They are pesky when you're trying to enjoy a picnic, and they can be tough to get rid of once they get into your house. Every summer, fruit flies make their annoying presence known whether you're inside the house or out in the yard. Decaying food attracts fruit flies, so if you have the remnants of fruit or other foods in your garbage cans, flies can be found there.
Although they are not directly harmful to humans, they can carry diseases, bacteria, and viruses into your house. Since flies cannot bite, they transmit germs by landing on glasses, plates, cutlery, or anything you may touch or put into your mouth. Fortunately, there are many effective home remedies for getting rid of fruit flies.
Where do Fruit Flies Come From?
If there is a fly in the house, you may wonder “why are there fruit flies in my house?” Chances are they probably snuck inside through an open door or window.
Flies will also take advantage of holes in window and door screens, they can be carried in as a pupa on fruits or vegetables, or they will follow pets when they enter the house via the pet door. Once they are inside the house, they can be difficult to get rid of, and they will also breed.
How Fruit Flies Breed
Female fruit flies will mate will several male partners to improve their chances of reproducing. The female seeks out warm, moist places to lay her eggs, such as fermenting fruit or vegetables, so their offspring have immediate access to food. She can lay between 200 to 500 eggs, which have a gestation period of seven to 13 days.
Are Gnats Fruit Flies?
Gnats in kitchen can also be a problem if you throw food away in a garbage can and don’t empty it right away. While many people think gnats are juvenile flies, they are small adult insects from a variety of species, including fruit flies.
If a fruit fly has laid eggs in your home, then the first indication will usually be when gnats are buzzing around you seeking food. There are several home remedies that will not only get rid of fruit flies but also help you learn how to get rid of little flies.
Where Flies are Found
Fruit flies can be found in many areas in your house, but especially in the kitchen where food is kept. Since they like rotten food, they hover around garbage cans, the trash disposal in the sink, on countertops where there are food crumbs, and they will pester you while you’re eating. To avoid the germs they may be carrying; you can learn these techniques for getting rid of fruit flies.
Make Your Own Fly Traps
If a pregnant female fly gets into your house, then swarm of flies will quickly develop. Although you can use fly sprays, fly swatters or traps, you can make a homemade fruit fly trap that does use toxic chemicals.
A cone fruit fly trap is very easy to make and only requires a few supplies. You will need:
- One sheet of paper.
- A standard size jar.
- Some scotch tape.
- Some bait, like a piece of old fruit or banana peel.
To make the trap, take the sheet of paper, such as a piece of junk mail, and bring the adjacent corners together along the longer side and curl it into a cone. Curl one end into a tight cone with an opening of about a 1/8” and leave the other opening fairly wide. Use scotch tape to keep the cone’s shape.
Place the bait into the bottom of the jar, and then insert the tight end of the cone into it. The wide end should fit snugly into the jar to prevent flies from escaping. Put your trap in the kitchen to catch flies and to be a gnat killer. When you’ve caught some flies, take the jar outside and pull out the cone to release the flies.
Vinegar and Dish Soap Trap
This homemade trap will not only show you how to catch fruit flies, but it will also get rid of gnats. Mix:
- 2 Tbsps. Apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- A few drops of dish soap
- 1 liter of water
Pour some of this mixture into a container, such as a jar, and set it where you see flies or gnats. The insects will go into the jar when they smell the apple cider vinegar and, when they touch the soapy water, it will weigh them down, and they will die. You can set several of these natural gnat traps around the house to find out how to kill gnats.
Apple Cider Vinegar Trap
If you want to know how to get rid of gnats in house, this apple cider vinegar trap can help you kill them. Put about one-fourth to a half cup of apple cider vinegar into a medium size glass jar with a lid. Using the point of a nail, create small holes in the lid and screw it onto the jar.
Set the jar where you've seen gnats, so they will easily find the trap. Since gnats like the sweet smell of the fermented apples in the vinegar, they will fly into the hole to drink some. However, they will be unable to fly out and will die in the jar.
Red Wine Trap
Getting rid of fruit flies can be as simple as getting them drunk on red wine. Drawn to the smell of the wine, fruit flies, and gnats will hover around it if it's left out. So, you can easily create a trap by leaving a small amount of red wine in the bottle, so they will fly into it, get drunk, and be unable to make their way out of the bottle and die.
Milk, Sugar, and Pepper Trap
It isn't difficult to learn how to make a fruit fly trap; you just need to have the right supplies and ingredients. You should have most of the ingredients on hand to make this effective homemade trap that will help diminish a fruit fly infestation.
Mix a glass of milk, one cup of sugar, and a half cup of ground black pepper into a pan. Set it on low heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. After it cools, put it into a bowl and set the bowl where you see the most fruit flies. The mixture will attract the flies, which will suffocate when they land on it. Also, use it to figure out how to get rid of gnats.
Lemongrass Fly Spray
Instead of using a commercial fly spray which contains chemicals, this homemade lemongrass spray will teach you how to get rid of fruit flies in house without exposing yourself, your family and pets to harmful pesticides.
Purchase some lemongrass essential oil and put 10 to 12 drops into a clean spray bottle. Add a fourth of a cup of hot water into the bottle, put on the spray top and shake it to mix the ingredients. You can spray it directly onto the insect to eliminate fruit fly.
Prevent Fruit Flies from Coming Back
Once you learn how to kill fruit flies with natural homemade traps, you should take these steps to keep them away.
Keep Counters Clean
Wiping down the counters with warm soapy water after putting away groceries or preparing food will help keep flies from reappearing after getting rid of them. If your counters have food crumbs or drink spills, they will attract fruit flies, and it can be difficult to figure out how to get rid of gnats in house and fruit flies again.
Wash All Your Fruit
Whether you buy fruit from a farmer’s market, grow it yourself or buy it in a grocery store, you need to wash it before putting it away. Fruit fly pupa can be brought into your house because they attach themselves to fruit or vegetables when they burrow into soil. The pupa goes through a dormant stage before metamorphizing into fruit flies, so they can be hard to detect on produce.
Cover Your Fruit Bowl
If you display fruit in a bowl instead of keeping it in a refrigerator, put plastic wrap or a clear cake dome cover over the bowl to keep fruit flies away. If you don’t, as the fruit gets riper, fruit flies will be drawn to it and start feeding on the fruit. Covering the bowl will prevent them from getting to their source of food.
Deal with Household Odors Immediately
Fruit flies have a keen sense of smell and will be drawn to almost anything that stinks. If your mop is sour, the litter box is full, or your puppy has had an accident that wasn’t dealt with, fruit flies will be hovering over the smell. Eliminating odors is a lesson in how to get rid of fruit flies.
Clean Your Drains
Rotting food particles or stinky smells in the kitchen drain will also attract fruit flies. Getting rid of fruit flies is as easy as cleaning the drains by pouring a cup of bleach down them. Keeping the rim of it free of debris and mold, and washing the drain traps will help too.
Using natural homemade fruit fly and gnat traps are the best way to kill fruit flies because they are don’t use poisons which could harm you and your family. They are also inexpensive and easy to make from items you have around your house. Also, keeping your house clean and free from odors will help keep the fruit flies from coming back.