inspecting your kitchens and other areas of your house for the presence of ripe or rotting fruits and vegetables or food residues that were not kept or disposed of properly.
2. Store fruits, vegetables, and other food items in closed containers.
Fruit flies are greatly attracted to open food sources. So when your fruits, vegetables, and other food items are not kept properly, these pests will surely infest them. To prevent these occurrences, store your food items in the refrigerator or place them in airtight canisters and receptacles.
3. Throw away overripe and decaying fruits and vegetables.
In most cases, rotting fruits and vegetables are the main target of fruit flies. So if these provisions are not thrown out immediately, there is a high chance that the fruit flies will make it their new home.
4. Set-up fly traps .
Placing traps in the various parts of your house can be effective in controlling the presence of fruit flies. These traps can be made from materials like red wine and dish detergent; vinegar, sugar, and water; apple cider vinegar; and old fruit, vinegar, and paper cones.
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5. Regularly clean and sanitize the common areas of your house.
The common areas of your house may be filled with a lot of food residue or unnecessary dirt where fruit flies can stay and live. This may include your dining tables and countertops, kitchen sinks and drains, and indoor trash cans, where garbage and food remnants are constantly accumulating.
To prevent these areas from being infested with fruit flies, it is important to regularly clean and sanitize them with heavy-duty cleaners and disinfect solutions such as bleach. Also, throw your garbage frequently to avoid the unnecessary piling up of junk.
How to Catch Fruit Flies?
There are various ways of catching fruit flies. You can use DIY or homemade traps that can effectively catch these small insects. However, you can also buy ready-made traps if you want convenience and maximum results.
How to Make a Fruit Fly Trap?
These are the best techniques in making a DIY fruit fly trap:
- Use of vinegar and dishwashing soap. In a small bowl, add a sufficient amount of vinegar and three drops of dishwashing soap. The soap alters the surface tension of the vinegar, causing the flies to sink and drown in the mixture once it submerges itself on it.
- Red wine and dish detergent. Pour a reasonable amount of red wine and dish detergent in a disposable cup or bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Then, make holes in the cover to allow the flies to enter into the mixture.
- Old fruit, vinegar, and paper cone. In a jar or glass container, place old and ripe fruits and a few drops of vinegar. Make a cone out of paper and cardboard and put the narrow edge down. This will serve as a trap once the fruit flies are enticed and decide to go inside the mixture.
How Do You Make Homemade Fruit Fly Spray?
Homemade sprays can also be an excellent method of battling fruit flies. For this method, it is recommended to use natural ingredients like lemongrass oil, lavender oil, and peppermint and add either of them to a spray bottle with hot water. If you opt to use strong and aggressive spray solutions, you may utilize mixtures containing glass cleaners, rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid of Fruit Flies?
The length of time for these fruit flies to be eliminated may depend upon the measures and remedies that you will be doing. If you continue to cultivate rotten fruits and produce, wastes, dirt, and garbage on your house, it would necessitate a long time before these house pests will be controlled.
If you are a fan of a more aggressive approach, you might want to employ a stronger solution, such as the use of surface cleaners and rubbing alcohol. You can also purchase insecticides containing pyrethrin if you want instant relief from these pests.
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What Kills Fruit Flies in Drains?
Fruit flies may also hover around drains and sinks in the kitchen, bathroom, and floors. So if you want to prevent their infestation in these areas, use Green Gobbler Fruit Fly Goodbye Gel Drain Treatment .
This gel product is made from citronella, a potent insect killer that can protect drains and pipes from severe fly infestation without causing unnecessary damage and corrosion. Therefore, it is safe to use as it is non-staining and non-corrosive.
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How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies With White Vinegar?
White vinegar is best used as bait or as a key material on fruit fly traps. Some of the good examples of using it include mixing it with dish detergent and placing it in a bowl. You can also add it to a jar of overripe or rotting fruit with a cone made from paper or cardboard where fruit flies can freely enter.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies With Hydrogen Peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is a good killing agent of adult fruit flies as well as their eggs and larvae. It can be used as a spray for plants and soil by mixing one part of hydrogen peroxide with three parts of water.
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You can also make it as a cleaning solution for your sinks, drains, and toilets by applying it at least once a week at night and letting it sit for a couple of hours. Do not worry if bubbles emerge after you pour it, as it is a sign that the solution is working.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Plants?
Fruit flies can be a pest of various plants and herbs. To stop their infestation without necessarily causing damage to plants, just follow these helpful tips:
- Look for the source of infestation.
- Remove rotting and decaying leaves and fruits from your plants.
- Hang sticky fly traps or little sacks containing fly repellents such as basil, peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus around your plants.
- Use a vacuum cleaner or fly swatter in exterminating fruit flies.
- Spray DIY solutions on the plants containing ingredients like dishwashing soap, vinegar, and lukewarm water.
How Do You Get Rid of Fruit Flies When You Can’t Find the Source?
You can still get rid of fruit flies even if you can’t find the source. This can be done by hanging small bags with spices and plants like lemongrass, peppermint, and cloves in areas where they would usually stay. These pests abhor the scents of these kitchen ingredients, so they would typically avoid it.
Other than that, it is also advisable to store fruits, vegetables, and other food products in the refrigerator or inside tight canisters and jars. Lastly, you must throw away rotten or decaying produce, garbage, and wastes in a proper manner as fruit flies enjoy lounging around these things.
Cleanliness and proper sanitation are the key elements in preventing fruit fly infestation. These pests love to lurk around decaying materials, dirt, and garbage. So, disposing of and getting rid of these things must be a top priority. If these fly problems are not managed right away, there is a possibility that health concerns and sanitation issues may arise in the future.
List of Sources
Potter, M. F. (1994). Fruit Flies. University of Kentucky.
Fruit Flies. Oklahoma State University.
Oriental Fruit Fly Pest Profile. California Department of Food and Agriculture.