Do you get the feeling that you’re not quite alone?
When you enter your kitchen, are you met with beady red eyes and a flutter of wings?
It’s safe to say your home isn’t haunted. More likely, you’ve developed a bit of a fruit fly problem.
Fruit flies, or vinegar flies, are small, winged insects with rapid life cycles. Infestations occur around spoiled or rotting fruit, overlooked spills or sugary spots on your counters, in cabinets, and in dirty, unmaintained drains.
Your house and kitchen can be clean as a whistle, but if you missed a crumb or haven’t been consistently wiping down surfaces, fruit flies will take the opportunity to move in. Indoors, females can lay up to 500 eggs, which will hatch in 24 to 30 hours. They breed and develop in drains, garbage disposals, trash cans, and mop buckets. Once they do, it’s hard to get rid of them.
As annoying and pervasive as these insects can be, there is a solution. Before you go cutting bananas out of your diet, here are some things you can do:
Catch, Clean, and Sanitize
- CATCH: Fruit flies are attracted to vinegar. Fill a bowl or glass with apple cider vinegar, cover and seal tightly with plastic wrap, and poke tiny holes in the top. This will lure in and trap the flies.
- CLEAN: Keep your countertops and cabinets clean. Wipe them down daily, clean up spills, and sanitize any surface where you’ve prepared food.
- SANITIZE: Clean your drains! Make sure to wipe away food particles or residue in and around your drain.
There are several ways you can clean your drain, which are easy and affordable.
Use a garbage disposal cleaner. Try foaming, biodegradable packets, which clean the disposal blades and basin, and make your kitchen smell like citrus.
You can also try this home remedy recipe:
- First, use boiling water to flush out the drain and disposal and loosen food particle build-up. Use a metal pipe brush to clean the drain. Add more boiling water as you go.
- Combine 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1 cup of vinegar OR a half gallon of water and 1 cup of vinegar or bleach. Pour down the drain. Wait at least six hours, then rinse with boiling water.
- Repeat, as necessary.
It’s important to keep your kitchen clean in order to avoid fruit flies, but don’t forget about those hidden, hard-to-reach places, like behind appliances or in your drain and garbage disposal. These areas need to be cleaned regularly. Not only does cleaning do away with rotting, gross food residue, it can also extend the life of your pipes.
If you continue to have problems with fruit flies around your sink, it could be a sign of a larger issue with your plumbing. Contact your local Benjamin Franklin Plumbing expert today for more information!