Summer always comes with an abundance of fruits, vegetables and what not. As gardeners, we work fervently to ensure that we at least get something out of our hard work. Some may can (immediately), some of us save them on out counter tops for them to ripen even more for that perfect dish when we have company over. I am personally a , live and let live kind of person, therefore, I let my tomatoes continue to ripen, or bananas, mangoes, guavas and the list is endless. So I usually let my fresh veggies/fruits hang out on the counter top. But then , I get the issues of getting of fruit flies. Let me digress by saying ” where the %&^# do they come from?????
I have previously tried remedies such as leaving wine traps, those fly sticky things and I recently got some advice from a maintenance man and he said : lay tape ( think….duct tape) around the periphery of your sink, fill the sink with bleach water, presumably that will attract them, but once they set on the tape…..BAZINGA…..those suckers aren’t going anywhere. Although I’m pretty sure there are some sadistic fruit flies, just like honey badgers….they don’t give a Sugar Honey Ice Tea (if you know what I mean). I tend to keep a lot of my produce/purchases out….depending what the producer is not my preferred method but at the same time….i find worth in using the produce that I have grown/bought.
They are quite the nuisance that can turn your appetite to muck, and lets not forget they are sickening. It’s inevitable. If you’ve ever battled a fruit fly infestation in your home ?and who hasn’t, really, you know just how hard it is to get rid of them. These tiny pests breed quickly, and can survive long after you’ve disposed of all your suspect fruits and vegetables. Winning the battle against fruit flies requires a certain capacity of tolerance and please, try not to get anxious, frustrated or angry…..but keep in mind that it is only natural. Oh and don’t forget being persistent because these little buggers multiply like quick, so being vigilant will prove to have profound effect on success.
Most often I hear vinegar being the primary recommendation, but there are other remedies that can be tried and may be just as successful. I am going to share a few cheap, home made remedies that can help. As always, you can easily go to your home remedy store and purchase a product. But at least you can try making something that is inexpensive without needing to go out and spend your hard earned cash. SO I would like to share a few remedies that I have tried and have seemingly been successful.
I prefer to leave my herbs , onions, tomatoes, potatoes outside (as in not in the fridge). Therefore, from time to time, I seemingly have a crazy infestation of fruit flies, that ultimately make me postpone my semi-weekly dinner plans. I have often wondered where they come from. Do they have a nest somewhere or do they just appear from think air.I decided to learn more about these semi-invisible pests and here are a few facts I found:
1)They have a short lifespan: 8-10 days so they proliferate with great rapidity
2) They don’t appear from thin air. Due to their small size, they get in through any small space available (window sills, cracks through the door)
3) They can lay up to 500 eggs near the surface of ripening foods(eeeewwwww!!!!!!)
4)They can lay their eggs in sink drains, empty bottles and cans, garbage bags, sponges, garbage disposals, and even damp mops.
Just imagine (or cringe, more likely) that you have a a bowl or irresistible fresh edibles, that is absolutely irresistible for humans and flies alike. I am not sure what methods you use to shoo them away or prohibit them from enjoying your hard work/money. Well there are certain ways to prohibit these little buggers out of your home…..or at least ways to prohibit and limit how much or completely eliminate them from occupying your precious space.
So the question remains, and I would like to hear comments on the topic as well; but how do you get rid of or minimize your fruit fly infestation?
Before I start sharing ideas, I would like to state that I try to be as humane as possible ( which may or may not apply to those squirrels that ensure I have no berries or tomatoes left) but I prefer to use non toxic remedies. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes I will take time off from work just to watch all those suckers drain….but I’m not vain at all 🙂 I solemnly swear. These buggers never seem to go away once they know where the goodies are.
Since we are on this topic, I have a few suggestions that I have shared with friends over time. Some have worked for some and some haven’t for others. But I am just going to offer suggestions on things or ideas to try.
1)Removing sources of food that are prone to attract fruit flies.
you can easily distract fruit flies by avoiding foods/fruits that will most attract those suckers. If you don’t have any detectable food outdoors , the flies are more than likely to go elsewhere. The initial way to start this process is to completely clean your vegetables at a makeshift cleaning station outside of your home. Leave the old bags outdoors and place vegetables in a new container or bag before bringing them into your home. It’s also best to place the vegetables in the refrigerator after cleaning them again in the house sink
2) They like to get tipsy especially on red wine. All you need is plastic wrap and a tall glass. Fill up your receptacle with 1/3 cup of wine or vinegar.Then cover the glass with a bit of plastic wrap and poke a few small holes (large enough for a small fly to venture in) in the top of the plastic wrap. Leave the trap in an area where fruit flies like to hang out and just wait a few days for your trap to become populated with flies attracted by the smell of wine/vinegar. The flies wander in, but are not quite smart enough to exit from where they came.
3) Clean your dishes immediately, especially wine or juice glasses.
Don’t wait until the end of the day to wash your dishes, especially if they have residues of things like jelly or wine. At the very least, give the dishes a good rinse to remove any food or beverage bits. When you scrape leftovers into the garbage, be sure to take the trash outside promptly. If you have a dishwasher, rinse the dishes and load it, and run the load as soon as possible.
4) Make a dish soap trap. When added to a sweet solution, dish soap cannot be detected by fruit flies. The chemicals present in the soap will act as a poison and kill the unwary flies. Fill a jar with a mixture of vinegar (any kind) with sugar – it doesn’t matter in what proportion. Add in a squirt of dish soap and mix the solution well. The flies should be attracted to the sweet and sour scent, but will die when they consume the soapy poison.
5) Use rotten fruit. Your fruit fly problem probably didn’t start until you realized you left out some fruit that eventually rotted. Use the method that gathered the flies in the first place to capture them again, but, this time, lead them to a more morbid end. Place a piece of rotting fruit in a bowl, and stretch clear plastic over the top. Cut several small holes into the plastic using a toothpick, and leave it near the site of the flies. They will be attracted to the scent, but unable to get out.
6) Hanging fly strips. This is a very convenient no mess way to catch those flies. Most people will strictly place them in the kitchen only but you can do whatever you choose. But, good grief, they are unappealing. I recommend hanging one over the sink and close to where you have your fruits/veggies.
These are just some of numerous ideas out there. Do you have any other ingenious ways to rid your house of fruit flies, or any other summer pests?