Fruit flies are, without a doubt, one of the biggest pests that can infest your household. Knowing how to get rid of fruit flies is thus an important skill to have, especially if you’re keen on tidy upkeep at home. There are several ways on how to get rid of fruit flies, with some being easy and accessible home remedies.
Before we get into how to get rid of fruit flies, we first need to touch on what brings fruit flies into your household in the first place.
All About Fruit Flies
Fruit Fly Infestation
Fruit flies lay their eggs close to decaying foods or other moist, organic materials. The tiny larvae continue to feed close to the site of the decaying mass upon emergence.
This larvae surface feeding behavior is remarkable in that damaged or overly-ripe parts of fruits and vegetables can be chopped off without having to throw the rest away for fear of preserving any developing larvae. The reproductive capability of fruit flies is enormous; they will lay around 500 eggs, given the opportunity. It can complete the entire lifecycle from egg to adult in about a week.
In the kitchen, fruit flies are especially attracted to ripe fruits and vegetables. Yet they may also breed in toilets, garbage disposals, empty cans and bottles, recycling bags, and mops.
Moist fermenting material is all they require for growth. Infestations can be caused by overly-ripe fruits or vegetables recently infested and carried into the home. The adults can also fly in through inadequately screened windows from outside.
How Long Do Fruit Flies Live?
In optimal temperatures, the average natural life span of fruit fly adults is 40 to 50 days. Female fruit flies can mate and lay several lots of eggs at that time, enabling a rapid multiplication of the fruit fly population in a house. The fruit fly’s life span is significantly impacted by temperature.
Do Fruit Flies Bite?
Since fruit flies prefer to breed and feed on decaying fruit and food particles, these flies do not feed on blood and do not have biting mouthparts. So, they do not bite people.
What Causes Fruit Flies… and Flies in General?
A multitude of different factors can bring fruit flies into your house. Even if you keep a clean home, you still run the risk of attracting these uninvited houseguests into your home.
Food left out by children may be the number one signal in your kitchen for flies to take up residence. Any time a fly senses the scent of food items, the prospect of feeding immediately baits them. Rotting apples are a particular lure for these flies, but they often fly in on ripened fruit and veggies. Liquid leftovers, such as beer or soft drinks, can be just as appealing as well.
Unfortunately, ripening fruits on kitchen counters also attract a lot of these flies. Even with the proper storage of these food items, the aroma ensnares flies outside and produces an enticing passage indoors.
Non-food items can also attract flies, especially cleaning materials such as wet mops, damp rags, and sponges. It is not the materials per se that attracts the flies, but the food residue on them. Fruit flies lay their eggs on moist surfaces, and when they hatch, they continue feeding on the surface too.
Due to the presence of rotting food and waste materials, garbage piles also catch flies’ attention. Flies are creatures that enjoy decay and live on particles that decompose.
Animals or livestock that leave fecal wastes outside the home is an enticing surefire attractant for flies. That also refers to small animals that die near a house, because flies love to pick rotting carcasses.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Flies are annoying, filthy, and can bring diseases to your home sometimes. And still, somehow, they are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many different methods to getting rid of them.
Use a Fly Trap
One of the most convenient and accessible ways to get rid of fruit flies is by simply using a sticky fly trap. You can find these at your local hardware store. A sticky fly trap can help you capture both flies and fruit flies. Simply place them in any problem areas around your home. Once the fly trap is full, you can dispose of it and replace it as you deem fit.
Use a Fruit Fly Spray
A fruit fly spray is another way of ridding your home of these annoying insects. These sprays are repellents or pesticides that can kill them off. A simple five-second spray into the air will give you the much-needed freedom from the fruit flies.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies: Home Remedies
Store-bought traps and repellants are indeed convenient and accessible, but not everyone may opt for these solutions anyway. Some people may prefer more natural home remedies to get rid of fruit flies, as natural solutions will do less harm to the environment. Repellants and traps are still the main approaches to getting rid of fruit flies at home, but thankfully, there are many organic variations that to them that you can try out.
One way to terminate these flies is to use various types of repellent. Despite wanting to land on anything that tickles their fancy, flies are very fussy when it comes to certain types of smells and flavors. This is because flies taste through the hairs on their legs, therefore making them very picky when it comes to landing. So if you are looking for some homemade repellants, consider one of the following:
There are a few strong-smelling plants the flies do not like. The most popular being the basil plant, which is great news because not only is it easily found in local shops, it also has anti-bacterial and ant-viral qualities. These qualities ensure a healthier atmosphere for your home. Simply place your basil plant anywhere within the house, preferably close to any open window to prevent the flies from entering.
Some other plants that flies don’t like are lavender, bay leaf, wormwood, mint, and tansy.
Camphor is another natural way to rid your home of flies. This is one substance that flies hate, not only because of its strong smell but also because, just like the basil plant, it also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that inherently deter these flies and other insects from visiting your home. It comes from the Camphor Laurel tree and is bought in blocks or tablets. These blocks are then placed on a heated surface to bring out the scent. This scent is what you are going to use to save your home from fruit flies. Place the camphor plate anywhere in your home, preferably around an open window so the scent can float around the house and keep the flies from entering.
Fresh Orange Peel
Orange peels are a great alternative to dispelling fruit flies. Not only are they easy to find, but they’re also leftovers of a tasty and healthy snack! Flies hate the smell of fresh citrus. That said, be sure not to dispose of your orange peels so that you can use them as another natural repellant against fruit flies. Place the fresh peel on windows and doors to prevent flies from entering, and remember to change them once they dry out. Also, don’t forget to rub the peels to release more of the scent and make them last longer.
Flies hate the smell of essential oils, especially lavender and eucalyptus. Interestingly, lavender oil has been used for centuries to deter insects, so it’s an excellent natural repellant worth considering. Lavender oil can be found from your local essential oil shop, so it’s readily available too. Alternatively, you could also make your own lavender oil as well!
Follow these simple steps to make your own lavender oil:
- Dip fresh lavender in carrier oil (oil that is low on scent and pales in color).
- Allow for up to 48 hours while shaking periodically.
- Once done, drain the lavender of the oil and place the oil around the house to spread its smell. You can also use a spray bottle to better spread the oil around your home.
Another way to rid the house of flies is by using fly traps. Although this will not stop the flies from entering your hope, fly traps can help keep them away from the kitchen and food. Here are some various types of traps that you can create and use around your home:
Honey, with its sweet scent and sticky nature, is famously perfect for trapping flies. However, if you don’t have honey at home, some jam will function in equal measure. The easiest way to make a trap with honey is to:
- Get an empty plastic bottle and cut it into two halves.
- Pour a mixture of honey and little water into the bottom half .
- Insert the upper part of the bottle faced upside down into the bottom half. It should look like a funnel, which would make it difficult for the flies to escape.
- Place your trap near windows or doors and watch the flies get stuck in.
Vinegar is notorious for attracting flies, so this is going to be the bait in this trap. To make this trap, you have to have some apple cider vinegar, a glass, a plastic bag, and a rubber band.
- Pour the vinegar into the glass.
- Cover the glass with the plastic bag and secure the ends with the rubber band.
- Puncture a hole in the middle of the plastic bag. Make sure it’s wide enough for flies to enter but not escape.
- Push the plastic bag into the glass to mimic a funnel.
- Place your trap near windows or doors.
How to Remove Fruit Flies From Your House
Having these little guys around can be very annoying, especially when they won’t allow you to cut your fruits and veggies in peace. Below are some of the ways to get rid of fruit flies in your house:
Isolate Its Breeding Ground
The first step to getting rid of fruit flies in the house is by isolating and destroying their feeding and breeding grounds. Sometimes fruit flies lay their eggs in rotten fruit and other moist, sweet organic materials. If you find an infestation of fruit flies in your kitchen, dispose of all over-ripened or damaged fruit. Any fruit or vegetables that are subsequently purchased should be kept in the refrigerator until the infestation of fruit fly dissipates.
If your kitchen doesn’t contain fruit or vegetables, search your garbage and recycle bins. Unclean drains may also be used as breeding grounds for fruit flies. Outdoor drains are also sources of fruit flies, as fallen fruits from trees can serve as breeding grounds for these monsters.
Create A Fruit Fly Trap
Another effective way to get rid of fruit flies is by building a fruit fly trap. Fruit flies like sweet and fermenting material, so you can use over-ripe fruit, apple cider vinegar, or old wine as bait to trap those monsters in your flytrap. You can easily build one by putting over-ripe fruit in a jar, covering the top with a plastic bag or wrap, and then poking a hole in the middle so they can get in and can’t get out. Place your fly trap around your home, especially near sinks and trash to attract the flies.
Try A Store-Bought Product
Numerous products can help deter fruit flies from entering your home or kill them when inside your home. Some of these products are electrical, while others aren’t. You can try products like the CB80 or Victor Fly Magnet Reusable Trap With Bait.
Maintain Good Hygiene
Even after you ridding your home of fruit flies, the second wave of an infestation can start again if you do not maintain proper hygiene. To avoid this from happening, store your fruits properly, preferably in the refrigerator. If you notice the fruits are getting over-ripe, throw them away. Wipe your kitchen tables very often. Remove your trash cans frequently, as fruit flies love places with many decaying foods.
How To Eliminate Fruit Flies In Plants
It is a common sight to see fruit flies loitering above the dirt in your potted plants. They need to feed on the rotting organic materials around the plant dirt to complete their life cycle, which is why it’s imperative to stop that from happening.
Below are some ways to get rid of fruit flies in plants without destroying the actual plants:
- Spread aquarium or coarse sand over the plant dirt. This is to prevent the hatched larvae from climbing out of the soil.
- Place a fly trap just beside the infested plant. Fruit flies cannot resist anything that is fermenting, so this will lure and trap them.
- Resist watering your plants too much. Fruit fly eggs need to be moist all the time to hatch. So, monitor the way you water your plants to avoid aiding their birth.
Why It’s Good to Know How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Simply put, fruit flies are pests. It’s important to know how to get rid of them, as having them in your living quarters will hinder you from actually relaxing at home. Not only that, but fruit flies can also eat away at your fruits and other foods. No one wants a home infested by such pests right? Especially in this day and age, when cleanliness is imperative to good health.