Good Riddance Fruit Flies!

Trap made with red wine vinegar

You may have noticed that these pesky bugs have returned with a vengence in the past few weeks! Fruit flies tend to build in population in the summer as harvest time approaches and they reproduce very rapidly. The flies are attracted to fermenting fruit and can smell the scent of ripeness from quite a distance.

overripe banana
Overripe banana

Did you know that fruit flies can travel up to 6.5 miles in a 24 hour period?

Fruit flies can be challenging to eliminate, but there are a few tips that can help to control them:

  • Store fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator as they approach ripeness
  • If you are noticing fruit flies, dispose of overripe or bruised/damaged fruit or vegetables
  • Keep counters and surrounding areas clean by wiping and disinfecting regularly
  • Empty trash cans routinely
  • If fruit flies are breeding from the drain, explore bacterial digester products that can be poured into the drain (some people also try bleach, but it may not work as effectively)

    Trap made with red wine vinegar
    Trap made with red wine vinegar

Fruit fly traps are another way to control the population and rid them from your space. Commercial traps can be purchased at many home and garden stores. Alternatively, homemade traps can be tried and are sometimes just as effective. Here are a few ideas for creating your own trap:

  • Fill a small bowl or glass with ~1 inch of vinegar, apple cider, wine or juice. The flies are attracted to the sweetness and will drown in the mixture. If you find that flies are flying out the trap, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few small holes in the top.
  • Add a piece of overripe fruit in a jar. Construct a paper cone with a small opening at the bottom and insert it in the jar. Flies will enter through the large end of the cone and get stuck in the jar.
  • Create a ziplock bag trap by placing overripe fruit in a small plastic bag and leaving an inch open. When flies enter, seal the bag and discard.
  • Soap suds and dish soap in a small bowl or jar is also another method that may attract fruit flies.

These are just a few ideas to help control the fruit fly population! Are you familiar with other homemade trap ideas not mentioned here? Please share your tips and tricks!  Feel free to add comments to this post or share your thoughts on our Fruit Share Facebook page.