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Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

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Peach season signals the arrival of the annual fruit fly infestation. When the harvest comes into the house, there is an immediate onslaught of fruit flies. Where do they come from?! There are hundreds of them that appear within seconds, it seems! What to do?

fruit flies love peaches

Vinegar to the rescue!

Pesticides are not necessary to get rid of them. There are sprays of Pyrethrum, which is made from flowers, but there are better and less expensive ways to clear your kitchen of fruit flies.

I use a vinegar trap, which is very effective. Put some vinegar in the bottom of a small jar, add a tiny chunk of ripe fruit, and put in one drop of dish soap to break the surface tension of the vinegar. Roll up a piece of paper into a cone, tape the overlap so it doesn’t slip, and put the small end into the jar, but not as far down as the vinegar. The flies will go into the cone and drown in the vinegar. Without the soap, they will fly around in the jar unable to get out. You will have to take the jar outside and release the flies, and they will probably come back inside.

I have caught hundreds of fruit flies at a time this way! It amazes me that there are so many of them, but one can lay 500 eggs on a piece of your overripe fruit. In 8-10 days, those eggs have turned into the adult flies that you see quietly buzzing about your fruit bowl, garbage can or sinks.

Keep the kitchen clean

You can help control them by keeping your kitchen clean. Fruit flies lay eggs in moist places, like rags, sponges, compost, recycling, and, of course, your fruit.

– Do the dishes daily, and keep your sponge clean (I squirt mine with white vinegar every time I’m done using it).
– Don’t keep damp rags in the kitchen (I put mine outside to dry before putting them in the hamper).
– Keep your fruit bowl covered or in the refrigerator.
– Cover your compost and take it outside every day, or bag it and put it in the freezer until you can get rid of it.
– Empty or cover the garbage can.
– After grocery shopping, wash and dry fruit before bringing it into the house. It may have eggs in it when you buy it.

Generally, keep the kitchen really clean and dry!

The sink drain

Aside from fruit, they like to lay eggs in the slime in your drains. Gross, I know, but it’s true. To find out if that is their breeding ground, you can tape a piece of plastic or a plastic baggie over a drain overnight. In the morning, it should have adults in it.

Clean your drains with boiling water poured slowly down the sides. Bleach and ammonia don’t work, so don’t waste your money. You can also scrub your drains with a stiff brush and rinse with boiling water.

Prevention is key

Fruit flies are a nuisance, and constant vigilance will keep their numbers down. Since they are also outside on fruits and in damp places, I doubt you can completely get rid of them. Keep your kitchen and drains as clean as possible, and trap them when you see them. Eco-friendly pest management is the best remedy. There is no need for pesticides for fruit flies!

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