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How to get rid of fruit flies with home remedies

get rid of fruit flies with home remedies

What are the best ways to get rid of fruit flies with home remedies? Our guide outlines several methods and how to stop them coming back!

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Fresh fruit is healthy and delicious, but when the fruit basket is swarmed by fruit flies, one can lose one’s appetite. Read here how to get rid of fruit flies.

The fruit flies, also known as the drosophila and tephritidae family of insects, often get into the house with your shopping. The females lay their eggs on the shell of the fruit. The eggs and larvae of fruit flies can also be found on pristine-looking apples, bananas and berries.

The second way that fruit flies can get in your kitchen is through the window: the insects follow the smells of ripe fruit, but also of organic or residual waste. Also smelly drains can attract fruit flies.

Although fruit flies are not dangerous for humans, their massive occurrence quickly turns them into a disruptive factor: the females can lay up to 400 eggs per day – this is how the insects multiply at record speed. Since fruit flies can reproduce best at 25 degrees Celsius, the massive infestation of fruit baskets is a phenomenon that occurs in our latitudes especially in the warm season.

Prevent fruit flies from coming

To prevent fruit flies from infecting your kitchen, you can take a few precautions.

Fruit flies particularly like to lay their eggs in overripe fruit . When shopping, make sure to buy fruit that is as undamaged as possible and it is better to avoid it if you can already spot a large number of fruit flies in the fruit department.

Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly right after shopping to remove as many eggs as possible. Lemons and oranges in particular are popular with fruit flies and should therefore be washed extremely thoroughly .

To do this, put a dash of vinegar in a large bowl of water and wash each piece of fruit and vegetables in it for at least 20 seconds. This not only removes fly larvae, but also residues from fertilizers and pesticides.

You can also reduce the number of lures in your household by not buying large stocks of fruit , but only as much as you can eat within the next few days.

To be on the safe side, store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator whenever possible . Alternatively, you can store the fruit under a close-meshed grid to keep the fruit flies away.

But not only fruit, organic waste as well as residual waste and the garbage in the yellow sack are popular breeding places for fruit flies. You should therefore take out the rubbish more often in the summer months. This will remove fruit flies and eliminate bad smells at the same time.

Also, ventilate regularly so that standing smells can escape. Ideally, you should install a close-meshed fly screen in front of the windows , which prevents further fruit flies from entering your kitchen.

Get rid of fruit flies with home remedies

But sometimes these measures do not help and the fruit basket is still infested with fruit flies. Fortunately, there are some tried and true home remedies that you can use to get rid of fruit flies.

The most popular method to control fruit flies is to build a fruit fly trap yourself.

To do this, put some water in a small bowl and add a generous dash of apple cider vinegar, fruit vinegar or balsamic vinegar . Finally, add a drop of detergent to the mixture, but be careful: the vinegar smell must not be covered by the detergent smell. The fruit flies are attracted by the vinegar and try to drink from the vinegar water. The surface tension of the water is disturbed by the detergent so that the insects sink in.

You can also add some fruit juice to the vinegar water or replace the vinegar with juice entirely. The juice should then ferment slightly or smell badly in order to attract a particularly large number of fruit flies.

Live trap

If you are uncomfortable with the vinegar smell , you can resort to another fruit fly trap. To do this, put a banana peel in an empty yogurt cup and cover it with the lid or with a piece of aluminum foil. Poke small holes in the cover.

The smell of the banana attracts the fruit flies through the holes in the cup, where they can no longer find their way out through the small holes. Periodically empty the cup a sufficient distance from your windows and replace the banana peel regularly.

Instead of a banana peel, you can of course also use other fruit.

In the drain

You can prevent fruit flies from nesting in your drain by not washing away any leftover food . Instead, use a drain grate that catches solid matter and empty it out after you wash.

If fruit fly infestation does occur, you can rinse out the drain with hot vinegar water , for example after you have cleaned the kettle. If none of this helps, you need to remove the drain and clean it thoroughly.

Drive away fruit flies

While the smell of vinegar and fermenting fruit is irresistible to fruit flies, there are also smells you can use to fight fruit flies. 

  • This includes, for example, the smell of tomato leaves. Just spread some of the leaves in and around the fruit basket to keep the fruit flies away.
  • A cut potato next to the fruit also drives away the fruit flies. Simply cut the potato again every few days so that the cut surface is fresh.
  • Fresh basil can also help drive away the fruit flies.
  • A few drops of clove essential oil also have a deterrent effect. Take advantage of this by placing a few drops of clove oil on a paper tissue and placing it under the trash bag in the trash can.
  • If all of these tips don’t work, you can resort to another of nature’s secret weapons and put some carnivorous plants in your kitchen. However, pay attention to the location requirements of these very special insect killers!