Fruit Fly Infestation – How to Control It

The year has gone by really quick and it is already almost July! This means it is also around the season when fresh produce like fruit are ripe and ready to be harvested. You might even be excited to bring home a beautiful basket of fruit like in the picture above. Unfortunately, something as beautiful as a fruit basket can easily be ruined by another natural phenomenon.

During the late summer months, we also have to be aware of fruit fly infestations. They just happen to always appear in large numbers wherever you keep your fruits. It can be difficult trying to enjoy your fruit while ignoring these little bugs flying around. The last thing you want is to pick a fruit that has fruit fly larvae crawling all over. Sounds like a horror movie.

In order for these little creatures to not spoil your fruits at home, it would be good to control their population. Here are a couple of ways that can help you.

Methods to Control Fruit Fly Numbers

Simple Method

By far one of the easiest ways to capture fruit flies. Simply find a container. I recommend using something that is disposable so that you won’t have to wash the final gross product of fruit fly carcasses. You can use something like disposable cups or bowls. Also, gather apple cider vinegar (or distilled vinegar) and liquid dish wash soap.

Fill the bowl with apple cider vinegar. Then add dish wash soap (perhaps 10% or so of the volume of vinegar). Basically very little soap and a lot of vinegar. The vinegar is what attracts the fruit flies while the soap is what is thick enough to trap the flies. Too much soap will take away the appealing smell of the vinegar.

You can choose whether to create a film with holes to cover the container or not. If you do, you can use tape or plastic wrap. Essentially, this creates a barrier that allows flies to easily get into the container but difficult to get out.

Sophisticated Method

If you enjoy making crafts, this method might be for you. You will need:

  • Empty plastic water bottle
  • Knife (something to cut with)
  • Fruit pieces (Alternatively, you can use the same solution created in the simple method)

To create this trap:

  1. Cut the top third of the water bottle out. This will act like a type of funnel.
  2. Fill the bottom part of the bottle with either pieces of fruit or the vinegar/soap solution. You can also choose to do both! This acts as the bait for the flies
  3. Take the water bottle funnel that you cut out earlier and place it inverted into the bottle piece with the bait. You may have to push it deeper to avoid any gaps that the flies may potentially escape from.
  4. Lastly, just leave the product you just created by your area with the fruit fly problem.

Here is a video on how to make that trap.

Lazy Method

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If you do not have any of the materials above or just want an already made product, you can purchase these products. You have several options.

The most simple of the products are these sticky traps. When set up, they almost resemble “plants”. The fruit flies are not necessarily drawn to the fact that the product is shaped like a plant. They are drawn more so to the scent and the bright color of the adhesive portion of the trap. When the stick parts of the trap appear to be full of flies, simply discard and replace with a new set of adhesive traps.

The next product is VERY similar to the sophisticated method except you won’t need to gather various products. It is a fruit fly trap by Terro. It has nicer looking red apple container and there is a pre-made solution for you. All you have to do is pour the solution into the “apples” and cover it with the lid. This might give your area a more aesthetic look.

The last recommended product is on the higher end, the Katchy Indoor Fly Trap. This trap uses UV light technology that draws flying insects towards the device. As they approach it, there is a fan that sucks the bugs into the device and bring them to a glue-like substance. No more flies that will escape this time!

Recommendations

To avoid fruit flies as much as possible, it would be good to keep fruits in the refrigerator. Always make it a habit to not leave any sources of food out in the open that will attract these flies. Foods to keep in mind are:

  • Fruits
  • Sweets
  • Bread
  • Juices, Soda, Alcohol
  • Fermented foods (cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc.)
  • Basically, any food that contains or can produce sugar through fermentation

Do pay particular attention to areas like the trash can, drains, and areas of your kitchen.

Summary

Fruit fly season is just around the corner as well as the time of crop harvest. Nature is very interesting that it works in this manner. The good thing is that fruit fly season is only temporary.

You have several methods to help control them. You also have products that are cheaper like the sticky trap and the Terro fruit fly trap. If you like, there is the higher end Katchy Indoor Fly Trap too.

Regardless of what method you used, you will be ready for these bugs. The methods are not perfect but they do help significantly in controlling the fruit fly population. Once that fruit fly season hits, you just have to bear with them for a little while. After that they will be gone again, at least until next year. But you will be even more prepared for them. Until then, please enjoy the pest free times within your home.

Good luck in your battle in this upcoming wave of fruit flies!

Did you enjoy this article? Have you tried using some of these products? Please leave a comment below!

Maybe you have an ant problem? Click here to learn how to control them.

8 thoughts on “Fruit Fly Infestation – How to Control It”

  1. Having flies and fruit flies around is indeed a nuisance, so these tips to trap them, are great. I have come across the inverted funnel made from a plastic bottle before, and it does work. But the solution to make as bait, with apple cider vinegar and soap, is new to me, so I will certain try that. And the fruit fly traps are a great option. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Hello there! You are welcome. Flies of any form or species are a nuisance especially when trying to eat. Glad to hear that the method of making an inverted funnel from plastic bottle has worked for you too.

      Reply
  2. This is such a timely article for me with the fruit fly season starting. Where I live, we see fruit flies like you would see passing cars on the thruway; they are everywhere. They have spoiled so many parties and barbecues, let alone all the fruit I had to throw away. I have had a lot of luck with the plastic bottle approach with apple vinegar and sugar. The biggest problem is having to clean out all the dead fruit flies from the solution,  because I found re-using the same apple cider vinegar and sugar makes the scent stronger and more alluring to the fruit flies.  I am really happy this technique works because the idea of spending money on getting rid of fruit flies just makes me feel like I’m throwing money down the drain.

    Reply
    • Hello there! I am glad this was a timely article for you. In the past, I used to think a couple handful of flies were no problem. But I also forget how fast they multiply and that’s when it becomes a problem. Good thing you were already trying out some of the techniques suggested. I also noticed that the older the solution/fruit pieces, the more appealing it is to fruit flies.

      Reply
  3. Fruit fly infestation can be irritating during such season. Mostly when you are trying to enjoy a juicy fruit with bugs flying around and getting on your nerves. The traps would work best, considering they are easy to make or create. Although am curious, like are there any other solutions you can use apart from apple cider vinegar or any you would recommend?

    Reply
    • Hello Volkert! You can use any fruit pieces or things that go through the fermentation process (produces sugars) like yeast too. If making yeast solution, be sure to feed it (with sugar) and add warm water to activate it.

      Reply
  4. Fruit Flies are a pain thank you for the prefect article. I learned a lot of new things today from it keep up the great work Mike. I did not know about the bottle trick for dealing with fruit flies that looks like the prefect solution this summer thank you again.

    Reply

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