Hands sticky from watermelon, bouquets of happy sunflowers, leftover sweet potato salad from last night’s cookout—these are glorious signs of warmer weather, yes. But, alas, they’re also magnets for fruit flies. Nothing spoils a romantic evening cooking your farmers’ market haul quite like the little winged pests. Sure, they’re small, but they’re hugely annoying. And they’re cliquey, too, traveling in swarms. What’s the secret for enjoying spring and summer without ’em? If you need to know how to get rid of fruit flies (and fast!), there are a few simple tricks.
The first thing to think about is what attracts fruit flies in the first place. According to the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, fruit flies often are brought into your kitchen from overripe fruit (hence their name), but they can also fly right in through an open door or window. Fruit flies are attracted in particular to overripe bananas, melons, tomatoes, squash, rotten potatoes, and rotten apples. So it’s best to keep any of that out of your kitchen to avoid attracting them (including inside garbage can; they’ll find their way in there, too). One place many might forget to pay attention to that attracts fruit flies is the kitchen drain, where food scraps are often found.
Some Reddit users have also found that fruit flies also gravitate toward succulents. The reason fruit flies gravitate toward houseplants could be soil of poor quality or that is too moist. Fortunately you don’t have to get rid of all your pretty plants just to live a fruit fly-free life. The NCAP says you can DIY a fruit fly trap with a covered mason jar or small bowl, a piece of old fruit (for bait), and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Or, you can buy a ready-made trap and have the work done for you.
Non-toxic fruit fly traps
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