Have you had enough of vinegar flies? Here are 8 tips on how to prevent fruit flies from entering your home.
“Prevention is better than cure.”
That’s an old, but useful, Proverbial saying to remember when dealing with pests.
To prevent fruit flies from coming into your home is better than cleaning up an infestation. This is your first line of defence, so it’s best to plan wisely.
You’ve likely had enough of living with these nuisances. Your home is your kingdom, and it’s about high time you get some relief.
In this article, you’ll find a few measures on how to prevent fruit flies from coming into your home.
Note: In this article, fruit flies are also referred to as pomace and vinegar flies.
Inspect Your Produce
This step is important if you’re a home gardener. Pomace flies will lay their eggs on fruits before they even get indoors.
With over 4000 species, it’s difficult to keep track of them all. Some are pickier about what they lay their eggs on, but it’s not impossible for them to pop an egg, or dozens, onto some of your fruits.
With that said, it’s not uncommon for you to bring indoors fruits with larvae feeding on the inside. Inspecting your produce for small brown holes and mushy spots will send your antennas on high alert.
In most cases, cutting out affected areas and refrigerating help to prevent an infestation from coming indoors.
Eliminate What Attracts Fruit Flies
This is one of the best tips you’ll find out there on how to prevent fruit flies from getting into your home.
If you can remove the attractant or what fruit flies love, you won’t have to deal with them, period.
Fruit flies love fermenting and rotting food. If you leave fresh produce exposed in your kitchen, they will swarm once these start to ripen.
Pomace flies have a penchant for bananas, onions, potatoes, and other ripened or fermented fruits and vegetables.
If you bring in produce from the stores or garden, keep track of how quickly they ripen. Bananas and apples are common staples left on kitchen tables. Bananas, especially, tend to ripen quickly, without you even knowing. Once this process begins, you need to store your fruits so that they are inaccessible to fruit flies.
Remember, you won’t know where they are coming from. They’ll just appear.
Refrigerate Fruits that Are About to Ripen
Before foods begin to ferment or decay, you can either eat them, discard them, or store them in your refrigerator. You probably will choose to store them, as it may be difficult to consume so many fruits at once, and it’s unwise to discard food you need.
For bananas, simply place them in the fridge. When you’re ready to have, peel and eat. They can also be deskinned and frozen for use in cereals and smoothies.
Whatever food you have on hand, ensure to refrigerate before they ferment. This is because they could have already been contaminated by fruit flies. They do lay eggs on their food, which often goes unseen.
Clean Up Spills
Fruit flies also fancy wine (doesn’t have to be the finest) and vinegar. They might swarm thrown out beer bottles and feed on developing yeast. Fruit flies also don’t discriminate against soda. These small insects get their food from all over.
Cleaning up spills when they occur will prevent fruit flies from rushing inside. It’s common to grab a mop and wipe away liquids, but this can be a recipe for disaster. Mops with wine and sodas can produce fruit flies.
If you do use a mop to clean up, it should be washed afterwards. An alternative is to swoop up spills with a napkin, and then cleanse the area with a hint of bleach. If you’re not a fan of bleach, another cleaning agent will suffice.
Watch out for spills made under a refrigerator. These are common hotspots for fruit flies to thrive.
Proper Garbage Disposal
Another measure about how to prevent fruit flies is to treat your garbage with care. You’re not being asked to pamper it, as you would a baby. However, using sanitary disposal methods is important to prevent fruit flies. A golden rule is never to leave a garbage receptacle open.
Do you have a step-on lid garbage container? These are great but could cause problems when used inappropriately. Because you’re so accustomed to stepping on the lid and blindly throwing stuff in, scraps could touch the sides of the bin without your knowledge.
A tiny spec of food is all you need at times to attract an infestation. To prevent fruit flies, ensure you aren’t getting drops all over the lid.
Empty your garbage bins regularly. This cannot be stressed enough. Having a good routine of emptying and cleaning garbage bins goes a long way. This method on how to prevent fruit flies is often overlooked, so keep up with cleaning your bins.
Do you love preparing pomaces, wines, and other items that fruit flies find attractive? Homeowners who practice canning and preserving are at a greater risk for an infestation.
When making your delicious homemade preparations, always ensure the containers are sealed properly. Clean the sides and lids when done to ensure there’s no residue left behind.
If you’re a beer-drinking or wine-loving person, empty bottles should be washed out and covered. Fruit flies will lay their eggs inside, even if there’s a little liquid left behind.
Install Window and Door Screens
Like other flying insects, and even crawling ones, vinegar flies will swoop in through your windows and doors.
It may not be practical to keep these areas shut, especially if living in scorching hot locations. Since windows and doors provide proper ventilation, getting window screens and meshes will prevent fruit flies from entering your home.
The window and screen mesh should be tight-fitting. This is because pomace flies are tiny, with adults as long as 1/8 of an inch.
Remove Their Breeding Sites
A noticeable feature of fruit flies is their superb ability to show up out of nowhere. Your home might be inhabited by fruit flies without your knowledge. This is because a breeding site is hidden. Locating the breeding source is important to prevent the reoccurrence of an infestation.
Finding fruit flies to eliminate their habitat is an entire job. You will need to search relentlessly, as these breeding sites tend to be inaccessible areas. Typical examples include drains and garbage disposals. Remember mention was made of these flies’ unsanitariness? Now you know why.
A simple method to identify a breeding site is to use the plastic storage bag option. The clear plastic bag should cover the mouth (or opening) of the area and left overnight. If there’s an infestation, adult fruit flies will show up and be caught in the bag.
Once you locate their breeding site and the attractant, get rid of them. Use a spray containing pyrethrum to knock dead fruit flies that are left behind.
How to Prevent Fruit Flies, Conclusion
These methods on how to prevent fruit flies from entering your home aren’t set in stone. There’s no single way to prevent them. In most cases, using a combination of these methods work wonders, instead of sticking to one.
The goal is to find a method or methods that work for your situation. Your circumstances may differ from another person, but the problem remains the same.
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