How To Kill Fruit Flies Fast

Estimated reading time: 15 minutes

In January, I blogged about pantry pests but never gave much thought to pesky fruit flies.

Now, I’ve got a simple solution for everyone to eliminate fruit flies, and no chemicals are involved.

kill fruit flies
How To Kill Fruit Flies Dead Fast

Kill Pesky Fruit Flies Without Harsh Chemicals

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 a bigger problem lurks.

A fruit fly infestation inside of your house is nothing to sweep under the rug.

When we returned from our summer trip, we brought plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables back from my in-law’s garden.

Most of the tomatoes and a few fruits sat on the counter, waiting to get eaten.

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 put unripened tomatoes 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

organic cherry tomatoes Ontario 2017

Our tomatoes sat on the counter for about a week, and we started to see fruit flies hanging around the kitchen.

Some people may find fruit flies in the kitchen sink, drain, refrigerator, and cupboards.

The critters also migrated, and we saw fruit flies in the bathroom.

My wife hates all bugs, but I’m sure she’s not alone, as bugs are a nuisance for most people.

Her anxiety kicks in, and she thinks they will crawl all over her or end up in her food.

She was unhappy, so we donated most of our tomatoes to a friend who made pasta sauce.

With a baby and working many hours, getting things done here has been nearly impossible.

We thought 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 every days hovering around the cooker and counter in the kitchen.

My wife was struggling again, so I got to work doing my homework to see what the cause of these fruit flies could be.

What Causes Fruit Flies?

fruit fly trap

This is not an exclusive list but many of the reasons I located online about why fruit flies may be in your home.

Did you know you can bring fruit flies home from the grocery store?

That’s right; especially if you have rotting fruit, you didn’t notice or 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 if you know you will eat them quickly.

I was not shocked that fruit flies may be in our house for the reasons below, 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?

fruit flies

Just because you have fruit flies 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 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, you can get fruit flies.

As mentioned, they come from your neighbour’s house, grocery store, farmers market, etc.

Fruit flies seem 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 fermenting or decaying foods.

That makes sense considering how fast they can detect what they want.

Once you set up my fruit fly trap, you will see how fast they take the bait.

According to Wise Geek, Fruit flies will lay their eggs in the food they enjoy.

What’s even more shocking is the female cycle.

A female can lay up to 500 eggs and 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 their swarms in the house, so 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 water, mix some dish soap inside, and then pour it down the sink.

This will help eliminate fruit flies from outside the drain because food peels or bits get caught inside.

An obvious first step was removing fruit and vegetables from our kitchen counters.

The only fruit we had were bananas; we had red onion and organic garlic in another bowl.

We also had organic garlic in our garage and cold room to dry.

Clean And Sanitize The Area

I moved the stove and refrigerator out to clean 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.

It doesn’t sound very pleasant, and it isn’t.

How Long Do Fruit Flies Live?

The fruit fly’s life span was around 2-3 days after hatching.

They would start in the kitchen, and once we killed them, another batch was soon on the way.

No one wants a kitchen with fruit flies hanging around where they prepare and eat food.

To eliminate 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 pretty clean.

The refrigerator was practically empty, so we gave that the once over.

All appliances, counters, and baskets were washed in hot water, soap, and vinegar.

My wife and I were impressed with our cleaning and thought 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, vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

I decided not to do this because I could easily see myself causing a massive 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 seems reasonable.

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 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 of emptying them in the sink when that is a source of problems for some people.

You would have to go outside your house to say goodbye, 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 bottle your fruit flies. Gotcha suckers!

We still weren’t convinced with this method, so we decided on something 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 fancy dish soap, but you may want to go with apple cider vinegar.

Fruit Fly Trap Recipe

fruit flies recipe
  • Small bowl
  • 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of Dish Soap

Within seconds fruit flies were coming together as if they had 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 drown in the sea of apple cider vinegar, so there is 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.

Locating The Source Of The Fruit Flies

We killed about 6 or 7 a day and knew that just because we were killing fruit flies didn’t mean that solved the problem.

Finding the source of the fruit flies is what will solve the problem.

After reading about how fruit flies love beer, I instantly thought of the grapefruit beer cans and bottles I was storing outside 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, I immediately removed the cans and 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.

My wife is happy, and so am I.

Now that we know about fruit flies, we will make the right choices about cleaning and storing our fruits, vegetables, and beer cans.

If you have a fruit fly infestation, it may be time to call 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 when you see them and source out the problem spot.

Discussion:  What method do you use to kill fruit flies?

Please leave me your comments below.

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September Grocery Game Challenge posts

Join 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.

Free Tools to get you started with your grocery budget

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2014 Free Money Saving Tools

Free Money Saving Downloads are lists created to reach 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.

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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

the ultimate grocery shopping guide cbb

Everything you want to know about grocery shopping in Canada is below, with new information added monthly.

If you missed a Grocery Game Challenge post, some of the most popular posts are listed below, or you can find the posts listed on their page called The Ultimate Grocery Shopping Guide.

If you know a topic that should be discussed, email me.

Grocery Shop Results

Yearly grocery budget for two 2015: $2820

(The above total does not include the $235 per year stockpile budget 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)

Food Basics

  • 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 on 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, and we didn’t need too much.

We need cheese, so we are searching for a good deal with the handy coupon below.

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 and know it’s not overflowing like it used to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Does your Grocery Budget include health, beauty, and laundry products? No, our Grocery Budget includes shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, fabric softener, dish soap, etc.
  • As of 2014-2015, we no longer include such items in our grocery budget so that we can see actual food numbers at the end of the year 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
  • Many great Canadian Couponing websites online 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 biggest rave.
  • How Do I Grocery Shop?: I can tell you about grocery shopping, what we do to save money, and how it works for us.

Grocery Budgeting Will Get Easier

Over time you will gradually learn where you should and shouldn’t go in the grocery store or 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; we struggle with this part of our budget as many people do.

This is why the grocery game challenge was created to show you that we are like everyone else and to bring us all together to work as a team to get our budgets on track.

If you joined The Grocery Game Challenge, get ready to dive into your grocery budget and learn where and how much you are spending and what you are saving.

Feel free to read all the posts I linked to above, which are relevant to learning about the grocery budget and shopping.

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 decided to take control of your grocery budget.

Now show me your shops and let’s get saving!

Let’s become money savers and take control of your grocery budget.

-Mr.CBB

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