Aside from in South Australia, where quarantine has kept the pest entirely out of the area, Fruit flies are a real problem in Australia. There is even a Fruit Fly Council managing the problem in commercial settings because of the threat certain types of fruit fly pose to crops.
There are several types of fruit fly that pose problems for Australian households. In your home you are most likely to have drosophilidae which are able to lay a whopping 500 eggs in their short 8-14 day life cycle.
Most commonly attracted to damp sponges or dish clothes, ripe fruit, drains and bins, fruit flies are extremely annoying. Luckily there are lots of things you can do at home to both prevent and treat their infestation:
How To Prevent Fruit Flies
To prevent fruit flies you will want to take away anything that they will be attracted to. Ripe or rotting fruits or veggies are very attractive to the common fruit fly.
Bins (compost bins and general waste) with juice are also very attractive to fruit flies. By staying hyper-aware of any fermenting produce and removing it, you can put a hard stop in the reproductive process of the fly.
As a general rule:
- Buy fruit with pristine or near-pristine skin
- Keep fruit and veggies in the fridge or a sealed cupboard, especially during a major infestation
- Keep an eye on the bottom of the fruit bowl to check for rotting fruit at the bottom
- Keep spraying the bins and sides to remove any fermentation juice and residue from the surface
DIY Fruit Fly Traps
Even pest control might not be able to guarantee the permanent removal of fruit flies. It’s also cheaper and easier to try and deal with the problem yourself if you can. Here are some effective homemade DIY solutions for fruit flies that you can make in the home:
- Dish soap and wine mixed and left overnight
- Apple cider vinegar in a jar
- Syrup in a plastic bottle
- Put some fruit in a bowl and place plastic wrap over the top. Then place small holes in the wrap for the flies to climb in and get trapped
Other DIY Fruit Fly Treatments
Here are some other things you can try:
- Essential oil mixed with water kills fruit flies when sprayed but is toxic when ingested by humans so must be used very carefully in the kitchen
- Hot water down the drain and around an outside bin (kills eggs on contact)
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
As with many pest problems, prevention is the best option. If you can prevent the issue you can avoid having to deal with pesky fruit flies in your place for months on end. Keep home hygiene at a high level, protect fruit and veggies in the fridge, and disinfect in and around bins repeatedly in summer. With any luck you’ll stay free of these annoying pests most of the time, able to enjoy fresh produce without competing with a fly for the goods.
Fruit Fly Trap FAQs
Fruit flies are most attracted to very ripe or rotting fruits and vegetables, and even the residue left behind by fermented produce.