Oh, those pesky fruit flies! They seemingly appear out of nowhere taking up residence in your kitchen and home. While they’re most attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables, they can also be found breeding in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers and even mops and cleaning rags. So, what can you do about these nuisance pests before they contaminate your food with bacteria — trap them and eliminate them!
A day in the life of a fruit fly
You can clean your kitchen until it gleams, but until all potential breeding areas are located and eliminated, fruit flies will spread no matter how much you’ve scrubbed. Generally, they lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods and materials. Once they’ve hatched, the tiny larvae continue to feed near the surface of their preferred food source. What’s worse, the reproductive potential of fruit flies is huge. So, if conditions are right they will lay about 500 eggs. And the entire lifecycle from egg to adult — happens in about one week.
Although fruit flies can be a problem year-round, they’re especially common during the late summer and fall due to their attraction to ripened fruits and vegetables. The problem is, finding the source of attraction can be somewhat challenging. The best approach for ridding your kitchen of these pests suggests the University of Kentucky, Entomology, is to build a trap and attract adult flies, where they can be eliminated for good.
Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap
First, toss out any overripe fruit, and then try this effective remedy to banish fruit flies from your kitchen. Fruit flies are naturally attracted to fermented foods, and apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples. It’s a match made in heaven!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 mason jar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 piece of overripe fruit
- 1 drop of dish soap
- A funnel made from parchment paper or paper
Heat up half a cup of apple cider vinegar over medium heat, and pour it into your mason jar. Now drop a piece of ripe fruit into the jar, and a drop of dish soap. The dish soap breaks the surface tension of the liquid allowing the flies to sit on top.
Roll up a piece of parchment paper into a funnel shape and tape it together, if necessary. Insert it into the mouth of the jar, pointy end in. The fruit flies will fly down into the jar to sample the vinegar but won’t understand how to escape, whereby, they’ll simply drown.
- Add only one or two small drops of dish soap in the jar. Just enough to attract the flies to the surface tension, but not so that the smell detracts them from the trap.
- If the fruit flies don’t drown, simply place the trap in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- You can reuse the trap again and again. Just remove the funnel and add a lid to the jar. Store for future use.
A little ingenuity goes a long way to rid your kitchen of these pesky fruit flies. And a little apple cider vinegar, rotting fruit, and soap is far safer than any dangerous household pesticides.
Still want more ways to get rid of fruit flies? Read this: 11 Best Ways To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies For Good