If you have ever had fruit flies invade your kitchen then you know just how pesky these little critters can be. They seem to almost appear over night and you can quickly go from having one or two of them to a swarm of these pesky little insects. The easiest way to prevent them is to not leave fruit and veggies out on the counter where they can ferment, but seriously who hasn’t accidentally left out a piece of fruit just to pick it up and see that it is all rotted. I know I have.
It is also helpful to wash your fruits and veggies when you bring them in from the store or the garden. Over ripe tomatoes are notorious for harboring fruit fly eggs. Bananas are another likely carrier of fruit fly eggs, so be sure to wash All your fruits and veggies when you bring them home.
Did you know that fruit flies can go from egg to full maturity in just 8 days. Wow! That means that in about a week, those fruit fly eggs on the tomato from your garden will reach full maturity and begin to breed. Even worse is that they do not need rotting fruit to stay alive. They can easily breed in a slow draining sink pipe, an old damp mop or even a sour sponge!
A couple of years ago, I left a potato in the hanging basket in my pantry and it attracted about a million fruit flies. I went kind of crazy trying to get rid of them and eliminated everything they could possibly like. To my surprise, they did not go away. It was not until a friend said to me “hey I bet they are living in your drain” that I finally got rid of them. I mean seriously, in my drain! Well he was right that those little pests had made my kitchen drain pipe into their breeding ground.
How do you get them out of your pipes? I have read lots of different ways, several of which involve taking the drain and pipes apart. Now if you want to go this route, I do believe you will be successful in getting rid of them. Simply take apart the pipes and drain and use a stiff brush to remove all the drain slime that these buggers like to breed in. If this does not sound like a good option, then I have another solution for you. In the past, if I have had fruit flies in my drain then I fill my tea kettle and bring it to a boil. Once the water is screaming hot, I slowly pour it down the drain. Then I let it sit for about 30 minutes. After thirty minutes, I slowly pour 1-2 cups of bleach down my drain. I am not sure which of these two methods really kills the fruit flies, but together it works great every time. On a side note, if you have a septic system them it is probably best not to pour bleach down the drain as it may interfere with the good bacteria living in the septic system. You could try using a baking soda and vinegar solution as I bet that would work too.
When I started writing this article I planned to include how to make a fruit fly trap. Instead, I am just going to provide you with links to instructions on how to make traps. There are so many great ideas out there that I did not want to limit this to just the trap I think is best. Here are some of my favorite fruit fly traps.
I prefer the dish soap and vinegar method because the dish soap breaks the surface tension so the flies actually drown when they land on it. Bingo!
On a side note, it you keep a daily compost bowl in your kitchen be careful not to leave it out. It will quickly attract fruit flies. Instead, keep your compost bowl in the refrigerator.
Have you ever had fruit flies in your house? What method did you use to get rid of them? I would love to hear from you!