Tips And Trick How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies Naturally

fruit flies

It’s called Drosophila melanogaster but everyone knows it as the place where we find them without being invited: the fruit fly . “It is a dipteran, an insect with two wings, measuring only 3 or 4 millimeters and widely distributed around the globe,” explains Victòria Castell, Head of the Planning, Audit and High Risk Assessment Service of the General Subdirectorate for Security Food and Health Protection.

“It is found in the countryside, in rural areas and in urban areas.” He says that in cities it can live in gardens, in parks, in humid areas and wherever there is vegetation, and like all insects and all flies “in summer is when they proliferate more and, therefore, it is more frequent to find them in the kitchen”.

 

Why are they going to fruit?

According to Castell, its presence is associated with the fact that some piece of fruit in the kitchen, the pantry or the fruit bowl has begun to decompose. “The natural process of fermentation and decomposition of the fruit attracts these flies because they feed on the spoiled part. And it is here where they can deposit the eggs and, with sufficient time conditions, the larvae can proliferate and generate new specimens “, points out the expert. But not only do we find them in fruit, we can also surprise them in vegetables such as potatoes and onions: “Sometimes we leave them too long, they can start to decompose and this attracts them.”

Could it be that a piece already has eggs?

“If we buy a piece that is already bad, it may contain larvae, yes, but it is not the most common,” says Castell. The person in charge of Risk Assessment ensures that good hygiene practices are applied throughout the primary production, harvest, storage and transport process to ensure that food reaches the stores in good condition. Just in case, but, it is recommended to select well what you buy.

If there are larvae, how do we eliminate them?

At first, throwing away the piece in which they have been found. And then any place where they can accumulate and reproduce must be well cleaned: places with humidity and organic dirt.Can we

avoid the apparition?

We have to buy the necessary fruit and vegetables to consume at its optimum point, so we will not give it time to spoil and we will help avoid food waste. We do not have to pile the pieces in the fruit bowl, something we usually do with potatoes and onions.

If we put everything in the same container, we check that the air circulates well. This way we will avoid the accelerated deterioration of those pieces of fruit or vegetables. Proper rotation of all parts must be ensured so that none are left behind. Another option is to put the fruit in the fridge because it delays the ripening process.

Can you eat a played piece?

Yes, but removing the affected part . The food safety expert explains that the possible larvae of the fruit fly remain only in the damaged area: “They do not penetrate either into the fruit or to other unaffected parts, therefore, removing the appropriate piece is they eliminate the possible larvae ”. If the affectation is great, obviously, it is better to throw the whole piece away.

How to get rid of fruit flies from fruit trees

In fruit trees, an infestation of fruit flies can be especially harmful, since they come to suppose a loss of up to 30% of the crop’s production. These insects can be seen throughout the year when the weather is warm enough, but it will be in summer and autumn when you have to be more attentive to their appearance, as they will be attracted by the smell of ripe fruits.

If you wonder how to eliminate fruit flies from plants and fruit trees, take note that using insecticide for fruit flies in a massive or indiscriminate way should always be the last of our options, since this type of Practices are harmful both for the environment and for the fruits, the tree itself or the plants in which we spray it, since residues may remain on these.

Thus, it is best to opt for an ecological treatment for the fruit fly , as is the case with traps. Preparing an ecological trap suitable for organic crops is very simple. Follow these steps:

1. Look for a plastic bottle, no matter its size, but transparent or semi-transparent if possible.
2. Add to the same apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of food coloring.
3. After this, stir the mixture well and put a cap on the bottle.
4. Make small holes in the upper part of it, which will be where the flies enter, which will not find their way out later.
5. These bottles must be distributed throughout the area of ​​the crop to be protected, adding up to three traps per fruit tree, at different heights, if the pest is serious.

The traps prolong their effectiveness if they are placed in the shade, but they will have to be changed if it rains and water enters them. In any case, it is important to renew each fruit fly trap after 30 days, cleaning them and filling them with new mixture. The holes must be small so that the flies do not easily find the exit, since the smell will guide them to enter and it will be much easier for them to enter than to exit.

How to get rid of fruit flies in the kitchen

These flies are also common in kitchens and homes when the temperature is favorable, reaching our home through doors and windows almost always attracted by the smell of the remains of fruit in our garbage, or by the aroma of fruit fermenting in the fruit bowl, even if it seems fine to the naked eye. ¿ How to combat fruit fly indoors?

1. To eliminate them from the kitchen, the best and simplest thing is to resort to the traps again . Those described for fruit trees also work at home, although here it is easier to make them with a bowl, water, vinegar and a little dishwasher. Mixing the mentioned ingredients in a bowl and leaving it uncovered and in the air, in the area where the flies are, they will come to get wet attracted by the smell of vinegar. However, common detergent has the property of reducing the surface tension of water, so the flies will sink and drown instead of settling on the surface.

2. Another especially useful solution for plant lovers is to turn to our insectivorous friends, that is, carnivorous plants . The Venus flytrap and the sundew are two species that will give a good account of them, obtaining extra nutrients in the process. Here you can learn more about Types of carnivorous plants and Caring for carnivorous plants .

3. If what you want is to drive away the fruit flies without having to kill them, you can use the onion , whose smell acts as a repellent for this insect. Cut an onion in half and put one of the halves in the fruit bowl, or where the flies are most concentrated, and they will soon disappear.

 

fruit flies

How to prevent fruit flies

As with most pests, prevention tends to be a much more effective measure than elimination once the pest has appeared. To prevent an infestation of fruit flies, follow these tips:

1. The main thing is to maintain optimal hygiene levels, throw out the garbage daily and keep it covered, in addition to cleaning the bucket or container as often as necessary.
2. If you do not want to keep the fruit stored in the fridge or in a closet, you have to keep it covered in linen or cotton bags, which will make it difficult for the fly to pick up its smell or reach it.
3. Avoid the accumulation of dirty dishes or bottles and glasses with remains of drinks.
4. In an orchard or garden, it is essential to remove the fallen pieces of fruit before they rot on the ground and to collect the ripe ones from the branches.
5. Again, it is important that the garbage or composting areas are kept under surveillance in the orchard.
6. Use plants that act as a repellent, such as onion.
7. Natural oils
There are natural oils such as clove , which help keep flies away, so they can be placed next to the fruit, without the need for traps.

8. Aromatic plants
There are plants such as lavender, basil and rosemary, whose smell repels flies, so they can be placed next to the fruit as well.

9. Process the fruit
When the fruit is ripe, it attracts flies more easily. Therefore, you can make juices, smoothies, jams, cakes, among others, to take advantage of it before its decomposition.

10.Eliminate waste
Both fruits and vegetables in the process of decomposition, encourage flies to reproduce easily. Therefore, it is better to use them as organic waste, that is, for compost.

11.Clean up the residue
Like waste, sweet food scraps attract flies, so it is recommended to rinse dishes, glasses, bowls and bottles immediately after use.

12.Fruit storage
Although not all fruits can be stored in the fridge, there are some such as strawberries, blueberries, plums, cherries or pears , which can be perfectly preserved.

13.Mosquito net or mesh
Another option to protect fruit that cannot be placed in the fridge is to put a mosquito net or mesh over the fruit bowl , to prevent flies from making contact with the fruit.

14.Ventilation
Finally, proper ventilation is essential to avoid the spread of fruit flies, since if the fruit bowl is placed close to the air, for example, next to a window, it drives away all kinds of insects.

How to eliminate fruit flies naturally?

If you want to eliminate fruit flies without using chemicals, one option is to make traps with the help of a jar or bowl, following these simple steps:

1. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of vinegar.
2. Add water, under the ratio 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water.
3. Add a drop of dish detergent. .
4. Place the open glass near where the flies are concentrated with the mixture.
5. Wait for the flies to drown in the trap.
6. You can set as many traps as necessary , as the smell of dishwasher vinegar draws them in to remove them.

 

The key is hygiene

The head of the Risk Assessment service of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia makes yet another recommendation and that is to wash the fruit and vegetables well, especially if we have to eat them raw: “In this way we will remove traces of dirt, earth and small insects that may be ”. And it is better to do it directly under the tap than to soak them because the water pressure is much more effective.

Fruit flies do not transmit disease, but they can spoil the fruit on a tree and be unpleasant company. If you want to learn how to eliminate fruit mosquitoes so that they do not cause you problems in fruit trees or indoors, keep reading us in this Green Ecology article on how to eliminate fruit flies and how to prevent it .

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