Fruit flies are relatively harmless pests, but with a 10-day life cycle and the ability to produce 500 eggs in a lifetime, it doesn’t take long for these pests to reach epidemic proportions.
Prevention and elimination are key to controlling fruit fly populations.
Step 1: Prevent fruit flies from appearing by storing fruit and other produce in a covered dish, a paper bag or in the refrigerator.
Step 2: Keep compost outside or in a sealed container. Avoid placing food waste in waste baskets or indoor trash receptacles.
Step 3: Keep sinks and drains free from debris and food waste. If dishes and glassware are left to accumulate in the sink or dishwasher, rinse them thoroughly before walking away.
Step 4: Rinse cans and bottles before recycling them.
Step 5: When fruit flies appear, find the source and eliminate it as soon as possible. Fruit flies breed on fresh or rotting fruit and vegetables, in trash cans, on dirty mops, in unused sink drains, and in alcohol or sugary drink residue.
Step 6: Once the source has been eliminated, catch adult fruit flies in traps to curtail reproduction. Terro makes an attractive fruit fly trap that looks like a piece of fruit, but collects flies in a small liquid reservoir beneath its funnel-like opening.
Step 7: Fashion a homemade fruit fly trap in a glass jar or bottle. Pour an inch or less of apple cider or red wine vinegar into the bottom of the open container. Top the vinegar off with two or three drops of liquid dish soap and cover the top of the jar or bottle with a layer of plastic wrap held loosely in place with a rubber band.
Step 8: Poke a small hole into the center of the plastic wrap and lightly press the plastic wrap down to create a makeshift funnel into the bottle or jar. Make sure the hole is big enough for the flies go through, but small enough to impede their exit.
Step 9: Alternatively, turn a standard spider glue trap into a fruit fly trap by placing a small cotton ball soaked in vinegar at the center of the trap. Lay the trap near the area the fruit flies are accumulating in. It may be necessary to re-wet the cotton ball periodically. Dispose of traps after fruit flies have been eradicated.