If you’ve ever wondered what those little flies are, particularly the ones that are hovering around your fruit bowls and garbage bins, likely they are fruit flies. They have the distinction of being colourful, rather than black, like house flies. While fruit flies are non-biting, they can be a pest, as their population can quickly increase in the home. They prefer the kitchen, but can infest other regions of the home where decaying fruit may be. They can also infest patios, balconies, and garbage bins.
Most people who start seeing colonies of fruit flies in their homes will want to find the best way to eradicate them. It can be annoying having to swat flies away from food, and no one wants to find any dead flies in their food or drink.
What Are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies is a generic term given to flies from two main types of insect kingdom families: Tephritidae and the Drosophilidae. The Tephritidae family of fruit flies can have an interesting mottled or striped appearance on their wings that distinguishes them from Drosophilidae. They’re often called the common fruit fly, yet they can be one of any of 5000 different species of fruit flies.
Fruit flies are found in all the ecological zones of the world. They can be of a small size of 2.5 millimetres, and up to 10 millimetres long. Depending on the type, they may have a harmful impact on food crops, or a beneficial impact if they’re the type that feeds off other insects. Fruit flies have also been successfully used in eradicating harmful weeds from land.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies?
Traditionally, pesticides have been used to eradicate fruit flies from gardens or inside the home, but due to their overuse, scientists have been studying other methods to control them. It’s much simpler to remove them from your home with the use of fruit fly traps and prevention.
1. Use screens. Screened windows and doors not only keep out fruit flies, they also keep out other types of bugs too. This will keep out larger fruit flies, but you may still have smaller ones move in.
2. Don’t leave fruit out. It can be tempting to leave fruit set out in a bowl on a table as it’s attractive, but that can attract bugs. Store your fruit in the refrigerator.
3. Empty the garbage. Empty your indoor kitchen bin at least once a day, and place in the outdoor trash bin, or place your organics into your outdoor compost heap.
4. Scrub bins. Scrub out all garbage bins at least once a month. Do a thorough cleaning around walls, floors, or ground that may have decaying food matter stuck to it.
Best Fruit Fly Trap DIY
If you’re beginning to see small or large fruit flies around your home, particularly kitchen or dining room, you can start with a homemade fruit fly trap. These traps are simply to make, and only take a few inexpensive materials from your home. Follow the instructions to get rid of fruit flies, and soon you’ll be able to eat your dinner without having to fight over your food.
Materials & Supplies Needed for Best Fruit Fly Trap
One great DIY fruit trap contains apple cider vinegar which is something that fruit flies love. Not only will they like the apple smell but also the smell of fermenting apples. Collect together these materials and supplies to get started on making your own fruit fly trap.
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar.
- One piece of overripe fruit: a berry will do.
- One drop of dish soap.
- A mason jar.
- A plastic funnel or a sheet of paper to make one.
Method to Make Your DIY Fruit Fly Trap
Follow these simple instructions on making a DIY fruit fly trap that you can place in your home to attract fruit flies. The dish soap has the purpose of breaking the surface tension of the vinegar so that fruit flies can’t just drink and fly away. The funnel will keep the flies from escaping once they are inside the jar. Heating the vinegar will provide additional enticement, and will immediately attract the fruit flies in the vicinity. Once the vinegar cools down, the DIY fruit fly trap will still continue attracting more fruit flies to it.
- Pour the 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar in the mason jar.
- Heat up for 20 – 30 seconds in the microwave.
- Place a small piece of fruit in the bottom of the jar.
- Add one or two drops of dish soap.
- If you don’t have a plastic funnel, fold and tape one from a sheet of paper.
- Leave a wide entrance at the top, which a narrow gap at the bottom.
- Place your funnel on the top of the jar.
- Now it’s ready for use.
How to Use Your Fruit Fly Trap
Now that your trap is made, it’s ready to be used. Place it in prominent locations where you have seen several fruit flies flying around the room. You can reuse your fruit fly trap many times, though it may eventually look a bad sight.
At this point you’ll wish to dump the contents and make a new batch. If you find that there are fruit flies still flying around inside the jar, you can place the jar in the freezer for twenty minutes. After that, remove your paper funnel and dump the contents of the mason jar. Wash out thoroughly, and fill up with your DIY recipe again.
Product Based Control Methods
If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making your own fruit fly DIY trap, you can purchase them online. Here are three of the best fruit fly traps that will help attract the pests. Soon you’ll have a home clear of these annoying little flies.
1. TERRO Fruit Fly Trap T2500
- Once open, the fruit fly trap will last for thirty days.
- Non-toxic and safe to use around food, children, and pets.
- For indoor or outdoor usage.
- Trap is apple-shaped, so friends and guests won’t know what it is.
- Flies cannot escape the trap and are prevented from breeding.
The TERRO fruit fly trap has a fun yellow and red apple-shaped design. Simply pull off the leaf strip to activate the vapour chamber, and pour in the liquid lure. Place your fruit fly trap in a suitable location. Ensure that the lid is open when you want to use it. Place the trap where it can’t be pushed over or moved. Generally most homes have fruit flies around fruit bowls or garbage bins. The adult fruit flies will be lured to the special liquid-based food inside. The food contains a non-toxic vinegar that will attract the flies to it. The flies will go inside and drown. The solution is scent-free so it won’t be noticeable in your room.
Once inside, the fruit flies can’t escape, and then won’t continue breeding. This trap is suitable for use for inside or outside. You can place it near food, pets, or children, without worrying about toxicity. It acts quickly, so you should stop seeing fruit flies flying around within two or three days, and eventually put a stop to your kitchen infestation. Once it’s set up, you can forget about it for thirty days.
2. BEAPCO 6-Pack Drop-Ins Fruit Fly Traps
- 6 pack set for multiple rooms or 180 days of usage.
- Each trap lasts 30 days.
- Fully disposable.
- Spill-proof even if tipped or dropped.
- Attracts 2.2 times more fruit flies than other brands.
Beapco offers a six pack of fruit fly traps so that you have enough for 180 days, or for use in different rooms in home or office. They are simple to set up in your home. Set up one at a time, or use more than one for a particularly bad infestation. The fluid comes in a separate bottle which is squeezed into each trap to the fill line. After filling, simply place your trap where it’s needed.
After 30 days, the traps are disposable in a trash bin. The traps will not spill or lose their fluid even if they are tipped over or dropped onto the ground. Beapco has their own patented non-toxic Lure Solution which is safe to use around food, pets, or children. Place on countertops, near fruit bowls, near trash bins or any other location you have seen a lot of fruit flies. The traps are completely scent-free.
3. FlyFix Fruit Fly Trap Reusable, 3 in Green/White
- Fruit flies enter but they can’t escape.
- Crystal-like top looks like a decorative holder.
- These fruit fly traps are reusable and refillable.
- No spill design even if they’re tipped.
- White base blocks unsightly bait and flies.
Other fruit fly bait traps are disposable, but these ones have been designed to be reused. The FlyFix Fruit Fly Trap is not only effective, it will look attractive, but still be clear enough that you can see inside to see if it’s working. The fruit flies will be attracted to enticing scent of the solution. They feature a funnel where the flies can enter but that will keep them trapped within. There are a choice of four trap colours: green, blue, red, and yellow, so you can coordinate with the colours of your kitchen.
To begin, you can twist them to open them up. They can be filled with solution, and then twisted closed again. These fruit fly traps can be set up in prominent fruit fly locations. After 30 days are up, the fruit fly traps should be cleaned. They can be twisted to the water icon on the container, and then filled with water to kill the fruit flies within. Once that’s done, they can be poured out and refilled. You can also add your own fruit fly attractants, such as fruit or berries, to make them work even better.
How to Use Fruit Fly Products
No matter what stage a fruit fly is at, they require moist organic debris to complete their fruit fly cycle. Here are some additional tips to help you achieve success at eradicating a bad fruit fly infestation in your home.
- Follow the instructions on the fruit fly traps so they work effectively.
- Locate the source of the fruit fly breeding ground.
- Often it’s kitchen counters, sinks, dishwashers, garbage bins, fruit and vegetable bowls, and under the sink.
- Place your traps in these locations.
Precautions & Safety Measures for Using Fruit Fly Traps
While most fruit fly traps are safe to use around food, plants, or pets, keep these tips in mind before setting them up.
- Place your traps above ground, such as on a table or countertop. On the ground they can become damaged by feet or curious pets.
- If your fruit fly traps aren’t working, most likely you have another type of flying insect infestation such as gnats or moths, and will need to explore alternative eradication methods.
- Store any pesticide solution bottles safely in the cupboards, away from pets or children.
- Keep pesticide solution in its original bottle so you always know what the contents of the bottle is.
- Ensure you dispose of all used traps within 30 days, or clean them out if they’re washable.
- Place a new trap on the counter after the old ones are used up.
- Repeat the cycle until you have completely eradicated all fruit flies from your home, and have managed to do a thorough cleaning.
Fruit flies can be an annoying part of trying to maintain a healthy, clean home, but fortunately they can quickly and safety be eradicated with the use of DIY or store-bought fruit fly traps. Use the traps to kill fruit flies or to aid in their prevention. Soon you’ll have a kitchen free of these pests and you’ll be able to focus on what really matters with your family.