How do you get rid of fruit flies?

I've had a fruit fly problem for the past month. My boyfriend has been complaining about them -- and initially I didn't care, but now I do.


I’ve had a fruit fly problem for the past month. My boyfriend has been complaining about them — and initially I didn’t care, but now I do. They’re not going away, and it’s been weeks — they’ve definitely overstayed their welcome.

Problem is, I’m not sure how to get rid of them. My boyfriend said the flies are coming from my trash, but I’m sure that’s not the source. A friend posted on Facebook about her own fruit fly issues: “Is anyone else’s kitchen being taken over by fruit flies? I’ve done the wine/detergent/ripe fruit thing to catch them but they are multiplying. Any other suggestions welcome!”

Ronnie Lebow bought a glass wasp catcher at Pharma Plus for less than $3. “Fill with some juice and leave it on the kitchen counter,” she wrote.

Marsha Mowers suggests a “bowl of vinegar.” Sheryl Yanover Goldstein advices that you have to cover the container with cling wrap and poke a hole in it so they can get in but stay trapped. Just this morning my good friend stopped by to tell me she put a bowl out, filled with red wine, covered it with cling wrap, wrapped it with an elastic band and poked tiny round holes, so the fruit flies can’t come out.

Pro tips on eliminating fruit flies

I talked to Paul Adam, the president of Nimby Pest Management, who is a trained pest control expert and will find and eliminate fruit flies from your home or business. Here’s his input:

1. Fruit flies are worse this year than last: We’re not crazy! “I’d say it’s a fair increase,” says Adam. “I’ve seen an increase in calls for fruit flies by about 10 percent from last year.” But, he adds, many people confuse fruit flies with drain flies. So clean your drains first!

2. They are all around us: It’s not just me, they really are all around us, says Adam. “The fruit flies actually come from the United States or out of Canada when the fruits are transported. They are transported in and on boxes.” When you go to the grocery store and buy a bushel of bananas, you’re probably bringing a dozen fruit flies home with you. Then they multiply!

3. Try these home remedies: Home remedies, like having a bowl of wine or vinegar to attract and trap fruit flies, can work. “It’s 50/50,” says Adam. “Sometimes they work for people and sometimes they don’t.” His company places glue boards in kitchens, finds where the fruit flies are originating, and even has “decoys” including one that looks like an apple, but sucks the fruit flies in. “Home remedies may resolve the issue for a couple days, but if they keep coming back, you should call a professional.”

4. Practice good housekeeping: Keeping things clean, says Adam, is the best thing you can do at home to get rid of fruit flies. “A good majority of getting rid of fruit flies comes down to housekeeping. You have to wipe up the sugar from the counter, because they are attracted to sugar.” Basically, the flies are attracted to any perishable items. So get wiping! Because good housekeeping should eliminate the problem.

5. The flies are annoying but not dangerous: “No, you can’t get sick from them,” he says. “But some people just have zero tolerance and are completely averse to any kind of pests in their home. Or if you run a high-class restaurant, you don’t want customers to be swatting fruit flies away. Even in your home, if you’re entertaining, you don’t want that.”

I’ve been patient until now, thinking “They’re just fruit flies!” Now the pest-control freak inside of me is coming out. But first, I’m going to do a little cleaning.

Do you have fruit fly problems? What do you do to get rid of them?

Follow me @rebeccaeckler and How To Raise A Boyfriend

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