This one's for my friend Suzanne who asked me if I had any tips on getting rid of fruit flies. If you have any cleaning questions, insect related or otherwise, send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be happy to do the research for you and blog about it!
It seems to be the year of the insect.
Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, pantry pests and now, fruit flies, have staged a massive assault on us in the last couple of months. Thankfully, the colder weather is taking care of some of the more worrisome of our insect and arachnid enemies. (Did you know ticks are arachnids?) Others are proving more tenacious than ever.
Indoors, fruit flies seem to thrive in warm environments. Though cold temperatures slow them down, it's typically not cold enough in our homes to get rid of fruit fly problems all together.
So, what's a frustrated fruit fly warrior to do?
Fruit flies come into our home on produce. Once the produce begins to over ripen, the tiny, pesky flies hatch. The number one best defense against the flying menaces is to toss all over ripe fruit and vegetables. Completely clean out the fruit bowl and anywhere else you keep unrefrigerated produce. Wash the affected areas with soapy water.
If you still have a fruit fly problem, you may have hidden produce rotting somewhere that you aren't aware of. Check under the stove, the couch, the refrigerator and anywhere else a stray apple or onion could have rolled. My dog likes to sneak apples. On occasion, I'll find one spotted with little doggy toothmarks under the couch.
Also, clean the garbage can to remove any spilled food from the sides and bottom that may be attracting fruit flies. The garbage disposal is another likely candidate for fruit fly nesting. Dump boiling water down the disposal. If the fruit flies are still present, pour a mixture of white vinegar and water into the disposal.
Until the fruit fly infestation is under control, refrigerate any produce that you bring into the home to keep the flies from nesting and laying eggs.
A thorough cleaning ought to take care of the fruit fly problem, but if you're impatient for it to work or if you still have fruit flies flitting about, check out the Do It Yourself Network's article How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies: Testing 8 Odd Methods for some interesting fruit fly defeating strategies.
Some interesting fruit fly facts:
Fruit flies are also called drain flies or sewer flies.
Fruit fly scientists have quite the sense of humor. They've taken comic license to name certain fruit fly gene mutations. For instance, the gene that makes some fruit flies highly sensitive to alcohol is called "cheap date". A fruit fly that dies within two days is called "Kenny" after the Southpark character that dies in every episode.
Does that help, Suzanne? I hope so!