Buy colorful, beautiful and delicious fruit so that in just a couple of days they are covered by fruit flies; This is a constant, non-stop story that causes many people to discard products in order not to be surrounded by pesky insects.

First, it must be clarified that these flyers are not mosquitoes and do not bite people, they are fruit flies that grow thanks to larvae that are deposited on the fruits. Likewise, ingesting them is not detrimental to health, however, the ideal is not to do so.

It is also convenient to observe in detail what things are around the insects. If they are in the sink, they may come from the drain; if they are near flowers and vases they are mosquitoes or gnats. On the other hand, if they are close to fruits, then they are small fruit flies that are attracted to the fructose (sweet) present in these foods. Likewise, they can surround wine and beer.

Although these insects do not harm health, they are usually annoying, especially on hot days that are very present. Therefore, it is important to keep the kitchen neat and wash all the fruits as soon as they arrive home.

There are people who clean the fruits with water and a dishwasher. In case you do it this way it is important to get as much soap out. Another option is to wash them with water and white vinegar (which prevents the growth of fruit fly larvae) or water with a few drops of bleach.

Then, it is important to let them dry and wipe them with a dry cloth to remove any remaining water.

In case you do not want to place the fruit in the refrigerator, because you want it to ripen or you simply prefer it at room temperature, you can choose to cover the fruit plate with a mesh designed for this, which delays the reproduction of flies. 

Fruits most affected by fruit flies

The main victims of fruit flies are apples, tomatoes, aubergines, apricots, and peaches. The larvae of these insects can grow on the trees and plants that bear these fruits. Citrus fruits are also hunted by this type of insects, reproducing by the hundreds in just eight days. Therefore, the essences that come from this type of plants are followed by fruit flies.

Sweet liqueurs or those that come from fermented fruits are attractive to fruit flies so they should be well covered and clean. Likewise, apple cider vinegar is very attractive to fruit flies.

Products with few preservatives or that are called “organic” can also be surrounded by these insects that reveal the state of maturity of the edibles.

How to kill fruit flies?

It is not so easy to completely kill fruit flies. It is a constant task. The idea is to eliminate what nourishes them (ripe or fermented food) and clean. This is basic.

When getting a bad apple, for example, it must be removed quickly so that it does not contaminate the rest. The garbage in which it is placed must be removed immediately, especially if the container does not have a lid.

Then you must proceed to clean the rest of the fruits that were in contact with the rotten apple.

Everything that is stored outside of the refrigerator is important that it is covered. In this way, the access of insects to foodstuffs is limited.

It is essential to clean, leave everything dry where some liquid could be spilled. This will not only help prevent the proliferation of flies but also other insects and vermin.

Likewise, leaving windows and doors open helps to let in unwanted animals, so it is important not to leave spaces open for long periods.

It is also necessary to take out the garbage regularly and wash the containers because fruit flies reproduce in the liquid or food remains.

Homemade trap to eliminate fruit flies

If the presence of fruit flies is difficult for you to eradicate, forget about the classic insecticides that are commonly sold. These are often polluting products, harmful to both the environment and our health.

You can build fruit fly traps with recycled materials and natural ingredients that are easily found in your kitchen. Here are some examples that might be helpful

Fruit fly trap

  1. Cover with plastic wrap on top and secure, if necessary, with a rubber band.
  2. Poke small holes in the top of the plastic wrap (with a toothpick, the tip of a knife, or something like that).
  3. Flies are attracted to fermenting fruit. They will go through the holes, but they will not be able to get out. When you see some flies fly into the jar, just take it outside, remove the lid, and let the flies go. Yes, they can leave and multiply in other places, but at least they are no longer in your house.

Plastic bottle

This is another option that you can also take into account to eliminate flies. To make this fly trap you will need the following materials.

You will need to:

  • 1 plastic bottle.
  • Scotch tape.
  • 1 saucepan with water and sugar.

As elaborated:

  1. Divide the bottle into two parts, cut with scissors just below the neck, where it begins to widen.
  2. Insert the two parts of the bottle one inside the other, with the opening facing inwards, like a funnel, and fix it with adhesive tape.
  3. In a saucepan, pour 5 tablespoons of sugar, sprinkle it evenly on the bottom, and add a little water to cover it completely.
  4. Stir and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  5. Let cool and pour the mixture into the bottle. The trap will work best if you heat it in the sun or rub it with your hands.

What to do in case of not being able to eliminate them?

In case of not being able to eliminate the fruit flies permanently, then using less conventional methods is the most recommended.

Vacuuming them with vacuum cleaners is ideal since these insects are destroyed in a few minutes. Obviously, sprays and humidifiers drastically kill fruit flies. In case of not being allergic, the insecticides destroy the adult flies.

Technology also supports the destruction of insects. UV and ultrasound lamps avoid the proximity of vermin.

However, traps can be made to catch fruit flies. For example: a cone-shaped paper with the base of apple cider vinegar, they could trap this type of insects.

Another way is the banana trap, which is highly recommended by the United States Department of Agriculture. A banana skin should be placed in an empty plastic bottle. Holes are made with a fine needle and placed near the fruit fly habitat.

In two days the insects will enter and will not be able to get out of the trap. This method is widely used by stores and supplies.

Of this type of traps there are created and marketed by various brands that can be purchased in various specialized stores.

Dr. Eric Jackson

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses. He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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