This is a common enough problem: you walk into your kitchen hungry, thinking of finally eating that luscious banana or apple you have left on the kitchen table, only to find a bunch of fruit flies buzzing around your fruit bowl. There is nothing else to do but throw your fruit into the waste bin, and perhaps begin to wonder if you clean the kitchen well enough.
How do we get fruit flies?
With summer fast approaching, you should expect fruit flies to be in abundance. While the presence of fruit flies is expected all throughout the year, they thrive during late summer and early fall because these are the times when fruits are fully ripened and harvested, making them even more attractive to these pesky creatures.
Aside from overripe fruits, fruit flies also like to feed on vegetables and other perishable goods. They like to dwell on rotting food, decaying vegetation, waste bins, drains, and empty bottles, which is why they also have the potential to contaminate your food and spread germs and diseases. They can also be seen flying around mops and wet rags because they are attracted to places where moisture is present.
How long do fruit flies live?
A fruit fly can reproduce really fast, and can lay as many as 700 eggs. Fruit flies lay eggs near the surface of moist or fermenting food such as overripe fruits or decaying vegetables. The larvae that hatch from the eggs will feed on the very same food source for about 5 – 6 days. The larvae will then move on to drier parts of the food source in order to pupate. In just a matter of one week, the eggs can turn into fully-grown adults, and will have a lifespan of about one month.
Will they bite?
Fruit flies don’t bite because their mouths can only drink and slurp juices from fruits and veggies. However, the germs that these insects may transfer on humans can cause rashes and trigger an allergic reaction.
DIY Fruit Fly Traps
You can help capture them with these traps.
- Apple cider vinegar – Fruit flies love to feed on fermented food, and since apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples, they will not be able to resist this liquid. Heat it on a stovetop to release the fragrance and flavor, and pour into a jar. Put several drops of dish soap to break the surface tension. Without this magic trick, the flies will simply land on top of the liquid and fly away again. The dish soap is a way for them to sink and fall right through. To make this concoction even more tempting for the fruit flies, drop a few pieces of cut ripened fruit. The flies will get into the jar to feed on the vinegar but won’t figure out how to get out.
- Jar with fruit – Put pieces of overripe fruit in several jars, and cover the tops with plastic. Secure the plastic on top with a rubber band. Using a toothpick, poke holes on top. Place the jars all over the house. Once the jars are full of fruit flies, submerge them in soapy water.
- Merry trap – Red wine is another effective trap as these flies will definitely love to feed on fermented grapes. Pour red wine into a jar and put several drops of dishwashing soap. Cover with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band on top.
Other Prevention Tips
Fruit flies piggyback on ripe fruits you bring home from the market, so wash them with water to get rid of their eggs. Wipe your kitchen counters clean and make sure that the rest of the kitchen is clean, too. Check if your home is properly sealed, and that there are no gaps in between doors and windows. Secure the lid on your trash cans and compost bins. Cover your fruit bowls using mesh covers or put them on a cake plate and cover with a glass lid dome for a more beautiful presentation.
If fruit flies continue to be a pest in your kitchen, even after taking these prevention steps, you can count on Fischer Environmental to help you deal with them. We are the experts when it comes to removing fruit flies from your house for good! Contact us today to get started!
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