Fruit flies are the pest that just seem to multiply so quickly, that if you delay in taking steps to get rid of fruit flies, they will overcome your house in a matter of days. Once they settle in, they are everywhere. There are very easy ways to prevent and get rid of them however with these natural pest control methods.
My husband just told me today how our old, mean cantankerous siamese cat is the houseguest that just will not leave. That’s exactly what fruit flies are like! Ugh. Once they settle in, it’s such a pain to get them to go away. Not that I am hoping for the demise of my cat, but I do hope for that with fruit flies.
Talking about fruit flies just reminded me I have a new compost bin in the house that is VERY ripe and should probably be put outside!
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Under ideal conditions, the life cycle of the fruit fly, from egg to adult can be completed in as little as eight days. A single fruit fly can lay 500 eggs. Life cycle from egg to adult is approximately 10 days.
How to Prevent Fruit Flies
There are some easy ways to prevent fruit fly infestation in the first place.
- Clean up dirty dishes – It’s not always easy especially with kids, but try to clean up after eating and don’t leave dirty dishes out. Run the dishwasher every day if possible.
- Cover garbage – Make sure the garbage can has a sturdy lid and empty it often.
- Contain fruit in hot weather – Refrigerate ripe fruit and only keep out small portions of fruit that can’t be refrigerated like bananas.
Fruit flies like to lay their eggs on ripe or fermented produce.
- Rinse cans and bottles – Before putting items in recycling bin, rinse them out! Even small amounts of juice or wine left at the bottom of bottles is enough attract a fruit fly.
- Clean out trash bins – Take the time to scrub your trash can and recycling bins or the fruit flies might decide to descend on those.
- Check fruit after purchasing – Inspect all fruit that you bring into your kitchen. Anything damaged should be discarded outdoors, since you could bring fruit fly eggs in from the grocery store or farmer’s market. Wash your fresh fruit carefully with water and dry it completely before storing.
Get rid of fruit flies with essential oils
One of my favorite ways to prevent and get rid of fruit flies is with essential oils. These creatures are deterred by the smell of certain essential oils. While the oils won’t kill the flies, they will keep flies from accumulating and may encourage them to leave. Fill a spray bottle with a cup of water and five to ten drops of lemongrass, eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil. Spritz areas of the kitchen that tend to attract fruit flies, like near the sink and trash can.
Get Rid of Fruit Flies with Household Items
Apple Cider Vinegar
Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of the vinegar, and will attempt to land on its surface. However, with the addition of of a few drops of dish soap, the fruit flies fall in and drown. (Insert evil laugh)
Using vinegar is so easy because it’s totally natural, has no harsh fumes, and very inexpensive.
Paper Cone and a Piece of Fruit
Place a little vinegar and a chunk of very ripe fruit in a jar. Then, roll a piece of paper into a cone and stick it into the jar, placing the narrow opening down. The fruit flies will be drawn in, but won’t be able to get out. Silly buggers.
You can also make a funnel by using a toothpick to poke a hole in the bottom of a coffee filter.
No Vinegar? No Problem!
If you don’t have any vinegar on hand, you can still get rid of fruit flies by placing a piece of overripe fruit in an open plastic bag. This is very easy, but you have to wait for the flies to all get on the fruit in the bag. Then, carefully seal the bag, trapping them inside without allowing them to fly out suddenly. Sometimes, they do this. They are gross.
Leave the traps out overnight. By the next day, you should see fruit flies happily eating the bait. To kill the trapped fruit flies, pour a mixture of warm water and dish soap into the container. The soap works to reduce the surface tension of the water and cause the flies to drown. Wait a minute or two, then discard the contents of the jar. If you’d rather not kill the flies, you can take the trap outside before removing the funnel. Then rinse the jar thoroughly with hot water when you’re finished. You can reuse it to make a new trap.
I love this vinegar trap made from a spice jar! This works so great!
All you do is get an oldish spice jar that has the plastic top with the holes. Add a little bit of vinegar to the jar and a few drops of liquid dish soap. Cut a sandwich bag or plastic wrap and put it on top of the jar and then add the plastic top. Poke tiny holes into the plastic. Next, place near fruit flies and wait.