Have you noticed fruit flies fluttering around your kitchen? Maybe you’ve even tried some DIY traps you saw online to no avail. Whether you’re currently dealing with a fruit fly problem or want to prevent them from coming into your home, we’ve created this guide with everything you need to know. Learn what they are, where they come from, how long they live, and how to get rid of them in your home.
What Are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies are small, brown, and have bright red eyes. They commonly appear in the summer and early fall at a size between 1/10 - 1/8 inches long. They don’t bite and won’t damage furniture — but they will feed on overripe fruits and vegetables and transfer germs that can lead to food poisoning.
Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?
Fruit flies can enter homes through open windows, squeeze through tiny gaps including cracks in walls, or come in with fruits and vegetables bought from your favorite grocery store. Female fruit flies lay up to 500 hundred eggs at at time, usually on the surface of overripe or decaying fruits and vegetables. The eggs are only 1/10-⅛ inches in length which is why you might not see them when picking out produce at the store. Once laid, fruit fly eggs will hatch 24-30 hours laterand the larvae will feed on the food source they were laid on. About a week later, those hatchlings will start the cycle again, potentially leaving you with and overwhelming infestation of thousands of fruit flies in a very short time.
How Long Do Fruit Flies Live?
Fruit flies can live up to 40-50 days, but their lifespan will vary based on environmental conditions. Most will live between two to four weeks, but they can live longer if temperature is ideal (between 73-82 degrees Fahrenheit) and there’s an abundant source of food and moisture.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
The presence of fluttering fruit flies is more than an annoyance, it’s unsanitary, and presents risks to your health from the transfer of bacteria by the pest. To prevent fruit flies from infesting your home, follow these steps to get rid of them and prevent any from coming in the future.
1. Wash new produce
Fruit flies most commonly enter homes through the fruit and vegetables you bring in from the store. Their eggs are hard to see, and may be hidden inside the fruit as well. At the store, check for any openings that would attract fruit flies and avoid anything produce that’s not completely intact. Once you get home, immediately wash what you bought and check for anything unusual when cutting it open.
2. Store fruit in the refrigerator
Leaving fruit out in the open air to allow it to ripen, will also attracts fruit flies. If possible,put fruit in the fridge after washing it. If washing doesn’t fully remove fruit flies, their lifespan in a fridge is only six to eight hours which is significantly less than the 40-50 day average outside of it.
3. Discard overripe produce
Overripe or rotting produce is a food source and breeding ground for fruit flies – and it probably doesn’t taste great either. Check your produce regularly to ensure it’s not expired and throw out any that you don’t plan on using.
4. Keep surfaces clean
In addition to produce, fruit flies will also feed off and breed on other sugary spots — including food spills,stains, or food residue left on dirty dishes. After a spill, immediately clean the spot and take care of dishes in a timely manner to limit fruit fly food sources. On a regular basis, vacuum floors and wipe down all surfaces that have come in contact with food. Seal and regularly empty your trash.
An unsealed trash can is an open invitation for fruit flies to come and stay at your home. When purchasing a kitchen trash can, choose one with a closeable lid and make sure it’s sealed after every use. Take out your trash on a regular basis and throw it out early if you have produce scraps. It’s better to take it outside early than leave a bunch of rotting produce overnight and find a swarm of fruit flies when you open it the following day. Another tip: Consider composting and add the scraps to your compost pile outside as soon as you have them.
5. Keep windows and doors closed
Keeping windows and doors closed and well sealed helps prevents pests like fruit flies from coming into your home. Still, some pests like fruit flies are small enough to fit through gaps and screens.
6. Use a fruit fly trap
If you’re currently dealing with an infestation and have cut off all food sources but the problem persists, it’s time to take an offensive approach. You can find instructions for several DIY fruit fly traps online, but these can have mixed results and considering how fast fruit flies breed, it’s better to go with something more effective.
Wondercide’s Fruit Fly Trap for Home + Kitchen is easy to use, self-contained, and proven to work. To use it, remove the cap and seal, reattach the cap, press down to flip open the tabs allowing fruit flies to enter the perforations. Fruit flies are attracted to the trap’s mixture of sugars and starches along with the scent of fermentation. Once inside, the liquid drowns the fruit flies. You can then discard the trap without having to see any of the aftermath or clean up any messes like you do for some DIY traps.
Our trap works fast and lasts up to 21 days so you can set it and forget until it’s time to set out a new one.. It’s also plant-powered and safe around kids and pets when used as directed. Shop now to get rid of fruit flies in your home.