KILL PESKY FRUIT FLIES WITHOUT ANY HARSH CHEMICALS
Back in January when I blogged about pantry pests but I never gave much thought to pesky fruit flies.
Now, I’ve got a simple solution for everyone to get rid of fruit flies and there’s no chemicals involved.
We’ve never had a problem with fruit flies before although we’ve seen the odd one or two in our kitchen.
Most people wouldn’t give a second thought to seeing a few fruit flies around the house as it’s common in the summer.
However, when you kill fruit flies and they return daily you know there is a bigger problem lurking.
A fruit fly infestation inside of your house is nothing to sweep under the rug.
When we got back from our summer trip we brought plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables back from our relative’s gardens.
Most of the tomatoes and a few fruits sat on the counter waiting to get eaten up.
We never store tomatoes in the refrigerator especially ripened tomatoes from an organic garden.
A chemical process will occur and change the flavour of your tomatoes which defeats the purpose.
The best-tasting tomatoes are from an organic garden or farmer.
If you have unripened tomatoes and put them in the refrigerator the ripening process will stop.
You will never see whatever colour your tomatoes are supposed to be as they will stay green.
Fruit Flies Will Come
Anyways, our tomatoes sat on the counter for about a week and we started to see fruit flies hanging around the kitchen.
Then they migrated and we began to see fruit flies in the bathroom.
My wife HATES any bugs but I’m sure she’s not alone as bugs are a nuisance for most people.
She will freak out if she sees a spider or any bugs in the house.
Her anxiety kicks and she thinks they will be crawling all over her or they will end up in her food.
Needless to say, she was a bit unhappy about it so we donated most of our tomatoes to a friend who made a pot of pasta sauce.
We could have blanched and frozen the tomatoes but with the baby and working so many hours it has been near impossible to get things done around here.
We thought that the fruit flies would disappear once we got rid of the tomatoes and for the most part we thought we were home-free.
That wasn’t the case as we started to see a few everyday hovering around the cooker and counter in the kitchen.
My wife again was struggling with this so I got to work doing my homework to see what the cause of these fruit flies could be.
What causes fruit flies?
This is not an exclusive list but are many of the reasons I located online about why fruit flies may potentially be in your home.
Did you know that you can bring fruit flies home from the grocery store?
That’s right, especially if you have rotting fruit you didn’t notice or you bought a reduced package of fruits or vegetables with rotting produce inside.
This is why you should always check your produce thoroughly when you get home from the grocery store, market, or back garden.
Some people like to wash and cut their fruits and vegetables so they are ready for the week.
That might be a smart option as well as long as you know you will eat them up fast.
I was not shocked to find out fruit flies may be in our house because of any of the below reasons but we needed to solve the problem, not mask it.
- Dirty indoor garbage cans
- Dirty outdoor garbage bins
- Recycling bin when you don’t wash cans out
- Fruit trees outside
- Inside your kitchen drains
- Your sponges, tea towels, wash cloths, dish scrubbers
- Your neighbour has a problem
- Fruit in the kitchen
- Vegetables in the kitchen
- Anything sweet in the kitchen including spills not cleaned up
Where do fruit flies come from?
Just because you have fruit flies in your kitchen doesn’t mean you are a slob and have a dirty kitchen.
It means that somehow fruit flies are in your house and you need to find out why.
You don’t have to own a kitchen to have fruit flies either because they will go wherever the fruits and vegetables are.
If you rent a room and cook in your room or store any sugary foods, fruits, or vegetables in your room you can get fruit flies.
As mentioned above they can come from your neighbour’s house, grocery store, farmers market, and so on.
Fruit flies seem to be famous for hitching a ride any way they can.
I read a great article on Wise Geek titled, “What are fruit flies and where do they come from” and learned that fruit flies like to eat foods that are fermenting or decaying.
That makes sense considering how fast they can detect what they are looking for.
Once you set up my fruit fly trap that I will share with you today you will see just how fast they take the bait.
According to Wise Geek, Fruit flies will lay their eggs in the food they are enjoying.
What’s even more shocking is the female cycle.
A female can lay up to 500 eggs where she can mate more than once in her life-cycle.
Of course, when my wife heard me read that to her she freaked out even more.
She imagined swarms of them in the house so of course, detective Mr.CBB got to work.
These eggs usually hatch in less than a day, sometimes within just a few hours.
After this point, they progress through the larval stage, which usually lasts around four days, and which can be further divided into three separate phases that include molting.
They then enter the pupal stage, where they grow their wings and legs.
Finally, they emerge as fully-grown adults, and the process, which takes 14 – 30 days, to which it starts all over again.- Wise Geek
How to get rid of fruit flies
We started with the obvious and cleaned the entire kitchen including all the cupboards, floors, garbage bins, and the kitchen sink.
One idea I read online was to boil hot water and mix some dish soap inside then pour it down the sink.
This will help get rid of any fruit flies that are hanging out inside the drain because food peels or other food bits got caught inside.
The obvious first step was to remove any fruit and vegetables from our kitchen counters.
The only fruit we had out were bananas and in another bowl, we had a red onion and organic garlic.
We also had organic garlic hanging in our garage to dry.
The wife had me move out the stove and refrigerator as well so I could clean underneath them and sanitize the floors with hot water, soap and vinegar.
This will help to get rid of any eggs that may be lurking around although we were convinced the problem wasn’t coming from the kitchen.
The fruit fly life span from what I could see was about 2-3 days after hatching.
They would make their way to the kitchen and once we killed them another batch was soon on the way.
It sounds horrible and it is.
No one wants a kitchen with fruit flies hanging around where they prepare and eat food.
Clean The Area
If you want to get rid of fruit flies you must clean up the kitchen.
You may also want to consider other areas that contain food such as the basement, cold room, and recycling bins.
A good wash with soap and water is what I gave the bins although they looked fairly clean.
The refrigerator was practically empty so we gave that the once over while we could.
All of the counters and baskets were washed in hot water, soap, and vinegar as well as all the appliances.
My wife and I were sure impressed with our cleaning and we thought for sure they would be gone.
Nope, they were back again the next day so we were on a mission to catch fruit flies no matter what it took.
Natural Fruit Fly Killer
I read that you could spray the fruit flies with a homemade mixture of soap, water, and vinegar or rubbing alcohol.
I decided not to do this because I could easily see myself causing a huge disaster in the house.
With a new baby, I wouldn’t suggest running around spraying any form of chemical in the air to kill fruit flies.
There had to be an easier way to catch these pesky fruit flies.
You can set a fruit fly trap with a bowl, rotting fruit, and plastic wrap which seemed reasonable to me.
You put the fruit in the bowl, add plastic wrap and some holes and then wait.
By morning you should have caught all of the fruit flies in the bowl where you could empty them and kill them.
We opted not to do this because we didn’t want to be responsible for killing them after catching them.
I couldn’t see the point emptying them in the sink when that is a source of the problem for some people.
You would have to go outside your house to say good-bye and it was just too much work, to be honest.
Use Rotting Fruit
Another fruit fly trap you can test is putting a tall jar with rotting fruit and using a paper cone on the top to lure the fruit flies in.
Once you have them all in the bottle you can literally, bottle up your fruit flies. Gotcha suckers.
We still weren’t convinced with this method so we decided on something even easier.
The best way to catch fruit flies
Lastly, we decided to try the apple cider vinegar and dish soap in a small container and left it on the stove.
You don’t need any fancy dish-soap either but you may want to go with the apple cider vinegar.
Fruit Fly Trap Recipe
- Small bowl
- 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of Dish Soap
Within seconds fruit flies were coming together as if they just won the food lottery.
The sweetness in the apple cider vinegar is alluring to the fruit flies.
They can’t say no and the best part is they just drown in the sea of apple cider vinegar so no work afterward except getting rid of them.
As you can tell from the photo above we caught the fruit flies and it all happened fairly fast.
We got about 6 or 7 a day and we knew that just because we were killing fruit flies didn’t mean that solved the problem.
We needed to find the source of our fruit flies.
Sure enough, after reading about how fruit flies love beer I instantly thought of the grapefruit beer cans and bottles I was storing outside of the cold room.
I was too busy to put them back in the case in the cold room so I left them outside the door until the next time I needed to go to the beer store.
When I checked them fruit flies were having a party so I immediately got rid of the cans, cleaned up the area and we have had no fruit flies since.
This was a relief for both of us especially my wife who is a bit of a clean freak and gets upset about bugs.
Needless to say, my wife is happy and so am I.
Now that we know about fruit flies we will make the right choices about how to clean and store our fruits, vegetables, and beer cans.
If you have a fruit fly infestation it may be time to call in the professionals so they can come and spray your house.
Fruit flies should be taken seriously because before you know it you could have up to 500 or more of them over for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Be proactive and kill fruit flies from the moment you see them and source out the problem spot.
Discussion: What method do you use to kill fruit flies?
Leave me your comments below.
September Grocery Game Challenge posts
Join in the Grocery Game Challenge and post your grocery shop in the comment section of each GGC blog post.
Here are the rules to get you started and if you have any questions feel free to email me.
New monthly prize: $10 President’s Choice Gift Card.
If you missed any grocery game posts for the month I will post the line-up each week here for you so you don’t have to go looking for past GGC posts for the month.
- How to adjust your grocery shopping list after the kids move out– Grocery Game Challenge #1 Sept
- When your food budget is out of control you should do this– Grocery Game Challenge #2 Sept
- Should using the self-checkout qualify you for a discount?– Grocery Game Challenge #3 Sept
Free Tools to get you started with your grocery budget
Click, Save, and Print. It’s that easy!
Free Money Saving Downloads are awesome lists that were created to get us on track to work towards reaching our budgeting goals and now we are sharing them with you.
I hope you take the time to get back on track and start the savings process in your grocery budget today.
Get organized with a FREE freezer inventory, meal plan, shopping list, price comparison list, and much more all for FREE.
CLICK HERE to download all the free lists and even our family budget spreadsheet for FREE.
NEW!! You can now download the FREE Canadian Budget Binder Budget Spreadsheet in Excel…Grab it while you can, It’s FREE!
We use it to budget and in large part a reason we could pay our mortgage off in 5 years, check it out!
Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide
If you are new here and haven’t had a chance to read past posts grab yourself a beverage, sit down, relax and enjoy some educational reading material on ways to save money in your grocery budget.
If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post some of the most popular posts are listed below or you can now find the posts listed on their page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.
If you know a topic that should be discussed send me an email.
Grocery shop results
Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820
(The above total does not include the stockpile budget of $235 per year or $25 per month.
Points Overview (add any other sections you need to show us your savings)
- Total Grocery Budget for the Month: $235.00
- Total Grocery Budget with any carry-overs $235.00
- Total Gift Cards used to date: $32.40
- Total Rewards Points redeemed this week: $120.00
- Total Rewards Points used to date: $140.00
- PC Points Plus Earned to date: 7975
- Scanning Code of Practice (SCOP) to date $0
Coupon Apps (add any other apps you use to save money)
- Snap Groupon to date: $15.00
- Zweet to date: $14.50
- Cart Smart to date: $0
- Checkout51 to date: $6.00
Grocery Shop This Week
(add any other sections you need to show expenses and savings)
- Garbage Bags $3.99
- 2 x Aurora Tomatoes $0.88 each
- Bananas $1.13
- Cauliflower $1.88
- Seedless cucumber $0.97
- 1lb white mushrooms $1.88
- 2 x Beatrice Homo Milk 4L $4.97 each
- 2 x Parmalat 2% Milk 4L $3.97 (Watch out for bags that are only 3Litres now. We stopped buying from Shoppers Drug Mart when we figured that out.)
- 4 x Lactancia Butter $2.88 each
- 8 x Rudolph Bavarian Bread
- 4 x Unico Tomato Paste 2/$1.00
Total Out-of-Pocket $56.57
- Total to spend this month $235
- Stockpile budget 2015 ($25.00): (Jan/Feb) $50.00 +$0 (Mar)+$16.94+$25.00 (April)+$25.00+ May $25.00+ June $25.00+July $14.44+Aug $25.00+Sept$
- Stockpile budget used this month: $25.00
- Total coupons used this week: $0
- Total coupons used to date: $34.50
- Total in-store discounts this week: $16.52
- Total in-store discounts to date: $581.11
- Total spent this week: $56.57
- Total spent so far this month: $130.37
- Total Over/Under spend this shop: over $under
- Total Over/Under spend for the month: $under
- Total left to spend for the month: $104.63
- Total Spent To Date 2015: (does not include stockpile budget) Jan $166.49+ Feb $261.51+ Mar $231.02 + April $258.44+May $218.12+ June $235.67+July $212.16+August $118.15+ September $130.37+ October $
Weekly Overview (your final thoughts)
I figured we would come under this month as it was such a busy time for us and we didn’t need too much.
The one item we do need is cheese so with the handy coupon below we are on the hunt for a good deal. We are also slowly learning how to balance what is in the house and our grocery budget.
It’s nice to see a stocked kitchen but it’s also nice to know it’s not overflowing like it used to be.
Here are some great places you can find Canadian Coupons!
We’re finding fewer and fewer coupons in the stores these days.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Does your Grocery Budget include health and beauty and laundry products?:
YesNo, our Grocery Budget includes such items as shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap, etc.
- As of 2014-2015 we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year so we can plan accordingly for our budget.
- We don’t mind stockpiling items that won’t be affected by expiry dates or have long expiry dates but not so much food anymore. It’s just one way to help cut your budget to save money.
- Canadian Coupons: Where can I find Canadian Coupons?
- Here are your latest Checkout 51 offers that you can use to help you save money in the Grocery Game Challenge
- There are many great Canadian Couponing websites online that share weekly coupon match-ups so you can plan your grocery list.
- Best Coupon Apps: Coupons are slowly fading out but mobile coupon apps are the big rave these days.
- Just recently the popular coupon site that mailed coupons to households has gotten involved with their new mobile Save.ca app joining forces with the many apps that are already out there.
- What is an FPC?: FPC is a free product coupon which means you can get a free product as described on the coupon.
- What is GGC?– The Grocery Game Challenge of course!
- How Do I Know what stores accept coupons?: If you are not sure it’s always best to call the store and ask.
- How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping and what we do in terms of shopping to save money and how it works for us. There are no wrong or right answers, just smart choices.
Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or at least how to say no, I’m on a budget I need to buy this or that.
You may also substitute items to stick to your grocery budget to make it work.
Nobody is perfect, heck we struggle with this part of our budget as many people do.
This is why the grocery game challenge was created to not only show you that we are like everyone else but to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.
If you have just joined The Grocery Game Challenge 2015 get ready to dive deep into your grocery budget and learn just where you are spending, how much you are spending, and what you are saving.
Feel free to read all the above posts that I linked to above which I feel are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and grocery shopping in general.
If you are brave and want to learn everything I know about grocery shopping in Canada check out my Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide!
You’ve made a wise decision to take control of your grocery budget now show me your shops and let’s get saving!
Welcome to The Grocery Game Challenge!
Join in and become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.
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