Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fruit Flies

Ok I have had enough.  The little beggars are all over the house.  It is time to go to war.  I have called to the Fruit Fly OverLords and given them fair warning to vacate or be evicted..... my way.

I fully acknowledge I am to blame for bringing in the little critters into the house and providing a banquet for them to feast upon.  I have canned up a storm this year and brought in lots of fruit and vegetables.  I don't always get the dishes done immediately (I can see my Mother nodding her head at that confession!).  The trash barrel does not have a lid.  There are house plants in every room although I did cover all the soil with a layer of sand last year to keep them from settling for the winter.  The compost pile is due to be turned and has the canning odds and ends right on top and exposed.  I left a bottle of wine uncorked on the counter the other night (don't read into that at all - it was just a mistake).

Tonight I have had enough.  While I was on my laptop in the livingroom, they were flying all over the screen. When I went to finish the last of my nightly cup of green tea there were three floating in it. Yuck, I almost swallowed them.

I do have cider vinegar in a canning jar on the ledge behind my sink and I have done that for years to rid the kitchen of fruit flies.  Obviously this year I have hit the mother load and need to take more drastic measures.  Between flight paths going in front of my screen, futile swats in the air and a bit of swearing, I got online and began to read about ways to get rid of fruit flies.  Now I don't condone killing - usually - but in this case it is me or them.  Until the temperature drops and Fall arrives, I will have to take up arms and attack.  Before you read this list view this short video.  It will surely inspire you to take action.

Here are some of the remedies I came across.
  • Put all produce in the refrigerator, zip lock bag or airtight container.  That means all fruit and vegetables.  Remember the potatos and onions.
  • Clean all bottles of liquids in the pantry.
  • In the olden days linen cloths were decorated with lace and beads or buttons were applied to the edges to hold the cloth down over the edges of a fruit bowl prohibiting bugs from entering and landing on fruit, foods and beverages.
  • Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink.
  • Regularly pour some bleach down the sink to kill anything feasting on bits of food caught in the drain.
  • Nightly clean all counters and dish drainer with a weak solution of bleach and water.
  • Keep trash in a tightly covered receptical or keep the trash bag tied.
  • Wash trash containers often with bleach and water.
  • Put pet food away at night.
  • Pour vinegar, wine, brandy in a bowl or jar and put a little dish detergent on top to catch the flies while they land to drink.
  • Made a funnel out of paper and put the funnel into the jar to catch the flies and make it more difficult to get out of the jar.
  • Secure plastic wrap tightly over the bowl or jar filled with vinegar or wine and punch a few very small holes in it. They will have difficulty getting out.
  • Secure a plastic bag of water over the doorways to your home.  Southerners swear flies and bugs of all kinds will avoid this doorway.
  • Remove fresh flowers.  Fruit flies are looking for sugar and will go for flower nectar.
  • Take a hair dryer, turn it on and aim it at the fruit flies.
  • Suck them up with the shop vac then empty the shop vac far away from the house.
  • Spray them with hairspray or water and when they fall to the counter squish them.
  • Put rotten fruit in a canning jar and wait for several to land on the fruit.  Quickly put your hand over the top and trap them.  Walk far away from the house and let them go.
  • Clean under the dishwasher and stove.
  • Cut a plastic pop bottle half way down the neck of the bottle.  Invert the cut piece and stick it into the bottle creating a funnel.  Add some wine or vinegar to make a trap.
  • Before bed put a piece of rotten fruit in the dishwasher or some vinegar.  Wait a while.  Then quickly close the door and turn on the dishwasher.
  • Open the oven and put in a pan with some fruit or vinegar.  Wait a while.  Quickly close the door and turn the oven on low or better yet clean the oven with the oven cleaning feature.
  • Clean the laundry room.  Remove any damp items, don't leave dirty laundry around, remove lint.  Make sure liquid soap is tightly capped.
  • Spary with windex.  When they fall they give them another shot and they will die.
  • Clean the bathroom, keep trash sealed, put bleach down the sink.
  • Check for leaks in any pipes under the sinks all over the house.
  • Put up sticky fly catchers.
  • Clean the refrigerator pan and check refrigerator to ensure the door seals are still tight by putting a dollar bill on the edge of the door, closing the door and trying to pull the dollar bill out.  If you can pull the dollar bill out get new seals/rubber gaskets.  Then send the dollar bill to me because it is dirty and you don't want dirty bills around.  They might collect flies. Just checking to see if you are still reading.
Fruit flies live about 10 days. So get to work or you will have thousands more by the end of the week.  If you have found any other remedies that work please send them to me.  I will try most anything.


Administrators Blog said...

You can also spray your tomatoes, bananas and other counter top fruit with a PAM like vegetable oil. This repels the fruit flies from the fruit. It clogs their breathing pores so they avoid it.

Serina Tustin said...

Take it from this Southerner the water-in-the-ziploc-bag-in-the-doorway does the apple cider vinegar and a piece of fruit in a jar with plastic wrap and a few small holes.

margearm said...

leave them in WA!!