On a hot summer day, nothing sounds better than a cool piece of fresh fruit. You reach for a banana only to discover the worst: it’s crawling with fruit flies. Those irritating insects seem like they’re everywhere, but there are a number of fantastic remedies to keep your fruit flyless and your house clean.
AAAH! Where Do They Come From?
The first step to eliminating fruit flies is understanding why they’re there. Fruit flies are attracted to anything moist and rotting: ripe fruit and veggies, sure, but also sink drains, trash cans, or empty bottles. Their sense of smell goes into overdrive for the pungent whiff of acetic acid given off by rotting organic matter — you know, like your banana.
How Do I Deal With Them?
Solution One: The Vinegar Flytrap
Since those fruit flies are after acetic acid, the answer is simple: Give them what they want. In a small cup or wide-mouthed jar, mix up about a half-cup of apple cider vinegar and a splash of dish soap. The tangy scent of the vinegar lures them in, but the soap traps them forever. Afterward, you can dispose of the entire jar or re-use it as needed.
Solution Two: Flypaper Strips, or Bye-Fly-DIY
Flypaper strips are a classic solution to the problem of fruit flies and their ickier regular-housefly relatives. However, it’s understandable if you don’t want a strip full of chemicals dangling in your kitchen.
To make your own DIY flypaper, get some paper, cut it into strips about 2″ wide, and punch holes in the top of each one. Then, brush a solution of two parts corn syrup mixed with one part sugar onto one side of each strip and then hang them where you have a problem with flies. The sugar will stick the flies to the paper, which you can then throw out.
Solution Three: Lavender Bug Repellent
For this solution, you’ll need a can, a sponge, and 1/3 cup lavender essential oil. Other oils such as pennyroyal, citronella, and eucalyptus work to repel flies, but lavender is the most effective. First, dip a sponge into the essential oil and then seal it in the can for about 24 hours. When the sponge has had a chance to get fully soaked, open the lid in the place where you have a serious fly problem. Flies hate the scent, so this method should get rid of them fairly fast.
Keep in mind, though, that this method doesn’t kill the flies. It just makes them not want to stay in the area. For truly eliminating pesky flies from your life once and for all, you might want to try the other two methods as well.