fruit fly

Doesn’t it just bug the heck out of you when you see a swarm of fruit flies attacking the produce you recently pulled from your garden or brought home from the farmers market? Don’t those critters know those are your hard-won (or hard-purchased!) fruits and veggies they’re chomping into? Talk about some pesky pests

Those teeny black insects love your tasty produce, especially when your fruits or veggies start to ripen and rot. Fruit flies aren’t too choosy, though. They’ll munch down on any organic matter, as long as it’s there for the pickings.

Unfortunately, sometimes these critters can turn from a slight nuisance to a real creepy-crawly problem. Fruit flies can take up residence in drains, garbage disposals, empty cans or bottles, garbage cans, sponges, mops or rags. Any moist area with a bit of organic matter is good nuff’ for them. And once there, they breed—quickly. When they settle in, these bugs can be quite difficult to get rid of—but not impossible. Check out these natural tips (no pesticides here!) to chuck fruit flies from your home for good.

Keep it clean

To the naked eye, you might have one spotless kitchen, but those darned fruit flies can all too easily hone in on a couple of crumbs or a drop of juice, make themselves at home, and stay awhile.

To get them out of your house, you have to destroy their breeding grounds. Use these good practices to keep them from moving in:

  • Don’t let used cups, bowls and plates sit around. They’ll be a fruit fly buffet. Clean them up immediately after meals and snacks.
  • Wipe down counters after each use.
  • If possible, throw out garbage every night and clean out garbage cans using your favorite natural cleaner. (I’d simply dump some white vinegar in the bottom of your trashcans, let the vinegar work for a few minutes, and then scrub the can clean.)
  • Rinse out pets’ water bowls. Stagnant water draws fruit flies like a moth to light.
  • Tuck away all food in the refrigerator, or at least make sure the food you leave out is thoroughly covered.
  • Regularly dispose of, or wash, sponges, mops and rags.
  • Store your kitchen scraps in the freezer, otherwise fruit flies will flock to the compost.

Set a trap

Still have unwanted houseguests in your kitchen? Catch the little buggers (and keep them from laying more eggs) in a simple homemade trap. Take a jar and place a piece of bait in the bottom. You can use a few drops of apple cider vinegar or a slice of fruit to draw them in. Next, roll a piece of paper into a funnel and place the funnel (smaller side down) into the jar. Once the trap starts catching the flies, release them outside, preferably far, far away from the house.

image: shioshvili

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