Easy hacks for getting rid of pesky fruit flies

Summer’s finally arrived, which means fruit flies are out in force, ready to ruin your weekend BBQ. Of course, you can get out the fly spray, but that stuff is poisonous to humans as well as flies, so you don’t want to be spraying it near the food. Besides, there are plenty of simple ways you can banish fruit flies from your kitchen once and for all using natural ingredients from your home.

Create a vinegar trap

Fruit flies can’t resist the smell of cider vinegar. One of the simplest tricks for controlling them is to take a nearly-empty cider vinegar bottle, remove the lid, cover the neck with cling film, and poke a hole in the cling film large enough for the flies to get through. These traps don’t look attractive, but they certainly work.

Another method is to leave a small bowl of vinegar out, uncovered, and add a few drops of dishwashing detergent. The detergent cuts the surface tension, which means any unlucky flies landing on the vinegar will sink right to the bottom.

Milk, sugar, and pepper

This idea comes from the Everyday Roots blog. Heat a saucepan of milk with some raw sugar and pepper, then pour this into shallow dishes. Place the dishes around the house. Fruit flies are drawn to this sugary mixture, but they’ll quickly drown in the milk. If you notice them landing and flying away, add a couple of drops of dishwashing liquid to break the surface tension.

Fruit and paper cone

If the idea of using cling film on a trap doesn’t appear, you could try this simple hack. Place a piece of ripe fruit into a jar. Add a bit of vinegar. Roll a piece of scrap paper into a cone (the tip of the cone should have a gap large enough for a fly to pass through) and drop it into the jar so the cone rests on the rim. The flies will go down the cone but they won’t be able to get out.

Remove their breeding grounds

Keep fruit flies to a minimum by ensuring you get rid of anything that might attract them. This means storing ripe fruit in the refrigerator. As soon as fruit ripens and starts to vinegarise, you’ll notice fruit flies materialising. Wash your dishes as soon as possible after cooking and eating, clean out the sink drain, and freeze off fruits and vegetables before throwing them on the compost heap to prevent them becoming fruit fly magnets.

Add a basil plant

SFGate recommends keeping a potted basil plant nearby as the smell deters fruit flies. Plus, there’s the added bonus of adding extra flavour to your cooking.

Try essential oils

Flies don’t like strong smells, so try burning essential oils to keep them at bay. According to the Mother Nature Network; lavender, lemongrass, and incense all work against fruit flies, but experiment with different scents to see what you prefer.

Do fruit flies bother you in the summer? What do you do to discourage them?

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