If you enjoy keeping a basketful of fruit in the kitchen, you are probably familiar with a few unwelcome house guests: fruit flies. These pesky bugs seem to appear out of nowhere and multiply faster than your third-grade math teacher. They’re gross and annoying and they need to go! But, before you try to get rid of them, it may be helpful to know a little bit more about them.
Fruit flies need warmer temperatures and fermentation for ideal growth (read: rotting fruit). Each fruit fly lays enough eggs to produce more than 200 babies. Even worse news: female babies can start laying their own eggs within 24 hours of hatching, according to The Bug Squad
. It’s no wonder it feels like there are a million fruit flies… there are!
Getting rid of the pests
If fruit flies have reared their ugly heads, you can evict them from your home with a little ingenuity.
The old saying, “you catch more flies with honey,” may be a bit off the mark. Try opening a bottle of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Cover the opening of the bottle with plastic wrap and slice a hole in the middle so the flies can get in. They’ll be attracted to the smell of vinegar, but won’t be able to get back out, according to Good House Keeping.
Milk Sugar and Pepper: Pour a pint of milk, four ounces of sugar and 2 ounces of ground pepper into a saucepan. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour into a shallow bowl and wait. The flies will fly in and drown, according to Good House Keeping.
It’s not pretty, but it’ll do. Place sliced fruit into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap (you can secure it in place with a rubber band as needed). Poke small holes in the top of the plastic wrap. The fermenting fruit attracts the flies and the plastic traps them inside, according to Whole New Mom.
Roast ’em: Cut two lemons or other citrus fruits in half and put them in your oven (right on racks will do). Prop the door open for a few hours. After a few hours, close the door and crank the oven to broil. Turn off the oven, toss the fruit and wipe out the bottom of your stove. Poof. (Remember to put up a gate to block the kitchen or wait until the kids are at school before you try this).
Preventing fruit flies
The best solution may be keeping flies out of your home. There are a few ways you can keep these pests at bay including:
-Refrigerating vegetables at the first sign of flies. (Eliminate their food source).
-Clean recycling bins regularly
-Clean garbage cans regularly (remove old foods and spills)
– Wipe down the stove and counter tops nightly to remove any spills and scents that could attract flies.
How do you keep fruit flies at bay? Share your tips in the comments below.