to Easily Remove Pesky Fruit Flies
From Your Home - For Good
Timothy J Gibb, Insect Diagnostician,
Department of Entomology, Purdue University
I thought that might
get your attention. While I wish there
was an easy, permanent answer to this problem, the reality is that
there is not. These tiny flies have been a pest every year
at this time as long as I can remember and I suspect that they will
continue to appear in kitchens and pantries long after I am gone. These
flies are commonly known as ‘Fruit flies’ or ‘Vinegar
flies’ (Drosophila melanogaster). They are especially common
during the fall time because fruits and vegetables that have ripened
outside have allowed their populations to soar. The flies either
enter homes through open windows or doors or are actually brought
into homes and buildings by people. Fruit fly eggs or larvae are
common on all produce from gardens or orchards. People unwittingly
carry their eggs and larvae into homes on the fruits and vegetables
that are brought in. Suddenly, as if overnight, they become
pesky flies and homeowners cannot figure out where they came from.
Fruit flies are known for their small size, red eyes
and for their association with the kitchen area. It seems that they can
be swatted and squashed and sucked up in a vacuum cleaner every
day – and yet they come back the next. This occurs
because fruit flies have a life-cycle of about 10 days, so they
can appear and repopulate seemingly overnight.
Control is difficult. Pesticides, if used at all must be
done sparingly and cautiously as these nuisance flies generally
occur near food. Most fly traps are ineffective. We have found
that sanitation is the only long-term resolution as this will remove
the food source as well as the breeding areas.
The following list contains steps that will help to resolve most
fruit fly issues in homes.
Cover fruit bowls or store fresh fruits
and vegetables in the refrigerator. (Also remember that, raisins, dates and prunes
are favorite attractants. Monitor stored potatoes and onions. If
they go bad they attract flies).
Discard all overripe fruit.
Wash all dishes.
Clear the drains and especially the garbage disposal regularly.
Launder the dishrags, or at least wash them thoroughly with
soap, rinse them well and wring them dry before hanging them
up (don't leave them in the sink).
Store trash in a covered bin.
Seal organic food garbage before placing in receptacle.
Clean opened containers of fruit juice, fermented or vinegar
products, including ketchup and cooking wine. Seal them and keep
these in the refrigerator.
Wipe up crumbs and spills from your cabinets, counter and floor.
Take out all trash often -- do not re-use the plastic liner
Clean the seals of your refrigerator door, the top and under
the fridge, especially clean the evaporation pan if it has one.
Clean under and around your dishwasher and stove.
Dump mop water, clean the pail, launder the mop rag.
Remove damp lint from the laundry room.
Take out your compost and keep your collection bin covered
and food additions to your pile buried beneath yard waste.
Use screens on doors and windows well into the fall.
Record what methods seem to work the best
and save them for next year – because they certainly
will be back.
Click image to enlarge