Many homeowners are choosing to purchase organic food products and local fresh ingredients. However, all of these efforts to be kind to the environment will quickly be meaningless if a homeowner uses harsh methods for fruit fly control. A fruit fly pest problem can easily occur whether the fruit is organic or general produce, but getting rid of the problem can be a 100 percent green pest control effort. One of the most important things to do when a fruit fly problem has come up is to discover the source. Cleaning and scouring counter space won’t mean a thing if there is a half-eaten apple hiding somewhere it shouldn’t. It is also a good idea to consider using natural cleaning products, which can help to ensure homeowners are not exposing their food supply to unhealthy chemicals.
Pest Control from the Kitchen
Using organic products to exterminate fruit flies will help a homeowner to protect their food supply from becoming contaminated with harsh chemicals. Opening up the pantry just to be flooded with dozens of tiny flying pests is a sure sign something is rotting and needs to be taken care of. Before throwing out your entire food supply, consider the following natural pest control products:
- Minty Oils: Peppermint oil is a great natural fruit fly repellent. Other minty flavors are equally as effective. The oil can be left out in the open in a small container, applied as a scent in organic cleaning products or used as a spray around affected areas.
- Tricky Fruit Trap: This trap is great, especially if you already have some fruit that is over-ripened and ready to hit the compost pile. Take the fruit, such as an apple core or banana, and place in a bowl along with a few ounces of fruit juice. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Poke small holes all over the surface of the plastic wrap, which will trap the flies in and confuse them so they can’t get out.
- Build a Funnel Trap: Use a few ounces of apple cider vinegar on the bottom of a small jar or container. Roll up a piece of paper to create a funnel that will beckon the flies to the center, thus leading them to the sweet vinegar smell where they will eventually drown.
Remember when creating a trap to consistently check, empty and clean out the container. Otherwise, additional pests are likely to be attracted to the growing cemetery of dead fruit flies.
Don't Try This at Home
Homeowners that are completely grossed out by fruit flies lurking around their food will sometimes resort to extreme methods. Scrubbing the peel of a banana with harsh chemicals will likely lead to your fruit becoming inedible or degrading even sooner. If a homeowner suspects there are fruit flies coming into his or her house via produce purchases, there are other organic rinses and cleansers that can help to combat the pests. Fruit flies like to gather around drain openings or garbage disposals as well. This is a sign that there may be food residue lining or partially blocking your plumbing. Pouring bleach down the drain WILL NOT
kill the fruit flies. It may clean the chunk of garbage blocking your drain, but the blockage will still remain and continue to be a haven for fruit flies. It is also important not to assume that, because all the flies have been killed, a new problem won’t erupt in a few days. Fruit flies have a quick life cycle and can leave behind hundreds of microscopic eggs.
There are several products and traps that can be purchased to help a homeowner exterminate his or her fruit fly problem. Some of the following products can help to control the fruit fly population:
- Sealed garbage and compost containers
- Air-tight heat sealers that can be used to seal bags of food garbage before they are placed in the trash receptacle
- Organic disinfectants
- Organic drain cleansers
Finding green pest control products can be done easily through websites dedicated to green living. Many products are also available commercially at home improvement stores. Finding the source of a fruit fly problem may require some detective work, particularly if there seems to be something lurking in a pantry or cupboard. Always be sure to check bags of potatoes or onions and any other open packaging that may be the culprit. It may also be a good idea to dispose of any food that could have been exposed to the bacteria of fruit flies.