It’s happened to all of us – a banana is left in the fruit bowl too long, the trash didn’t get taken out, or a cereal bowl was left out – next thing you know, your kitchen seems like it’s been infested with fruit flies! These tiny flies are generally harmless pests, but harmless definitely doesn’t mean welcome! To get rid of these unwanted guests, our Raleigh pest control company is sharing some simple tips for how to get rid of fruit flies!
What Are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies, or if you prefer to be formal and call them by their species, the Drosophila Melanogaster, are only about two to four millimeters long and thrive on rotting fruit. This global pest can smell ripe fruit, vegetables, and organic matter from a far distance and because they are so miniscule in size, they can easily fit through window screens and small gaps around windows and doors. Once they find their target, they lay eggs (up to 500 at a time), and due to their short gestation period and life cycle, an infestation occurs within a few days.
What Causes Fruit Flies
As we said, fruit flies are attracted to ripe, rotting fruits and vegetables. They may also breed around other fermented beverages, including wine, beer, or liquor, or even any place where there is a film of fermented organic material. This is why swarms of flies are often seen hovering around a sink drain, garbage disposal, mop bucket, or even a damp sponge left out.
Often, produce from the grocery store may have eggs on them as the flies will lay eggs on ripe produce. This way, the freshly hatched larvae can immediately begin feeding on a food source immediately and begin the rapid life and reproduction cycle.
Preventing Fruit Flies in Your Raleigh Home
Preventing an infestation is much easier than treating one. To avoid nasty swarms of fruit flies take these preventative measures:
- Wash produce when you get home from the market or grocery store to remove any eggs.
- Eat or refrigerate fruit or vegetables as soon as they are ripe. (Don’t save brown bananas for banana bread, just toss them!)
- Make sure doors are closed and window screens are in good condition with tight-fitting, 16-mesh screens to stop fruit flies from coming inside.
- Put any overripe fruit or vegetables in a sealed or tied off plastic bag in the trash to prevent swarms around your trash cans.
- Rinse sinks and garbage disposals frequently.
- Don’t leave standing water or wet sponges and dishrags out.
- Clean up spilled drinks, especially juice, soda, or alcohol, immediately with an all-purpose cleaner.
Simple Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
If you do find yourself swatting at flies, it’s okay! There are some simple, natural ways to eradicate fruit flies at the source so you can reclaim your kitchen from these miniscule menaces.
- Determine the source of the infestation. If you don’t get to the source, they’ll keep coming back due to their fast life cycle and sheer volume of eggs.
- Dispose of any food, drink, or other source that may be infested and take it to an exterior trash can to prevent eggs from hatching the house.
- Wipe down surfaces in your kitchen including counters, sinks, and cabinets with an all-purpose cleaner to make sure nothing sugary or sticky is out.
- If the flies are coming from your drain or disposal, pour vinegar, bleach or boiling water down your drains to kill the fruit flies and their eggs. If you use bleach or vinegar (not both!), rinse your sink well about 30 minutes after using it.
- To get rid of any adult flies, purchase a disposable fly trap and place it where you feel the flies swarm, such as in your pantry, over your trash can, or over your sink.
- If you prefer a natural, homemade method, mix up 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of honey or sugar, and a few drops of dish soap. The flies will be attracted to the smell and drown in the liquid.
Call in the Pros with Our Raleigh Pest Control Service
For a particularly nasty infestation, Stomp Pest Control can help! We can rid your home of fruit flies by getting to the source and treating the area while also helping you prevent other common pests. To learn more about our services or schedule exterminator services for your Raleigh home, call us today at 919-231-3292!