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How to Keep Fruit Flies Away

Sunday, November 2, 2014

At just a few millimeters in length, fruit flies are among the smallest flies. But once they enter your home, fruit flies can be a big nuisance.

In Colorado, fruit fly populations tend to swell from late summer through early fall, although the flies can linger through winter if they establish themselves indoors. Following are some simple steps you can take to get rid of fruit flies and make sure they stay away. If you have a significant pest problem, it’s best to consult with a pest control expert.

What’s in a Name?

Fruit flies are also known as pomace flies and vinegar flies, and each name is appropriate.

Fruit flies are attracted to overripe fruit and other fermenting goods like the solid remains of pressed fruit (pomace), vinegar, and stale beer. Fruit flies reproduce rapidly and in bulk; they can lay hundreds of eggs at a time, and they often breed on or around the organic matter on which they feed.

Eliminating Fruit Flies

If you notice even a few fruit flies, it’s time to take immediate action before a few becomes a few hundred:

  • Dispose of any overly ripe fruits or vegetables, especially those sitting in the open on countertops
  • Cover any open trash containers
  • Thoroughly clean food preparation areas and the areas around indoor trash and recycling receptacles
  • Create a few apple cider vinegar traps and place them in areas where you notice the most fruit fly activity
  • Spray a mixture of warm water and lemongrass oil on and around indoor herbs and other plants (this will not kill the fruit flies like the apple cider vinegar trap, but it will keep them from feeding and breeding on the plants and soil)

When it comes to coping with fruit flies, the best offense really is a good defense.

Preventing Fruit Flies

Sanitation is key to preventing a fruit fly infestation. According to the Colorado State University Extension, techniques that can help you keep fruit flies out of your home include:

  • Cover garbage and remove trash regularly
  • Rinse all recyclable cans, bottles and other containers, and remove recycling routinely
  • Keep food preparation areas clean
  • Don’t store fruit or vegetables in the open, especially if they are split open or overripe
  • Keep your sink clean; if you have a garbage disposal, run it and flush it immediately after disposing of food scraps
  • Seal cracks around windows and patch holes in window screens, especially any windows near food
  • Repair any leaky pipes that may produce standing water

Pesticides are generally little help in controlling fruit flies. The most effective solution is to eliminate food sources and breeding areas.

If you’re dealing with an insect invasion or other pest problem, please contact Animal & Pest Control Specialist Inc. online or call us at 303-987-0842. We proudly serve customers from the greater Denver area and along Colorado’s Front Range, from Castle Rock to Fort Collins.


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