Fruit flies are a nuisance pest that most people encounter from time to time. This pest’s small size and rapid lifecycle makes it easy for them to sneak into a home and multiply quickly.
The good news is that there are easy, inexpensive ways to get rid of a fruit fly infestation using materials that are probably already in your cupboard.
WHERE DO FRUIT FLIES CONGREGATE?
Fruit flies’ preferred habitat is the surface of rotting fruit, where they lay their eggs. However, optimal breeding grounds for fruit flies also include moist spaces like drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops, and cleaning rags. The two most common locations in a house to find fruit flies are kitchens and bathrooms.
When in an optimal breeding environment, a fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs. Since it only takes about a week for fruit fly larvae to mature, a situation can go from two flies to several dozen to hundreds quickly. Taking action as soon as you spot fruit flies can help prevent infestations. Here’s what to do.
HOMEMADE FRUIT FLY TRAP
There are many different types of homemade or store-bought trap options out there, but the most tried-and-true method (and also the one that offers the best bang for your buck) is the paper funnel trap with apple cider vinegar and liquid dish soap.
This trap only requires a few materials and can get rid of fruit flies in a matter of days, depending on how many flies you have.
Remove any ripened produce, empty recyclables (wine bottles, juice containers, etc.), and wipe down indoor trash and recycle bins to reduce the breeding ground options for the flies. This step is crucial since you want the bait solution you’ll make in step 2 to be the only attractant for the flies in your house.
Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap in a drinking glass or cup. This will be the bait for the trap.
Make a paper funnel. Cut a circle out of a piece of paper, and then cut a slit halfway through the paper from the outer edge to the center of the circle. Fold the paper into a funnel shape and secure with tape to keep it from unfurling. Snip the tip off the funnel and then place it on top of the drinking glass with the point of the funnel pointing down toward the bait solution you prepared on step 2. You can use a bit of tape to keep the funnel in place if needed.
Place the trap where the fruit flies are congregating. The flies will be attracted to the bait, fly down through the funnel, and then be unable to fly back out. Depending on the size of the infestation, you may want to empty and refill the trap periodically until the flies are gone.
PREVENTING FUTURE INFESTATIONS
Fruit flies can enter a home through infected produce or on their own through open windows and doors. After eliminating a fruit fly infestation, prevent these pests in the future by choosing produce carefully and disposing of overripe produce outside. And if you enjoy keeping your windows open, make sure that you have tight-fitting mesh screens in place to keep fruit flies and other insects from venturing inside.
Since drains, trash cans, recycle bins, and even mop basins can be a breeding ground for fruit flies, keep an eye on these areas and make them as inhospitable to fruit flies as possible by washing out spilled liquids, removing standing water, and keeping them clear of buildup.
If you don’t mind the smell of apple cider vinegar, you can keep these traps up year-round to give yourself peace of mind. Vinegar can evaporate over time, so traps should be checked routinely and refilled when necessary.
If your kitchen is being overrun by other pests—big or small—you’re not alone when it comes to finding a solution. Our highly trained pest control experts are ready to help you eliminate problems so you can enjoy your home without worrying about unwelcome pests. Give us a call today!