How to keep your house free of fruit flies in 5 simple steps

Tips you never knew about to keep your house free of those pesky fruit flies. 

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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 kitchen pest – fruit flies, 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:

Make fruit-fly traps

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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.

  • 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.

  • Banana Trap

Since fruit flies are attracted to the smell of ripe fruit, simply use a bit of ripened banana or any other fruit 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 fruit out in the open, you can consider the option below instead.

  • 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.

Make use of plants

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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. 

Remove breeding grounds

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It goes without saying that the number 1 rule of keeping any form of 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 flies tend to 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.

Repel them with essential oils

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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.

Wash all incoming produce

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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. 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 store all washed produce in an organised manner too!