No matter where you reside in Britain, fruit flies can propagate at alarming speeds on your kitchen counters or inside your waste bin. While they can show up at any time of year, they often emerge during Summer and Autumn - due to their attraction to ripe or rotting food.
Disturbingly, an adult female fruit fly can lay 2,000 eggs on any surface that is rotting and moist and have tiny maggots hatching within 30 hours. Two days later, these pests are fully grown and prepared to mate.
Research demonstrates that fruit flies can transfer germs from dirty surfaces onto clean ones, transferring bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella, and listeria - which pose huge risks of food poisoning which can even result in hospitalisation.
To keep you safe, here are ten expert-recommended ways to get rid of fruit flies - including preventative strategies so they never appear in your house at all.
1. Keep your kitchen clean and tidy (Prevention)
You maximise your chances of fruit flies not entering your home if your kitchen is clean and tidy. Start by cleaning areas where food may collect and break down e.g., fruit baskets or sink drains. Ensure that your rubbish is kept outside or in a container with a well-sealed lid. Throw your food scraps out in a compost bag as soon as possible and don’t let them sit for long at room temperature. Photo: LaylaBird (Getty Images Signature)
2. Seal your containers
Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of food (especially sweet and fermenting food) so it makes sense to remove as many points of contact as possible with exposed food. Rather than leaving meals and snacks intended for later consumption out in the open, consider using sealed containers to prevent attracting fruit flies. Photo: laura_uadjet (Getty Images)
3. Wash your produce
After buying organic produce make sure to rinse it under the tap once you get home to remove any eggs or larvae that may be present. Unfortunately there is no 100% guarantee that fruits and vegetables are free of fruit fly presence upon purchase so take the initiative to remove this possibility. Photo: pixelshot (Canva Pro)
4. Turn off the lights (strategically)
In short, sources of light attract newly adult fruit flies. If you have lights activated over your doors and windows then these portals of entry to your home are likely to be used by these pests. If you have a light that is programmed to be active around these areas then adjust the settings or move it elsewhere. Photo: Caio Resende (Pexels)