Come spring every morning when I reach into the fruit bowl on my kitchen counter I’m greeted by a mini swarm of frenzied fruit flies. While ultimately harmless, these little guys are downright annoying.
So how did the little buggers even get into the house and make the fruit bowl their home? Well as pointed out by The Huffington Post most of the fruit flies’ eggs and larvae are already on the fruit you buy at the store.
Due to their insanely short lifespans, they reproduce rapidly and could end up giving you a problem you didn’t see coming. Like most bugs they like it warm and damp and thrive off of your kitchen sink or garbage disposal as their breeding grounds.
Here’s how to fight the good fight and fend off those flies:
1. Wash the fruit
Washing your fruit after you buy it is a great way to keep the bugs at bay. Although the usual quick rinse under the faucet may not be enough, Fix.com suggests the following:
- Fill a bowl with water.
- Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar.
- Gently scrub fruit in the water using your hands.
- Rinse fruit with cool water.
2. Clean the sink and surfaces
Since fruit flies breed in the kitchen sink and garbage disposal it’s a good idea to clean the sink out after washing the fruit. Although this step from Fix.com works as a precaution it’s also a way to get rid of fruit flies once they’ve already started a kitchen takeover.
- Fill the sink 1/3 with hot water.
- Add ¼ of oxygen bleach.
- Place a dishrag in the sink for 10-20 minutes.
- Wipe down all the kitchen surfaces.
- After another 10 minutes drain the sink while running hot water.
- Wipe out the drain and stopper.
3. Trap the flies with apple cider vinegar
There are a couple different ways to trap fruit flies, however this trap as seen on Today’s Creative Life certainly does the trick. Flies just can’t resist the sweet aroma of decaying fruit. So if you have ripe or overripe fruit you can place it in the jar with the apple cider vinegar and the flies will come swarming to your trap. Warming the apple cider vinegar will create an even stronger fragrance for the flies.
You will need:
- Unfiltered apple cider vinegar, which can be mostly empty or finished. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar though, don’t worry. This trick also works with red wine, red wine vinegar, and fruit juice.
- Jar (optional, only if you would rather make the trap with a separate jar to spare your liquids’ original bottle/jar.)
- Plastic wrap.
- Rubber band.
- Something to poke holes in the top of the plastic wrap.
- A drop of dish soap.
- Squeeze a drop of dish soap into the jar of apple cider vinegar, or your choice of liquid to fill the trap with.
- Place plastic wrap over the opening of the bottle, securing it with a rubber band.
- Poke holes in the top and place out in the kitchen or behind your fruit bowl to catch the flies.
4. Trap the flies with a funnel
This trap is a lot like the first one, it’s very simple yet effective. If you find you are out of plastic wrap but have plenty of old magazines or paper around, then this is the trap that will solve your fruit fly fit. The fermentation of the sweet juices in the jar will attract the flies and lead them to fly into the funnel, however they won’t be able to fly out and will eventually drown.
You will need:
- A jar.
- A funnel (you can make one out of paper).
- Something to fill your trap with which can be apple cider vinegar, red wine, red wine vinegar, or fruit juice.
- A drop of dish soap.
- Fill the jar ½ way with your chosen fly liquid bait.
- Add a drop of dish soap to break the surface tension, allowing the flies to sink and drown.
- Add the funnel to the mouth of the jar and place where you think the most flies are.
5. Spray the flies away
Over on Everyday Roots is a simple spray that you can easily make and use to keep the fruit flies in check. This spray, made with lemongrass oil, leaves a delightful and refreshing clean smell wherever you use it to protect against household pests.
What you will need:
- A clean spray bottle
- 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil
- 2 ounces of hot water
- Spray on flies when you see them, windowsills and doorways and wherever else you’d like.