Fruit flies are a huge annoyance during the summer months, infesting your kitchen and deterring you from cooking at home. But with a few precautions and some well-placed traps, you can clear an infestation pretty quickly and get your kitchen back. Here’s how to get rid of fruit flies.
The first step is to take away their sources of food. Fruit flies feed on rotting fruit, spilled juice and any other open sweets, so it’s a good idea to make sure those foods and drinks are cleaned up. It may be helpful to keep track of how long your produce and leftovers will last before they expire — you might have a bad piece of fruit in a fruit basket without even knowing it.
Fruit flies like to breed in dark places with a food source nearby, and a dirty garbage or recycling can fits the bill. Make sure your garbage is taken out, and wash the actual can from time to time.
You should also check your drain or garbage disposal. Rotting pieces of food and the dark, wet conditions of a drain can be the perfect place for flies to breed. Check to see if your drain is the problem by covering your drain with plastic wrap that has honey smeared on the bottom side; if you find flies stuck to the honey, you know the flies are coming from inside your drain. Pouring boiling water or drain gel down the drain can get rid of the problem, and running some lemon peels through your garbage disposal can deodorize it once the bugs are cleared out.
If you’ve cleaned everything but still can’t find where the flies are coming from, they may be getting in from outside. Make sure the screens on your doors and windows are installed correctly and that there aren’t any rips or tears. Make sure you keep any windows closed that don’t have screens, and close all doors completely when you go in or out .
You can also set traps to fight the infestation, and a homemade trap is actually really easy to make. Use a versatile Mason jar and fill it one-quarter of the way full with fruit juice. Add pieces of fruit, the more overripe the better. Then, roll a piece of paper at an angle to make a funnel, and place it in the jar with the smaller end pointing downward and resting a few inches above the fruit juice. The flies will crawl in but won’t be able to get back out. Once the trap has caught some flies, fill the Mason jar with hot water and a few drops of dish soap. The dish soap will cut the water’s surface tension and make sure the flies drown.
With these tips, you should have those pesky fruit flies under control in no time — but if these don’t do the trick, it might be time to call in a professional. You don’t want to end up with one of these innocent-looking bug bites that are actually dangerous.