Fruit flies are a annoying little pest (albeit harmless). Sometimes, they seem to sprout from no known source, other times the overripe bananas on the counter give you a good idea of where they come from. It seems that once they are there though, it takes forever to get rid of them. This is often because these little pests have found a place to breed, a food, and a water source and are happily repopulating themselves every couple of days (giving you a run for your money). You can stop this process with a little bit of work and a little bit of time. You don't need to buy any harmful chemicals or any dangerous sprays either!
Get rid of their food source. Often times, fruit is the food source for fruit flies. Get rid of any bad or overripe fruits and remove them to the outdoors garbage can (which should be aways away from the house so that they can't come back in). Place any fruit that isn't overripe in the refrigerator or a Ziploc bag to keep it out of the reach of these little guys.
Search for additional food sources. Sadly, the obvious isn't always the food source of your new "friends," or isn't the only available food source. Check the insides of your trashcans and in hard-to-reach zones for additional food sources. This could be a food smear along the side of the refrigerator or even items dropped and accidentally pushed under the stove.
Clean up any messes. I am guilty of having a few dishes in the sink, standing water soaking last night's pan, and other little messes that make it easy for fruit flies to continue breeding and annoying me. I know I am not alone. Make sure there isn't any standing water anywhere. Clean up the dishes and other sources that could have food or water in them.
Wash out the sinks, tub and toilet. Make sure everything is clean where there could be a water source. Your cleaning supplies will make it harder for the fruit flies and also make sure there aren't any unwanted eggs (which cannot be seen with the naked eye).
Trap the adults. Once you have worked on making it harder for the next generation, it is time to work on trapping the adults. There are a few different ways to do it and which method you choose is up to you. Here are some good suggestions.
- Place a piece of fruit in a sandwich baggie and leave the bag open. Wait overnight and in the morning, close it up and throw it away. You should have caught a good portion of your nasty "friends." Stick a new piece out each day for three days. If you are still seeing lots of fruit flies, but not catching any, then wait two nights. (However, don't wait longer than that or you will be giving them a food source and a great new place to breed new ones.)
- Place a sweet substance into a bowl or cup. It can be wine, soda, or even red wine vinegar. Using a piece of paper, roll a cone to fit over the top of the dish. Tape it on. The flies will go into it, but won't be able to fly out. Place it in a grocery bag and tie tight after two days and throw it in the outside garbage.
- Take a plastic soda bottle and cut the top off of it at the label. Wash this section. Add a sweet substance such as wine, red wine vinegar sugar water, or even a little of the leftover soda to the bottom portion. Remove the cap from the top and flip it over to look like a cone. Insert it into the bottom upside down. Tape the edges. Your flies will fly in, but have a hard time getting out. Throw away after a couple of days.
If necessary, repeat in seven days. Usually removing all old fruit, a good household clean up, and a trap will get rid of your problem quickly. But if it doesn't, then try again in seven days.
Getting rid of fruit flies is really about getting rid of their food and water sources, taking away their breeding grounds, and trapping the adults. The life of a fruit fly is only a couple of days, so rejoice in each one you kill because you are stopping it from having more young!