Fruit flies, recognized by scientist as Drosophila melanogaster, rightly the “gangsters” they truly are, are wild animals that are native to the Old Word Tropics. If you’re wondering what “Old World Tropics” means, it’s simply that fruit flies occur naturally in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Europe.
But they have been introduced by humans to almost all temperate regions of the world which is why they’re found widespread in every continent with the exception of Antarctica; perhaps because of its extremely barren climate?
The habitat preference of fruit flies within these regions is mainly controlled by the availability of water, rotten food and temperature. They prefer areas that are humid and moist with little to no prolonged periods of temperature extremities; that is, areas that aren’t too hot or too cold for a very long period of time. These areas inhibit their reproduction and depreciates their survival rates significantly, that’s why they hate them. So fruit flies try as much as possible to avoid mountain ranges, deserts and high latitude areas found around the places where they live.
In the wild, fruit flies live and thrive in rotting plants and fruits. And when they aren’t in these gross environments lapping up yeast and bacteria nutriments, they are somewhere within the metropolis making residence out of people’s trash cans, kitchen drains and ripen fruits at kitchen countertops.
Fruit flies for the notorious summer pests that they are, enter into apartments using holes and cracks the size of sesame seeds, and openings like doors, nets, windows and that of plumbing facilities as well.
While staying indoors, fruit flies ensure to make life a living hell for co-inhabitants by signaling to neighbors how messed up they are hygienically and ruining their freshly brought mangoes with hundreds of their slimy little ones. Not to mention how many times they sit on their foreheads and make them swat their faces with palms full of pastry flour.
In this article, we are going to show you the fastest and easiest way to deal with fruit fly infestation like a boss. No more swatting and squashing or making a fool out of yourself. Follow these practical tips and advice and you’ll have the fruit fly break up you’ve always longed for.
What is the fastest way to get rid of fruit flies in the house?
The fastest way to get rid of fruit flies from the house is to eliminate the source inviting them indoors in the first place. Fruit flies would naturally be deterred using this method because the conditions indoors quickly become unfavorable for their reproduction and survival.
But there are still going to be some persistent fruit flies that will pester around the house. So the next step is to apply a vinegar or yeast trap for low budget elimination, or purchase the more expensive insecticides to banish them for good. And quickly too.
Below are the steps to get rid of fruit flies in details.
1) Get rid of fruit fly sources around the house
This can also be said in another way. Be clean please. When you have rotten banana fruits sitting on the countertop for three days in a row or scattered spots of fruit-juice-spill screaming to scrub them off the floors since last week, what do you really expect? Miraculous cleansing? I’ll tell you what. Battalions of fruit flies of course!
These critters are attracted to any stuff that is fermenting and rotting and the attraction bond can be formed as far as one kilometres away. May be even more. And i’m not kidding. I’ll say that again. Fruit flies can detect the evidenced of your unhygienic practices from more than one kilometres away. The fact that they are everywhere definitely means they’ll always end up at that very spot.
If you think the windows are properly screened and will prevent fruit flies from entering into the house, then you’re evidently in clear error. Think again. They can seep through openings in plumbing and nets and even pass through doors unnoticed. Forgotten already? They’re as tiny as the beautiful seeds of the sesame plant! You’d probably do the honors of letting them in without acknowledging.
So hygiene first. Any other treatment can come afterwards.
Here are the popular hotspots and tips to take more seriously:
- Discard any rotten and fermenting fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, oranges, bananas etc. They develop acidic stench that can arouse and attract sleeping fruit flies in their wild homes of rotting mushrooms and wood sap.
- Refrigerate or use any overripe fruits and vegetables, or better still, buy food produce only as you needed. Fruit flies are in the habit of laying eggs on overripe fruits so that by the time the eggs break out of their shells, the fruits must have started fermenting. Meaning that the babies now have lots of yeast, bacteria, fungi and fermented products to lap on and grow into adults in no time.
- Clean spots of moist food and drink spills: Drinks may contain by-products of fermentation which would naturally attract fruit flies. Food spots will also begin to rot after a few days and invite fruit flies into the house. So investigate areas vulnerable to spills such as underneath and back of the refrigerator and on countertops and dining tables.
- Wash overripe fruits before storing or eating: Fruit flies mostly lay their eggs at the top. When you wash them off in the sink, ensure to run significant amount of water to wash any remnants down the drain.
- Maintain proper hygiene in the kitchen: Wipe off any stains on the floors and countertops and ensure that the sink and drain aren’t harboring any food particles. When these food items start to rot, fruit flies will detect the smell and come rushing for free meal. Additionally, if your sink is the type connected to a garbage disposal unit, try to clean it if you can. You should be able to do that by the way. There are countless tutorials online that teach that. Always make sure to run enough water down the drain after every cleaning session too.
- Dispose of refuse regularly: Do not let the garbage unit in the basement stink so bad that your respected neighbors begin to hate you. Because at that very instant, only fruit flies would love you and no one else. Garbage bins hold lots of food remnants and these remnants are bound to ferment and decay in some few days time. So the “keep fruit flies away” clock always start ticking the moment you dump fresh food particles inside the bin. Let it snooze before emptying the bin and congrats, you’ve earned yourself a fruit fly infestation.
Keeping the entire house clean and free from fruit fly sources should often do the trick of eliminating them in less than a week. But if one week seems like a very long time, you can try the DIY remedies below.
2) Apply the vinegar trap
So after you’ve embraced cleanliness as the norm and everywhere is shining squeaky clean, it’s time to get rid of the remaining fruit flies. First, try to the best of abilities to avoid leaving doors and windows open unnecessarily. Then, to the fruit fly hotspots, i.e. the drain or dining table, construct the following trap and place it there.
- Construct a paper funnel from an A4 paper or any notebook.
- Get a jar or container and fill it with one inch apple cider vinegar, then cap it with the paper funnel.
- Tape around the exposed perimeters (if any) to prevent any potential escape routes.
- Let sit overnight and watch how defenseless fruit flies are lured into the trap with no way of escaping.
- Discard the fruit flies outside or kill them by drowning.
- For kitchen sink or other suspected breeding areas, a clear plastic storage bag can be tapped over the opening to inspect whether or not fruit fly activities are present. It also helps to trap them.
3) Apply the yeast and sugar trap
Just like the vinegar trap, you’re also using a glass jar or container here too. Only that in the case, the contents differ. Fill the jar with two inch warm water and add a teaspoon of yeast. Add small amount of sugar to activate the yeast and tape a paper funnel at the top.
If you find making a paper cap time-taking, get a plastic sandwich bag and poke a small hole in one corner and put it in the glass jar (mimicking the tip of a paper funnel). Next, tighten the bag around the rim of the jar with a tape of rubber band and let sit for one week.
The next few mornings, you’ll have jar full of pests to smack the hell out of. After a week, rinse the jar and prepare a new solution for the coming week.
4) Apply insecticide
A quality insecticide can do the job of finishing off any trace breeding grounds of fruit flies around the house. We recommend using this if you dont fancy DIY procedures. It’s much easier though taxing to the wallet, but the chemicals can be irritating for some people. Research about the popular and most effective fruit fly insecticides in your country and use it as directed.