Fruit flies (Drosophila spp.) can instantly make your home seem unsanitary. These nuisance pests that are attracted to fermenting and ripened fruit and vegetable matter can multiply quickly — one female can lay up to 700 eggs in the four weeks that make up her lifetime. In hot summer weather, these eggs can turn into adult fruit flies within one week. Additionally, fruit flies can spread bacteria that contain disease-causing agents. To avoid an infestation, rapidly incorporate various methods to kill the flies without damaging your plants.
Remove any damaged, cracked or rotting fruit and leaves from your plants, because these may attract fruit flies. Find the source of the problem, because simply killing fruit flies without cleaning or getting rid of the source is not going to stop the problem.
Kill any fruit flies you see with a fly swatter or use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to suck them up. Discard the vacuum cleaner bag outside.
Hang sticky fly traps near the source of the problem. When the fruit flies land on the glue, they won’t be able to escape, and eventually die.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with 1 cup of lukewarm water. Put the liquid in a spray bottle and wet the fruit flies on the plants with it. Use a soft cloth to wipe the flies off the plants.
Fill a jar with 1 inch of beer or 1 inch of cider vinegar. Use an elastic band to secure a plastic sandwich bag over the jar opening so one of its corners is pointing down into the jar. Poke a 1/8-inch diameter hole in the corner of the plastic bag — the plastic bag should resemble a funnel. Position this trap near the source of the problem. The beer attracts the fruit flies. Once they enter the jar through the funnel, they won’t be able to escape and they’ll drown in the beer or vinegar.
Spray insecticide on the plants with the fruit flies. Read the insecticide label to make sure it can be used on the plants in question, and always apply it in a well-ventilated area.
Things You Will Need
- Fly swatter
- Vacuum cleaner
- Sticky fly traps
- Dishwashing liquid
- Spray bottle
- Soft cloth
- Beer or cider vinegar
- Elastic band
- Sandwich bag
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