At some point in their lives, most homeowners will deal with an infestation of fruit flies in their home. These pesky intruders may not bite people like spiders or mosquitoes, but they can spread quickly and be difficult to get rid of effectively, which can cause stress for homeowners that encounter them. While fruit flies are a nuisance, homeowners can use a simple tool, vinegar, to build a trap that will attract and destroy the fruit flies in their residence.
What Are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies are a type of common household pests. They are yellow to brown in color and live for an average of 7 days, but can lay up to 400 eggs during their lifetime, which can quickly cause an infestation. They spend the majority of their life trying to reproduce, which means that they will use every opportunity to lay eggs on any appropriate material that they can. They have a very effective sense of smell that allows them to locate old produce, which makes for a great breeding ground.
What Causes Fruit Fly Infestations?
While leaving out food for a short period of time won’t always lead to an infestation of fruit flies, it greatly increases the risk of inviting the pests into your home. All it takes is an open door at the wrong time, uncovered trash cans that are close to the house, or an open window to bring the first set of fruit flies in, after which time additional larvae are often quick to follow.
Fruit flies are aptly named, as they especially like to find fruit on which to lay their eggs. All it takes is a piece of food stuck inside a trash can, left behind in a garbage disposal for a short period, or stuck to the counter to bring in the flies.
Once fruit flies have begun to breed in a home, it can be hard to remove them, as their eggs are easy to miss. Even after a thorough home cleaning, fruit fly eggs can continue to hatch, leading to a constant supply of new breeding adults.
How Can I Use Vinegar to Get Rid of Fruit Flies?
The good news is that you can use a common household item to get rid of a fruit fly infestation…vinegar! Not only will it help you to clean your kitchen, but it can actually be used to create a trap to lure the breeding adults to their death. Vinegar traps are particularly useful for fruit flies because the adult flies are so consumed with reproducing that they are aware of the danger that a vinegar trap presents to them.
Here’s what you’ll need to be able to create the trap: A container like a cup, a sandwich baggie, a rubber band that can create a seal, a pair of scissors, and a bottle of common apple cider vinegar.
It is fairly easy to make the trap once you’ve gathered your ingredients. First, take your apple cider vinegar and pour about an inch of liquid into the bottom of your container. Because it is made from fermented apples, the apple cider vinegar will attract the fruit flies just like a rotting piece of fruit would. To seal off the flies from escaping the trap, you’ll use the Ziploc bag.
Use your scissors to cut off a small piece of one corner from your baggie, which will create an entrance for the fruit flies to get in, but not easily out. Fit your bag snugly over the container with the cut corner right over the center of the top. Push that corner downwards towards the liquid, but don’t let it touch. Finally, stretch your rubber band over the container to keep everything in place.
Where Should I Put My Traps?
Traps can be placed anywhere that you encounter fruit flies, but should especially be put near your trash cans. Sometimes, the fastest way to get rid of an infestation is to set out several traps in prominent places.
The best thing about a vinegar trap is that it can be reused simply by emptying the container and adding in a little more apple cider vinegar. With these few simple tools, homeowners can keep their homes free from fruit flies effectively.