What to do about fruit flies ?

Everybody knows these annoying little flies you likely see in your kitchen once a year and that most people call fruit flies. Fruit flies are also known as pomace flies, vinegar flies or wine flies. The name fruit fly is a reference to the characteristic of many species to linger around overripe or rotting fruit. But actually there are many different species of flies we all refere to as fruit flies. In fact these species belong to one of two fly families being the Drosophilidae or the related Tephritidae family.

Infestations

Fruit flies can be a problem year round. Most people however encounter them during late summer or fall because of their attraction to ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables. Perishable items brought in from the garden or unrefrigerated products purchased at the grocery store are often the cause of an infestation developing indoors. Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. The reproductive potential of fruit flies is enormous as they can lay about 500 eggs. The entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week. Besides ripened fruit, fruit flies also like to breed in drains, garbage disposals, trash containers, empty bottles and cleaning mops.  Infestations can originate from fruits or vegetables that were already infested and were brought into your home from the grocery store but the adult fruit flies can also fly in from outside.

Prevention

The best way to prevent fruit flies from invading your home is to eliminate any source of attraction. So keep your fruit and vegetables in your fridge as much as possible. Make sure you don’t buy to much fruit and vegetables and eat the ones you leave out the fridge within a few days. Dont leave empty bottles or cans around the house but dispose of them. Empty your wastebin more frequent than usual and clean it every time you empty it. Check your cupboards for rotting potatoes or a forgotten onion. Clean your sink and drains on a daily bases and make sure you don’t leave any food leftovers behind on the table after dinner. If you have any fruit trees in your garden make sure to get rid of any rotten fruit on the ground

Extermination

Once fruit flies got a breeding area you’ll have to try an locate it. Not untill the breeding areas are removed or cleaned, fruit flies will continue to show up no matter how often you use insecticides to control the adults.  Try and place a clear plastic food storage bag over the opening of potential breeding sites like garbage disposals and drains overnight. If fruit flies are breeding here they will emerge and be caught in the bag. After finding the breeding place clean it or dispose of it. To kill the remaining adult fruit flies you can make a fruit fly trap using a jar a piece of foil and a rubber band. Fill the bottom of the jar with cider vinegar or a piece of banana. Place the foil over the jar and use the rubber band to keep it in place. Use a sharp object to make a few tiny holes in the foil. The fruit flies will be eable to enter the jar but won’t be able to get out anymore. The fruit flies can either be killed or set free outside.

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