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4 Easy and 4 Home Made Fruit Fly Traps

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Fruit fly infestation is one of the most annoying situations for farmers and fruit-sellers all over the world. It is important to understand where they come from, their behavior and ways to get rid of them, of which a fruit fly trap is the best bet. In the later part of this article, you will learn how to make different fruit fly traps.

What are Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies are small, yellow colored flies that are a part of a large family of flies which include approximately 3000 species. These flies are harmless and do not pose any threat to an individual.

They are found in places like houses, restaurants, vegetable markets, supermarkets and wherever fruits and vegetables start rotting and fermenting. Adult fruit flies are around 0.13 inches long and have big red eyes. The younger members of the family are comparatively smaller in size and yellowish in color. In the case of adult flies, the front portion of the body is tan, and the back portion is blackish-brown in color.

Fruit flies lay their eggs near rotting or fermenting food items and materials that are moist in nature. On birth, the larvae get their nutrition from the rotting and fermenting food where they are born. The reproduction potential of this flies enormous, and they can lay around 500-600 eggs at a time, and the complete life cycle from birth to adulthood is accomplished in a week’s time, and their entire life span is around two weeks.

Not just rotted and fermented fruits and vegetables, fruit flies are easily attracted the over ripened fruit and vegetables also. They breed in damp places like garbage piles, drains, trash cans and bottles or dirty clothes and rugs. Infestation of these flies can also begin from previously infested fruits and vegetables that were brought inside the house. They are highly annoying insects’ behavior wise and have great potential to contaminate food material with bacteria and other harmful organisms, and the best way to get rid of them is creating a fruit fly trap.

Where do fruit flies come from?

Fruit flies can come to your home if you have some overripe fruits and vegetables on the kitchen shelf. They seek fermented food material, especially wine and beer.

Types of Fruit Flies

In all, there are five types of fruit flies:

  1. Citrus Fruit Flies :- These fruit flies have a higher affinity for citrus fruits and vegetables that are nearing ripening and fermentation. They are different from the fruit flies found at home and belong to the family Tephritidae, unlike house fruit flies which belong to the biological family, Drosophila.
  2. Mexican Fruit Flies :- These fruit flies are highly attracted fruits like mango and grapefruit. They measure 8-12 mm in size, and their bodies are lean and yellowish-brown in the shade.
  3. Olive Fruit Flies :- The fruit flies breed in various parts of the Mediterranean basin, including many areas of Africa and India. They measure approximately 5-6 mm in length and have huge wings that measure up to 10 mm. The wings have random brown spots and the body black in color which a silver lining on the surface accompanied by three parallel black stripes.
  4. Caribbean Fruit Flies :- These fruit flies are widely known for causing considerable damage to tropical fruits like peaches, oranges, guavas, papaya, mango, dragon fruit, cherries, and loquat. They are twice the size of a common housefly, and the body is yellowish-orangish-brownish in color and have no markings like stripes or spots.
  5. Western Cherry Fruit Flies :- These fruit flies prefer wild and domestic cherry trees and lay their eggs beneath the surface of the cherry fruit’s skin. The adult flies are around 0.2 inches long and have white and black parallel bands on the abdomen. The female flies are slightly larger than their male counterparts.

4 Killer Ways To Get Rid of Fruit Flies with Fruit Fly Trap

The best and most efficient way to deal with fruit fly infestation is a Do-It-Yourself or DIY Fruit Fly Trap. There is not just one, but several ways to build your own Fruit Fly Trap, let’s see how!

1) Paper Funnel Fruit Fly Trap

Follow the step below to create an effective fruit fly trap using a bottle and paper!

  • Choose a tall bottle of wine or champagne, a tall jar or a tall flower vase
  • Add some bait for the fruit flies- since they feed on anything that is rotting, fermenting or sugary, you can add any fruit juice or sweet items or some rotting fruit pulp. You can also add overripe fruit bits, honey syrup, maple syrup, corn syrup, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar or wine.
  • Take a piece of paper and roll it to create a funnel shape and place it on the opening of the bottle. A funnel with a minuscule opening will allow the flies to fly inside the bottle, but will not allow them to fly out. Ensure that the tip of the funnel does not touch the food material inside the cylinder. Any paper can be used to create the funnel. However, the thicker it is, and the better it will be.
  • Gently pick up the fruit fly trap and place it in the infested area.
  • Leave it overnight, and you will be happy to see a large number of fruit flies stuck in the fruit fly trap the next morning.
  • Get rid of the trapped flies using a mixture of dish soap and lukewarm water. The soap decreases the surface tension of the water and causes the fruit flies to drown. Rinse the jar thoroughly once you remove all the flies and reuse to create another effective fruit fly trap.

fruit fly trap

Image: A funnel fruit fly trap with tempting bait for the fruit fly

2) Plastic Wrap and Bowl Fruit Fly Trap

Follow the step below to create a live fruit fly trap using a bowl and plastic wrap!

  • Select a container which is large or medium in size
  • Add some sweet bait at the bottom of the bowl for the fruit flies- it can be a liquid, pulp, fruit skin or pieces of fruit but the food material should cover at least an inch from the base of the bowl. You can use the following as sweet, tempting bait for the flies: a piece of an overripe skinless fruit like orange, banana or mango, a mixture of white wine and coriander seeds, a mix of honey, sugar, and vinegar.
  • Once the contents are setup, tightly cover the bowl with a plastic sheet.
  • Using a fork, create several holes in the plastic cover and keep them as small as possible to trap the flies and not allow them to escape from the fruit fly trap.
  • Leave it overnight, and you will be pleased to see a large number of fruit flies stuck in the fruit fly trap the next morning.
  • Take the fruit fly trap outside and pour a mixture of dishwashing soap and lukewarm water to get rid of the fruit flies.
  • Rinse the bowl thoroughly and use it for the next fruit fly trap.

bowl and plastic wrap fruit fly trap

Image: A bowl and plastic wrap fruit fly trap with piece of banana and wine as bait

3) Merry Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit flies are highly attracted to red wine and can easily get intoxicated with it. They will either drown in the fruit fly trap or can be removed using additional techniques like a freezer or dish washing soap and lukewarm water.

Follow the step below to create a luring fruit fly trap using a red wine and a bottle!

  • Select a bottle with is not very tall or very short
  • Add some red wine to the bottle such that it covers 1-2 inches from the base of the bottle
  • Place it near the infested area
  • The fruit flies will rush to taste the red wine and end up drowning or getting stuck in this merry fruit fly trap
  • The remaining flies can be removed using a mixture of dish washing soap and lukewarm water as mentioned in the earlier methods

wine bottle fruit fly trap

Image: A vine bottle fruit fly trap

4) The Trusted Milk Fruit Fly Trap

A combination of milk, black pepper, and raw sugar can do wonders for those annoyed with fruit flies infesting their kitchens!

Follow the step below to create a simple fruit fly trap using a bowl, milk, sugar and pepper!

  • Add one glass of milk, 150 grams raw sugar and 60 grams of black pepper (ground) in a saucepan and simmer for about 10-15 minutes
  • Pick a bowl which is shallow and transfer the mixture into it
  • Place the bowl near the infested area
  • Fruit flies will quickly be attracted to the mix and will drown as soon as they enter the space
  • The remaining flies can be removed using a mixture of dish washing soap and lukewarm water as mentioned in the earlier methods

milk-sugar-pepper fruit fly trap

Image: A milk-sugar-pepper fruit fly trap

4 other methods to get rid of the flies apart from the Fruit Fly Trap

Yes! There are other ways of removing fruit flies from your surrounding apart from the Fruit Fly Trap. They are:

  1. Sprays :- You can use fruit fly sprays available in the market or create your own. Windex or Clorox sprays can be used to kill these pests. You can also create your spray using a spray bottle and 70% rubbing alcohol. The alcohol reacts on them instantly and acts as a very effective disinfectant. 90% alcohol can also help in getting rid of the fruit fly eggs and larvae.
    • Pyrethrin spray is another fantastic insecticide which can kill fruit flies, the only drawback being that it does not affect the eggs.
    • An essential oil spray is also helpful. Fruit flies hate the smell of selected essential oils that are pleasing to humans. The oil will help in keeping the flies away from your surroundings. All you have to do is add some water to a spray bottle and 5-10 drops of peppermint, tea-tree oil, lemongrass or eucalyptus oil. Sprinkle it near the fruit baskets, kitchen drains, and sinks to keep the fruit flies away. An essential oil trap is also a kind of fruit fly trap.
  2. Pest Control Treatment :- Though fruit fly trap is the most efficient self-method to get rid of these pests, professional pest control treatment can also help enormously. Fruit fly control experts visit your home and spray select insecticides and medicines that are meant to get rid of fruit flies accurately.
  3. Keep Your Surroundings Clean :- As you know that fruit flies breed in areas that are damp, unclean and contain rotting fruits and vegetables, it is important that you locate such areas and clean them as there are high chances of fruit fly eggs present in such places. Avoid keeping overripe fruits, open garbage bags that contain rotting fruits and vegetables, beer cans or wine bottles and clear your kitchen sink drains as frequently as possible.
  4. Discard Damaged Fruits :- Once you’ve brought the oranges, mangoes, cherries, peaches and other fruits inside your kitchen, inspect them thoroughly and dispose of them if there are signs of any damage. It is important that you arrange them outside your house as they can potential carriers of fruit fly eggs.

Do Fruit Flies bite people?

The common fruit flies or the household fruit flies belong to the biological family Drosophila. These flies do not feed on human blood since they do not have any biting mouth parts. They have a very short lifespan and are not harmful in behavior.

How can Fruit Fly Infestation be prevented?

The best way to avoid fruit fly infestation is to abolish the source of affinity.

  • Fruits and vegetables that have ripened should be consumed, disposed of outdoors or refrigerated.
  • Damaged or cracked portions of the fruit should be cut away as there are high chances of fruit fly larvae being present in these areas
  • Recycling bin should frequently be emptied and cleaned
  • Beer and wine containers should be tightly sealed
  • House windows and doors should be tightly closed to keep the flies from entering your house
  • Fruit fly trap should be kept ready as soon as you suspect the presence of the first few fruit flies in your kitchen

Fruit Fly Pictures

fruit fly

Image: A closer look at a fruit fly

Fruit fly infestation

Image: Fruit fly infestation on oranges and apple

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