They may be less annoying than your regular housefly, but these pesky fruit flies can cause lots of trouble in the kitchen. And there’s no easy way of catching them as well unless you use a fruit fly trap. Here we lay out some tips on how to get rid of fruit fly effectively.
You’ve probably tried your best to keep your kitchen spotlessly clean and you’ve resorted to various ways to prevent critters from coming into your home but they just seem to show up anyway. Almost every Malaysian household is a victim to the common fruit fly (not to be mistaken with fungus gnats), the ones that keep buzzing around your fruit bowl. Trying to swat them becomes the ultimate battle between man and fly. They seem to outwit us by moving at the speed of light and they’re gone before we can even get in position to land a strike.
Not only are having buzzing flies around irritating, but they are also professionals at spreading diseases and infection. They land on pretty much anything and everything, mostly faecal matter. After that, they defecate on everything else they land on, which is why it’s crucial to not have them flying around your home, especially your kitchen. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of natural ways to get rid of these pesky vermin so read on to find out more.
What is a fruit fly?
Also known as drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly is a species of fly in the family Drosophilidae. Like its distant cousin, the house flies or drain flies, fruit flies can be incredibly annoying and they seem to appear out of nowhere. In terms of size, they’re only 3mm in length so that makes catching them even harder. They are yellow-brown in colour and comes with a pair of bright red eyes. Their abdomen hangs down during flight, which makes them fly slower than the other species. They
What is the life cycle of a fruit fly?
Fruit flies undergo three stages of development before becoming adult fruit flies. They start off as an egg, then larva and pupa before turning into the small fly you’ve come to know. They take about to a month to develop into adults and they usually live for two to nine weeks.
What’s the difference between a fruit fly and a fungus gnat
It’s easy to mistaken a fruit fly and gnat because of how similar they look. But don’t worry, there are a few ways to tell them apart. Though both pests are about the same size, they do have different colours and shapes. Fruit flies are more tannish-black while fungus gnats tend to be grey or black. When it comes to the shape of the insect, a fruit fly has a rounded silhouette, like the common house fly. A fungus gnat, on the other hand, has a long body and slender legs. Yes, like a small mosquito. Another way of differentiating them is to look at their eyes, fruit flies have big, red eyes but fungus gnats don’t. Fruit fly likes to hang around in the kitchen and they love eating overripe fruits and rotten food. Fungus gnats prefer to be in the garden or potted plants and they consume organic matter to grow and stay alive.
Why do I get fruit flies at home?
Do you see a swamp of fruit flies buzzing in the kitchen and wondered how did they get in? So the thing is these insects are really small and they can enter the house through any cracks, it’s no wonder you keep seeing them around even though you’ve just eradicated them from your house. If you don’t want them to enter, don’t leave any ripened fruits and sugary drinks around. Get rid of them and the fruit flies will go away automatically.
How to get rid of fruit flies
Now let’s move on to the more interesting part of the article. So how exactly do you kill a fruit fly? Simple, just use the methods below and we guarantee your home will be free from them in no time.
1. Use a fruit fly trap
This fruit fly trap is easily recreatable with items that you can find lying around the house. You could create a variety of these fly-traps with ease. All you need is a jar, a thin sheet of paper towel and a poison of choice. Don’t worry, the ‘poison’ involved is only potent to these bugs and are generally harmless to humans.
a. Vinegar Trap
If your poison of choice is vinegar, simply fill the jar with it at the bottom. Be sure to use vinegar with pungent smells like apple cider vinegar, balsamic or red wine. Create a funnel with the sheet of paper and create a funnel at the top. Another alternative is to use plastic wrap. Simply cover the top of the jar tightly with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in them. This allows the flies to crawl in but prevents them from coming back out.
b. Banana Trap
Since fruit flies are attracted to the smell of ripe or overripe fruits, simply use a bit of ripened banana or any other fermenting fruits and place a little bit at the bottom of the jar. You can opt to add in vinegar if you’d like. Create the same funnel and let it trap the flies for you. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of leaving ripened or decayed fruit out in the open, you can consider the option below instead.
c. Soap Trap
This option is very similar to the vinegar trap. Firstly, you have to create a mixture of water with a couple of drops of dish soap and a tablespoon of vinegar. You can continue using the jar and funnel method or leave this mixture in a small bowl or cup. The vinegar attracts the fruit flies to the trap whilst the soap breaks the surface tension of the liquid causing them to fall in and drown.
2. Grow Venus Flytrap
Sometimes, it’s best to allow nature to take care of itself. Consider placing a carnivorous plant, like a Venus Flytrap, by your kitchen countertop. As their name suggests, these plants trap fruit flies with their sticky leaves and proceed to digest them. On the other hand, you could also use other herbs to repel these little bugs. Some of the recommended greens are mint, basil, bay leaf, wormwood, lavender and marigold. Flies abhor the smell of these plants and having a few pots of these plants in the house would help deter these pests from entering your home.
3. Remove breeding grounds
It goes without saying that the number 1 rule of keeping any form of fruit fly infestation from your home is to keep it clean. Make sure that you don’t leave your dishes lying around the sink and push yourself to clean up after each meal. Fruit fly can lay their eggs in the gunk that’s pooled on dirty plates. It’s also important to conduct rain-checks on your kitchen towels on a regular basis, especially the damp ones, to prevent flies from breeding in them. Don’t forget to get rid of overly ripe or rotten items in the kitchen. If you’re trying to reduce waste, you could just use these defunct products and start your own indoor compost system.
4. Repel them with essential oils
Whilst fruit flies are undeniably attracted to strong, pungent smells like apple cider vinegar, you’d be surprised to discover that they find essential oils repugnant. Try a Eucalyptus or Lavender scented oil in the kitchen to repel them. You could also opt to fill a spray bottle with water and add five to ten drops of lemongrass oil before spritzing it around your kitchen area, especially focusing on fly-prone areas like the sink or the trash can.
5. Wash all incoming produce
Another precaution you can take is to wash all the produce you bring home from the grocery store. Don’t limit this to just fruits and vegetables, make it a habit to wash eggs and fruits you wouldn’t normally wash like bananas. Don’t leave any food source around the house. It’s good practice to rinse them as they could be covered in sticky substances from other products which can attract fruit flies. Remember to empty your recycling bins too!
So remember, while it may seem like there’s nothing you can do to stop them from invading your kitchen and fresh produce, there are a few easy ways to get rid of fruit flies. If you don’t want to use a fruit fly trap, then you can grow some venus flytrap. Not only can this plant help you to kill fruit fly, but they can also help you to get rid of other pesky insects like ants and spiders.