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How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in 1 Easy Step

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

What are fruit flies? 

Fruit flies are small flies, about 1/8" long, that are aptly named for their propensity to feed on decaying organic matter such as rotting or fermenting fruits. Although fruit flies are not known to be vectors disease, they can and do transport bacteria that can grow and develop on fruit and other organic matter, sometimes rendering them unsuitable for human consumption. Using an organ known as an ovipositor, fruit flies are able to puncture or pierce through the exterior of various fruits as they deposit their eggs, creating a pathway or entry point for invading bacteria. Fruit flies have become quite common in many areas where an organic food supply is on hand, including commercial kitchens, restaurants, grocery stores, homes, schools, hospitals, and many other similar areas. 

Fruit fly life cycle video:

FRUIT FLY TIP: Fruit flies feed on and lay their eggs in decaying organic matter, such as fruits. 

Everything you need to know to resolve your fruit fly problem is contained within that very sentence. In case you missed it: fruit flies feed on and lay their eggs in decaying organic matter, such as fruits. When considering how to get rid of fruit flies, this should always be kept in mind. Any efforts to get rid of fruit flies that don't address the actual reasons fruit flies are there will prove to be little more than band-aids on an unhealed wound. Until or unless the source of the fruit fly problem is removed, eliminated, or resolved, the fruit fly infestation is likely to persist. 

When assessing your fruit fly situation and trying to determine how to get rid of fruit flies, it is important to recognize that not all flies that look like fruit flies are actually fruit flies. Phorid flies and drain flies often look and act very similar to fruit flies, but require different treatment measures to effectively get rid. With fruit flies, the first (and sometimes only) consideration should be whether any decaying organic matter is apparent and accessible that might be able to be quickly taken out of the impacted area. If there is a decaying basket of lemons next to the stove that is teeming with fruit flies, for example, an important first step would be removing the lemons. Phorid flies and drain flies are more commonly associated with bacteria buildup in and around drains and plumbing fixtures, and may often require chemical or anti-microbial treatment measures to resolve.

Do fruit fly traps work? 

Some fruit fly traps can work, at least to some extent, with respect to doing what they are designed to do: trap fruit flies. But an important distinction should be made between trapping or catching fruit flies and getting rid of fruit flies. If the question is how to get rid of fruit flies, most (perhaps all) fruit fly traps are likely to be of limited value to that process. Getting rid of fruit flies can be accomplished with or without the use of fruit fly traps or other pesticides, provided the source of the fruit fly problem (the decaying organic matter that fruit flies or feeding on and/or laying their eggs in) is eliminated. Until the source of the problem is resolved, you may find yourself trapping fruit flies until the proverbial cows come home. So unless you're in a competition to see who can catch the most fruit flies, your time would be better spent trying to figure out what the source of the fruit fly problem is so that you can get rid of fruit flies fast. 

Do fruit fly traps help? 

Despite not being a practical option to actually get rid of fruit flies, fruit fly traps can serve a useful purpose in some instances. What fruit fly traps can do is reduce populations of fruit flies in an area so that the pests aren't as bothersome while the populations die out. This can be helpful in two scenarios:

  • Once you've identified the source of the fruit fly problem and the source has been eliminated, it will typically take a matter of days (sometimes weeks, depending on the extent of the fruit fly populations for the fruit fly activity to entirely disappear. During that time, you will want to make sure there are no other things in the environment that could become a new fruit fly breeding site. Fruit fly traps can be used to attract or intercept foraging fruit flies, thereby speeding up the elimination process. 
  • In some instances, you may have difficulty locating the source or sources, making it more difficult to figure out how to get rid of fruit flies. In the interim, it may be helpful to use fruit fly traps to mitigate populations in the area and help you determine areas where the concentration of fruit flies might be highest. Ultimately, the source of the fruit fly problem is still going to need to be determined and resolved, but traps can make the problem less bothersome in the interim. 

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in One Easy Step..

Step 1: Eliminate the source of the fruit flies. So obviously you want to know how to get rid of fruit flies as simply and quickly as possible. On the bright side, getting rid of fruit flies requires just one simple step: eliminate the source of the fruit fly problem. Other things can help with the symptoms, like fruit fly traps to catch fruit flies, or fruit fly sprays to kill adult fruit flies. But getting rid of fruit flies simply requires getting rid of the source. So how do you do find the source of a fruit fly problem?

How to find the fruit fly source:

  • Start by disinfecting. Clean off your kitchen countertops and thoroughly disinfect all surfaces, including cracks and joints where organic matter may become lodged. (Remember, fruit flies are tiny insects with tiny eggs, and a small particle of decaying matter can serve as a suitable habitat for fruit fly feeding and reproduction). Remove items from drawers, cabinets, and cupboards, again disinfecting all surfaces and joints. To get rid of fruit flies, eliminate all debris and disinfect like crazy. 
  • Pull out appliances such as ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, and microwaves. Throughout the course of normal living, food particles have a tendency to get lost beneath or behind appliances. When these food items are in the form of organic matter, they have the potential to become ideal sources for fruit fly habitation. To get rid of fruit flies, make sure there is none of this food debris in or around your appliances. 
  • Inspect food storage areas. Take a close look at areas where you keep fruits, vegetables, or other organic matter, and clean all around these areas. Where do you keep your potatoes? Bananas? Melons? Anything at all. Inspect, remove, and clean. 
  • Launder all dishcloths, towels, and rags. Sometimes the towels or cloths we use to clean our kitchens actually starts to become rife with bacteria and organic matter. Don't take anything for granted. Remove all those items and launder them. 
  • Get rid of all moisture. Have a look around the area for any areas that might collect moisture and get rid of them. From wet rags to droplets of water forming in the sink basin, simple things like this could contribute to a fruit fly problem. 
  • Check the garbage disposal and drains. Sometimes, drains can become clogged and organic matter can start to build up. This commonly happens when a garbage disposal stops working properly. To get rid of fruit flies, make sure no organic matter is collecting in the pipes.  
  • Remove potted plants: Although less common with fruit flies, some potted plants, particularly ones the may be oversaturated, can collect organic matter in a way that lends itself to a fruit fly infestation. Consider relocating any potted plants to an outdoor environment while the fruit fly problem is being resolved. 

Following these guidelines, you should stand a pretty good chance of eliminating the source of the fruit fly problem and getting rid of fruit flies altogether. Remember, the fruit fly problem isn't going to disappear immediately after getting rid of the source of the problem, and fruit fly traps can be used to speed up the process. Fruit fly traps can be purchased rather inexpensively online, or you may consider making your own homemade fruit fly trap such as the one shown in the video below:

Home Made Fruit Fly Trap

Should you hire an exterminator for fruit flies? 

A professional exterminator can often help you get rid of fruit flies faster and more efficiently than attempting to get rid of fruit flies on your own. To find a license pest control company in your area, please use our free exterminator search tool.  

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