Fruit flies are capable of contaminating your food with E. Coli and Coliform bacteria.
Fruit flies are very similar to gnats. However, fruit flies are a little bigger than gnats and have a slightly different color. Both gnats and fruit flies are often seen at the tail end of the summer season.
Fruit flies also have a heightened sense of smell that helps them find stinking and rotting food and sugary drinks.
Gnats and fruit flies can be a pretty big problem once they start breeding. The female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs which could metamorphose into adult fruit flies in about a week.
Most fruit flies look alike due to their small size. However, there are numerous types of gnats and fruit flies. The two most common types of fruit flies are the houseplant gnat and the drain fly. The houseplant gnat is often found in poor soil of potted plants while the drain fly is often found in kitchens and bathroom.
Here are some good practices when dealing with fruit flies and gnats from coming to your home;
- Always wash dirty dishes as soon as possible.
- Keep your trash bin as far away from your home as possible.
- Empty your kitchen dirt bin on a daily basis.
- Always strive to keep your foodstuffs, fruits, and vegetables covered to prevent gnats and fruit flies from contaminating them.
- Try to maintain a clean and dry environ as fruit flies are attracted to damp murky environments.
Below are 17 natural treatments and home remedies to eliminate fruit flies;
1. Try The Yeast Trap
Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of fermentation and can easily fall for the yeast trap.
Just fill a clean transparent jar with a half cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of sugar and a cup of activated yeast.
Now cover the jar with a plastic bag and poke some holes about the size of a fruit fly.
As they get attracted to the fermentation smell they will enter the jar but will not be able to come out.
Cedarwood and its oil help in repelling many insects including the fruit flies.
Having a decorative piece of cedar wood placed on your dining table or in the kitchen can actually ward off the flies while increasing the aesthetics of the room.
3. Keep Your Trash And Food Covered
Keeping the trash bin covered will prevent the smell of decaying fruits and vegetables from spreading in the air.
Since the fruit flies get attracted by the smell of food, keep all the food covered to prevent flies from entering your home as well as contaminating the food.
4. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used in the same way as the yeast trap to get rid of the fruit flies in an inexpensive way.
No need to invest in harmful chemical insecticides that fill your home with a sharp pungent smell to ward off the flies. Just put a clean jar with two cups of apple cider vinegar in it.
Cover it with a plastic bag and make holes of the size of a fruit fly. The flies will get attracted to the smell of vinegar and get trapped in the jar.
5. Red Wine Trap
Red wine attracts fruit flies, so we can use it as a bait to entrap them. Just leave a little wine in a bottle with a skinny neck and place it in the high traffic zone.
The flies will get inside the bottle but not be able to come out easily. They will get exhausted and die soon.
6. Grow Sweet Basil Plant
The scent of sweet basil tends to repel fruit flies in a natural way. Planting it inside your home will not only improve the air quality of your home but also keeps flies and other insects away.
If you find a lot of flies around your veggies, just grow a sweet basil plant in your kitchen.
A study published online in April 2012, by the Journal Of Insect Science, showed that Methyl Eugenol, an active ingredient in basil leaves, has potent functions as an insect antifeedant/repellant. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3500151/)
7. Clean The House
A house that is not cleaned regularly may invite fruit flies.
Avoid spreading food on kitchen countertops and floors. Also, keep the dining table free from clutter and food leftover.
Decaying fruits and vegetables releases a scent that attracts these flies.
Cleaning away the leftover food may help in keeping fruit flies and other insects away from your house.
8. The Paper Cone Trick
This trick is often used by people to get rid of a huge number of fruit flies at a time.
Just place a plastic bottle or jar with a half cup of vinegar and some pieces of a fruit. Now roll a paper in the shape of a cone leaving a small hole at the tip.
Insert the tip of the cone in the jar. The flies will get attracted to the smell of fruit and vinegar and fall into the jar.
9. Repair Leaks
Damp and moist areas tend to attract more fruit flies. It is best to find out any leaks that may cause dampness in the walls and other places in your house.
The flies from drains may bring infections making your sick. Fix the leaks and keep your home as dry as possible to get rid of fruit flies.
10. Use Soda
Sweetened soda can also be used as a bait. Just fill half of a jar with soda.
Roll a bright paper into a cone leaving a hole at the tip and insert it into the neck of the jar. The flies will easily fall into it and will drown.
11. Don’t Keep Dirty Dishes
Washing your dishes just after using it not only keeps your kitchen sink clean but also reduces the load of washing a lot of dishes together.
Dirty dishes when left for too long in the kitchen sink can attract fruit flies. The leftover food starts to decay which is liked by them.
12. Check The Soil
Sometimes the soil of indoor plants becomes the perfect ground for insects, ants, and flies to thrive.
If the flies are coming from a nearby plant, consider changing the soil with a top quality one that does not have pests.
13. Milk-Sugar-Pepper Trap
A combination of milk, sugar, and pepper can lure the fruit flies in an excellent way.
Take a pint of milk and add a half cup of sugar and a quarter cup of ground pepper. Simmer for 8-10 minutes and pour in a dish.
The flies will soon get attracted to it and get drowned.
14. Place Fly Strips
If you find fly strips in stores near you, use them to get rid of fruit flies from your home is an easy way.
These strips are yellow in color which attracts the flies and traps them in their stickiness.
You can also make your very own homemade sticky trap tape by mixing equal amounts of water, honey, sugar with adhesive glue that does not get dried when heated.
Mix all the ingredients and heat well. Now coat a hard yellow paper with this sticky mixture and place the sticky paper around the problem areas.
15. Grapefruit Oil
Grapefruit oil can be used as a bait for fruit flies. Just put it in a jar and seal the top with a plastic wrap.
Make some holes for the flies to enter and you will soon find their bodies drowned in it.
16. Use Bleach In Drains
Drains are a perfect place for flies to thrive. Decaying matter and moisture are preferred by flies and other insects that can cause infestations.
Bleach helps in reducing the sludge in the drains and keeps them clean.
Just make a solution by mixing powdered bleach with water and pour it into your drains to get rid of the fruit flies.
17. The Banana Trap
Fruit flies like to feast on bananas. The sweet smell not only attracts the flies but the fleshy fruits provide the perfect ground for the larvae to grow.
To make a banana trap, take a few broken pieces of a peeled banana and place it in a transparent jar.
Cover the top of the jar with a plastic wrap and poke some holes so that the smell of the bananas spread out easily and the flies can get inside the jar through it.
Once inside, they get trapped and cannot find a way to escape.
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