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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

How to get rid of fruit flies (This really works!)

"Time flies like an arrow.  Fruit flies like a banana...."

If you love fruit and eat it daily, chances are pretty high you've had or seen fruit flies.  If you've made the mistake of leaving out overripe fruit, you've probably walked into your kitchen to find a happy extended family of them flying around.

There are a few things about fruit flies I'll mention, mostly because I didn't really think about this until I googled it the other day (desperate to get rid of my own fruit flies) and was pretty grossed out.  Why not share the "ewwwww" with all of you?  (You're welcome.)

Where  do fruit flies come from?

I always wondered how they found their way to the fruit so quickly.  Like - of all the places on the planet, how did they KNOW I had bananas or overripe cantaloupe laying around? Was it a phenomenon like hummingbirds that are attracted to bright red?  Did they have some 6th sense that told them where on the planet to fly?

I was much better off not exploring the answers, so if you don't want the truth, stop reading now.  Otherwise, the obvious answer is on its way...... the larvae are already deposited on the fruit.  In other words, you bring the soon-to-develop fruit flies in with you from the store or farmers market and it's just sitting there waiting to hatch.  YUCK.

How long do they live?

According to the Orkin Man, they live around 25 days, and really strong alpha males can make it 30 days.  

Okay Carly, get to it:  How do you get rid of them????

I researched and experimented and by FAR, this was the best approach.

  1. Get some small bowls and put about an inch of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR in each one.  Into each bowl put about 1/2 tsp dish detergent and mix it up.  Set them around where you have seen the fruit flies.  Almost immediately you will see them gathering around the edges of the bowls.  The apple cider attracts them, and the soap makes it so they can't fly out.
  2. Get rid of all organic matter that they feed on.  This includes all fruits, trash in the trash can, slime in the garbage disposal, residue in the sink or spots you forgot to wipe off the counter.  
  3. Bring all new fruit and veggies straight into the refrigerator.  For at least a month, do NOT leave any food source out for them.
  4. After preparing or eating food, don't leave the dishes until later. Wash them or put them in the dishwasher immediately.
  5. Be vigilant.  Just keep everything wiped down and all fruit out of sight.
I had purchased a couple of overripe canteloupes and left them out on the counter for a few days, along with some hanging bananas.  I woke up one morning to find a lot of fruit flies.  Not realizing it, by not emptying the trash in the morning before work, I kept giving them plenty to feed on (I each so much fruit and veggies in a day there was no shortage of peels etc. in there.)

Using the method above, in just a couple of days I went from a hearty infestation to seeing only a couple.

You should change out the bowls for fresh after 3 or 4 days - and keep it out there for a couple of weeks.

Sorry if you find this all so yucky, but if you're going to eat fruit and vegetables all the time, you're probably going to run into this like I did and you'll be happy to know what to do!



  1. "Of all the places on the planet how did they KNOW I had bananas?" I can remember thinking that thought before. I think deep down I knew the answer but ignored the obvious conclusion. Thanks for the tip on how to get rid of those little buggers.

  2. And this is just another reason I highlighted to my kids, that even if you aren't gonna eat the peel, skin, rind...whatever....WASH the fruit and veggies upon bringing them home from the store. My great-grandfather was a farmer from the "old country" Russia. Never used a pesticide in his life. His philosophy on GOOD food was, "Eef da bugs don vant eet....Eye don vant eet eeider!" so apparently you buy really good bananas and cantalope!!! :D

  3. lol Munchkin...of course I read it in my head with the accent.

    Cathy - it only took 2 1/2 days and they are just about gone..only see a couple now and there were TONS.


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