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Say Farewell to Fruit Flies!

Vendor handing a woman an apple at a farmers market. Image credit: Erik Scheel.

July 2023


It’s that wonderful time of year in Rochester when we get to indulge in the delicious locally grown produce that’s only available in summer. Unfortunately, we also have to deal with those pesky fruit flies of summer. Fortunately, we have some great tips for getting rid of them and keeping them out of your Elmwood Manor apartment or townhome.

If you’re wondering how these fruit flies found their way into your life, well, they are attracted to ripe and rotting fruit, as well as fermented goodies like beer and wine. Female fruit flies are quite prolific, laying hundreds of eggs at a time, and those eggs hatch in a mere 24 hours. So, you can suddenly find yourself with a full-blown fruit fly invasion overnight. That’s why having a quick solution is crucial!

To cut off their access to food and keep them from infiltrating your home altogether, follow these preventive measures:

  • Dispose of overripe produce promptly.
  • Store your fruits and veggies in the fridge.
  • Give your produce a good wash as soon as you bring it home to remove any potential eggs or larvae.
  • Regularly take out the garbage.
  • Clean up spills promptly, especially those involving fruit juice or alcohol.
  • Rinse out empty juice or alcohol bottles.

Now, let’s tackle the fruit flies that have already made themselves comfortable in your apartment or townhome. Here are two effective traps you can set up, and you can choose the one that suits your preferences and the supplies you have on hand:

  • Glass Jar and Funnel: Grab a glass jar and put some bait inside it—overripe produce, ketchup, or a fermented liquid like apple cider vinegar or beer will do the trick. Next, place a funnel or create a paper cone to cover the jar’s opening, making sure the spout points downward. This creates a tiny entrance that the fruit flies can easily enter but can’t escape from.
  • Bottle and Plastic Wrap: For this trap, you’ll need a nearly empty bottle of vinegar, beer, or wine. Securely cover the bottle’s opening with plastic wrap and poke a few small holes in it. Similar to the funnel method, the fruit flies will enter the bottle through the holes but won’t be able to make their way out.

And here’s a bonus tip for larger fruit fly infestations:

  • Vinegar and Soap: Grab a small bowl and fill it with about an inch of apple cider vinegar. Add a few drops of dish soap and leave the bowl uncovered. To enhance its effectiveness, you can heat the vinegar first to make it even more enticing. The soap reduces the surface tension, causing any fruit fly that lands on it to sink in.

Armed with these strategies, you’re ready to bid farewell to those pesky fruit flies and enjoy your summer produce without unwanted company!