Having ripened fruits or vegetables out in the open may risk a full-blown infestation of fruit flies. Jot down the following tips to get rid of these flies before they get out of control.
Homes, restaurants, supermarkets, grocer shops, etc., are the common places where you can find these uninvited guests. Rotting or ripened tomatoes, melons, potatoes, bananas, apples and similar products are commonly infested by fruit flies. Although these flies thrive for a mere ten days, this period is good enough for infestation and breeding. Their food source is also their breeding ground.
Eliminate Sources of Attraction First!
- Ripened fruits should not be left uneaten. They should be either refrigerated or disposed of. Fruits which have any openings due to any cut or damage provide a breeding ground for such insects.
- Thousands of fruit flies can breed in a single rotten potato or onion. When you bring home ripe bananas, ensure that they are not left to overripe or rot. Overripened bananas seem to top the items on the menu of these flies.
- Soda cans, cider cans and beer cans must be either cleaned with normal dishwashing soap, or sealed in an air-tight plastic bag. These insects usually breed under the lids, and the hatched larvae infest the containers.
- It is also wise to have your kitchen’s windows and doors fitted with tight-fitting screens. This will prevent the flies from entering the rooms.
Tips to Get Rid of the Flies
- Pour a few drops of apple cider vinegar into a jar, and cover the mouth of the jar with a paper funnel, with its pointed end pointing downwards.
- Place the jar in an area frequented by the insects. As the flies are attracted towards vinegar, they will enter the jar through the large end of the funnel, but would not be able to escape.
- Once you have caught several of them, you can either release them outside or destroy them.
(Note: heating the vinegar for about 10 seconds will intensify the release of its fragrance thus, would attract more of these insects. So heat the liquid before pouring it into the trap.)
- Prepare a mixture of white vinegar and regular dishwashing detergent.
- Stir the mix and slowly add water to it. Bubbles will start floating on the surface.
- Due to the aroma of vinegar, the flies will be attracted towards the mixture, and will be trapped in the liquid.
- Put an overripened banana in a bowl, and cover the bowl with a plastic wrap. Ensure that the plastic has covered the bowl properly without leaving any gaps at the edges, and without any wrinkles.
- Use a tooth-pick or a needle to punch some holes into the covering.
- The sweet smell of vinegar will lure the fruit flies and they will get inside the bowl through the holes. Once they are inside, it becomes difficult for them to find an exit.
- Remember to punch small holes lest the insects may fly back out if the holes are too big.
(Note: if the banana fails to attract a considerable amount of the flies, then go for apple cider vinegar.)
A glass filled with about 1 and half cup of red wine also works wonderfully as an attractant for these insects. They would simply jump into the liquid to feast upon it, eventually floating in it.
- An effective and inexpensive mixture of milk, sugar and ground sugar is also useful in destroying fruit flies.
- Form this mixture by taking small quantities of each of the items mentioned, and simmer it for 5 – 10 minutes.
- After you pour the mixture in a shallow dish, you will see the insects getting attracted towards it. Eventually, the flies will suffocate and die.
- Store all foods in your refrigerator, and clean the dishes and cans.
- Place a piece of ripe banana or any fruit inside the oven and leave the door open for some time.
- After a few hours you will see that the fruit flies have started feeding on the fruit.
- Close the oven and turn up its temperature to about 200º F; hot enough to burn the flies to death.
- Get rid of the dead flies, and clean the oven thoroughly.
- Another method is to suffocate the flies with smoke. Burn some cedar-scented incense in the house and let it fill the room with smoke.
- The flies are sure annoying but their lungs are not strong enough to take the smoke.
- But there may be two drawbacks to it. First, you may not like the smell of the incense, second, you might need to do some disinfecting work removing the dead bodies.
To conclude, after an infestation, it becomes difficult to locate the food and breeding source of the fruit flies. However, as mentioned earlier, their food and breeding source are the same. Try to locate all possible food sources (rotten fruit or vegetables) in your house, especially in your kitchen. After you have located them, dispose them in air-tight bags. Once the food and breeding source are removed, insecticides (only recommended ones) can be sprayed to eliminate the flies permanently. However, if the process of fruit or vegetables being left rotten continues, you are back where you started. So permanent eradication involves complete restriction of such habits.