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Fruit flies on bananas

Is there anything more annoying than fruit flies? While they’re not harmful, they are irritating, because they have no regard for personal space. Once those little pests gain a foothold in your kitchen, it seems like it’s impossible to make them go away, and they’ll be in your face and in your food until you figure it out. Fortunately, we’ve got some tips for getting rid of fruit flies that will help you keep your kitchen free from these pesky little bugs.

Are fruit flies the same as gnats? If you’ve got gnats in the house, they may be attracted to the same thing as fruit flies: things that are decomposing. Gnats are more likely to choose a potted plant than a piece of fruit, but fruit will do in a pinch, so that can be confusing. They look somewhat different: fruit flies have an oval shape like house flies, are light tan to brown, with red eyes, while gnats are gray to black with longer, mosquito-like bodies. Drain flies are furry, with heart-shaped wings, and breed in damp places like sinks and garbage disposals in larger swarms than fruit flies. However, all of these bugs are so small you may not notice these differences. Here’s a question to ask yourself, though. Do fruit flies or gnats bite? Fruit flies don’t bite, and neither do drain flies, but gnats do, so if the bugs in your kitchen are biting you as well as annoying you, they’re gnats. Here’s the good news: knowing how to get rid of gnats is essentially the same as understanding fruit fly removal, so you can use the same tricks if you’re unsure.

One of the most popular methods for ridding your kitchen of fruit flies is to set up a fruit fly trap. To do this effectively, get a jar with a lid and poke several holes in the lid with a hammer and a nail. In a pinch, you can also use a piece of aluminum foil, secured with a rubber band over the mouth of a drinking glass. Fill the container with about two inches of vinegar, preferably apple cider vinegar. Don’t use white vinegar, and consider heating the apple cider vinegar a little bit to better release its odor. Add a few drops of dish soap, put on the lid, and put your trap near the fruit flies. Make as many as these traps as you can, spreading them around wherever the bugs are hanging out. The flies will smell the apple cider vinegar and fly through the holes into the jar. Once they land on the vinegar, the dish soap will cause them to sink. Even if they can get away from the soap, they won’t be able to get back out through the holes in the jar.

A fruit fly trap is only effective, though, if you take steps to make the environment unappealing to these bugs. Remove any ripe fruit from the counter and clean any spills in your kitchen as quickly as possible, especially sugary substances, vinegar, or alcoholic beverages. Don’t leave food scraps in the trash or the garbage disposal. Eliminate standing water in your kitchen, whether in the sink, under the ice machine, in empty bottles or cans, in coffee machines, or even on mop heads. Consider keeping strong smelling plants like basil or mint in your kitchen, because fruit flies don’t care for their fragrance.

Clean out your drains regularly to get rid of fruit fly breeding grounds. This is particularly important because fruit flies have a very rapid life cycle, with eggs hatching into larvae within 24 hours and growing to adulthood within seven days. As adults, they live several weeks, and a female fruit fly can lay 500 eggs in her lifetime. It’s easy to see, then, how fruit fly populations grow so rapidly! You can clean your drains by pouring in about a gallon of boiling water or pouring bleach slowly down the sides. It’s wise to do this in all the drains in your home, to keep the flies from simply relocating.

Whenever you bring fruit into your house, wash it immediately. That way, you get rid of any stowaway flies or eggs that may be hiding in the fruit. If you’ve already got a problem with fruit flies in your kitchen, store any new produce in the refrigerator until you’ve got the fruit fly issue sorted. While you’re still dealing with the flies, take your houseplants outdoors, if possible. You can also purchase a commercial fly trap that uses UV lights to entice flies and then traps them on a sticky board.

If you can’t seem to get rid of fruit flies on your own, call the professionals at All Star Pest Management. The exterminator Baltimore area residents have trusted for more than a decade, we’re a family-owned and operated business providing customized solutions to deal with any pest problem you’re facing. The team at All Star Pest Management respects the home of every client, and they’ll treat your infestation conveniently and effectively while treating your home or business as if it were their own. To make an appointment, call 410-772-0204 in Catonsville or 410-772-0204 in Columbia or request a free estimate through our website.