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We all enjoy the pleasant smells and flavours of a ripe fruit or a vegetable. However, those often mean pests, especially when we forget about them for a few days. We all have seen those small annoying flies over our bananas. To make it even worse, it always looks like they appear the moment you decide to make a smoothie out of them. On top of that, it seems like you cannot eliminate them in the following weeks. However, just like any other issue in our lives, there is a solution for this as well.
What are fruit flies?
Drosophila melanogaster is a specie of small flies that can grow up to ⅛ inch in size. They have red eyes and are brownish in colour. They are most common in the summer and early fall due to their attraction to ripen and fermented fruits and vegetables.
Their life span is around two weeks, meaning they start mating about two days after becoming an adult. During their life, a female fly can lay up to 500 eggs. It is important to note that fruit flies can carry bacteria, which is one of the main reasons to take action once you see the first one.
What causes fruit flies infestation?
Believe it or not, we all bring fruit flies to our homes. They can come on their own too. However, it is close to never.
When we grocery shop and pick fresh fruits and vegetables from the store or the farmers’ market, we often choose one piece that is infested with their eggs. Once they are in our home and the larvae emerge, they will continue to feed on the fruit and their surroundings. In just a few days, those larvae will be grown flies that will spread around your home, feeding from ripe foods and anything sugary in the garbage. During that time, they will reproduce, and the cycle will repeat.
How to get rid of fruit flies?
Before proceeding to any type of pest control, you need to know that fruit flies are attracted to ripened or fermented fruits and vegetables, garbage and sugary substances. They like to live and breed in warm and humid places. Fruit flies do not like clean surfaces and are terrible swimmers. Now that you know that half the job is done.
Keeping your home’s regular clean state will help you fight against fruit flies. Begin by thoroughly washing all the fruits and vegetables you brought from the groceries. Continue by throwing away any that have started to overripe, along with any spoiled foods. Make sure there is no organic waste in the garbage to rot there, and throw it away regularly. If it also needs cleaning, do it.
Ensure you are cleaning your kitchen every day. That includes wiping up all your countertops and spills, washing and drying your sink, and checking the drain for leftovers. In addition, keep a cooler temperature in the room and refrigerate most of your fruits and vegetables.
Clean spaces will eliminate anything sugary that might attract fruit flies. At the same time, the cooler temperature will keep your fruits out fresher for longer and battle the pests’ infestation.
Create a trap
If cleaning does not do the trick, you can always trap fruit flies using what they love the most.
One of the ways you can trap them is by using rotten fruit. Instead of getting rid of it, place it in a disposable container. Then put that container in a plastic bag and make a few holes. Place the trap near the area where the flies are and wait. Once they have made their way, you can throw them away with your other garbage.
Another way is by using a glass of wine. There are times when we cannot finish a glass of red wine. In those case scenarios, we can use the leftover wine to trap the fruit flies. Pour the wine into a disposable cup and add a little bit of dish soap to it. Cover the cup with plastic wrap and poke a few holes. Make sure the holes are big enough for the flies to go through. Once inside the cup, the flies cannot fly out due to the dish soap, and they will drown.
Use white vinegar
White vinegar is an all-time favourite dressing and cleaning solution that can also be used as a pest controller.
You can fill a disposable container with a bit of water. Add a few tablespoons of white vinegar and a few of sugar. Stir them together and add some dish soap. Place the container near wherever the flies congregate. After a while, the solution will attract them, and they will drown once they touch the surface of it. You will need to repeat this process until all the flies are gone.
Another interesting way to use vinegar and eliminate flies is combining it with some overridden food and a paper cone. You need to place a few chunks of the fruit in a jar and add a little vinegar. Then place a paper cone on top, with the narrow opening facing down to the inside of the jar. All you need to do then is wait and get rid of the evidence once the flies are inside.
You can always wait for the temperatures to drop and live happily ever after during the cold months, knowing you have outlived the fruit flies. However, not taking action and not attempting to prevent their infestation might lead to health issues nobody wants. So keep your home, especially your kitchen, clean and enjoy your fresh fruit salad without fearing intruders.