Updated: Aug 21
Me: "Where are do they come from?!"
Him: "We likely brought them home from the grocery store."
Me: "Ugh! Hey Siri! Where do fruit flies come from?"
Siri: "They don’t come from inside the fruit, but rather come from outside
once the fruit on your kitchen counter starts to go just past ripe.”
I've always considered myself fairly all-inclusive when it comes to my love for animals - but I'll admit I have a few exceptions. And, I'm a firm believer that creatures who bite, slither, or eradicate are best outdoors!
This brings me to fruit flies.
Fruit flies drift into your home when they catch the scent of ripening fruit, especially when it's overripe. They love wine and beer even more because it has already fermented.
Although extremely irritating, they are fairly harmless; but gross. They can lay up to 500 eggs at a time and do so near the surface of your ripe fruit, or perhaps a slow rotting onion forgotten at the bottom of a bin or bag. They can live and breed in drains, garbage cans, damp mops, rags and sponges. Be careful of unseen spills, like fruit juice under the refrigerator as these are all happy places for fruit flies to breed. Within a week, you’ll see a battalion of tiny flies scatter every time your hand reaches for the fruit bowl.
The key to not having fruit flies is prevention:
Refrigerate any ripened or damaged fruit.
Keep the lid securely closed on your garbage can, and if you have one that doesn't seal, make sure you take it out on a regular basis.
Clean up any spilled fruit juice, beer or wine and rinse out the glasses when you’re done.
Thoroughly wash, rinse and wring out to dry all cleaning implements such as rags, sponges, and mops etc.
Do not allow dirty dishes to collect in the sink. After doing the dishes, clean and rinse out your sink with hot running water.
The average life span of a fruit fly is about two weeks. That may not seem like a long time - unless you have all 500 of them staying as unwanted guests. If that is the case, consider building a trap:
Fill a glass (or three) halfway with apple cider vinegar, soda or old beer. If you have none available, place an overripe piece of fruit in the glass and go to step #3.
Add a drop or two of liquid dish soap and stir gently with a spoon (this makes it so the fruit flies can’t just float on the surface).
Cover the top of the glass(es) tightly with plastic wrap. The wrap should cling to the glass but if it doesn’t, apply an elastic to keep it in place.
Using a toothpick, punch about a dozen holes large enough for the fruit flies to get through into the plastic.
Place the glass where you have the fruit flies (I generally place mine in the middle of the fruit bowl).