If you think fruit flies aren’t a major pest annoyance… you’ve probably never had fruit flies. The tiny kitchen pests tend to get everywhere when you have them, and they can be hard to get rid of. Worst of all, they come after your food. That’s just over the line.
Fruit fly behavior may be obnoxious, but it’s also predictable. If you have fruit flies, it’s pretty easy to figure out why. It’s also easy to correct those problems and make sure you don’t get them again. There’s a lot you can do to prevent fruit flies, and most of it is surprisingly easy. Here are the eight easiest, most effective ways to keep fruit flies away from your home:
Seal your garbage
Garbage tends to be the perfect place for fruit flies to live, mate, and lay eggs. Fruit flies only need the thinnest film of moisture for their breeding grounds, so virtually any garbage will do.
Keep all the garbage in your home in thick plastic bags. Tie the bags closed whenever you aren’t using them. Consider keeping the garbage itself in a hard plastic or metal container you can keep closed.
Fruit flies are highly attracted to soda, alcohol, and other sugary or fermenting beverages. Make sure you thoroughly rinse out any cans or bottles before you throw them in the recycling. You should also clean out and rinse any food containers you’re throwing away.
It might sound counter-intuitive, but we recommend getting your garbage as clean as possible before throwing it out. The cleaner and dryer the garbage, the less attractive it will be to fruit flies.
There’s a reason they’re called fruit flies. If you leave fruit sitting out, fruit flies will flock to it to eat and lay eggs. You should never store fruit out in the open. Even fruits with peels like oranges, bananas, or grapefruits aren’t safe from fruit fly infestation.
Keep all fruits in the humidity-controlled cabinet of your fridge. Use any fruit you buy quickly to keep it from rotting while it’s in your home. When you’re finished with your fruit, take the remains outside to your dumpster.
Wash dishes right away
Unwashed, “sitting” dishes are a prime target for fruit flies: they have both the food and moisture the pests want. Leaving out unwashed dishes in the sink will attract fruit flies as surely as garbage or fruit. Even washing off the dish and leaving it out won’t work, because fruit flies still find the water on the plate appealing.
Whenever you use dishes, you should rinse and wash them immediately. Either throw them in the dishwasher right away or wash and dry them. Whatever you do, don’t leave dishes sitting out wet–even in the dishwasher.
Fix plumbing leaks
The moisture fruit flies use to reproduce doesn’t necessarily have to come from food. Any kind of moisture will serve their purposes just fine, including moisture from leaks, humidity, or condensation. Spend some time looking for and patching up any plumbing leaks around your kitchen or bathroom.
Start by checking under your kitchen sink. If part of your kitchen sink leaks, it’ll create an environment perfect for fruit flies. Check around your disposal and bathroom sinks, as well. If you find excess moisture, figure out where it’s coming from and stop it.
Clean pantries and cabinets
You’d be surprised how much food and related debris piles up in your storage cabinets and pantries. Fruit flies and other pests will help themselves to all of that debris if you let them. Rot, mold, and moisture (of course) draw in even more fruit flies–and you may not even know it’s there!
Empty out and clean your pantry thoroughly at least once every couple of months. When you replace the food, consider transferring it into hard plastic, airtight containers. Storing your food in containers will help keep fruit flies and other pests away from it.
Take garbage out every night
This one almost seems too simple to mention, but it’s also way too easy to forget. You should take all the garbage in your home out to the dumpster every single night. Just make it the last thing you do before bed, if need be.
When you leave your garbage sitting, it starts to fester or decay. That decay attracts fruit flies like crazy. Throwing your garbage out every night won’t prevent fruit flies on its own, but it helps significantly.
Re-grout kitchen tiles
When tiling gets old, it might partially peel away from the walls. Tiles often come “unstuck” naturally over time, especially in humid conditions. Unfortunately, the opening left behind when tiles peel away can collect moisture. Fruit flies may use this moisture to mate and lay eggs behind your walls!
If any of the tilings in your kitchen or bathroom look warped, they probably are. You should replace and regrout that tiling as soon as possible. Check for moisture or condensation build-up in the area while you’re at it. Try to figure out where that excess moisture is coming from and fix it.
These tips will help prevent future fruit flies, but they may not help with any you already have. Fruit flies can be tough to get rid of because their eggs are small and difficult to find. Even if you wipe out your current infestation, you never know when another one’s going to pop up!
Luckily, you don’t have to try to clean up your fruit fly infestation on your own. You can always call Plunkett’s Pest Control for help. We can find the source of your fruit fly infestation and wipe it out. We’ll help make sure the fruit flies are gone for good.