Let’s talk about those small flying insects taking over your home. Everyone has to fight these bugs at some point, and if you clicked on this article, your house is likely already home to a fly or two. Those small bugs usually fall into one of three categories, namely gnats, fruit flies and drain flies. The first, gnats, usually move in groups and can bite through human skin. Fruit flies, on the other hand, are found near ripe fruit or garbage cans, while drain flies have moth-like wings and primarily hang around drain openings.
Once you’ve determined that the tiny flies in your home are fruit flies, you’ll need to figure out why they are living with you. Most likely, the flies came in through open windows or doors or hitchhiked in on your groceries — yup, you really do need to wash your fruits and veggies.
Once fruit flies exist in your house, it’s very easy for them to multiply as one bug can lay hundreds of eggs in a piece of rotting fruit or garbage. Therefore, the best way to get rid of fruit flies is to ensure you don’t have any discarded food lying around your home. Of course, it’s much easier to let flies inside than it is to learn how to get rid of fruit flies.
Short of cleaning every inch of the kitchen, we’ve rounded up a few additional tips and tricks for getting rid of these pests. Read on for nine hacks and some of our favorite products for removing fruit flies from your home.
1. Make a Homemade Fruit Fly Trap
The best and most traditional way to get rid of fruit flies that are already in your home is to make a homemade trap. This is done by placing a small amount of apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a glass jar, adding a drop of dish soap to the vinegar and covering the jar with plastic wrap. The final step is to poke a few holes in the plastic through which the flies can enter when they are attracted by the vinegar but cannot leave. Chances are that if you ask your mom how to get rid of fruit flies, this is what she will tell you to do.
Buy: Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar $15.93
2. Use Repel Substances
If you find that you often spot fruit flies and other insects in your garage or crawl space, using substances that repel bugs, like the Spectrum Hot Shot No Pest Strip, might work. These strips produce a colorless vapor in a controlled release over four months. The vapor ensures that any bugs within the area are encouraged to leave and new bugs will not enter. However effective, the vapor is toxic, so these strips should only be hung in areas that aren’t lived in, like basements, crawl spaces and the exterior of your home.
Buy: Spectrum Hot Shot No Pest Strip $5.96
3. Expel Pests Using Ultrasonic Technology
What if we told you there’s a device you can plug into your wall that will prevent your house from becoming a home to fruit flies, mice, cockroaches and other pests? That’s exactly what the Bocianelli Ultrasonic Pest Repeller does. By using ultrasonic technology, this device encourages any pests inside your home to leave quickly. It will also prevent new pests from entering as long as it’s plugged in. The pest repeller can control an area of up to 1600 square feet. Simply place one in every room and your problem should be solved.
Buy: Bocianelli Ultrasonic Pest Repeller $27.99
4. Get a UV Light Trap
Like most bugs, fruit flies are attracted to UV light, especially at night. This works to your advantage with the KATCHY Indoor Insect Trap. The device includes a UV light to entice the bugs, then it sucks the bugs inside using a fan. Once in the plastic container, sticky paper traps the bugs away from your fruit and garbage for good. This is like a homemade trap but even more effective thanks to the use of technology. It’s also a good deal more attractive to look at than a jar with dead fruit flies floating around in it. For that reason, this UV light trap is recommended for use in bars and restaurants.
Buy: KATCHY Indoor Insect Trap $39.79
5. Get Sticky Traps
One of the cheapest ways to get rid of flying bugs of all kinds is to install sticky fly paper in pest-filled areas. These dual-sided glue traps are made in a yellow color to attract insects, yet they do not include any insecticides, making them more eco-friendly than competitors. They can be used near indoor and outdoor plants, and the pack includes wire ties for keeping the traps in place. Finally, it’s important to note that these traps will need to be replaced every two to three months.
Buy: Kensizer Yellow Sticky Traps $5.09
6. Spray Lemongrass Essential Oil
BEST ESSENTIAL OIL
Fruit flies hate the smell of lemongrass, even though it is delightful to us humans. To ensure fruit flies never want to enter your home, simply mix ten drops of lemongrass essential oil with two ounces of hot water in a spray bottle. Then, spray the mixture around your doors, windows and drains. You can even spray the non-toxic mixture at the fruit flies themselves to encourage them to leave. This hack will also help keep mosquitos at bay.
Buy: Artizen Lemongrass Essential Oil $8.99
7. Invest in Made-For-Purpose Fruit Fly Traps
If you don’t have apple cider vinegar around the house, you can order made-for-purpose fruit fly traps that work in a similar manner to homemade traps. All you have to do is remove the trap from the packaging and place it near known fruit fly breeding areas. The liquid bait within the trap will lure the bugs to their death. A convenient window allows you to see that the trap is being effective as well as the level of the bait liquid. Each trap should last for 45 days, and this pack includes two traps for a complete 90 day supply.
Buy: TERRO Fruit Fly Trap $5.88
8. Crack Open a Brew
You love beer, don’t you? Well, so do fruit flies. With this simple hack, open up a bottle of beer, drink or dump around at least half of it and wait. Fruit flies will find themselves jumping in one after one for a sip or two until they’re completely unable to get out. Maybe it’s because of the liquid’s consistency, maybe it’s the neck of the bottle, maybe it’s because they’re too drunk to function.
Buy: Bud Light $13.99
9. Burn Incense
Incense has been used for centuries around the world to control bug infestations. The smoke from the incense essentially suffocates the bugs, ensuring they either die or leave the area quickly. And, as an added bonus, the incense leaves your home smelling like whatever scent you choose to use. Furthermore, because incense is very cheap, this is one of the most cost-effective ways to get rid of fruit flies and other insects.
Buy: Satya Gift Set $13.45
10. Try a Ribbon Trap
BEST RIBBON TRAP
Sticky fly traps are the standard solution for a fruit fly infestation. These little traps unspool a ribbon of sticky fly paper that traps flies and other pests. The ribbon is scented to attract flies. This solution works best if your fly problem is confined to a small area. If the sight of a fly-covered ribbon will bother you, then this might not be the right solution for your infestation.
Buy: Catchmaster Sticky Fly Trap Ribbon $12.49
11. Clean Out Your Drains
BEST PREVENTATIVE MEASURE
In order to thrive in your home, fruit flies require an area with moisture and some sort of decomposing food. Your kitchen drain likely provides this ideal environment. So, if you often spot fruit flies around your sink, consider cleaning out your drains with the Green Gobbler Fruit Fly Goodbye Gel Drain Treatment. This gel eliminates the flies’ breeding ground and removes any eggs from your drain. It also scares away live flies thanks to the included citronella. Plus, this gel is a non-corrosive material, so it won’t harm your pipes, even if you have to use it daily.
Buy: Green Gobbler Fruit Fly Goodbye Gel Treatment $29.99
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