One of the great things about living in Florida is the abundance of fruit we have year-round. Along with the fruit comes the inevitable struggle to get rid of fruit flies.
It is true that fruit flies are drawn to fruit due to its sugar content, anything containing sugar will do. When the fruit ages, sugar ferments and begins to turn into alcohol. Yes, fruit flies, sometimes called “bar flies” really love alcohol which is the reason they buzz around beer bottles, wineglasses and in and out of bar sink drains—well, kitchen drains too, unfortunately.
Steps to Getting Rid of Fruit Flies
First things first, try to remove sources that attract fruit flies. Fresh fruits and vegetables left outside the refrigerator immediately start to decay and seem to have a neon sign saying “Free Beer” for fruit flies. Cover, contain, or put these in the refrigerator.
However, even when the produce is out of reach, fruit flies move on to sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, garbage bags, recycling bins, compost piles, and even damp mops and sponges. This makes it particularly annoying to get rid of fruit flies.
Get Rid of Fruit Flies Before They Appear
The best way to control fruit flies is to prevent the problem before it starts. Here are some ideas:
- Store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator rather than on the counter.
- Shut windows and doors. Don’t rely on screens, as fruit flies can fit through the mesh.
- Use your air conditioner whenever possible. Humid indoor conditions perpetuate and expedite fruit rot, beckoning to fruit flies.
- Use an all-purpose cleaner to wipe down food prep areas, including the bottoms of trashcans, to rid the area of decaying organic matter.
- Replace kitchen sponges and mop refills regularly.
- Make it a habit to clean your garbage disposal (baking soda, vinegar, bleach, citric peels, etc.)
- Place a fan near food to discourage flies from landing there.
- Keep on a cleaning schedule, especially during the warmer summer months.
- Take the garbage out twice a day, scrub trashcans weekly, mop floors, and wipe down surfaces every night.
What to Do When They Invade
Now’s the time to step it up a level and bring out the big guns.
- At the first sign of fruit flies, throw away your produce. Examine fruits and vegetables for any signs that they are overripe, oozing liquid, or have been bruised or broken.
- Do not throw your produce or scraps in your kitchen trashcan. Bag them up and take the bag to an outdoor can. Another step is to place the bag of scraps in your freezer until trash day.
- Promptly clean up any kitchen counter and floor mess from chopping, cooking, or prepping meals.
- Empty soda cans, wine bottles, and beer cans are fruit fly pleasure pots. Don’t allow recyclables to sit around.
- Wash out the recyclable bin on a regular basis and scrub it to remove any liquid or juice that has leaked out onto it.
Using Fruit Fly Traps
You also need to get rid of breeding adult flies. It is a slow process but it will eventually stop a fruit fly infestation. There are many DIY home recipes for creating your own fruit fly trap – I use vinegar and a little sugar in a bowl on the kitchen counter. There are also traps available at the local hardware store which can be useful.
Now to Enjoy Your Fresh Fruit and Vegetables in Peace
Hopefully, with these tips, you can establish the habits and routine to keep your home free of fruit flies or nip any budding infestation at the get go. If a fruit fly infestation or any bug problem starts to overwhelm you, remember the friendliest and most reliable pest control service in Sarasota is right here. Contact us at Heath Pest Control!