Getting Rid of Fruit Flies Starts with a Clean Kitchen

Blue flyswatter attacking a fly

You’ve just returned from the local farmer’s market and you’re looking forward to an afternoon glass of pinot grigio to enjoy the lovely summer day. Just as you’re about to turn the page on that juicy summer novel, you catch a glimpse and realize your kitchen has been attacked… by fruit flies. Oh no!

Wine glassCommon culprits that attract the unwanted guests are half empty juice boxes, beer cans, potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, garbage disposals and apples. The good news is that fruit flies only survive a week or so, and the bad news is that they lay about 500 eggs on the fermenting foods and other hidden, moist surfaces. The eggs will hatch as they rest peacefully in the warmth of your home. GROSS!

Here are seven cleaning tips to eliminate the pests and prevent future infestations:

1. Wash fruits and vegetables in warm water, blot with paper towel and allow them to dry completely on a clean surface. Apples, potatoes, melons, bananas and other produce with tougher exteriors can be gently scrubbed with a vegetable brush.

2. Place the food in a clean fruit bowl and use a lid to put a barrier between tempting fruit flies to contaminate your items.

3. Spray disinfecting cleaning spray on your countertops, table and sink and floors to remove sticky, sweet residue. Make it a nightly habit to make sure these areas are free of crumbs and debris.

4. Put on some rubber gloves, and douse a paper towel with disinfecting spray. Use the towel and wipe both sides of the sink baffle

(the black, rubbery drain accessory which prevents water and food particles from splashing up when the disposal is on). This often-neglected area is a haven for fruit flies, so clean it regularly.5. Add about an inch of apple cider vinegar to the bottom of a glass jar, heat it in the microwave for 45 seconds and then cover with clear wrap. Poke a few holes in the wrap with a fork and place it near the problem area to capture fruit flies. To up the ante, add a few chunks of overripe banana to the cider for an irresistible one-way trip.

6. Use a portable, plug in fan to blow the air around, making it miserable for fruit flies.

7. Replace or repair screens with tears and fill gaps around windows and doors with weather stripping and caulk to minimize future flies from moving in.

Share these tips on Facebook to help your friends and family fend off fruit flies!

This post is part of our Bug Prevention Guide, which includes many tips on getting rid of insects.