In our latest article, we discussed ways to propagate mushrooms. In this one, we are not going to talk about means of propagation, but ways in which you can effectively get rid of something – in this case, fruit flies.
You are going to learn about the lifecycle of a fruit fly, about what causes fruit flies to nest inside your home, and about ways to get rid of them, that really work. After reading this, your home will never be the same again if you apply the techniques presented in this article. So let’s start our journey of learning how to have a home that’s free of fruit flies.
What is a fruit fly?
The best way to conquer your enemy is to know them really well so, in order to know how to get rid of fruit flies, you must first know what they are, what their life cycle is, where they hide in your home and what they feed on. In the science world, the fruit fly is known as Drosophila melanogaster and it is one of the most common flies used for scientific research.
Fruit flies have a lifespan of 40 to 50 days. You might think that if you have a fruit fly infestation and you stop them from reproducing, you will get rid of them in a month or so, right? Well, not quite. The process goes like this: a fruit fly lays its eggs in rotten fruit. After 12 days, flies hatch out of their eggs.
The astonishing thing is that a female fruit fly can lay up to 100 eggs per day which can be a really big problem if you have a lot of rotten food lying around. The Drosophila melanogaster is a small fly and you will not be able to spot the eggs with the naked eye. So you might eat fruit that has fly eggs in it.
Fruit flies are usually very fond of fermentation byproducts, so it does not really matter if it comes from fruit, vegetables, bread, or other rotten food in your home that has these byproducts.
Where do fruit flies come from?
During autumn, when the fruit is harvested, some people that live near orchards might have a fruit fly infestation. This happens because the fruit that is not good for eating or selling is left on the ground and the proper environment for fruit fly propagation is created.
In a similar way, if you have just one fruit that is overripe in your kitchen and a fruit fly takes a look at it, you can get an infestation. This happens because, as we have said before, a fruit fly can lay up to 100 eggs a day and most of them hatch at the same time. So after about 12 days, if you don’t throw the piece of fruit away, you will wake up with a kitchen full of fruit flies.
Practices to keep your home fruit-fly-free
Now that you know how long fruit flies live and how they get inside your home, you will better understand why you have to take the next steps in order to get rid of them and in order to prevent them from nesting inside your home. Here are a few steps that you have to follow in order to make it happen.
- Take the garbage out at the end of the day
Even if you have a covered garbage bin, you will not be able to seal it perfectly every time you throw something away. If you cook every day, your garbage can will always have leftovers that will end up fermenting and the fermentation byproducts that we have talked about before will be present.
So in order to prevent the leftovers from fermenting, you should take out the garbage every day. Even though it seems like a practice that should be very common, people who don’t gather around much garbage during the day do this only every 2 or 3 days.
- Wash fruits and vegetables right after you arrive home
It is true that it has been said that fruits will ripen quicker if you wash them before you store them, but it is better to do so because you don’t know how they were stored and if any female fruit fly has put their eggs on them. By washing them, you will get rid of any egg or fly larvae that could be present on the fruit.
- Check your fruit bowl for overripe products
If you like overripe fruit and you happen to have one in the kitchen, eat it while it’s still edible or throw it away because, if you don’t, ‘fruit fly infestation’ is written on your forehead. Make it a practice of checking up on your fruit and veggies every evening and cook them or eat them before they start to deteriorate in order to not waste any food.
If you happen to have even just one overripe piece of fruit in your stack, throw it away immediately in order to prevent flies from laying eggs in it. This way you can make sure that you will not create an environment that fruit flies like.
- Clean when you spill
This must be a rule for everyone in the house. If you spill some juice on the table or on the floor and you leave it there, it will begin the fermentation process and it will attract fruit flies. If you have a window open and there are fruit flies outside, you have high chances of receiving unwanted guests.
- The fridge is the best place to store your fruits and veggies
A good practice is to store your fruits and veggies inside the fridge. This way you can keep them fresh for a longer period of time and you will avoid any unpleasant visits because the fridge is usually closed and fruit flies are not able to get inside.
- Use fruit fly traps
If your home is infested by fruit flies, there is a very effective way that will make you get rid of it, and that is a fruit fly trap. A fruit fly trap is a product that will attract flies and that will not allow them to get away until they die. This way you can make sure that none of the fruit flies get out alive and you will be able to have a fly-free home in no time.
There are several types of fruit fly traps and we are going to tell you all about them.
- Glue fruit fly traps
These traps are usually made of cardboard or plastic and are impregnated with pheromones that attract fruit flies. When they arrive they will get stuck onto the trap due to the glue present on it which is so powerful that it will not let them escape so they will eventually die.
- Electric fruit fly traps
Electric traps make a great choice because they usually work on multiple types of insects, not just fruit flies, and they are also equipped with a UV lamp that will kill the germs associated with the insects.
- Liquid fruit fly traps
These traps are the most popular because very often you can make them yourself and are less expensive. The principle behind them is that you have a recipient that is filled with a liquid that attracts fruit flies. This can be juice or water mixed with vinegar. After the fruit flies get in, they will not be able to get out of there and they will eventually die.
There are many products on the market that have a special formula that will better attract the flies around your home and that will be a little bit more efficient than what you will be able to make. However, any mixture that has vinegar in it will do a great job, you just have to find the right recipient that will not let the flies get out of it.
Fruit flies are not good news and there are many things in your home that can become their nest. However, if you practice the things that we have told you about, regarding how to put aside everything that can attract them to your home, you will not be facing any unwanted guests.
Furthermore, if you have an infestation or you just want to better protect your home, a fruit fly trap is the best way to go because they are very effective and you will be able to enjoy a home free of fruit flies in no time.