How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

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Peaches

A fruit fly infestation can be so bothersome, so learn where fruit flies come from and how to get rid of fruit flies.

Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

Reach for a peach, and what happens? A squadron of fruit flies takes to the air above the fruit bowl! Where the heck did they come from? 

They probably didn’t come from the grocery store. They come into house from the outside when hey spell fruit as it’s ripening, especially if it was starting to get a bit overripe. (Fruit flies actually prefer wine and beer to fruit because they like food that has fermented.)

What are Fruit Flies?

The tiny, yellowish insects are part of a large family of small flies that has about 3,000 species. Unlike houseflies, which can spread disease, fruit flies are harmless. They can live and breed in drains and garbage cans and on damp mops and rags. Spilled juice under the refrigerator or a rotten potato at the bottom of a bin can be a happy home for the fruit fly.

Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of your ripe fruit—and they can lay 500 eggs at a time! About 30 hours later, tiny larvae emerge and feed on the fruit. In a week, they are ready to take to the air.

The entire life span of a fruit fly is only about 2 weeks. However, researchers have discovered that drinking a fermented beverage will enable a fruit fly to live a day or two longer—and a day or two is quite a bit when your life is only 2 weeks!

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Follow these tips, and hopefully your fruit fly infestation will be managed quickly!

  • Refrigerate or throw away ripened or damaged fruit instead of leaving it out where the fruit flies can access it.
  • Make sure you check the garbage regularly, and check all your produce for rot.
  • Completely clean up any spilled fruit juice, beer, or wine.
  • Be sure to clean your drains regularly, as fruit flies can live there. Use these tips for clearing drains.

Fruit Fly Traps

You can buy fruit fly traps or make your own, and either way they should be very effective. One of the most common traps is the vinegar trap.

  • Fill several glasses with apple cider vinegar to about ⅔ full.
  • Then add a drop of dishwashing liquid to each glass and mix.
  • Put plastic wrap on the top of the glass so that it is tight, and hold the plastic wrap in place with a rubber band.
  • Punch about ten holes in the plastic wrap, and put the jar near the fruit flies. They should enter the trap and drown in the mixture.

See more tips on managing other insects and pests.

Have you ever gotten fruit flies?  What are your solutions?

~ By  Almanac Staff

About This Blog

This new corner of Almanac.com will feature news, information, and cool stuff from The Old Farmer’s Almanac and its family of publications.

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My grandma told me to put a

My grandma told me to put a small container of apple cider vinegar on top of the fridge! Its worked for me for years!

Leave an open bottle of wine

Leave an open bottle of wine near where the fruit was. I suggest waiving off all the fruit flys then moving the fruit making it more likely they find the wine. They'll go down into the bottle and then they're trapped.

I recycled a sour cream

I recycled a sour cream container and lid, marked the lid with "fruit fly catcher" and the recipe, store it under the sink when the house is fruit fly free (basically, winter), just so it doesn't get thrown out. I punched a row of small holes in the lid, put a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in the container along with a dab of liquid dish detergent and a little water. This has worked like a charm for several years. When the flies are thick, I will even tuck the container into the middle of the fruit tray, and from the number of gnats I collect in the container, I think they are drawn away from the fruit by the strong balsamic.

We put a small amount of

We put a small amount of cider vinegar in a little dish, add a few drops of liquid dish soap. They are attracted to the vinegar, but cannot fly off with dish soap on their wings, and drown in the solution. Works every time.

I fill a shallow container

I fill a shallow container with a few drops of dish soap mixed into 1:1 warm water and cider vinegar. They can't resist the smell and the soap prevent them from using surface tension to land on the water. They just sink.

I put apple cider vinegar in

I put apple cider vinegar in a small container, wrap with plastic wrap, slit a hole with a knife, leave on kitchen counter. Fruit flies go in, can't get out and drown. Works every time!

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