What Can I Do About Fruit Flies?

Phorid Fly - Fruit FlyI’ve heard lots of complaints just in the last week or 2 about fruit flies.  We have them around home at the moment as well.

Do you get the feeling that no matter how hard you try, it’s a losing battle?

It can be that way unless you know a bit more about what they want, and where they come from.

Fruit Flies just don’t love fruit.

In reality there are many species of little flies that float around sinks, drains, garbage, fruit bowls and classic kitchen locations that we love to call ‘fruit flies’ or ‘drain files’.

Each different species out there has their special preferences but for the sake of this post I’ll just call them Fruit Flies.

Where do Fruit Flies come from?

We normally bring them into our homes, hitchhiking on the back of fruit or other produce.  It doesn’t always mean that the produce itself is affected.  It’s just that they love living in the types of environments where you by fresh produce or other similar environments.

Fruit flies love to breed in relatively warm humid conditions. Most small nuisance flies can be found around decaying organic matter like fruit and vegetables, potting plant soils, empty drink bottles, and drains in kitchens, staff rooms, toilets and shower cubicles.

These flies can survive on a wide variety of organic materials located in these areas.

Fly spray does not seem to get rid of them…

This is very true.  Fly spray will only kill the few adults fruit flies that are flying around or resting in the bathing mist of aerosols

… and if you use fly spray – don’t forget to Shake the Can!

You can jog your memory here if you missed the article…

But if you don’t do other things – you won’t get rid of them.  Fly spray does not easily control the early stages of their life cycle.

What should I do to control fruit flies?

The most successful way of managing the problem is by using a combination of methods (known in the industry as Integrated Pest Management).

  • Habitat modification is the most important thing to start with. This means taking away food and breeding habitats that they need.
  • Throw away any decaying vegetable matter that may be attracting the flies.  This may even include indoor pot plant soil mediums.
  • Throw out your kitchen rubbish at least daily.  This includes the bin liner (my father-in-law seems to want to save money by leaving the bin liner in the bin and just tipping the rubbish into the wheelie bin – not cool!).
    These flies can breed in the smallest amounts of liquid and scum around your bins.
  • Dispose of all empty drink bottles and cans – sugar and yeast residues are just what they love – “sheer luxury
  • Scrub and clean your internal rubbish bins regularly to get rid of any scum build up – its where the live and breed.
  • If the flies are hanging around a particular room, then clean all your drains in that room.  A proper clean is required to remove all scum.
    Professional pest controllers have special biodegradable biological products that eat bacteria in drains – removing scum and one less home for the flies.
  • Making sure floor drains have not dried out by tipping some water down the drain occasionally.  Drain flies can come from other parts of the drain system if the water traps are not active.
  • Chemical control is also required for the adult flies to eliminate the immediate threat of them breeding again.

If you have a problem then all this needs to be done to successfully see the end of the invasion.

If you’re not sure, then ask for some help from a professional pest controller – but they can only help with a couple of the points above – its really up to you to manage the problem properly.


In the meantime…

  • What experiences have you had with pest control at home?

  • Have you ever wondered about pests that really annoy you?

I’d love to hear from you…

Feel free to leave a comment on this post – OR

Share your story or viewpoint here

Photos courtesy of:
www.biosurvey.ou.edu; www.ento.psu.edu

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