You’ve tried everything: Your kitchen looks like a mad science experiment with little cups of apple-cider-vinegar-and-dish-soap mixture everywhere and unsightly, sticky ribbon traps dangling from the ceiling; you’ve inspected and re-inspected your produce for any overripe or rotten pieces; it’s winter and it’s cold out there, but somehow you’re still frantically swatting at clouds of fruit flies. How is this possible?!
For starters, 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. Once inside, they can establish themselves in several areas of the house. Your home provides fruit flies all the warmth, food, and water they need to thrive.
So what can you do to keep them from getting comfortable?
Keep it clean. Once fruit flies are in your house, they’ll feed of just about anything: Open trash and recycling bins, dishes in the sink, and food debris or spills on the counter are all fair game. 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. 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 little water and food inside looks like a buffet to a fruit fly.
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 will do. While home remedies for cleaning drains may work in some cases, occasionally more conventional treatments are necessary.
Finally, know your enemy. All small flies are not equal. The treatment and prevention methods that work for fruit flies may not work for phorid flies, for example - if everything you’ve tried has failed, it’s possible that you’re not dealing with fruit flies after all.
Proper identification is crucial in finding the correct treatment option. Before you spend too much time, money, and effort on DIY remedies, call Burgess Pest for a free inspection. Our expert technicians will fly right over to help get rid of what’s bugging you.
For more information and tips on handling wintertime pests, download a copy of our Winter Pest Guide!