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
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.