Ah, fruit flies. Those pesky little bugs that like to travel in packs and seemingly refuse to leave our homes. They’re quick-reproducing flies that can sneak into your home on your fruits and vegetables, and can even fit in through tiny cracks, holes, and screens inside your home. The reason they infest your home so quickly? Because they can grow from egg to adult in just over a week.
These things can seem tough to prevent and remove, but it’s not impossible. Here’s everything you need to know about fruit flies so you can relax, fruit fly-free.
Identifying fruit flies
Adult fruit flies range in size from about 3-4 mm long. They’re typically black and gray, and their larvae can often be mistaken for tiny bits of debris or insect droppings. Don’t be fooled!
Fruit flies are most active outside in the summer, but indoors, they’re active year round.
Their life cycle typically lasts about 25 days, depending on the environment and food sources.
They’re mostly attracted to sugary, organic materials (like fruit!), but they can also be found in decaying meat, trash bins, large spills, and empty containers.
Preventing fruit flies
There are some things you can do regularly to keep your home free of these pesky little guys.
Keep doors and windows shut. This includes screens! Fruit flies are so small that they can squeeze through a screen.
Take out the trash regularly, and scrub trash cans at least weekly.
Remove areas of standing water, as larvae tend to develop in moist areas.
Inspect fruit and vegetables for signs of fruit flies, and store in refrigerators (if appropriate) immediately upon arriving home.
Regularly wipe down counters, and clean spills immediately.
Eliminating fruit flies
The first step is destroying their feeding and breeding grounds. Search your kitchen for rotten fruit, open containers, dirty or full drains, and soft, sweet, organic materials.
Once you eliminate a food source, store all fruits and vegetables in your fridge until the infestation is fully gone.
Check and deep clean your garbage cans and recycling bins.
Create a homemade fly trap. Use something sweet and attractive (such as vinegar, beer, or wine). Pour it into a jar with a lid with a few small holes on the top. This will make it easy for them to get in, but difficult for them to escape. Once this fills up, dispose and replace with new bait. Repeat until the infestation has been eradicated.
A fruit fly infestation, though common, is never fun. But we’ve got your back! If you need any more tips on how to prevent or remove them, we’d love to talk.