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natural cleaning

Home, Home and Garden

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Naturally

how to get rid of fruit flies from your kitchen naturally

Let’s chat about how to get rid of fruit flies. You might call them compost flies. Whatever you call them, I wanted to share the effective natural method I’ve found for clearing your kitchen of this almighty pest.

I know, I know, you’re thinking exciting stuff, but it’s a very real problem I face every summer without fail. And chances are, by the fact that you’re reading this post, one that you face too.

Every summer I feel like I blink and my kitchen goes from fruit fly free, to hosting a swarm of hundreds. Hundreds of fruit flies that are multiplying in front of my very eyes.

What Are Fruit Flies And Why Are They A Problem?

Fruit flies are scientifically known as Drosophila melanogaster, but we’ll keep to the simple fruit fly term here!

I’ve found out from the Berg Lab that female fruit flies can lay up to around 400 eggs. These eggs hatch within 12 to 15 hours and these can go from egg to adult in just seven days. What is more, females become receptive to courting males about 8–12 hours after emerging from the egg.

Basically, blink and you’ve got a fruit fly problem before you even know it!

how to get rid of fruit flies from your kitchen naturally

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies From Your Kitchen

Be Mindful of Where You Store Your Fruit

If you have a fruit fly infestation then an open fruit bowl isn’t always the best place to store fruit. Consider using the fridge for fruit that will store well in the fridge (beware, not all fruit likes the fridge). Fruit flies like higher temperatures, and can’t reproduce in the cold.

Do not leave cut or spoiling fruit or vegetables, fruit salads, fruit juices, jams, jellies, pickles, etc., exposed in open containers. Pop them in tubs or glass jars, and put them straight into the fridge.

Remove Rotting Fruit and Vegetables As Quickly As Possible

Rotting fruit and vegetables are ideal breeding groups for fruit flies. Be mindful of what is in your fruit bowl, and check there isn’t any spoiled fruit in the bottom of your fruit bowl.

Check vegetables such as potatoes and onions, which should be stored in cupboards, and not in the fridge. There could be one rotten potato or onion at the bottom of the bag, which would be enough to support a huge colony of fruit flies.

Keep Sides Clean

Wiping up food spills from countertops quickly, especially sugary foods like jams and ketchups and fruit juices, are vital in the fight against fruit flies.

Keep Your Compost Caddy Covered & Empty Frequently

Keeping the lid on your compost caddy is vital when you have a fruit fly infestation. Try placing something heavy on top of it, to limit any access to the fruit flies.

I recommend emptying your compost caddy regularly when you are bothered by fruit flies. I try to empty my caddy at least twice a day. Washing it out regularly is also key in the fight against the fruit fly.

How To Make a Fruit Fly Trap

If the above steps aren’t making a dent in the amount of fruit flies in your kitchen, then consider this it’s time to pull out the natural traps. I find these key in how to get rid of fruit flies.

What You Need

  • An empty bottle
  • A small amount of beer, wine, or vinegar (enough to cover an inch or so of the bottom of the beer bottle)
  • One squirt of washing up liquid

Simply add some beer, wine, or vinegar into an empty bottle. One with a narrow neck works best – like a beer bottle, add the washing up liquid, and bobs your uncle.

The alcohol or vinegar tempts the flies in with its stale sweetness, and the washing up liquid soap decreases the surface tension of the liquid. When the fruit flies fly in to investigate the irresistible stale smell, the flies are immediately immersed and can’t escape.

ps: Like this post? Try this one on how to make natural weedkiller.

Home and Garden, Natural Cleaning

DIY Cleaning Spray

diy cleaning spray

I have got a great winter scented DIY cleaning spray for you today, that I’ve been using to naturally clean my home.

February is always a difficult month, I find. The clocks go back in October, and from then on in it’s the cheery march to all the end of year festivities, twinkly lights and delicious food and all. January comes, and it feels like a bit of a reset. A quiet time to take stock, reflect and make plans for moving forward.

And then comes February. Pesky February. Far away from the festivities to make them seem like a long distant memory. And far enough from spring that it doesn’t feel like the mornings and early evenings will ever be anything but dark. I tend to find the worst of the winter weather seems to bite in February too. Right now, it’s snowing and we’ve just come through Storm Ciara. Hibernation until Spring always feels like a good idea round about now.

I’m trying to change my mindset on winter, and recently I read an article on the Norwegian secret to enjoying winter. It turns out Norwegians view their long dark winters as something to celebrate, so I’m trying to bring about some of that Norwegian attitude to Scotland.

I’ve started small – adapting an old favourite natural cleaning recipe to make my home smell like a forest in wintertime. I may not want to go out in the snow today, but at least I can pretend I am. It’s a start, right?!

Here’s my favourite DIY cleaning spray recipe with a winter twist, that can be whipped up in seconds:

DIY Cleaning Spray Recipe

You Will Need:

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A 500 ml spray bottle

500 ml cooled boiled water

2 teaspoons liquid castile soap (the citrus, eucalyptus or peppermint Dr Broners liquid castile soap works particularly well in this recipe, but any version is fine).

10 drops pine essential oil

10 drops cedarwood essential oil

Method

Add the two teaspoons of liquid castile soap to your empty bottle (a funnel may help), and the essential oils.

Next add the cooled boiled water, and add the spray top.

Shake gently, and you’re good to go!

Directions for Use

This DIY cleaning spray is a great multipurpose spray that can be used all around the house. Shake well before use to disperse the oils and away you go.

If using on wood I always recommend spraying the cloth and then wiping your surface to avoid over saturating your wood, as this could cause it to warp.

Safety First

Keep all homemade cleaning products and their raw ingredients (particularly essential oils) out of the reach of children and pets.

Wear gloves for cleaning if you have sensitive skin.

Some essential oils aren’t recommended for use around children, pets, or during pregnancy. I’m off the personal belief, that using essential oils in this highly diluted manner for a product that is not ingested or applied to the skin doesn’t pose a risk – certainly not more of a risk than using conventional cleaning products. However, I would encourage you to do your own research and come to your own conclusions as to which, if any, oils are right for you.