Have you noticed those tiny, pesky flies swarming around your too-ripe fruit? Did you wake up one day and find a colony of dead fruit flies laying all over your kitchen countertops.
Have you tried to get rid of fruit flies by throwing out the offending fruit only to see them return?
If you’re in a battle with a swarm of fruit flies, you’re not alone. Homeowners all over the world face the same troubling battle when it comes to these quickly-producing flies.
Fruit flies are so difficult to get rid of because they produce at a very rapid pace, going from the egg phase to a full-fledged fruit fly in about 10 days.
If you’re ready to end the battle you have with fruit flies in your home, read on to get our top 12 pro tips for getting rid of them for good. Here’s exactly what you need to do right now:
Tip #1: Make Them a Strong Drink
What’s so appealing about spoiling fruit is that it begins to ferment — and that smell and taste is hands-down irresistible to fruit flies.
They love the taste of fermenting foods — and that’s your key to attracting them and killing them with one fail swoop. Make them a strong fermented drink using apple cider vinegar.
Simply heat up a cup or two of apple cider vinegar and pour it into a mason far. Add a drop of dish soap and a piece of rotting fruit — and you’ve got your killer cocktail.
The fruit attracts them and the dish soap makes it difficult for them to leave the liquid once they landed on it.
Tip #2: Make a Fruit Trap
Use the rotting fruit you already have at your house to make a fruit fly trap. Fill a mason jar with the spoiled fruit and place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the jar. Poke holes in the plastic wrap to let the fermented smell out of the jar.
The flies will come into the jar through the holes, but they’ll be confused about how to get back out. Once the jar is full of flies, wash it out with soapy water to finish them off.
Tip #3: Red, Red Wine
Fill an empty bottle with a little red wine and leave it out on your counter. Much like the fermentation of rotting fruit or apple cider vinegar, red wine is a fermented grape drink that is pleasant to fruit flies.
Let them congregate in the bottle and rinse it out with soapy water to get rid of them before repeating this technique.
Tip #4: A Balsamic Treat
Are you near the end of the bottle of your balsamic vinegar? If you are and you have fruit flies, then it makes sense to try this economical trap solution.
Keep in mind that balsamic vinegar can be expensive, so use this technique only when you are near the end of the bottle. Other techniques work just as well.
Much like setting out red wine in a bottle, simply set out the balsamic vinegar in a jar with a drop of dish soap. Wait for the feasting to begin!
Tip #5: Milk Them For What They’re Worth
This next fruit fly trap involves a pint of milk, a fourth pound of raw sugar, and two ounces of crushed black pepper. Add all of these ingredients to a saucepan and heat up for about 10 minutes.
Pour the concoction into shallow bowls and scatter about your house where you’ve seen fruit flies congregating. Drop in a few drops of dish soap to act as the glue that holds them to the liquid.
You’ll want to toss this concoction every day and try it again because after a while the milk will spoil and start filling your home with putrid smells.
Tip #6: Spray a Little Lemongrass
Make an easy and pleasant lemongrass spray that will keep away — not kill — fruit flies. This is a nice solution to try as a maintenance measure.
Simply fill a spray bottle with two ounces of hot water and 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil. Shake and spray on your windowsills and door frames as well as anywhere you typically see fruit flies.
In addition, if you happen to see a swarm of fruit flies, you can spray the lemongrass solution directly on them. It won’t lead to their timely death, but it will send them flying away — and that’s at least half the battle!
Tip #7: Drown the Drain
Fruit flies love congregating and breeding in drains. To drown them out before they hatch into that army of flies, boil a mixture of half parts water and white vinegar. Pour the mixture down the drain every day for 10 days to kill the colony.
After you pour the mixture down the drain, remove any moisture around the drain with a cloth or paper towel and try to keep the drain as dry as possible when it’s not in use. Alternatively, try not to use the drain for at least a week to give it a chance to dry out.
Tip #8: Buy a New Trash Can with a Lid
This may seem like a common sense tip, but you would be surprised by how many people don’t have trash cans that have lids — or they forget to cover the trash.
Both are essential if you want to keep fruit flies at bay because they are always attracted to rotting scraps that are beginning that fermentation process.
Trash cans can be expensive, but it’s worth it, in the long run, to invest in a trash can with a secure lid that will not allow open space for the fruit flies to get into your trash.
Tip #9: Wash and Store Fruit and Veggies
As a first step, make sure you hand wash all the fruits and vegetables that come into your home. Not only does this step remove harmful pesticides from the fruit’s skin but it also can wash away fruit fly eggs.
From there, store your washed fruit in new, clean storage bags so that you are not recontaminating your food by placing it back in the original bag where there could be more fruit fly eggs hanging around.
We all love keeping fruits and veggies out on the countertops for easy access and even decoration. But if you have a fruit fly issue, you’re going to want to stow away those items until you have it under control.
Store fruits and veggies in your refrigerator. For items that don’t need to be kept cool — or will rot faster in the refrigerator — simply put them behind cupboard walls.
Tip #10: Watch That Water
If you have houseplants in your kitchen, make sure you are not over-watering them. When you give your houseplants too much water, you not only risk killing them or causing them to mold — but you instantly create an environment that is moist and becomes the perfect breeding ground for fruit flies.
So, stick your finger down into the soil of your potted plants at least an inch to figure out whether it is dry or moist. If you see standing water in your plant dish or pot, drain it to avoid seeing a fruit fly party.
Tip #11: Pull Out Your Diffuser
There are several natural essential oils that are offensive to fruit flies, and if you have a diffuser you can use it to waft those fragrances into the environment and repel fruit flies instantly.
A few of those essential oils to try include lavender, cedarwood, cinnamon, and the tried-and-true mosquito combat solution–citronella.
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Tip #12: Craft with Cloves
This is a great afternoon craft to get the whole family involved. Make fruit fly traps using fruit and cloves. Select a whole fruit such as an orange or lemon and press about 30 cloves into the fruit’s skin.
Set these decorative fruit pomanders throughout your home. Cloves naturally repel fruit flies.
Ready to Go into Battle?
Now that you’ve learned these easy pro tips for battling fruit flies — and winning — it’s time for you to try. Remember that it may take more than one try to effectively eradicate them from your home — but these treatments are effective.
The issue with fruit flies really comes down to their rapid growth and reproductive habits. If you can work at combatting them with these treatments over the course of a week — or up to their 10-day life-span cycle — you’ll begin to see them taper off and finally find their final resting place on your kitchen countertop.
Say goodbye to annoying fruit flies with these 12 expert tips you can implement right now!