Today, you’re going to learn how to get rid of fruit flies in your house. You know those little flies buzzing around your bananas and apples in the morning? Yeah, I’m going to teach you how to kill fruit flies like those. There are several methods and even some home remedies to try and remove fruit flies from your household.
Getting rid of fruit flies in the kitchen
The kitchen seems to be the prime place for fruit flies to congregate. With a variety of open fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, bananas, and apples, the kitchen is a perfect example to find any type of lingering insect. It seems that during the warmer seasons, pesky fruit flies always find a way into your house. We have a few steps to teach you how to be proactive in reducing flies around your household and a few natural remedies to kill fruit flies specifically.
Probably the easiest, simplest, and best way to keep fruit flies out is to manufacture some sort of paper funnel. Although this method will take a while to explain, it is extremely effective in catching and killing fruit flies.
First, choose a tall glass. The glass should be at least 2 inches in diameter and no more than 4. Wine bottles and mason jars work as a great alternative. If you are intending to catch a larger number of flies, then consider using a larger glass.
Second, add some fruit fly bait into the glass. Fill the glass about half full with some sugary substances. This is the fun part as you can literally become a chemist and mix anything you find. I recommend using fruit juice, soda, or tea, but you also need some solids like peaches or pair slices. Chopped up pieces of ripe fruit seem to work the best, and I finally found a use for that brown banana! Fruit flies are attracted to honey, any type of syrup, and even soy sauce, so use these ingredients to come up with a smelly concoction of sweet fruits to attract the flies.
Third, take a piece of any type of paper and roll it up. I recommend A4 paper, but construction paper can be used. Create a very simple funnel from this paper by rolling one side more than you roll the other. Another way to create a simple funnel is to poke a hole into the bottom of a coffee filter. Finally, place this funnel on top of the glass filled with the bait. Place your homemade fruit fly trap in an area with high fly density such as the kitchen.
After a few hours, fruit flies should start collecting inside the trap. After you have captured an adequate amount of flies, pour some boiling hot water into the glass to kill any remaining prisoners. I recommend mixing some soap in with the hot water to increase surface tension and trap more flies. After a minute or two, pour all the contents into the trash and try this method again if there are still some fruit flies lingering. As this may start to get expensive, I would start with an easier and cheaper method as mentioned below.
Also note that fruit fly eggs take an average of 8 days to hatch into larvae. This means after 8 days of killing all the fruit flies, more may appear from eggs. If this happens, you must find the source of the eggs and eliminate it. We will discuss where to find fruit fly eggs in a later section, but keep an eye out for any burrowing flies near soil. Laying an average of over 400 eggs at a time, fruit flies can spread exponentially quick!
Trap with a bowl
Start by finding a large round bowl used for tossing salad. This method is not near as efficient or fast as the paper funnel technique, but can still achieve great results. Make the same bait as mentioned above. You can mix some of the following ingredients into the bait:
- White wine
- Fruit juice
- Banana slices
- Pear slices
- Peaches slices
- Any type of fruit
Initially, fill the bowl about three quarters full of this bait and cover the top with plastic wrap. Make sure to cover the entirety of the bowl or the fruit flies will escape later. Also, stretch the plastic as tight as possible without breaking it. Use a plastic fork or toothpick to poke many holes into the plastic wrap while keeping the holes small. This will lure the fruit flies into the mix without them suspecting a thing. Imagine a fruit fly going in for a great feast only to find a prison cell full of fruits.
The next step is to wait. Leave the bowl out overnight in the same place the funnel would go. Kitchens are great, but decks and basements are a possibility too. When you wake up, check the bowl and if there are any fruit flies still alive, take off the plastic wrap outside. Many of the flies should’ve died in the liquid because they can’t fly for more than a few hours. Always clean up your mess and wash out the bowl. Keep in mind that the bait is still effective and should be thrown away outside as to not attract any more flies.
Fruit fly insecticide
The cheapest way to kill fruit flies is to make a homemade fly insecticide spray. Simply fill a spray bottle with some rubbing alcohol. Spray any hovering flies and they will drop dead. Windex is a great alternative to killing fruit flies. Some use Clorox cleaning spray, which I do not recommend because of the overwhelming stench and stains associated. The idea is that the liquids will hit the flies wings and disrupt their flight pattern until enough compound is on them to serve them death.
Pyrethrin spray is a common insecticide used to kill flies and many other flying insects. The product usually comes in a pressurized aerosol can for easy spraying, but some manufactures sell them in squirt bottles. Do not spray this compound near food small children as it can have adverse health effects.
For a more serious fruit fly problem, consider hiring an exterminator. A fruit fly infestation can be wiped out overnight with the help of a local exterminator. They have the knowledge, training and tools required to fix your little bug problem the right way. Many pest control companies can quote a bug problem for under $200. Leave the infestation to the professionals if you don’t feel comfortable trying any of these techniques.
Kill fruit fly eggs in drain
Many fruit flies will lay their eggs in the drains of sinks to grow and feed on bacteria until they can transform into adults. Purchase a drain gel to pour down your kitchen and bathroom sinks. Not only will this help clean out your pipes, it will kill any fly eggs which were sneaky enough to find a home. Some homeowners report that this process needs to be done more than once for results. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using high-grade chemicals. Also, don’t pour bleach down your sink because it won’t kill the maggots and has a negative impact on the environment.
An alternative to pouring a chemical down your sink is to simply boil some water. Take some boiling water and mix it with a generous amount of soap. Very carefully, pour this soapy water into your sink, aiming for the drain. Sink drains have the perfect amount of residual food and perfect moisture percentage to make a prime breeding ground for fruit flies. Sometimes even sponges and recycling bins can contain fruit fly maggots. Perform some inspection and try to remove the source of fruit fly eggs.
Preventing fruit flies
Here are a few simple tips you can take to prevent fruit flies in your house.
The first tip I can give you to keep fruit flies from coming back is to simply keep fruit out of your house. Rotten fruit, that is, attracts flies like no other. Damaged fruit and bruised vegetables should be throw away immediately. For all you know, there could already be eggs inside the soft ripe fruit. I recommend washing your fruit before eating to prevent this from happening.
Consider installing screen doors and windows throughout your house to keep flies out. The screen has tiny holes that flies cannot penetrate and will keep out pesky insects. Buying these screens is not enough, as you must make an extra effort to close doors often. It seem far too often that our backdoor just stays open and causes two problems. One, our ventilation efforts to keep the house at a comfortable temperature expire. Two, flies and pests enter our house. To kill fruit flies, simply keep them out of your house in the first place.
Fly traps are always an effective method to remove flying insects from your air space. They are literally a roll of sticky tape hanging from the ceiling. Anything flying around will run into the trap and get stuck. Without any means of food or water, the fruit fly will give up and eventually die. Many fly traps are nontoxic and easy to install. Organic fruit fly sprays can also kill flies.