How to Keep Fruit Flies Out of Your Kitchen

If your home has lots of flies that mainly congregate in the kitchen, you may have a fruit fly problem. Unlike other species, fruit flies — also known as vinegar flies — don’t bite humans since they don’t have the body parts to do so. However, they can be annoying and still spread germs. Learn why these pests are an issue and how to keep them out of your house.

Why Are Fruit Flies a Problem?

Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time. So if you don’t take care of a few flies, then your house could be infested. Not only do they multiply quickly, they can transfer bacteria such as Salmonella, E. Coli, and Listeria to the surfaces in your kitchen and your food.

These pathogens can cause food poisoning symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and cramps. In more serious cases, the nervous system can be affected, and a person can suffer convulsions or life-threatening infections.

Why Are Fruit Flies Usually in the Kitchen?

Fruit flies tend to flock to kitchens because there are ample food sources and spots for breeding. Flies like to eat fruits and vegetables that are ripe or rotten.

In order to reproduce, fruit flies just need a moist area with fermenting organic material, so they could leave eggs in empty bottles, wet rags, garbage disposals, or the trash cans.

How Can You Eliminate the Problem?

A good habit to get into is rinsing off your produce as soon as you get home from the grocery store. Fruit flies can latch onto products at the store, so washing fruits and veggies helps reduce the transfer of pests to your home.

Also, keep in mind that when fruit rots, it smells like vinegar. The flies find food sources with their sense of smell and are attracted to this aroma (hence the name vinegar flies).

One good trick to get rid of flies is to place a jar of apple cider vinegar out on a countertop and place plastic wrap on top. Secure the plastic with a rubber band, and poke a few holes in the wrap. The flies will smell the vinegar, fly inside, then become trapped.

Make sure your garbage bin doesn’t sit too long with fruit debris or veggie peels. If you get a lot of flies around the garbage, you may want to invest in an outside compost bin. Instead of throwing ripe or rotten food away inside the kitchen, dump it out in the composter.

Lastly, consider storing more fruit and veggies in the fridge. If you leave these items in a wire fruit basket on the counter, then it’ll be easier for flies to get at them.

Some items, like mangoes, bananas, and peaches will need to sit on the counter to ripen. But once ripe, you can place them in your refrigerator. Fresh fruit like apples and grapes can last a lot longer if they are kept in the fridge.

How Can a Pest Control Service Help?

If DIY tricks don’t cut it, consider contacting a pest control service. These professionals may be able to identify areas of access that fruit flies use to get into the house that you may have missed.

You could consider having a pest control technician hang a pheromone trap near the kitchen; these traps are safe around food products because they don’t use pesticides. Pheromone traps release an aroma that attracts male flies. Once trapped, the male flies will die. Then it will be harder for female fruit flies to find mates to make more eggs.

Contact us at Craig & Sons Termite & Pest Control, Inc., for more details. We can use eco-friendly methods to get rid of flies and other insects.