The Q&A Archives: Fruit Flies

Question: This year I used a community garden & consequently grew alot more vegetables than usual. In fact this year I brought so many newly grown vegetables into the house that we had these small flies smaller than a gnat, I think they were fruit flies. I did not treat the vegetables with any chemicals like Sevin while they were growing. How do I get rid of the flies in the house now, and how do I avoid this situation in the future?

Answer: Fruit flies can be quite annoying! Once they come indoors they're difficult to eradicate unless you remove all of their sources of food and water. Fruit flies are attracted to decaying organic debris so they probably came into your home after you brought the produce in. They may lay eggs on overripe fruits and veggies in the garden and you may import them in that way, but generally they come in through open windows and doors. Fruit flies are so tiny that they can live indoors simply by feeding on the miniscule amouts of food left in your kitchen sink. This is especially true if you have a garbage disposal. The most important thing you can do is remove fresh produce from open areas like kitchen counters. If you refrigerate all fruits and vegetables, you'll eliminate a major source of food for the fruit flies, plus you'll slow the decompostion and soft-rots that develop on overripe produce. To trap the fruit flies already in your kitchen, take an empty wide-mouth jar and put 2-3 inches of vinegar in the bottom. Then make a funnel out of paper to stick in the top of the jar. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar odor and will crawl in, but won't be able to get back out through the small hole in the funnel. Eventually they'll drown.

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