Fruit flies are those annoying pests that seem to proliferate overnight. The lifecycle from egg to adult is only 8 to 10 days, and they can lay 500 eggs at a time on fermenting fruit or other organic materials. They can also lay their eggs in sink drains, garbage disposals, recycled bottles and cans, and even damp sponges.
How did I get Fruit Flies?
You can get fruit flies several ways. The produce you bring in from the grocery store, farmer’s market or even your own garden may already have fruit fly eggs or larva already on it. Fruit flies that are infesting fruits or vegetables in your composting pile or garden, a neighbor’s trash or your own uncovered trash bins can easily pass through a screen, windows or doors and enter your Houston area home. Once inside they will happily lay their eggs on and produce and other fermenting materials. Because they have a short generation cycle they can be extremely difficult to eliminate.
I’ve gotten rid of the rotten fruit but I still have Fruit Flies!
The first step in eliminating the fruit flies is to detect the source of the infestation. Even if you have tracked the source to overripe fruit, they may have moved to other areas in your home. They are attracted to yeasty smells, vinegary smells or odors of decay. If you have items like onions, tomatoes or potatoes out; put them in the refrigerator until the problem is resolved.
Now you have become a fruit fly detective. Look beyond the produce for breeding sites. As was previously mentioned they prefer, moist, semi liquid, and fermenting goo or gunk. Check your trash can for any spills at the bottom or sides of the can, trash compactor, drip pans, recycling bins, scum in drains, dirty buckets, mops or sponges, even mop water in cracks and crevices can be a breeding site.
Now to get rid of the pests.
Discarding the produce has not gotten rid of the problem. Close all your doors and windows, screens are not an effective barrier since they can fit right though the openings. Deep cleaning of breeding sites is the next step. Spray and clean the bottoms of trash cans, recycle bins, mop the floors, take your garbage out twice per day. Use a bacterial foam or gel drain cleaners to clean out all drains. An aerosol spray can be used to hit the flies in the air. You can also put a small oscillating fan near your produce to keep the flies from landing. There are commercially available pheromone traps that will trap and kill fruit flies. If you are handy you can make your own trap by making a cone from paper and placing it in a bottle or jar that has been baited with a piece of rotted fruit or apple cider vinegar. The flies can enter the trap but they are unable to fly out. If you are still having a problem contact your Professional Pest Control Company.