The summer season is upon us, which means your fresh fruit and vegetables will be a breeding ground for fruit flies. These tiny bugs, also known as "vinegar flies," appear near unrefrigerated produce. They tend to lay eggs not only on open produce, but in kitchen sink drains, garbage disposals and empty cans, and they can lay up to 500 eggs at a time. Therefore, it's crucial to know how to get rid of fruit flies as soon as they first pop up. We've got a few easy methods to get rid of those bugs and ensure they don't come back.
Before you start eliminating flies, it's important to remove any fruit or vegetables that are sitting out on your counter. Don't give them any places to nest -- this will make the fly traps you set up more likely to succeed.
Setting up traps is a lot easier than you probably think, especially if you use an apple cider vinegar trap. Simply take an empty mason jar and pour a little bit of apple cider vinegar inside. Then wrap the top of the jar with plastic wrap and use a rubber band to secure the plastic wrap. Take a fork or knife and poke tiny holes into the plastic wrap so the fruit flies can get in. The bugs will be trapped once they enter the jar. If you have red wine, this works as a fine substitute for apple cider vinegar.
This trap is very similar to the apple cider vinegar trick, except you use old fruit instead of vinegar. Try getting a larger mason jar and filling it with some rotting bananas, apples or citrus fruits. Then cover the jar with plastic wrap, secure it with a rubber band and poke tiny holes in the plastic. Once the fruit flies go in, they'll be trapped. Feel free to reuse the mason jar -- just remove the rotten fruit and then rinse out the flies with water, then repeat the process.
A spray will allow you to directly target fruit flies and their eggs. All you need is a spray bottle filled with 70 percent or 91 percent rubbing alcohol. It's recommended to use the 91 percent because it can deal with the eggs of fruit flies more effectively. Rubbing alcohol is a much safer alternative than using insecticides or pesticides, but be sure to wear gloves when assembling this trap so you don't damage your hands.
Once you've gotten rid of the initial infestation of fruit flies, it's important to ensure that they don't come back. Here are a few ways to keep those bugs away for good:
Look at your cherries, bananas and other fruits you bring inside your kitchen. Discard any damaged fruit. Wash any fresh fruit and let them dry before storing them in a bowl if you plan to leave them out in the open.
Take great care when dealing with your produce -- don't just leave fruit in the open at room temperature. Whether you leave a fruit bowl on the counter or in the refrigerator, wrap it first. It's also important to be proactive when throwing away fruit scraps -- if you just throw them in the trash and leave it there, fruit flies will begin to nest. As soon as you have fruit scraps to toss out, take them outside directly to the garbage or compost bin.
Even if you've successfully gotten rid of the fruit flies in your kitchen, it's not a bad idea to set up a trap near your fruit bowl just in case they return. Try setting up a red wine or apple cider vinegar trap, and be sure to rinse out and refill the mason jar every day to ensure the ingredients are as fresh and effective as possible.
Window and door screens will help reduce the chances of fruit flies entering your home in the first place, and proper screens will allow you to keep your windows and doors open without the fear of getting an onslaught of fruit flies.