We’ve all had ‘em. The dreaded little insects that swarm about our beloved bananas and organic apples. That’s right, fruit flies. One day your kitchen is a sanctuary of the senses, where you enjoy your morning coffee and prepare fragrant dishes for family dinners. The next day, the peace is destroyed by the miniscule buzzing of a dozen tiny flies whirling around your favorite fruit bowl.
Whether you’re hoping to eradicate fruit flies or annoying gnats, understanding why they appear will make it easier to get rid of them. See, fruit flies like to breed on harvested fruit because they’re attracted to the aromas they produce as it ripens, ferments and eventually rots. These yellow, red-eyed scavengers also like damp, mildly funky areas for breeding grounds.
Even the most spotless house can have a fruit fly infestation from time to time. That’s why we’re bringing you our top tips for getting rid of fruit flies naturally, and keeping them away without harsh chemicals.
Remove Expired Fruit
These flies use fruit to hatch their larvae, particularly in older and more fragrant specimens. If you find yourself swatting these little bugs away more often, toss out any fruit that might be past its prime. Removing the potential breeding ground will make the environment less welcoming to future generations of gnats and fruit flies. Then, clean up the area where the food was stored with warm, soapy water to remove any fruity residue.
Dry Out Damp Areas
What do mold and fruit flies have in common? They both thrive in warm, damp and dark environments. If you have mops, sponges or scrub brushes in your cleaning toolkit, be sure to dry them out completely before putting them away. These pests love cozying up to damp mop heads and murky water. Be sure to dump out, rinse and dry cleaning buckets when you’re finished with them. Store these supplies in a cool, dry place away from where you keep fresh food.
Set a Trap
You’ve removed all your old fruit, dried out your cleaning supplies, and yet the little buggers just won’t quit. Sound familiar? You can still outwit them by setting up an easy, no-hassle fruit fly trap.
Add a splash of red wine or apple cider vinegar with a drop of dish soap to a tall glass. Then, set it in the area where the little pests are swarming. The flies won’t be able to resist the acidic aroma, and they’ll get trapped in the liquid.
For an even more advanced trap, reuse some old plastic wrap and fit it over the glass, fixing it in place with a rubber band. Punch three to four fly-sized holes in the plastic. They’ll find their way in, but it will be harder for them to escape.
Refresh Your Drains
Remember how fruit fries love dark, damp places? One of the most common places for fruit flies (and another pest, drain flies) to set up shop is kitchen sink garbage disposals. Delicious bits of food can get stuck, and it’s an absolute feast for flies.
To give your garbage disposal a refresh, try grinding up two halves of a lemon with a couple tablespoons of baking soda. Keep the water running to flush the pipes.
Fruit Fly Prevention
It’s nearly impossible to prevent these little critters. They’re excellent hitchhikers and persistent little pests. To mitigate the chances of an infestation, try washing fruits immediately with water and a mild, food-safe soap.
All fruit lovers are bound to have a run in with fruit flies at some point. We hope these tips make the experience easier - and shorter!What are your tried and true fruit fly foils? Share your secrets with other fruit fans in our verdant Facebook Group, or tag us with your tips on Instagram @Fruitstandcom!