You take a sip of your iced green protein smoothie, wiping away the cool mint-colored mustache that tickles your upper lip. You slowly lift your tired legs up onto the beige ottoman of your new plush sofa and lean your head back. Then, something tiny darts in front of your eyes. Whack. You got it. A tiny black insect, with translucent wings, lays (dead) in your palm. You smear it on your jeans, determined to take a five-minute break before your children awake from their naps. Then you see another and another. Noisiness, they zip around in front of your wild eyes. Whack. Whack. Whack. Quickly, your children begin to scurry down the hall. "Mom, what was that noise?" Rest time is officially over.
Fruit flies won’t bite. They do transmit germs. They are a nuisance. Their life cycle is wicked fast. Who wants to go to take a drink of their earthy, full-bodied wine, peering into their wine glass as they bring the drink to their lips, only to see a winged vermin swimming wildly in their beverage of choice? Who wants to find a swarm of these pests lingering over their bunch of ripening bananas? Not me.
Will a Population of Fruit Flies Eventually Die Off?
It depends. If your kitchen counters are spotless, your floors are promptly cleaned from any spills, your fruit bowl is filled with only the freshest fruit, your garbage disposal and sink are clean, your trash can remains free from goopy sludge, and…and…and, then, yes, fruit flies will eventually die on their own. (This list, my friend, may seen inexhaustible. There is, though, another solution.)
Too, if you’re up for it, you could attempt to freeze these pesky intruders out. Cold temperatures will stunt the development of new generations. At 60°, their lifespan decreases. Below 53°, they stop developing entirely. But (and it seems like there is always a but), fruit flies have the ability to "overwinter" when conditions become too cold. Overwintering, for you, means fruit fly survival and regeneration. Too, who wants to sleep in a house that’s below 53°? Burr.
How Do I Get Rid of Fruit Flies?
If you’re unable to check off every item on this list or keep your home below 53° for more than a few hours, then your problem may linger. Too, it’s important to remember that you must rid your home of both the fruit flies and their eggs. You can trap the adults, but you must kill those eggs also.
For the adult fruit flies, I suggest making a DIY trap. Fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar, sealing it tight with plastic wrap and a rubber band, and then, using a toothpick, poke tiny holes in the plastic. The vinegar will attract the fruit flies. The plastic wrap will keep them trapped. Don’t worry about those intruders flying back out through those tiny holes. They aren’t that smart. (Their brains are very, very small.)
A lazy man’s idea: Just leave a nearly empty, uncorked wine bottle out on the counter. Let us know, in the comments, how your experiment goes.
For the eggs, I suggest Dr. Killigan’s Six Feet Under, a non-toxic kill-on-contact spray. Use this spray to wipe off countertops, the bottoms of fruit bowls, kitchen floors, the insides of garbage cans and recycle bins, and anywhere else where you’ve seen fruit fly activity. Using Six Feet Under will ensure that no eggs hatch into tiny fruit-eating larvae (and adults) that will reinfest your home. You must put a stop to their breeding grounds.
The Final Word on Fruit Flies
Freeze those ripe bananas. (They’d be a great addition to your green smoothie.) Make a trap. Purchase Dr. Killigan’s Six Feet Under—and then take that five-minute rest. I promise there won’t be any whacking this time around.