Apples and grapes are abundant this time of year in Canada. We love them, but so do fruit flies!
Fruit flies seem to be the magicians of the insect world. They appear and disappear as fast as you can say, “Abracadabra!” When they do make an appearance, though, they can be a real nuisance.
Here are seven tried-and-true ways of getting these bugs to disappear for good:
Find out what’s attracting them. Fruit flies love fruit that is starting to go bad, so it doesn’t take much to understand how they got their name. Once you find the culprit, toss the fruit and wash the area with a disinfectant cleaner.
Make a vinegar solution. Get a disposable container, fill it with water and add a couple tablespoons of white vinegar and a little sugar. Give it a stir and then add a few drops of dish soap to the mixture and stir again. Put the container where the flies seem to be most prevalent. They’ll be attracted to the solution and won’t be able to get out once they get in.
Toast them with a red. Fruit flies love red wine. Pour some wine into a disposable container, add a few drops of dish soap and stir. Use plastic wrap to cover the dish. Poke a few holes that are just big enough for the fruit flies to fit through. Once they get inside and into the wine, they’ll end up drowning.
Clean up common areas. Fruit flies love to live and breed in areas that are warm and damp. If you’ve eliminated what you believe to be their source, make sure to give the kitchen sink and drain a good cleaning. Garbage cans are another area in which they like to congregate and lay eggs. Trash cans should be washed out and disinfected regularly, preferably using a solution of bleach and warm water.
Do the dishes. Life is busy and sometimes dirty dishes are left in the sink. Fruit flies will thank you for that since they love all that gunk! Washing dishes as soon as they’re used will eliminate the possibility of fruit flies using them as a nursery area. Leaving any liquid in glasses or cups is also not recommended.
The essential oil option. Fruit flies aren’t fans of basil, so using basil essential oil around the area they gather may be an option. Generally, they don’t like strong smells at all, so adding some lavender essential oil on a sponge may also repel them. They also tend to stay away from incense and lemongrass as well. Keep in mind, some essential oils are poisonous to pets so check with your vet first!
Freeze compost. Many people pride themselves on being environmentally friendly and compost much of their leftover food. You might find your compost pile is attracting fruit flies, which could ultimately lay their eggs on your vegetables. If you freeze leftover fruit and veggies before adding them to the compost pile, it should keep fruit flies at bay. Also, make sure to churn the compost pile often.