When these pests settle in your home, it can be difficult to expel them. We have put together four simple ways to get rid of fruit flies using items you can find in your pantry or refrigerator: apple cider vinegar, ripe fruit, lemons, wine and dishwashing soap. Hour
Fall has arrived in downtown Iowa. The air is getting cold. The leaves begin to spin. And fruit flies are moving to our kitchens in search of ripe fruit and other places where they can eat and reproduce.
Also known as vinegar flies or pomace flies, red-eyed, bulbous insects reach their peak of population after laying eggs during warmer months, said Donald Lewis, a professor in the Department of Entomology at Iowa State University.
They will begin to die when Iowa's harsh winter arrives, but for now, they are finding ways inside the houses.
“This is a fairly common problem that I think that sooner or later most people will experience. It's just a matter of when it's your turn to have this problem, ”said Lewis.
Fruit flies are drawn by decomposing fruit and other wet places.
Why are they inside?
The fruit flies that swirled around the kitchen trash and above the drains were probably attracted there by fermenting fruit or other organic matter.
But the fruit does not need to be present. They may be attracted to other humid environments, including silt that accumulates in the drains.
The key, Lewis said, is that insects are now "invaders" rather than permanent "residents" in their home. The land outside is more likely to be infested with fruit flies, rather than their own home, he said.
They are attracted to moisture and light, so they often congregate around sinks or windows.
"Now, when you call me in January and you tell me that you have fruit flies in your house, that's a different story because they don't come in when it's cold outside," he said.
How to get rid of them?
You can soak your kitchen with spray to kill insects, hit and knock with reckless abandon, or try some of the dozens of homemade fruit fly traps.
Here are three we tested:
Fill a bowl with half an inch of apple cider vinegar, beer or wine and add two or three drops of dish soap. Leave the bowl uncovered on the kitchen counter.
Fill a glass with half an inch of apple cider vinegar and cover the top with a plastic wrap, secured by a rubber band. Use a toothpick to make dozens of holes in the plastic wrap.
Cut a piece of banana and put it in the bottom of a cup. Use a piece of paper to make a funnel and place the narrow end inside the cup.
Fruit flies are coming inside during this time of year. For the simplest fruit fly trap, simply place a glass of wine to which a dish detergent has been added and label the glass so that no one drinks the liquid. After drinking this liquid to drink a drink, the fruit flies get wet and cannot take off again. ASSOCIATED PRESS This photo from October 7, 2013 shows traps for fruits and flies in New Paltz, New York. For the simplest trap, simply place a glass of wine to which a dish detergent has been added and label the glass so that no one drinks the liquid. After drinking this liquid to drink a drink, the fruit flies get wet and cannot take off again. (AP Photo / Lee Reich)
Those proven methods will kill adult flies, but you could do it again soon if they manage to lay eggs.
Lewis and the University of Minnesota entomologist, Jeffery Hahn, said the key to eradicating flies is to reject the source of the infestation.
Start by throwing away any rotten product and throwing cans of beer and old soda.
Cleaning of silt-lined drain pipes is another recommendation.
Iowa residents can use a stiff brush or pour boiling water down the drain to sterilize the pipe. Bacterial drainage treatments that biodegrade organic matter are sold, but treatment of drains with bleach or ammonia does not help.
Are they going in because it's cold?
Not necessarily. That explanation is a bit "too simple," Lewis said.
"There are more of them outside (at this time) than there has been throughout the year, and for some reason, we also have more inside at this time," he said.
How long does it take to ripen fruit flies?
Between 10 and 14 days, Lewis said. That means that the flies you are finding in your kitchen probably weren't born there, unless you've been dealing with the flies for the past two weeks, that is.
"For many people, fruit flies are a temporary nuisance and the flies eventually disappear on their own without determining a source," says Lewis.
Austin Cannon covers the city of Des Moines for registration. Contact him at [email protected] or 515-284-8398. Your subscription makes a job like this possible. Subscribe today at DesMoinesRegister.com/Deal.
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