Thank your stars for coming across this piece, because with this knowledge, you will never have to worry about how to wipe out those petty little things anymore.
The adult fruit flies are about 3 to 4mm long and is tan or brown in color. Fruit flies also have red eyes although some are darker eyed.
Fruit flies are so named because of their forever attraction to overripe or rotting fruits, vegetables, and other produce. An interesting thing is also their taste or wants for fermented items like beer, wine, and liquor.
Fruit flies can breed on the surface of those materials. They can also breed in drains, garbage disposals, trash cans and even in cleaning rags and mop buckets!
The reproductive ability of this fly is enormous with the female being able to lay about 500 eggs which can hatch and mature at about a week.
These tiny flies are mainly ‘nuisance’ pests but they do have the potential of contaminating food with bacteria and other pathogens.
We put together the post on this page to help users of our products get a better understanding on how to get rid of fruit flies and also how to deal with a fruit fly infestation in your home. Rest assured you will also find more information that will appeal to you.
But before we address how to kill fruit flies, the main reason why this content is created, here are some fruit fly trivia to warm you up.
- Sexually rejected male fruit flies drown their pain in beer too. The poor dears.
- They were instrumental in theorizing the basics of genetics and in major medical breakthroughs.
- Fruit flies and humans are similar genetically.
- They can be found almost anywhere, apart from Antarctica.
What causes fruit flies in the house?
One of the places that fruit flies always seem to attack is the home.
We are naturally averse to having bugs in the home and so seeing them hovering over our food or hanging around our kitchen can be a real turn-off. It also doesn’t help that they are so little in size but so large in number.
Generally, having fruit flies in a home gives an impression of unsanitary household conditions which may not always be true.
So how do these pesky little flies get into a home? What really attracts them?
Fruit flies come into a home asking you if you can provide the three basic necessities of life for them.
Food, shelter, and clothing. Okay, maybe not clothing in this instance.
Fruit flies are attracted to ripe, overripe, decaying or fermented fruits or produce just sitting out there in the kitchen or stuck in a drain. They also love other fermented products like wine or beer.
Fruit flies lay their eggs on any surface that can provide a moist film of fermenting organic material and this almost always on the surface of their food source.
They do this because when the eggs hatch and the larvae emerge, they continue to feed on the surface of the fermenting material on which they are born.
A fruit fly can also breed comfortably in a drain that’s not really cleaned out well, in trash cans, garbage disposals, and empty bottles or cans (think fruit juice boxes too).
Due to their massive reproductive ability, one little fruit fly can breed thousands of adult fruit flies in just about a week, no sweat.
Apart from just being attracted to a home, fruit flies can actually be carried into a home via a previously infested produce, usually from the farmer’s market or grocery store.
Imagine them asking these questions as they emerge: “Got any leftovers for us?” “Any food?” “Any fine moist place we can both eat and breed?”
So make sure to check those groceries and kill any fruit fly you may find lurking around.
What is the fastest way to get rid of fruit flies?
Glad you asked.
When it comes to fruit flies, their strength is in their ability to reproduce rapidly. So it is very important to have measures that get rid of fruit flies as soon as even a single one is sighted to prevent fruit spoilage!
There’s no rapid action killing method like a good DIY fruit fly trap, especially with items that are readily available around you. Here are some homemade fruit fly traps for your murderous pleasure!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar is your weapon:
Apart from using this product for your skin or hair, it can also be used to lure fruit flies to their demise. So versatile!
- Take a bowl or hollow dish and fill it up with apple cider vinegar.
- Cover it up with some plastic wrap and use a rubber band to seal the edges.
- Poke a few holes into the wrap using a pointed object and leave the dish where there is most activity of the fruit flies.
It is the scent of the vinegar that attracts the fruit fly into the bowl but the wrap makes it unable to escape. Carry this out daily.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar + Dish Soap:
- Fetch a bowl and fill it with some of that good stuff (the vinegar).
- Add in a drop or two of the dish soap and mix well.
The soap actually reduces the surface tension of the mixture. So, the fruit fly is immediately sucked into the dish as soon as it lands to investigate its sweetness. Mwahaha!
3. Boiling White Vinegar or Water:
Pouring boiling white vinegar or boiling water down a drain is also an effective way of ridding that drain of fruit flies. It’s not much of a fruit fly trap but it will work
4. Old Wine:
If you remember, fruit flies are alcoholics. They just love the good stuff (wine this time). Find an old wine bottle and leave it out where the fruit flies were spotted. They will be attracted to the beverage and will surely find their way into the bottle, only that the narrow neck of the bottle will prevent them from escaping.
They will be “bottle-necked”, so to speak.
How do you stop a fruit fly infestation?
We have already established what can make fruit flies settle in a home and that is if they are able to find food and shelter in your abode.
And so to stop a fruit fly infestation, you’ll have to identify and thoroughly clean out potential fruit fly breeding areas and meal sources. This is important because inasmuch as you kill the adult fruit flies, the larvae and eggs will still be thriving in these breeding areas.
Fruit flies and their family can be hanging out practically anywhere in your home, not just the kitchen. So proper sanitation is necessary.
- Throw away all decaying or rotting fruits. Store fresh produce properly. You can refrigerate the ripe or overripe ones.
- Clear out all empty bottles or cans that may be standing around.
- Clean out garbage cans and dumpsters. You can use bleach to really sanitize them. Cover with tight lids.
- Clean out the surfaces on which the above were on, also looking out for fruit fly sources that may be hidden, like a spill in or behind your fridge.
- Check out your drains. Whether kitchen sink drains or bathroom drains.
- Check and wash all cleaning rags, mops or mop buckets.
- A major contributor to the making of a fruit fly source is moisture. So you need to get rid of any extra moisture you find, especially in your kitchen waste area. You may also need to fix your drainage system if that is a problem.
- For the adult flies, you can make DIY fruit fly traps or get a good insecticide or pesticide that is agreeable with you.
- Get an exterminator if the infestation is really bad by your assessment. You may want to ensure that the insecticide or pesticide that will be put to use is not harmful to you or yours.
And now let us answer the question of “how do you prevent an infestation from happening in the future?”
- Keep meal areas clean and dry. Be conscious of spills.
- Do not leave out fresh produce for too long a time. Especially the ones which spoil easily, like bananas.
- Dispose of empty bottles or cans promptly.
- Disposing garbage properly is very key. Clean up the garbage cans regularly too paying attention to spills.
- Inspect your groceries thoroughly before storage. Identify the overripe ones and store them properly. You may also want to wash them with either water or using a vinegar wash.
- Make sure your drains are always free from debris and dry too.
- You may also need to install screen meshes in the building’s openings.
All in all, be proactive about maintaining some fine hygiene around your living space but don’t beat yourself up if they do find their way in. We don’t call them pesky for anything!
How long does it take to get rid of fruit flies?
The persistence of fruit flies in a place has more to do with the environmental condition of that place than the actual lifespan of the fruit flies.
Fruit flies rely solely on a warm, moist, and nutritious environment to both feed and breed.
So if you keep providing this condition for them, they will keep coming back no matter how often you chase them away.
Females can lay more than 500 egg(s) on a small piece of decaying fruit and this will serve as both food and breeding ground for larvae. Each of those larvae can mature and reproduce that same 500 in about a week or more.
The average lifespan of an adult fruit fly is about two to four weeks but due to their breeding, you will notice any drop at all.
And so how long it will take to get rid of fruit flies would be how long it would take to clear out all of their breeding grounds.
It is also very important not to invite them back by harboring their preferred environment.
Fruit flies may have been used for important medical research but in our homes, grocery stores, and restaurants, they are annoying pests that just won’t go away.
Thankfully, this article has provided information on what you really need to know and do to wipe fruit flies out.