How to Trap & Get Rid of Fruit Flies

fruit flies

Fruit flies are some of the most annoying pests around. They seem to appear out of nowhere and then suddenly there are so many of them you can hardly stand it. These tiny flies, which often measure only 3 mm. (or smaller) in size, can smell food from a far distance, which is why they are so often found in kitchens. It's actually the smell of the food, especially fermenting food, that attracts fruit flies.

Hundreds of years ago, people believed that these flies just spontaneously appeared. Today we know that they enter our homes from bags brought from the grocery store and via window screens. Fruit flies are so tiny that they can make it through most screens. They then reproduce quickly, often laying hundreds of eggs that hatch within a day and then quickly develop into the hordes you see flying around.

The bottom line is that there is really no stopping fruit flies from coming into your home. But you can prevent them as much as possible by making your kitchen conditions less favorable to the flies. There are also simple ways to trap fruit flies once they have invaded your home.

How to Prevent Fruit Flies

Make your home less attractive to fruit flies these ways:

1. Keep your garbage disposal and drains clean. Fruit flies love to hang out in kitchen sink drains. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice to clean out and disinfect the garbage disposal drain.

2. Remove old sponges and dirty dish towels from your kitchen. Wash these items promptly and frequently.

3. Move very ripe fruit into the fridge. Overripe fruit on a counter is a fruit fly's dream. Store overly ripe bananas in your freezer for many months; they're the perfect basis for banana bread. Instead of throwing away other overripe fruits, such as apples, plums, etc., use them to make compote or applesauce.

4. Avoid keeping used wine glasses, leftover beer bottles and any type of opened alcoholic beverages on kitchen counters for an extended period of time, even just overnight. Fruit flies favor all alcoholic beverages. Washing out wine glasses and rinsing out beer bottles is a good way toprevent fruit fly infestation.

5. Store your trash in a covered bin. Take out the garbage frequently and rinse out the bottom of the bin with soapy water to remove any residue.

How to Trap Fruit Flies

There are a number of simple, effective ways to catch and trap fruit flies, including making your own fruit fly traps:

1. Make your own jar and funnel trap. Simply find an old jar, such as a pickle jar or even a plastic container. Put a bit of liquor or a piece of overripe fruit inside. Make a funnel out of a sheet of paper and place it in the jar. Fruit flies will quickly fly into the trap, but won't be able to find their way out.

fruit fly trap
Funnel Trap. Learn more at apartmenttherapy.com.

2. Take a shallow bowl or mug and pour in 2-3 tablespoons of wine. Then add a few teaspoons of dish soap. The smell of the wine will attract the fruit flies and once they land in the wine, they will get stuck in the dish soap.

fruit flies

3. Another option is to take clear plastic wrap and cover a shallow bowl or mug of wine. Then poke a few small holes with the tip of a pen, pencil or fork. About 6-8 small openings is sufficient. The small holes will make it easy for the flies to get in but impossible for them to get out once they are in the wine.

4. If you're facing a serious fruit fly infestation in your kitchen (eew!), the best option could be to find a reliable pest control expert

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