Flies are one of the most annoying flying insects on earth, and they come in all shapes and sizes. All flies feed on decaying organic matter and help to further along the natural process of decomposition. Fruit flies are a common household pest that can quickly become a nuisance, especially if you and your family love to eat and store fresh fruit in your kitchen.
If left unchecked, fruit flies can multiply exponentially and will contaminate any food they contact with bacteria; this makes for one pest that will need to be dealt with quickly to keep from having a significant infestation. Let’s take a look at why fruit flies invade homes and how to get rid of them when it’s your home that’s in question.
What Attracts Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies are named for what they eat, and you guessed it, the fruit is at the top of their menu. They are attracted to ripe and rotting fruits. Fruit flies are also referred to as vinegar flies since vinegar is a by-product of fruits that are fermenting.
If you and your family eat a lot of fruit and have a few oranges or apples that are overly ripe, or beginning to rot, the arrival of fruit flies is sure to come sooner than later. Fermented products such as liquor, beer, and wine will draw fruit flies into your home as well. If a dirty wine glass or a couple of empty beer bottles are left sitting on the kitchen counter, it won’t take long for fruit flies to find them.
Fruit Fly Infestation
Once inside your home, fruit flies can reproduce and develop in garbage disposals, mop buckets, drains, and trash cans. If this is the case, females can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, and those eggs will hatch as quickly as 24-30 hours later. Fruit flies go through four stages of life, including egg, larvae, pupae, and adult.
After maturing into adults, fruit flies can live up to 30 days. They will continue to breed throughout their adult life cycle, creating thousands of generations of fruit flies in a matter of weeks. If you are battling a seemingly never-ending fruit fly infestation, contacting a professional pest control agency may be the answer to the problem.
Where Does a Fruit Fly Infestation Come From?
A fruit fly infestation can seem to come out of nowhere; they are often brought into the home on garden crops or fruits and vegetables purchased from the market. Once inside, they will lay eggs on ripe or rotting fruit, in dirty drains, or mop buckets. Since they can develop from eggs to adults in as little as a week, a full-blown infestation can be developing completely undetected. After fruit flies have established a breeding population within your home, they can be challenging to get rid of.
How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies?
The best defense against a fruit fly infestation is to remove the cause. Removing fruit that is too ripe or rotting, and keeping a clean and sanitary living space will deter fruit flies from invading your home. You may also want to store your fruits and veggies in the refrigerator to help keep them fresh. If you find that it’s too late and fruit flies have already found their way inside of your home, there are some home remedies you can use to eliminate them before they get out of hand.
A simple but effective homemade fruit fly trap can be made using plastic wrap, a small glass, a rubber band, and apple cider vinegar. After adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar in the glass, securely cover the top of the glass with the plastic wrap using a rubber band, and then poke a few small holes in the plastic wrap. The fruit flies won’t be able to resist the smell of vinegar and will enter the glass through the tiny holes but will not be able to escape.
Using old fruit, a glass jar and a piece of paper can be just as effective. Cut the old fruit and place it in the bottom of the jar, roll a piece of paper into a cone, and then position it into the mouth of the jar with the narrow opening pointing down. Once they go for the fruit, they will have a difficult time trying to escape.
A relatively easy home remedy that is highly effective in killing fruit flies is to place an open bowl of vinegar in the infested area. You will need to leave the bowl uncovered and add three drops of dish soap. The dish soap disturbs the surface tension of the vinegar, and the flies will sink into the vinegar and drown. This same method can be used with old wine and stale beer instead of vinegar.
A fine misting spray bottle filled with 91% rubbing alcohol can be used to spray swarming fruit flies. The rubbing alcohol will kill the fruit flies, and they will fall to the floor or the countertop where you can dispose of them. There are store-bought traps and sprays you can use to get rid of fruit flies as well. Taking on the responsibility of protecting your family from pest infestations is excellent. Still, sometimes the only option is to look to professionals to help get rid of whatever pest you are dealing with.
Fruit flies play an essential role in the environment but are a nuisance when they move into your home. Keeping them out of your home isn’t always possible, but with a little research, you can learn to get rid of fruit flies and prevent future invasions. Keeping your house clean and free from pests will help you better protect your home and family.