Oh how I love the fresh fruits and veggies of summer. My counter is full of ripening fruit and it seems that the fruit flies love my produce nearly as much as I do. Let me tell you, I am not too fond of fruit flies and am curious - How do they get in my kitchen?
Here's the deal. Fruit flies lay their eggs on fermenting fruit NOT fresh fruit, so when the eggs hatch, the larvae have yeast to munch on. So if the fruit you bring home has already begun to ripen, it may have eggs on it, and they'll hatch at your house. More often though, contrary to what you may think, fruit flies live outdoors. So if you bought fresh fruit from the store and it's ripening on your counter, chances are the fruit flies got a good whiff and flew into your kitchen from outside.
There are many ways to get rid of them:
- Don't leave food on the counter to ripen. If that's not possible, wrap your fresh fruit in sealed ziploc baggies before they ripen so the flies can't smell your fruit as easily.
- If you do leave fruit on your counter, eat it before it gets too ripe.
- Don't leave dirty dishes around. As soon as you're done eating, wash them immediately. Also be sure to clean your sink thoroughly - fruit flies can live off the scum in the drain.
If you want to see what else you can do to get rid of those little buggers then
- Keep your trash can clean and take the trash out once a day so you don't have food scraps rotting in your kitchen - trash is a fruit fly's dream come true.
- Fruit flies love wine, beer, and soda, so rinse off your bottles and cans before placing them in the recycling bin.
- If you have a bad infestation, you can make a fruit fly trap: take a cup or shallow dish and pour something sweet in the bottom like a little wine, juice, or some watered down honey. Or you can use a ripe piece of fruit, like a banana. Then cover it with plastic wrap or a clean drink lid and poke a small hole into the middle of it. The flies are attracted to the sweet smell, so they fly in and can't get out.