It seems inevitable. You get some fresh produce from the grocery store, and a couple of days later, fruit flies are buzzing around your kitchen. The worst thing about it is that there seems to be more and more every day. As if that weren?t bad enough, you find one floating in your glass of wine or fruit juice.


Fruit flies typically rear their ugly heads around harvest. However, you?ll see them year-round with the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables that you can get any time of year. You may notice peaks and drops in infestations. However, we understand if the only thing on your mind is how to get rid of them and prevent another round of trouble.


Fruit Fly Biology

It?s helpful to understand some basic information about this pest to deal with current issues and prevent future ones. You can distinguish them from gnats by their tan bodies and red eyes. What makes them so hard to deal with is their prolific lifestyle.

A female can lay up to 500 eggs or more at a time. The young can also reproduce within two days! Fortunately, they only live for about 15 days.


Signs of an Infestation

Fruit flies don?t hide the fact that they?re in your house. Rotting produce is the insect?s primary attraction. However, you might also find them in your garbage can or disposal. You may see them outside, but they?re more likely to stay where there?s food.


Sources of the Problem

Fresh produce is the primary source of fruit flies. They may tag along for the ride on packing boxes. They?ll live any place in your house, including under the fridge, stove, or in your cabinets.


Health Risks

Fruit flies are irritating pests. However, they can pose health risks because of the places they tend to live. Rotting food is ripe for foodborne illnesses, which these insects can spread. Think E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. That makes getting rid of them even more critical.


Doing Battle With Fruit Flies

It?s essential to act quickly once you?ve noticed fruit flies in your home. Luckily, there are several DIY methods that are quite effective for getting an infestation under control. The easiest way is to set traps.

Apple cider works well because of its sweet scent, which will attract pests. Simply pour a couple of tablespoons in a small bowl, and place it where you?ve noticed the most activity.

You must also add a drop of dishwater liquid to the vinegar. The reason is surface tension.

The chemical bonds that exist between the molecules of the vinegar are strong, allowing the fruit flies to land on the surface. Adding dish soap upsets this balance so that the insects sink instead. The acidity and mere quantity of liquid kill them.

Acetic acid, i.e., vinegar, is volatile and will evaporate quickly. Top it off every few days as long as you still see the fruit flies. You can also put some plastic wrap on the bowl and put a rubber band around it to keep it in place. A few holes on the top will allow the pests to get in but not let them out again.

Another helpful method is to put a piece of fruit or a splash of wine into a tall jar. Put a paper cone inside of it with the smaller end toward the top. It works the same way as the vinegar trick with the cone preventing them from getting out again.

Alternatively, you can leave that last swig of wine or beer in the bottle and leave it out for the fruit flies.


Preventing Recurrences

Of course, prevention is the best cure to avoiding having to deal with these nuisance insects in the first place. There are several things you can do to keep the pests at bay.


Rinse and Repeat

Most likely, the fruit flies are stowaways on your fresh produce. Therefore, making it a routine to wash your fruits and vegetables as soon as you get home. We recommend only getting what you?re going to use. Anything that ends up spoiling on the counter or in your fridge is a fruit fly magnet.

You should also make it a habit to run your garbage disposal regularly. Rotting food in the drain can attract fruit flies, too.


Keep It Clean

Keeping your kitchen clean will also go a long way toward preventing problems. That includes sweeping the floor, mopping up any spills, and taking out the garbage daily. You can also rinse out the can while it?s empty.

We also suggest not leaving dirty dishes in the sink. Either wash them promptly or rinse them and put them in the dishwasher. Make sure to wipe down the sink after you?re done. But, wait! There?s more!


The Right Way to Recycle

The good news is that more people than ever recycle today than they did even just a couple of years ago. The bad news is that your recycling bin is another hotspot for fruit flies.

Even if your municipality doesn?t require it, we strongly urge you to rinse out all bottles, cans, and containers before tossing them in the can. Doing so can also help prevent other pest problems, such as mice and raccoons. Make sure the lids on the cans are secure.


Put a Lid on It

Fruit flies, like most pests, are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever they can find. The trick is not to make it easy for them. Put opened foods in containers with lids to avoid giving them a place to lay their eggs.

Likewise, store fresh produce in the fridge instead of on the countertop. You can still keep it on the top shelf to remind your family to eat more fruit.


Final Thoughts

While fruit flies aren?t the worst pest, they are still annoying, nevertheless. Fortunately, it?s a problem you can easily manage with simple changes to your routine. Then, you?ll never have to worry about what?s swimming in your glass of soda.