Have you noticed small flies buzzing around in your kitchen?
They may be fruit flies and can become a year-round problem if not dealt with appropriately. These flies are attracted to over-ripened fruits in the kitchen.
Fruit flies are not just a nuisance. These small flies can also contaminate the food causing illnesses.
The pests can be difficult to control once the infestation begins so it is recommended to take action on a yearly basis to get rid of the flies.
Here you will learn some effective tips to get rid of fruit flies from the kitchen.
Identify Fruit Flies
Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are different from the common house flies.
They are smaller – about one five to one ten of an inch – and have yellow-brown bodies and red eyes.
You can also identify the flies by the red rings around their abdomen. These flies are also called by other names as pomace flies, vinegar flies, and wine flies.
You should make sure that the flies in the kitchen are fruit flies and not some other types such as gnats or drain flies.
Gnat flies generally hover around houseplants while drain flies prefer dark spaces such as drains.
Fruit flies prefer garbage cans and decaying food items in the kitchen. You can identify them by their red eyes and brown bodies.
Larvae of fruit flies develop in moist areas where organic material and standing water are present.
The entire life cycle lasts 25 days or more depending on the environmental conditions and the availability of food.
Contrary to popular myth, fruit flies live longer than 24 hours. Under good conditions, they can live up to 40-50 days.
Understand the Source of Fruit Flies in the Kicthen
Fruit flies lay eggs mostly on decaying fruits such as melon, bananas, tomatoes, apples, and squash. They are also attracted to rotten potatoes and onions.
Apart from decaying fruits, fruit flies can also breed in the garbage cans, drains, mop buckets, and kitchen sink.
The flies survive mostly in a moist environment, which makes the kitchen and bathroom their ideal breeding grounds.
One of the defining characteristics of fruit flies is that they reproduce at a rapid pace, laying as many as 500 eggs at one time.
Female fruit flies mostly lay their eggs on decaying food items preferably fermenting fruit and other sweet and organic materials.
Fruit fly larvae develop in moist areas where standing water is present. Contrary to common misconception, the life of the fruit flies is not 24 hours.
The lifecycle of a fruit fly can be between 25 and 50 days. They live longer in moist areas as it creates the perfect environment for the flies to thrive.
Eliminate the Fruit Flies
Once you have identified the flies, the next step is to eliminate the fruit flies.
This means throwing away decaying food items and storing fresh fruits in the refrigerator.
You can use several different techniques to catch these pesky pests in the kitchen and get rid of them once and for all.
You must get rid of every single fruit fly otherwise they will reproduce and infest the kitchen again.
Note: Avoid using pesticides as they can contaminate the food. A more effective and safer method is to use natural extermination methods to get rid of fruit flies from the kitchen.
Keep the Kitchen Clean
You must keep the kitchen clean at all times. Decaying food on the kitchen counter will attract fruit flies. These flies thrive in moist areas so you need to mop any spills.
Fruit flies also thrive in warm and damp spaces such as trash cans.
So, you should dispose of trash regularly to avoid fruit fly infestations in the kitchen.
After taking out the trash, you should consider wiping the inside of the garbage can with bleach. But make sure that the can is dry before using bleach.
Wash Fruits and Vegetables
You must wash fruits and vegetables that you buy from the market before storing them. Washing will get rid of any fruit fly eggs on the fruits.
After washing, you should refrigerate sweet fruits that will most likely attract fruit flies such as tomatoes, pineapples, oranges, and bananas.
Fruit flies cannot survive at a cool temperature inside the fridge. The cool temperature will kill the eggs of the fruit flies as well.
You can also store the fruits after washing in a box with a lid hole. The holes will keep the fruits aerated while preventing fruit flies from entering the box.
Use Bleach to Clean the Drain
You can use bleach to eliminate fruit flies from the kitchen drain. The chemical can kill the larvae thereby eliminating the fruit fly problem.
However, you will need to pour the bleach multiple times to get rid of the flies. This is important to ensure that no larva is left inside the drain.
Create a DIY Fruit Fly Trap
Now let’s have a look at some simple DIY traps you can create to get rid of fruit flies from your house.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Trap
Apple cider vinegar is effective in eliminating fruit flies from the kitchen. You can make a fruit fly trap using plastic wrap and vinegar.
To make a DIY fruit fly trap, pour apple vinegar into a bowl. You don’t have to fill the bowl.
A small bowl, half-filled with the liquid will work. Next, you should cover the bowl with plastic wrap and secure it using a rubber band.
Poke small holes to allow the fruit flies to get to the sweet liquid.
Fruit flies can’t resist the smell of apple cider vinegar.
But once they get to the liquid they will be trapped in the bowel. You should consider placing multiple bowls containing the sugary liquid for the best chances of eliminating fruit flies.
You can also use a jar or glass instead of a bowl to create the DIY fruit fly trap.
You should roll some paper in the shape of a cone and stick it to the opening of the jar or glass with the narrow side facing down.
Pour apple cider vinegar and some ripe fruit inside.
Fruit flies can’t resist the sweet food item but will get trapped since the narrow part of the cone will prevent them from getting out.
2. Trap Flies with Rotten Food
Instead of tossing decaying food in the garbage can, you can use rotten food to catch fruit flies. You can use any rotten fruit and vegetables to attract the flies.
Put the decayed food in a glass and cover the top with plastic wrap. Next, you should poke a few holes in the wrap to allow fruit flies to get inside.
Flies that get inside the glass will become trapped. You can then throw away the rotten food in the garbage can outside the house.
3. Create a Fruit Fly Swimming Pool
Another effective DIY method to get rid of fruit flies in the kitchen is to create a swimming pool trap using a dish detergent and sweet fruit juice.
Put some juice inside a bowl and add dish detergent. Mix the solution using a spoon and cover it with plastic wrap.
Next, you should poke some holes in the plastic wrap to allow flies to get inside.
Sweet fruit will attract the flies while the detergent will trap them inside. Empty the glass and repeat the process until there are no more fruit flies in the kitchen.
Buy a Commercial Fruit Fly Trap
If you don’t have time to create a DIY fruit fly trap, you can buy a commercial trap from a store.
You can find sticky fly traps from your local hardware shop. These traps are effective against all types of flies including house flies, gnats, and fruit flies.
To eliminate the flies, you should place the sticky trap in places where you see fruit flies in the kitchen.
Dispose of the sticky trap once it is full of fruit flies. You may need to buy two or three sticky fly traps to eliminate fruit fly infestation from the kitchen.
Hire a Pest Control Company
Hiring a pest control company should be your last option in getting rid of fruit flies from the kitchen.
You should consider this option only if you have exhausted all the options in getting rid of fruit fly infestation as the services of the pest control companies can be costly.
But hiring a pest control exterminator can be the best solution if you can afford the services.
Experienced pest control experts use safe and effective techniques to get rid of fly infestation from the kitchen.
They use specialized tools that can quickly eliminate flies from the kitchen. And if the flies return after treatment, the companies usually treat the area for free or at a discounted rate.
Getting rid of fly infestation requires constant vigilance. Make sure that you keep the kitchen clean by wiping any spills.
You should also mop the floor regularly to prevent standing water. In addition, you should clean the kitchen drain once a month to eliminate fruit flies.
DIY fly traps are an effective option to get rid of fruit flies from the kitchen.
But if you don’t have the time to create traps, you can always call a pest exterminator to get rid of the pesky pests.
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