Fruit flies have the annoying habit of showing up exactly where you don’t want them, when you don’t want them to. Fruit flies love the smell of over ripe peaches and plums and head straight for a browning banana but they don’t care where they find their source of food and breeding grounds. Your kitchen is one thing but bars, restaurants, wineries, micro breweries are something else again. You know your place is clean but the fruit fly can leave your customers with another impression.
Fruit fly remedies start with an understanding of the enemy. During the harvest season, late summer and early fall these little 1/8” long creatures are at their busiest. Their little red eyes, two toned bodies and stripped wings are giving them flight in hordes. Even though their life expectancy is very short, less than a week, they “breed like flies”, pun intended. Each female can easily deposit 500 eggs which mature quickly, going from one generation to another, growing in swarm size all the time. They must be controlled and they can.
Fruit fly remedies start with common sense. Understand that they will get into your house one way or the other, either attached to fruit from the supermarket or through the doors and windows of your home. Let’s start with the basic, if there is rotten or overripe fruit in your house get rid of it. If it’s still edible then eat it, if it has completely gone then take it the compost heap which is located well away from your home or freeze it for disposal on garbage pickup day. Don’t wait until you see fruit flies, keep a sharp eye on your fruit bowls and get rid of ripe fruit immediately.
If they are already a problem and there are small children in the house you may not want to use traps sitting around or insecticides. You can spray a mist of simple rubbing alcohol on them putting an end to them. Once they fall to the floor just sweep them up and throw them out.
The homemade fruit fly remedies are quite varied but the one most often used is apple cider vinegar. An inch in the bottom of a jar is all you need to attract them. Once they have taken the bait they simply drown and the vinegar is thrown out. Some traps use a saran cover with holes poked in it, others add a drop or two of liquid soap which traps the fruit fly by releasing the surface tension of the liquid and they sink.
Lavender and Basil are also fruit fly remedies. Leave a pot of basil on the window sill in the kitchen or hand lavender sachets around the affected areas and they will be driven away.