Are fruit flies driving you insane? These itsy-bitsy insects become HUGE pests when their populations explode in late summer and early fall — the time of year when fruits and veggies are ripe. Don’t let these flying pests annoy you any longer. Make your own fruit fly trap to cut down their numbers and use our simple cleaning tips to keep them from coming back.
Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?
Having fruit flies is a very common pest problem. They can easily be brought home on infested produce you got at the grocery store, and can sneak inside through screens and other openings from the outdoors. Fruit flies are attracted to moist or rotting foods. Those bananas, onions and tomatoes you leave out on the counter are prime real estate for these pests. They are also attracted to drains, trash cans, empty bottles and cans and even sponges or wet towels.
Fruit Fly Lifespan
An adult fruit fly is about ⅛-inch long with red eyes and a tan and black body. They lay their eggs near the surface of moist or fermenting foods. When larvae hatch, they continue to feed in the same areas. Fruit flies can develop from eggs to adults in less than a week. They usually live for about a month, and females can lay as many as 700 eggs each in that time. This quick lifespan means a fruit fly infestation can spiral out of control in no time!
Do Fruit Flies Bite?
No! That would truly be a nightmare. Luckily, fruit flies don’t have the ability to bite people. Their mouthparts are made only for slurping up juices from fruits and veggies. In rare instances, people develop tiny red bumps after being touched by fruit flies. The bacteria that fruit flies carry on their bodies can sometimes cause an allergic reaction. No need to worry, cleaning your skin in the shower should fix the problem. Seek a doctor’s advice if the rash doesn’t go away.
How To Get Rid Of [And Prevent] Fruit Flies
Remember the word “CLEAN” and you will be well on your way to getting rid of and preventing these tiny pests.
Clean kitchen counters, floors and sink.
Launder dishtowels and sterilize or replace sponges.
Empty trashcan regularly.
Always clean dirty dishes right away.
Never leave out fruits or veggies. Package, refrigerate or throw away.
Kill Fruit Flies With A Homemade Trap
At Catseye, we use this handy Vector® Fruit Fly Trap from BASF. The trap has a fruit-based liquid that attracts the fruit flies inside through the holes in the lid. An inner ridge makes it too complicated for the fruit flies to find their way out and they eventually drown in the liquid.
While these traps are awesome, you can just as easily make your own at home.
Here's what you'll need:
- Empty Container
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dish Soap
- Plastic Cling Wrap
Begin by adding an inch or so of apple cider vinegar to the container. This fruit-based liquid will attract the fruit flies.
Next add a few drops of dish soap. This will break the surface tension of the vinegar, otherwise the fruit flies can just stand on the liquid and drink their fill!
Secure a piece of plastic cling wrap over the top of the container. A rubber band may be useful to hold the plastic on.
Use the pen to poke a few holes in the plastic wrap.
All done! Now let the fruit fly trap do the rest of the work.
Try making your own and be sure to let us know how it works!