Inside: How to actually get rid of fruit flies at the source without using harsh chemicals or leaving a bowl of wine or juice on the counter! Hint: check your drain.
Back for the second post in this simplified cleaning series! In case you missed it, I’m also tackling the challenge of cleaning feather down pillows properly and how to get dog odours out of the couch. Here’s a question that inevitably comes EVERY summer. How to get rid of those disgusting and always breeding fruit flies??!? UGH.
So here’s how to ACTUALLY get rid of fruit flies
Today – my friends, I’m here to tell you my super secret, works like a charm, solution. OXYGEN BLEACH. Update: this is not the same as bleach-bleach. Please do not use regular household bleach for this fruit fly killing remedy. Use the non-toxic oxygen based bleach crystals or liquid. I’ve linked to a bunch of options below. Check out this post for how I use Oxy Bleach Powder to clean around the house.
Here are the types (they will all work in much the same way):
- Ajax Bleach Cleanser
- Oxygen Base Cleaner
- Stain Solver Oxygen Bleach Cleanser
- Pure Sodium Percarbonate Cleanser
Note sodium percarbonate is the active ingredient in oxy bleach and should be diluted prior to use!
As with any good monster or alien invasion movie, the protagonists fight and fight through the first 2/3rds of the script only to realize the best way to battle the attacking foe is to determine where they are originating.
In the case of most fruit flies – it’s not the fiery depths of the Earth’s core or the far reaches of interplanetary space… but rather – the SINK DRAIN. Fruit flies are also commonly known as drain flies. For real. They like it in there. Gross, I know. It’s so gross, I have a whole post on how I frequently deep clean our stainless steel sink.
Once they breed, they like to sit on, cling to and revel in any other kitchen surface touched by our hands. Our hands carry food and sugars and sometimes sticky stuff, you see.
So here’s how you tackle them.
Fill your sink about 1/3 of the way with hot water from the tap. As it’s filling, add in a cap full of liquid oxygen bleach or a 1/4 scoop of the oxygen bleach crystals. This stuff is the BEST and is totally safe to use. I seriously can’t live without it.
Then immerse a dish rag into the water. Let that whole shebang sit there for about 10 minutes.
After the 10 or so minutes, use the bleach water soaked rag to wipe down every surface in the kitchen – knobs, door handles, the fridge, stove handle, the blender, juicer, fruit bowl, coffee maker – whatever is touched and potentially ‘fruity’. Then wipe the sink thoroughly.
Provided you don’t bring more infested bananas into the house, this should cull the herd! Bonus – this doesn’t waste any wine in a bowl and you don’t have to see fly carcasses everywhere.
Other Methods for Getting Rid of Fruit Flies
These are other tried and true methods, that I’ll admit I sometimes use when things get desperate.
The red wine solution
Pour a bit of dry wine or fruit juice into a shallow dish. Cover said dish with cellophane and poke holes in the top with a fork. The flies will get in, drown and die. The downside of this is you’re left with a gross bowl of dead fly carcasses. I only use this method under duress.
The fly paper solution
Only once in my life have I had to use this and it was when we’d been on vacation for three weeks and the sink wasn’t 100% clean before we left and we came home to fly city. It was nasty. The fly paper hangs from a ceiling or light fixture, attracts the flies and they stick to it. Then they languish there to die. And at the end, you have this gross sticky paper full of dead flies.
Other fly trap hacks you can try
If none of these cut it, you might want to turn it up a notch on your fly trap situation. Here, The Prairie Homestead explains how to DIY a fly trap. And Fabulessly Frugal has another verion that’s do-it-yourself as well.
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