Help! Fruit fly invasion!

It all started a few weeks ago with a single fruit fly brought into the house with some oranges. Next thing you know, they are everywhere! The kitchen is disgusting and swarming with the little buggers. And they’ve moved into both bathrooms as well.

I’ve done the basics, like put away all fruit and make sure the counters are spotless. But it doesn’t seem to help at all. I even made some ‘fruit fly traps’ of a bowl with fruit and apple juice covered with plastic wrap with holes. It caught some, but they are breeding faster than I can kill them.

I need help!

There’s no way you’ll kill them. You need to get rid of all of your fruit, or put it all in the fridge. Every. Single. Scrap. And throw out your garbage.

You’ll be fly-free in 24 hours.

Do you have a disposal in your kitchen sink? If so, clean the SHIT out of it - they can breed on the teeny-tiny bits of gunk that get caught on the underside. Baking soda + vinegar is a good start, as the foaming action scrubs it a bit.

I’ve not had a full on infestation, but I like the fruit vinegar and soap method.

I HAVE put away every scrap of fruit.

How can you clean a disposal? It’s under the sink and I can put my hand in there for fear it would spontaneously turn itself on and grind up my hand.

What is the fruit vinegar and soap method?

Turn off the disposal. Pour in 1/2 cup of baking soda (more or less) start pouring in vinegar and when it starts foaming into the sink turn on the disposal. Continue pouring in vinegar until the foaming stops. Finish with a kettle of boiling water just for kicks.

Double-check cabinets and pantry, too–they’ll breed on some of the damnedest things. I had an infestation I couldn’t get rid of until I found a couple of potatoes that some visiting family member had left in the back of a cabinet that I never used to store food.

Also, a steep-sided bowl half full of water with a bit of dish detergent mixed in seems to make a decent trap, if you want to thin them out a little faster.

To make a cheap infinitely re-usable fly trap, make a funnel out of paper with a small hole and place it in the neck of the bottle. I used an old ketchup bottle, but you can use anything, just bait it with small piece of rotten fruit. Leave it out for a day and when you come back it should be full of flies. Toss it in the freezer for a couple hours to kill of the flies, then reset. After I had a bad fruit fly infestation in my sink I used this method and after three or four days there were none left.

Oh, and pour some boiling water with some bleach down your drain to kill any eggs.

Hanging up flypaper strips will help eliminate the ones that are currently flying around, but yeah, you gotta stop the breeding cycle.

  1. Take a shallow bowl.
  2. Fill it half full of a 50/50 mixture of apple cider vinegar & lime juice. (This is fruit fly crack.)
  3. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap.
  4. Tear a hole in the center of the wrap the size of a quarter.
  5. Leave it where they congregate for a few days.

(I had an infestation a few weeks ago and I killed several hundred of the little buggers over the course of a few days using this method.)

Get a trigger spray bottle, fill around threequarters full with water, then top up with vinegar, spray everywhere you see fruit flies.

Works for me.

Surprisingly, they would occasionally breed in the drains of my Specialty Coffee shop. No Fruit required! :wink: We would bleach-and-hot water all the drains, scrubbing with a brush wherever we could reach.

When I get fruit flies in the summer I put out a jelly jar with apple cider vinegar in it and a dash of dish soap. They are attracted to the vinegar and can’t escape because of what the dish soap does to the surface tension.

I also pour bleach down all my drains and let it sit in the traps for a bit before flushing.

Pour ammonia down your drains. A lot of it to fill up the traps. Then put a stopper or wet rag over the drain. Do this for several days. Throw away all your produce, even in the refrigerator. I can’t say for sure, but it seems like fruit flies (or some similar tiny flying bugs) can survive the fridge, and get out when you take them out to prepare them. Don’t just throw them in the kitchen waste pail where the can get out. Get the stuff out of the house.

I’ve taken the advice in this thread and… it’s gotten better. They aren’t all gone, but their number have reduced by at least 50 - 75%.

Thanks guys.

Electronic fly swatters are great for fruit flies.

Yeah, you still have some nasty-ass thing rotting somewhere you haven’t found.

Me, I took to leaving out my wine glasses with that last swallow in them. Gross, yes, but massive killer of fruit flies. (Also worked for those horrible little German cockroaches.)

I’ve had fruit fly invasions twice. both times it was because there was a piece of rotten fruit somewhere in the back of the pantry or other hidden spot.

Good to hear.

When I first encountered this problem a few yrs ago, I found that an inch+ of apple cider vinegar in a wide-mouth jar, with an added dash of dish soap for stickiness, worked best. I put three such jars in the kitchen, and over a few days, got about 90-percent of them.

But it takes more than 24-hrs.

Assuming you’ve removed sources of food, and have disinfected per above suggestions, you can accelerate things by doing something that cracked me up when I first read about it, but it works:

Do you have a vacuum-cleaner hose attachment?

It’s not just fruit you have to worry about, either. I had a fruit fly invasion once that I eventually traced to some rotting potatoes.