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.
Attracted to smell and light, these annoying flies 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 by taking advantage of their biggest weaknesses. After putting these methods to use, you won’t be dealing with fruit flies anytime soon.
Ways To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies And Gnats
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.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar
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.
Cloves And Lemon
Fruit flies, like pretty much every other type of fly, aren’t fans of cloves or lemon, so why not combine the two ingredients into a cluster bomb of powerful fly repellent?
One of the best combinations of the two ingredients involves cutting a lemon in half and placing 12 cloves into each half before transferring the combination onto a plate. Flies will avoid the plated duo no matter where you take it, so don’t forget this repellent on your next picnic or outdoor meal.
DIY Fly Traps
Buying all of those fancy fly traps can get expensive in the long run, so why not put your money and time to use and make a fly trap of your own. There are endless options for fly traps, but let’s take a look a couple of the easiest and most popular traps out there.
The Fruit Method
If you have overripe or rotten fruit, an abundance of fruit flies, and a few minutes to spare, then we have the recipe for you. For this project, you will need some old fruit, a bowl, a pair of scissors, some plastic wrap, and a toothpick.
Chop the fruit, put it in the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Poke some holes in the cover and wait for the fruit flies to fall for the trap. Once you’ve collected a reasonable amount of flies, drop the bowl into soapy water and back those flies pay.
The Apple Cider Vinegar Method
This is one of the universal methods of handling fly infestations and for a good reason — simplicity. All you will need is a tablespoon of liquid dish soap, 2 cups of apple cider vinegar, a mason jar, a toothpick, and some plastic wrap.
Combine the soap and vinegar in the mason jar. Once you cover the jar with the plastic wrap and poke holes, you’ll be trapping flies in no time.
DIY Fly Repellent Spray
If you prefer to take the offensive and not wait around for the fruit flies to die in a trap, you can create your own DIY fruit fly repellent spray with a few household items. Let’s take a look at some of the best options out there.
Most people already have rubbing alcohol somewhere in their house, so why not put it to use? As a quick acting fruit fly repellent, rubbing alcohol will surely take care of the problem before it has time to dry.
All you will need to do is fill a spray bottle with alcohol and simply spray it at any fruit fly you come across.
If the rubbing alcohol method is a little too basic for your taste, try combining several different essential oils, diluted dish soap, and some water for a fragrant, yet deadly, repellent.
In a spray bottle, combine 10-12 drops of peppermint essential oil, 10-12 drops of lemongrass essential oil, 2 tablespoons of diluted dish soap, and 1 cup of water. Spray the mixture all over your house and you should be fruit fly free for a couple of weeks. Repeat as needed.
Lavender Essential Oil
Another nifty way of using essential oils to take care of your fruit fly problem is to apply several drops of lavender essential oil on a sponge that is then placed and sealed within a mason jar.
After a few hours, open the jar and place the jar inside a room where the fruit flies are giving you trouble. They’ll be gone in no time.
How To Keep Fruit Flies Away
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:
Buy Window And Door Screens
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.
Inspect The Fruit You Bring Into Your Kitchen
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.
Store Your Produce Carefully
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.
Keep A Fruit Fly Trap Near Your Fruit
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.