If you love fruits and vegetables, chances are you’ve had one or two fruit flies in your kitchen. If you didn’t nip it in the bud quickly, it may have even turned into a full blown infestation. That’s never fun. There are many ways to get rid of fruit flies, some natural and some unnatural. When you’re dealing with food and your kitchen, natural methods are generally safer and cheaper than using toxic chemicals.
A little about fruit flies
Fruit flies are very small flies that reproduce quickly. They become adults from eggs in a matter of days, so if you’ve got some fermenting fruit lying around, you’ll have a very large family of fruit flies in no time.
They get into your home in a couple of different ways. If you buy your produce from a store, you can inadvertently bring them into your home that way. They can also enter your home through the door or through cracks in your windows and screens.
How to get rid of fruit flies naturally in your home: Prevention
Like the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Keeping what attracts fruit flies out of your kitchen or properly covered/hidden is what will keep the fruit flies away. Also, if you have just a couple of fruit flies, these prevention methods will get rid of them or keep them at a minimum. Of course, no method is 100% guaranteed, but you can sharply decrease the possibility of a fruit fly infestation by practicing the following methods.
Keep your kitchen clean.
Do your best to keep your kitchen clean of fruit and vegetables scraps. Clean and dry counter tops, tables, the sink and the floor. Do this daily.
Wash and dry store-bought fruits and vegetables when you bring them home.
As mentioned before, we sometimes bring fruit flies into our homes when we buy fruits and vegetables from stores.
No open containers
Don’t leave open beer cans or wine bottles around. Find a way to cover or re-cork. Also if the containers are empty, rinse them out and dry them before recycling.
Eat fruit quickly.
If you buy fruit, only buy enough for one or two days at a time. If you buy a ton of fruit, chances are you won’t finish it all before they start to rot. Rotting or fermenting fruit is an open invitation for fruit flies.
Many of us keep our fruit in a bowl on our kitchen counters. Try covering them instead of leaving them out in the open.
Take out your trash daily.
If you keep a trash can in your kitchen, take it out regularly, daily if possible. Keeping food scraps out of your kitchen, will keep the fruit flies away.
Composting is a great way to reuse your old fruits vegetables for a garden. If you don’t have a garden yourself, there are plenty of places that could take your compost. Try calling around and see if a local community garden will take it.
Some people who compost have an outdoor compost bin in addition to a smaller composting canister they keep on their counter top. If you have one of these smaller composting canisters, be sure to empty it into your external compost bin daily. Also, clean out your canister everyday (wash and dry).
Additional tip: keep your indoor and external compost bins covered.
How to get rid of fruit flies naturally in your home: Traps
So let’s say you’re way past any prevention methods and your kitchen is being swarmed…it’s time to kick it up a notch with some traps.
A trap is simple to make. Grab the following:
- A jar. Something around the size of a peanut butter jar and make sure it’s cleaned out.
- A sheet of paper
- Some tape
- A little apple cider vinegar
- A few drops of dish soap
- Pour some apple cider vinegar into the jar until it’s about an inch high.
- Add a few drops of dish soap.
- Make a cone out of the sheet of paper and put it into the jar. There should be a tiny hole at the bottom of the cone so that the fruit flies can get in.
- Tape the cone to the jar so that it can’t come out.
The trap should look something like this in the beginning (minus the fruit flies of course).
Put this trap in your kitchen and the fruit flies will find their way into the jar, but won’t be able to get out. Clean this out daily (outside preferably) and repeat until the trap is no longer catching fruit flies.
How to get rid of fruit flies naturally in your home: The No-kill Trap
If you don’t want to kill the fruit flies, you can try the no-kill catch and release method. Get a jar with a lid and a piece of fruit. They seem to like oranges a lot. Once a bunch of them are on the fruit, take them away from the house and release them along with the piece of fruit into the wild.