How To Prevent a Fruit Fly Infestation

My husband and I recently went camping, and came back to an infestation of fruit flies!! I’m used to having one or two around, but we literally had over 50 fruit flies just hanging out in our kitchen. I left a piece of honey toast on the counter for a minute to run upstairs and came back down to see it literally covered in fruit flies. That’s just gross.

Needless to say, this was a problem I wanted resolved as quickly as possible, and I looked into some ways to help combat these pesky visitors! They can quickly become a problem if not addressed, because it only takes them 8 days to become a full-grown adult, and a female fruit fly can lay over 500 eggs in her 1 month lifetime- that’s a lot of fruit flies!!

Unfortunately, we can’t always keep fruit flies out of our homes. Sometimes just bringing home fruit from the grocery store can be a way to unknowingly bring a nest of fruit flies in. However, there are a few things you can do to prevent these little guys from breeding, and from preventing future outbreaks.

*Throw rotten fruit out! If you have tomatoes that are a little too ripe on the counter, or even potatoes in your pantry that have been there a little too long, throw them out or use them immediately. Letting rotting fruit sit anywhere is just asking for these little guys to come around. They like to lay their nests in moist places, so overripe fruits and veggies are an ideal home.

*Change out your kitchen rags frequently. Even having a damp rag next to the kitchen sink can cause an infestation of fruit flies- it’s moist, and a great place for them to “settle down”. It’s also a good idea to clean out your kitchen sink regularly and stay on the top of the garbage disposal- don’t let food sit down there too long. Even the wet plumbing and drains can be an ideal place for a fruit fly to lay an egg.

*Deep clean your kitchen on a regular basis. It’s not always the most fun thing in the world to clean behind/under the stove and fridge, but a lot of nastiness can build up behind these appliances, and it’s a good idea to do a nice wipe down behind these appliances on a regular basis to prevent nasty food build-up and pest infestations.

*Just keep your kitchen clean in general! Don’t let dishes sit in the sink for too long, and fix any slow leaks you might be having. Periodically clean out the garbage/recycling can. Don’t let food sit out, especially fruits/veggies. All these habits will help keep your kitchen clean and keep those flies at bay!

So what if, amidst all your hard work and cleanliness, you still find yourself surrounded by swarm of pesky fruit flies?

I tried 2 different traps, and both worked great. The first trap I made, I just used an empty plastic water bottle. I stuck a few pieces of very ripe banana inside, and created a paper funnel into the bottle. This caught quite a few flies. They fly in towards the fruit, but have a hard time finding their way back out of the narrow funnel tube.

The other trap I made that seemed even more effective, was filling a little bowl with apple cider vinegar and a couple drops of dish detergent. The fruit flies swarmed around the bowl because of the strong sweet/sour smell, and the dish detergent helps to break the surface tension and causes them to drown in the vinegar. I caught the majority of the flies in our home using this trap. I’ve seen a few people use plastic baggie coverings to help trap the flies, but I still found this trap pretty effective just by setting the bowl on the window sill in our kitchen.

So let’s hear it. Have any of you experienced an infestation of fruit flies, and if so, what did you do to combat it? I’d love some more ideas to add to my bag of tricks! Share in the comments below :).


    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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