How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
If you’re uncertain how to get rid of fruit flies or house flies, the number one nuisance pest from your home, try using these tested and trusted techniques. Fruit flies or house flies can be irritating, and the annoyance they instigate is one of the many disadvantages of having fruit flies within your home. However, a house fly infestation can be incredibly dangerous as well.
Fruit flies or house flies have been linked to food poisoning. They carry dangerous disease-causing bacteria like listeria, salmonella, and E Coli – all of which contribute to food poisoning.
There are various hotspots where fruit flies or house flies love to converge in the average home. These hot spots include toilet drains, the kitchen, and wherever there is fruit and decaying matter in the house. Using their body hairs, fruit flies can transfer pathogens from the toilet directly to your meal (if left uncovered).
Given that we have over one million documented species of insects (and still counting), it is natural to mistake other types of flies, like drain flies, for fruit flies or house flies. To eliminate these little pathogen carriers, you must first identify which one you are dealing with.
How to identify a fruit fly
A mature fruit fly (house fly) can grow up to 3mm to 4mm long. You can identify them by watching out for their protruding red eyes and brown/tan body. The not-so-obvious parts are the black/grey abdomen, three pairs of legs, and antennae.
Female fruit flies are bigger than their male counterparts. It takes just two fruit flies or house flies to make a population in your home, and alarmingly, it also takes a relatively short time to procreate.
The techniques discussed in this guide will work for fruit flies and not drain flies. Ensure you correctly identify the insect before proceeding.
What causes fruit fly (house fly) infestation
There’s a common misconception that fruit flies or house flies are only attracted to fruits. Those who entertain such a misconception know little of the superpowers of insects. The tiny but powerful flying organisms did not attain world dominance by restricting themselves to veggies; they can expand through dangerous climes by feeding on anything that comes their way.
While ripened fruits and veggies attract fruit flies to your homes, garbage disposal drains, empty beer cans, and bottles can also “do the job.” Fermenting food attracts fruit flies or house flies as much as ripening fruits.
How to get rid of fruit flies
After verifying that the flies in your home are fruit flies (also known as house flies), follow the down-to-earth steps to get rid of them. We also included tips for killing all types of unwanted flies like houseflies or drain flies.
Locate the cause
Insects don’t just appear in your home uninvited. Try to locate the secret spots where they hang out. Such places might include garbage cans, exposed food items, and empty beer bottles.
Ensure you throw out the food item attracting fruit flies or house flies and clean the area.
Clean the affected area
Throwing out the food item without scrubbing the area won’t do the magic because spillovers might linger in the affected area. When cleaning the spot, use disinfectants or bleach.
Disinfect and clean other common areas
In most cases, these first two steps point you in the right direction, but they aren’t enough to defeat the fruit flies and house flies.
Why? The area you red-flagged is likely not their only stomping ground within your house. So check the common areas like your kitchen sink and other damp places. If you notice that your kitchen sink isn’t flowing well or is clogged, you should clean it immediately.
Look out for the trash cans in your garage or compound. If you notice fruit fly (house fly) activity on your trash can cover, wash it with any cleaner to remove any trace of fruit flies eggs. Once cleaned, ensure they are dry before using them.
Keep a clean environment.
It is not enough to momentarily clean the house. If you do not make it a habit to clean and sanitize your environment, fruit flies will most likely return. Below are the daily steps to ensure that fruit flies and house flies hover far away from your abode.
- Dump overripe fruits in the trash can and take out the garbage from time to time.
- Let the fridge house the fruits and veggies that are not currently in use.
- We cannot overemphasize the importance of washing produce immediately after you get home. Doing so eliminates fruit fly (house fly) larvae or eggs.
- Did your wine or beer spill while watching TV? Don’t wait till tomorrow; clean instantly.
Methods to get rid of fruit flies
After cleaning their stamping grounds, your home should be free of these flies. However, if they keep coming back, you need to outsmart them by making house fly or fruit fly traps. There is no one way to make fruit fly traps, but one sure thing is that they are pretty effective at eliminating them. We will discuss the most common types of fruitfly traps below;
Vinegar in plastic wrap trap
Fruit flies and house flies love the scent of vinegar. We recommend sweet apple cider vinegar, not the white alternative. You can put the vinegar in a plastic wrap trap anywhere in the house, but we recommend placing it in the kitchen and places where the flies congregate the most. Follow these steps to build one.
- Get a cylindrical glass and pour a minimal amount of ACV into the glass – nothing too much.
- Cover the glass with plastic wrap and hold it with a rubber band or thread.
- Make tiny holes in the plastic wrap so the fruit flies and house flies can enter.
Vinegar and dish soap trap
This method won’t need a plastic cover or paper cone to trap the fruit flies and house flies. Instead, you will need a disposable container, vinegar, dish soap, sugar, and water. The idea is to get the fruit flies to sink into the mixture by reducing the surface tension of the vinegar by adding soap.
- Make a vinegar mixture using a few tablespoons of vinegar, sugar, and a small amount of water. You can prepare the mixture in a disposable container.
- Then, stir a few drops of dish soap into the mixture.
Once inside, the fruit flies would drown in the mixture. Try this method until your home is free of fruit flies and house flies.
Old fruit trap
Why dispose of rotting produce when you can use them to trap fruit flies and end their rule once and for all? Nothing attracts fruit flies and house flies more than old fruits. Combining vinegar with chunks of rotting fruits will help you trap more fruit flies and house flies. Follow the steps below to create an old fruit trap.
- Add little vinegar to one or two chunks of ripe fruit and place the combo in a jar.
- Tear a sheet of paper and roll it into a cone. Stick the smaller end into the jar and let the wider side face up.
On entering the jar, the fruit flies and house flies will be stuck. Instead of a paper cone, you can also use plastic wrap, as we did in the first trap.
Swimming pool trap
Like old fruits, fruit flies also have a thing for red wines. If you don’t mind sharing some of your wine with fruit flies and house flies, this swimming pool trap method is for you.
- Get a disposable container.
- Then, mix the red wine and dish detergent in the disposable container.
- Seal the container with a plastic cover.
- Make small holes in the plastic wrap and ensure the hole is wide enough to accommodate the entry of fruit flies.
A sip of the wine mixture is enough to trap a house fly or fruit fly. They should drown in the swimming pool.
Get a ready-made fly trap.
Let’s say you are too busy to make a DIY trap and just need something that works, and then you can save time by purchasing a sticky fly trap at a local hardware store or online store. Ensure the trap is placed in the common areas and trash it when full.
Pay for an exterminator.
The job of an exterminator is to kill unwanted insects. This option can be a very effective but also expensive method. Also, the chemicals applied can trigger a “not-so-serious” reaction in you or your pets. So ask for the side effects before giving an exterminator the go-ahead.
Making DIY fly traps is fun, and there is no shortage of resources. There is always some beer, wine, vinegar, or rotting fruit. You can use that to your advantage. We hope this guide for dealing with a house fly infestation has been helpful to you.