How Do I Get Rid of Fruit Flies?
Have a Fruit-Fly-Free Kitchen
Have you noticed some tiny flies flitting around your fruit? Flies are irritating, buzzing around you when you’re trying to relax, and can make you feel like your house is unclean.
Want To Skip Ahead?
- What are fruit flies?
- Where do they come from?
- How to get rid of fruit flies?
- Difference between fruit flies and fungus gnats
- Can i use bleach to kill them?
- If i ignore them will they get worse?
Bigger house flies, like bluebottles, are usually easy to get rid of, you just have to open a window and bat them out or use some fly spray, but what about those teeny tiny flies around your kitchen?
These tiny black flies are fruit flies. Fruit flies are harmless, but not exactly welcome! Here’s everything you need to know about what they are and how you can have a fruit-fly-free kitchen.
Fruit flies are tiny black flies (that are actually brownish-yellow up close) often found around the home in summer and autumn. The fruit flies are just one-tenth of an inch long, so you often don’t notice them until there are a few.
Fruit flies do not bite or cause any damage to your home, but they are a nuisance and can multiply extremely quickly, as each female fruit fly can lay hundreds of eggs each time, each producing a fly that lives for 2-4 weeks.
They like to feed on overripe or rotting fruit, rotting vegetables as well as other foods they can find, which is how they got their name and why they can also be found in huge numbers around compost heaps.
Where do the flies come from?
Why do I keep having the flies in my house?
Fruit flies in the home doesn’t mean that your house is dirty, just that there is a small area that needs a more thorough cleaning or some fruit that needs protecting.
If you continuously bring home more fruit than you can eat and allow it to overripen or rot, the fruit flies will keep coming.
There are several methods for getting rid of fruit flies, however, you have to think not only about the flying adults but also about where they might be laying eggs.
Throw out all of your uneaten, rotting, or overripe produce and give the area a deep clean.
Check for any areas where produce may have got lost or spilled, such as under the fridge, and be sure to give those areas a thorough clean as well.
Make sure you cover any fruit you keep out in a fruit bowl or keep it in the fridge instead until autumn in the future to prevent the fruit flies from returning.
There are a couple of DIY traps you can easily put together to catch the adult flies:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Soap
To make this trap:
- Mix together some apple cider vinegar and a little washing-up liquid in a jar or container, by gently swirling around.
- Cover the top of the jar or container with some clingfilm and secure it with an elastic band.
Lastly, poke small holes in the clingfilm (just large enough for the flies) which will allow the fruit flies to make their way inside.
The soap will capture the flies when they touch the surface of the vinegar and prevent them from escaping.
2. Cone, Vinegar, and Rotting Fruit
To make this trap:
- Place some overripe/rotting fruit in a jar with a little cider vinegar.Form a cone from a sheet of paper, simply by rolling it up.
- Stick the paper cone into the jar, narrow opening-down. The flies will be enticed into the jar by the fruit and vinegar. But the cone will prevent the fruit flies from making their way back out.
3. Capture in a Bottle
To make this trap:
- Leave some dregs in the bottom of a fruit juice carton, beer, or wine bottle.
- Cover the opening of the bottle with clingfilm and secure with an elastic band.
- Pierce a few small holes in the top and that’s it! The flies will be attracted to the scent of the liquid and get stuck in the bottle.
Alternatively, purchase a ready-made fruit fly trap online or from a DIY shop.
What’s the difference between fruit flies and fungus gnats?
It is easy to confuse fruit flies with fungus gnats since they are both tiny, annoying flies. But there is a simple way to tell the difference.
Besides the colour, gnats being greyish-black and fruit flies being yellowish-brown, fungus gnats will only be found in soil and on your house plants.
If you move your house plants and notice lots of tiny flies suddenly flying around. You most likely have fungus gnats, not fruit flies. Like fruit flies, these flies are harmless. But they are a nuisance that you can get rid of in the same way.
Use a trap mentioned above, and then give your plant a pot of fresh soil or stop watering it until the soil dries out.
Can I use bleach to kill fruit flies?
You can use bleach to kill fruit flies if they’re coming in through a drain, but bleach isn’t the best solution if you’re trying to kill them without first removing any fruit or vegetables they’re interested in.
Throw away any old produce and then clean the area with a bleach solution. Avoid keeping your fruit in a fruit bowl in the summer, especially if you don’t eat it regularly.
If you keep out ripening fruit, the problem will get worse if you don’t do something about it. Remove the food they’re feeding on and they will go away over time (usually simply dying off). Provided you don’t give them a new source of food.
Fruit flies won’t cause any harm to you or your kitchen, but they are a nuisance and will give the impression that your home is dirty.
With these easy ways to get rid of fruit flies, and keep them at bay. You can keep a fruit fly-free kitchen during the summer months!