How to prevent fruit flies from infesting your kitchen

You need to take away their food sources, first and foremost

Fruit flies are pesky little creatures that are annoying, unhealthy, and mostly just plain gross. The yucky part is, as soon as they find a food source, they begin laying hundreds of eggs while eating the fermented fruit — or whatever else has attracted them.

How to prevent fruit fly infestations

When it comes to dealing with fruit flies, the first thing you should do is practice prevention, as in taking away their food sources. That means storing fresh fruit in sealed places. Keeping your kitchen sparkling clean is important, along with ensuring that all of your fruit is covered. You’ll want to change your dish towels and sponges regularly, while dirty dishes should be kept out of the sink and cleaned or put in the dishwasher immediately. Wiping down your counters with an all-purpose spray and a microfiber cloth will keep fruit flies from finding food sources as well.

More From Family Handyman

There are also many fragrances that fruit flies dislike that you can use to try and deter them from settling in an area. Here are a few specific scents that can help keep fruit flies at bay:

  • Basil
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemongrass
  • Lavender
  • Clove

How to get rid of fruit flies

If you’ve made the mistake of leaving that overripe banana on the counter, you may already be dealing with a frenzy of flies in your home. But don’t worry — there are many ways to get rid of fruit flies even after they’ve infiltrated your home.

If pesky fruit flies are invading your kitchen, reach for the apple cider vinegar to make a homemade fruit fly trap. Fruit flies can’t resist the scent of vinegar. To make a traditional fruit fly trap, you’ll also need a small bowl, plastic wrap, and a rubber band.

For an alternative fruit fly trap, you could also try mixing a few drops of dish soap in an open bowl of vinegar. Because the soap cuts the surface tension of the vinegar, the fruit flies will zoom in and drown.

There are other ways to lure fruit flies in with scent. If you have a tiny bit of red wine leftover, you could leave an open bottle on the kitchen counter. And if you have milk, sugar, and pepper on hand, another option is to combine one pint of milk with four ounces of raw sugar and two ounces of ground pepper in a saucepan. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes, then pour into a shallow dish. The flies will be attracted to the meal and quickly drown in it.