Fruit Flies: Those pesky little flies that seem to come out of nowhere to infest our kitchens. Red-eyed mosquitoes that, once they arrive, are very difficult to eliminate.
Nobody probably cares where they come from, as long as they leave! Traditional remedies like squashing them, spraying them with insecticide are often unproductive (you can never squash them all), unpleasant (who wants to spray insecticide on food?), Or ineffective (even insecticides don’t seem to get all of them).
So what is the solution? Catch them. Trapping fruit flies is surprisingly effective, especially when the trap also kills the flies. In the course of a few hours, and certainly a few days, the flies can be eliminated. With a little good cleaning, the problem can be controlled and reinfestations can be prevented.
There are several effective ways to set fruit fly traps. The following factors are key:
- Bait – what will attract them. Fruit flies really crave the smell of fruit as it begins to decompose and enters from outside the house when they smell it. Alternatively, they enter the fruit as eggs and then hatch to repeat the cycle. Many things can work as bait, including rotten fruit. However, balsamic or cider vinegar seems to have the best effect and the strongest attraction.
- Trap vs. kill: do you want to catch them and kill them or release them when they catch them? To get rid of fruit flies quickly and permanently, you probably need to kill them. Again, vinegar is good for this as they will get trapped in the liquid.
- Make sure they stay trapped – adding a little detergent to the balsamic vinegar will reduce the surface tension and the flies will sink into the liquid
- Trap Design: Use a reasonably large jar or pot and cover the lid with a stretch film with small punched holes. Flies will be able to enter but not exit
- Placement: Place the traps where you have seen the most flies. Use several if necessary, but fruit flies will be attracted to the trap even if you only use one.
Once you’ve eliminated the infestation, make sure you’re not preparing for them to return. Take care to remove the fruit from the room, especially if it is starting to overripe. Store it in the refrigerator if necessary.
Clean up fruit spills, clean trash container to make sure no potential breeding sites remain. It takes a little time but it is worth it. And if they do come back, make sure you set the trap again to catch them before they get out of control again.