Fruit Fly Infestation

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 It's that time of year. While we love the fresh fruit summer brings, it seems like we are not the only ones.... Here are tips from members in the neighborhood who got rid of fruit flies with all types of tricks - from filling bowls with vinegar and a drop of dish soap to dilligently cleaning fruit, pouring bleach down the drain and more. Click below to Read More and as one parent said: "watch 'em drop, well, like flies!"

image via "Just a Prairie Boy" thanks to a Creative Commons License

 

We had this problem last year and tried everything. The only thing that ended up working was storing all fresh food in the fridge and putting out a home-made fruit fly trap (red wine vinegar in a spaghetti sauce jar with a paper funnel in the top). The sweet liquid in the "trap" attracts the flies and then, because of the funnel, they can't get out. And keeping all fresh food in the fridge will prevent new ones from breeding. I also poured bleach down our kitchen sink's drain because they lay their eggs there. However I read that pouring bleach down the drain doesn't really help but doing so did make me feel better.

Anyway I did all of this right before we went on vacation for a week and when we came back all the flies were gone. So if you can eliminate the ones you have and prevent new ones from breeding you should get it under control.

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if you find and remove the offending thing, they will go away on their own in just a few days. I think they have a short lifespan or something - we had the same problem and I freaked out too, but the problem took care of
itself once they had nothing to snack on. :)


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Google "fruit fly traps." You can easily make them with some juice and a couple of water bottles and should be fruit fly free in a few days!


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We've had great luck with small bowl of wine, covered tightly in saran, and the with numerous holes poked in the saran--so flies get in and can't get out. It is fun for the wee ones to see how many you trap. It really works. Not sure how many you have but this has always works for us. I believe they also live in the sink drain so pour some vinegar down the drain--or perhaps bleach.


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We once unwittingly had a small piece of fruit that had fallen behind the microwave and filled our kitchen with fruit flies. Don't worry -- it's not too hard to get rid of them. First off, see if you can find their food source. Temporarily store all fruit in the fridge, even bananas. Make sure there's nothing lurking behind your microwave, etc. and try not to leave any food out for too long.

At the same time, set up a fruit fly trap. Pour some apple cider vinegar into a large glass, then add a drop of liquid soap to it. The flies will be attracted to the vinegar, and since the surface tension will be broken by the soap, the instant they touch the vinegar they should get pulled in and drown. It's especially effective if you build a little "funnel" out of a regular piece of paper by taping it and trimming the end. Try to fit it in the glass so that it's face down but not touching the vinegar. The flies will fly in and then not be able to fly out, and they'll eventually drown in the vinegar. Just leave this out for a few days while keeping all other food sources out of the open. It'll make your kitchen smell strange, but it totally cleared up our fruit fly infestation. Just make sure you do catch them all before you bring your bananas out of the fridge again.


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We had them too. I looked it up on Wikipedia and there are about 10 different natural solutions. you can leave a red wine bottle with a little wine left open and they will go in there. (we had some success with this.) Cut some rotten fruit (or sweet fruit) put some vinegar and/or maple syrup in with it, cover with plastic wrap and put little holes in the top. The flies are attracted to the sweet smell, but get stuck in the syrup. Good luck.


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Toss EVERYTHING fruit or vegetable. They love onions and potatoes, some house plants, anything green/wet. They disappear once the food is gone, so find the food!


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We seem to get an infestation of fruit flies about once a year. I don't know if this is an option for you, but we have basically just waited them out. We follow some simple rules to get rid of them - Food, especially fruit, must be refrigerated, including bananas (not including things like cereal). Garbage needs to be taken out as often as possible. Try to keep the sink as dry as possible, including going over it with a dry-ish sponge before bed or any time the sink is empty. Keep the kitchen as cool as possible.

Get rid of standing water, such as at the bottom of plants. Try to kill them whenever you see them. If we follow these rules, they usually go away within about a week.


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We, too, have struggled with a fruit fly problem and have found a great solution. Check out this website:
http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Fruit-Flies

We've very successfully used the Soda Bottle trap. Just make sure you tape the two parts together very tightly (with electrical tape) so they can't escape. We also found it more effective to put a piece of banana peel in the bottom of the trap, rather than juice or vinegar. I've used the trap in my home and in my elementary school classroom -- change it everyday (kill the flies by filling it up with water and drowning them) and in a few days, you should be fruit fly free!


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Yes, there's an easier way to get rid of fruit flies. We got our's from Gardener's Supply - go to their site and do a search for "fruit flies" and you'll see their fruit fly traps and soapstone and ceramic containers. They work really well - fruit flies should be gone in your home within a day or two I think. They might have them at one of the local hardware stores as well.


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I haven't tried this myself, but I've heard that bay leaves (the ones you cook with) are great for getting rid of fruit flies, even the most persistent of them. I guess you just lay them around here and there, and it drives the little buggers away...

 

Fruit Flies - Previous Summary of what Parents have shared in the past

 What parents have shared:

"We struggled with fruit flies at work. For a LONG time. And, we used those yucky traps. And, I had them briefly at home At work, we got rid of them in a two fold process.

FIRST, get rid of all fruit, and clean, clean, clean. Counters, tables and ALL garbage cans especially. The smallest residue can attract them. We lived fruit free at work for a few weeks until the flies were gone.

SECOND, when we resumed eating fruit, we were METICULOUS about cleaning up after using fruit. Clean the surface where it was prepared, where it was eaten, throw it away into a lined garbage can, and change the liner often. Better yet, keep all garbage covered, and take it out OFTEN.

Fruit fly eggs hatch about 12 hours after they are laid.

THREE, at home, I had to go an extra step. I had the benefit of having a neighbor who is a research biologist stop by when I was battling the little annoying fellows. She told me they are attracted to fermenting things and sugars. So, I put things away into canisters, or the refrigerator.....sugar, sugar bowl, brown sugar, vanilla extract, honey, vinegar (I think), etc. When I brought fruit home, I refrigerated it too. In each case, the problem was solved and did not return."

More tips:

"I think I remember my mom saying to fill a jar with holes in it with apple cider vinegar. They'll be attracted to the vinegar but I don't think can get back out again."

"We had a massive invasion of fruit flies or drain flies late this spring. I tried a variety of things such as putting bleach down the drains and covering them up overnight. I also put dishes of red wine around covered with plastic with a couple of holes in them. I also replaced my sponges and started using handi-wipes for wiping the counters instead of a sponge. Those things worked somewhat. But then the flies disappeared as inexplicably as they appeared.

And as another parent sympathizes: "We are dealing with this too. We are now keeping all fruit in the fridge. This made a big difference for us. I also washed out our diaper bag in our laundry machine with hot water when the flies began
to show interest in that in lieu of fruit. I hope this helps.

"You can get sticky paper (fly paper, in fact) from most hardware stores. We had a similar problem with tiny flies that came in with a new plant. One week and two traps later, we were fly-free."

"You take a glass, put a piece of fruit in it, then make a cone out of paper with a small (couple mm wide) hole, then stick that into the glass about half way down, and tape it on so the only way in and out for the flies is through the hole. They fly in but then to get out they go up the sides of the glass and can't get out. To kill them you then fill up the contraption with water and they all drown. Yes its pretty messy and sadistic, but it works!"

"Here's a tip I picked up in Natural Home or maybe Mother Earth News magazines: Take a dish of vinegar and a drop of dish soap. Put it near the source of the buggers, and watch them collect. Very effective, mildly disgusting, but very satisfying. I use a small ice-cream bowl filled halfway with vinegar, and sometimes add a bit of water after a day or two of evaporation."