Fruit flies can be active despite cold New England temperatures. Take your kitchen back from these hovering hooligans.
You’ve tried everything. You have little cups of apple-cider-vinegar-and-dish-soap concoction all over your counters and window sills. You’ve checked and re-checked your produce for any overripe or rotten pieces. You’ve tried everything you can think of, but you’re still frantically swatting at clouds of fruit flies in the kitchen. You’re dangerously close to losing your mind. It’s winter! How can fruit flies possibly be invading your cooking and dining space? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but despite the cold, winter doesn’t stop fruit flies in New England.
Why? First off, to a fruit fly, it’s springtime in your home all year long. The inside of your house never matches the 20-something temperatures outdoors. I know what you’re thinking: “But don’t fruit flies come in from outside?” Yes, but that’s not the only way they get in. It’s possible to bring them into your home via fruit purchased at a store. Once inside, they can establish themselves in several areas of the house. Your home provides fruit flies all the food and water sources they need to thrive, and frankly they don’t need much.
Fruit flies are persistent, annoying, and tough to get rid of. So what can you do to prevent an infestation?
Clean, clean, clean. Open trash and recycling bins, dishes in the sink, tiny pieces of food on the counter—kitchens are fruit fly heaven, and if they’re already in your kitchen, they will find anything to feed on. Keep surfaces clean and dry, try not to leave used dishes out, empty the trash and recycling regularly, and rinse any bottles or cans before tossing them in the recycling bin.
Store fruit properly. Sure, we all want the quintessential aesthetically-pleasing fruit bowl on the counter, but it might as well be a neon sign inviting fruit flies to your kitchen. When possible, store fruit in sealed containers or the refrigerator. Any fruit stored on counters should be washed thoroughly and covered.
Stay dry. Clean up spills right away. Fill any gaps or crevices in kitchens and even bathrooms to cut down on pooled water. Even a plate left in the sink with a speck of jam on it offers both food and water to fruit flies.
Unclog drains. Fruit flies have a super-powered sense of smell, and they aren’t above going into your drain for a snack or a breeding ground. Any organic material caught in the drain is fair game. Cleaning drains with home remedies is sometimes not enough; occasionally more conventional treatments are necessary.
Here’s the twist: all small flies are not equal. The same methods of treatment and prevention may not work for phorid flies as fruit flies, for example (a fact that this blogger admittedly had to learn the hard way). If everything you’ve tried has failed, you may not be dealing with fruit flies after all.
Proper identification is crucial in finding the correct treatment option. Before you pull all your hair out in frustration, call Burgess Pest for a free inspection. Our expert technicians will fly right over to help save your kitchen.