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Do you notice tiny dark flies hovering around your kitchen? These specks are likely fruit flies that either hitched a ride inside on infected groceries or were enticed in by the aroma of rotting produce.
Fruit flies are commonly found in restaurants, supermarkets, and even home kitchens. Optimal breeding sites for fruit flies include drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops, and cleaning rags. Since many of these objects can also be found in bathrooms, fruit flies can nest there as well.
These tiny insects lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. A single fruit fly can lay around 500 eggs, so an infestation can quickly get out of control, especially considering that the entire lifecycle of a fruit fly, from egg to adult, is about a week.
Fruit flies are primarily nuisance pests, but they can carry disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. That’s why it’s a good idea to get rid of these flying insects as soon as possible if you find them in your home.
HOW TO MAKE THE MOST EFFECTIVE FRUIT FLY TRAP
Though fruit fly infestations can happen quickly, the good news is that they can be resolved with an inexpensive, homemade trap. In fact, you likely already have everything you need to assemble this tried-and-true fruit fly trap.
Before you begin, it’s important to eliminate all other potential breeding grounds and fruit fly enticements. The trap needs to be the only thing attracting fruit flies. Discard any unrefrigerated produce, empty all trash cans, and if you go grocery shopping during this time, avoid purchasing produce that has flies buzzing around the display area. Storing produce in a container or the fridge can help prevent the situation from worsening during treatment.
To build this homemade trap, you’ll need these items:
- Liquid dish soap
- Apple cider vinegar
- A glass or cup
Pour a cup of apple cider vinegar into the glass or cup and then stir in a few drops of liquid dish soap.
Create a paper funnel with a small hole in the tip. Tape it to the top of the glass with the pointed end facing toward the vinegar-and-soap solution. Make sure the funnel doesn’t touch the liquid. If it does, pour out a bit of the solution.
Place the completed trap in an area where the fruit fly activity is heaviest. The flies will be attracted to the solution and fly in through the funnel. They then won’t be able to fly back out.
Empty the solution and trapped fruit flies outside every other day until the flies are gone.
Some variations to this trap include adding small slices of fruit to the vinegar-and-soap solution or covering the opening of the glass with plastic wrap that has small holes poked into it.
According to scientists, the common fruit flies that we find in our homes use their sense of smell to locate rotting fruit in which they can lay their eggs. What they are searching for is the smell of acetic acid, the molecule that gives vinegar its distinct odor. That’s why fruit fly traps that use apple cider vinegar are more successful than traps that only use fruit.
PREVENTING FUTURE FRUIT FLY INFESTATIONS
After successfully eliminating a fruit fly infestation, you don’t want these persistent pests coming back. Here are a few steps you can take to discourage fruit flies from returning:
- Choose produce carefully and make sure it doesn’t already have fruit flies nesting in the container or food itself. Once produce has ripened, it should be eaten immediately or thrown away.
- Keep drains clear of food buildup and take action quickly if you spot fruit flies around sinks.
- Empty and clean recycle bins and trash cans regularly. Don’t forget to wipe up liquid spills in the bottom of containers.
- Make sure windows are fitted with screens to keep flies from coming inside.
Our field experts at Joshua’s Pest Control are here to help you get rid of the nuisance pests invading your home. Whether it’s fruit flies or another problem critter, give us a call for tailor-made pest control plans you can count on.