Fruit flies are such an annoyance. One day you see a few, the next it's a whole infestation in your kitchen, ruining your food as well as your day. Getting rid of these pint-size insects is a hassle, and that is why I've brought you a handy guide for getting rid of these intruders.
Start with the first steps, which will ensure that your house stops being an attractive target for breeding, and then move to the latter steps for tips on attacking those remaining flies and getting rid of them.
1. Get rid of all and any rotting fruit and vegetables
The very first thing you should do when you see even a few fruit flies at home is to cleanse your produce. Anything that has gone past ripe, has been cut or broken, or is oozing liquid - should be thrown out. However, don't just throw it in the garbage or compost bin (unless they are located at a distance from your home). Put it in a closed bag and throw it away, then clean up whatever residue is left behind.
2. Time to empty and then clean your recycling can/bin.
Fruit flies love places that have sugar, have fermented and have a little moisture to them. Common examples are beer cans, wine bottles and empty soda cans. After you've gotten rid of the produce, go into your recycling bin and take all the bottles and cans out, you can store them somewhere safe, sealed and dry until pickup comes along. Then give the bin itself a good cleaning.
3. Have compost? Take it outside.
First off, if you turn your kitchen scraps into compost, I salute you. That's a great thing to do. However, if you have fruit flies buzzing around, it's time to thoroughly clean the compost bin and make sure nothing is left indoors until your infestation is no more. Any containers involved should also be thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed.
4. Time to replace those old mops, sponges and dishrags.
After a while, the moisture in these old fabrics becomes a great breeding ground for microbes and insect eggs. If it's been a while since you've changed your sponges, or if they have not been left dry but have been soaked or moist all this time - you need to replace them.
5. It's the dishes' turn
Don't wait too long to wash those dishes, especially if there is still food residue on them, and especially if that residue is sugary or fermented. If you have a dishwasher, rinse the dishes well and load it as soon as possible.
6. Now check the other hiding place for flies: Potato and onion storage
Most people keep their onion, potatoes and other root vegetables somewhere dark and cool. These places get easily get a little rot in them and become a haven for fruit flies. It only takes one moldy spud to keep that fly population alive in your kitchen. After you've dealt with the flies' 'main attractions', go to wherever you are keeping these, get rid of any produce that is mushy or soft and give the place a good scrubbing too.
7. Go on the offensive: Place vinegar traps in problematic places.
At times, the quickest way to dispatch a population of invading insects is to kill the reproducing males. Fortunately, it's easy to trick fruit flies into thinking almost anything is fermenting fruit. Place a number of cider vinegar traps around the house, especially at all the dark moist areas that seem like a good habitat for the flies.
Here's what you'll need:
Apple cider vinegar | A glass or cup | a plastic baggie big enough for the glass to fit in | A rubber band | Scissors
How to create the vinegar trap:
1. First, Pour about an inch (2-3 cm) of apple cider vinegar into the glass.
2. Then, Snip the corner off the plastic baggie with your scissors, It should be a that is just big enough for fruit flies to fly through, but not so large it'll be easy for them to escape.
3. Next, place the baggie over the glass with the vinegar and position it so that the hole you made is over the center.
4. Push the corner you cut into the glass so the baggie forms a kind of funnel, but doesn't actually touch the vinegar inside. It may take a few tries, so be patient.
5. Once this is done, use the rubber band to secure the baggie to the glass and your trap is done! Place these traps in the places most rife with infestation, even after you've cleaned them.
8. Continue the attack with a sticky fly swatter.
For those flies that are still buzzing around, even though you've left them very little place by now to land, there is always the option of brute strength. However, because they are so tiny and quick, it's almost impossible to swat them, unless you make this sticky swatter.
Get a Styrofoam plate and coat it with cooking spray. Now, as you swat at these pesky insects, they will stick to the plate, and you can later wash them down the drain.
9. Not enough? Use a blow dryer
It's time to get tough with these little bastards. Get your blow dryer and aim it AWAY from the flies buzzing around. The other side will suck them in as they approach it, and they will burn by the heat inside. You can always clean it later, first win the war.
10. Burn incense
Fruit flies have a very small, and very delicate, respiratory system. This mean they need a constant supply of clean, fresh air, which they won't get if you burn incense around them. They will hate it and back away or risk dying slowly from lack of oxygen.