You know those tiny, irritating bugs you occasionally spot in your fruit bowl or flying throughout your house? Those are fruit flies, and they’re filthy pests you do not want in your home.FRUIT FLIES CAN MAKE YOU SICK
That’s right! Fruit flies can spread disease and bacteria all throughout your home. In fact, research has found that fruit flies are a known cause of E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella poisoning, helping spread these highly dangerous food-borne illnesses in both the U.S. and abroad.
While they peak in spring and summer, our homes provide a uniquely convenient environment for fruit flies to thrive, in some cases, all year round. In other words, you can get them any time of year and infestations can last for what seems like forever. So if you’ve got fruit flies and don’t want them around for months, or you’d simply like to avoid ever seeing one in your home, the below 3 steps have you covered.
1. REMOVE FOOD SOURCES & BREEDING SITES
The first step to getting rid of your fruit fly problem is to target the source. It’s all about basic sanitation, and removing food sources and potential fruit fly breeding sites. These gross bugs can survive off anything with sugar and almost any type of organic decay. Here’s how to get rid of the most common sources of fruit flies:
- Check any foods you have stored outside your fridge for signs of fruit flies, especially fruits, vegetables, and bread. If fruit flies emerge when you move these items, toss them in the garbage and immediately take the trash outside. Until you get your fruit fly issue under control, store all unsealed produce in the fridge.
- During ongoing fruit fly problems, empty indoor trash cans and recycling bins at least daily. Thoroughly rinse all food receptacles before throwing them out or recycling them. For food scraps, skip your indoor trash bin and take them immediately outdoors. Periodically cleaning your trash and recycling cans with a family-safe All-Purpose Cleaner is essential until the problem improves.
- Moist items like mops, rags, and sponges are ideal breeding sites. Unless you keep these items dry and clean, you’ll likely never get rid of your fruit fly roommates.
- An often overlooked source of fruit flies are drains and garbage disposals. Deep clean these areas, and then pour a mixture of several drops of dish soap and boiling water down inside. That’s usually enough to kill and temporarily repel hidden fruit flies.
- Make it a habit to never leave dirty dishes or food scraps in the sink. These are enough to perpetuate a fruit fly population for weeks, even months.
- Fruit flies sometimes enter our homes from outdoors. While you’re battling these annoying pests, keep your home’s windows firmly closed (screens are not sufficient to keep out fruit flies).
- Wash your clothes often and keep laundry spaces clean and dry. Fruit fly populations can thrive on dirty laundry alone.
- Your fruit flies might be thriving on food or drink spills you haven’t noticed yet. Closely inspect your kitchen’s countertops and flooring for any crumbs, residues, or food scraps daily until you can get the fruit flies under control. Clean as needed with a non-toxic All-Purpose Cleaner.
2. KILL & REPEL
Killing and repelling fruit flies with Cedarcide is easy. Whether it's your sinks, drains, bathrooms, countertops, your laundry room, or flooring, you can safely use Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray to kill and repel fruit flies.
There’s nothing to it. To kill, a quick direct spray is all it takes. To repel fruit flies, lightly spray common problem spots like sinks and countertops, as well as suspected entry points like window frames, weekly. This can cut several days or even weeks off your fruit fly predicament.
In general, avoid spraying food storage areas. While Cedarcide All-Purpose Bug Spray is family-safe and won't cause toxicity issues, no one wants their food tasting like cedarwood oil, no matter how amazing it smells.
MAKE A FRUIT FLY TRAP AT HOME
A DIY fruit fly trap can be incredibly helpful. All you need is a bowl, a piece of fruit, plastic wrap, and a toothpick.
- Place your piece of overripe or rotten fruit in a basic kitchen bowl.
- Tightly seal the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Use the toothpick to poke 5-10 small holes in the plastic wrap.
Attracted by the fruit, the flies will enter the bowl via the small holes, ultimately getting trapped inside. Leave this DIY fruit fly trap out overnight and replace it daily. Don’t be surprised if you catch a few dozen fruit flies a day—this trap is remarkably effective.
3. PREVENT THEM FROM COMING BACK
Fruit fly prevention is similar to the first step of getting rid of fruit flies outlined above, namely eliminating potential food sources and breeding sites.
If you're constantly facing fruit flies, the below suggestions will be game-changers for your household, helping you successfully avoid future fruit fly infestations:
- Consider storing all produce in the fridge. While it’s not the most efficient storage method for all types of food, the slight drop in taste or freshness might be a welcome tradeoff for avoiding additional fruit fly outbreaks.
- Inspect produce and other potential carriers like houseplants for fruit flies before bringing them into your home.
- Moving forward, strictly avoid leaving dirty dishes and food in the sink. Similarly, clean up food and drinks spills the moment they occur. Frequently wiping down kitchen surfaces and flooring with a family-safe All-Purpose Cleaner will also help substantially.
- Always thoroughly rinse recyclables until there's no food or sticky residues remaining.
- Periodically clean trash and recycling bins, and take them out frequently.
- Cleaning supplies like mops, rags, sponges, and scrubbers need be deep cleaned and dried after use.
- Do your best to keep your home’s humidity low. Warm, damp conditions are ideal for fruit fly breeding. Using your air conditioner and/or fans will do the trick.
- Outdoor fruit flies can quickly become indoor fruit flies. To avoid fostering large populations in your front or back yards, be diligent when it comes to removing decaying organic matter, like dying plant life for instance. Sorry pet parents, this includes dog and cat poop, too, which are both exceptional fruit fly attractants.