Everyone knows that fruit flies are a nuisance in the garden. They can ruin an entire harvest or they might hop into your kitchen. There are many ways to get rid of fruit flies; from commercial sprays and traps to homemade remedies and tactics for keeping them away. In this article, we will go over the best methods for ridding your garden of fruit flies.
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What Are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies (also known as “houseflies”) are small, winged insects. They are very common throughout the world and are the main pest for many homes and gardens. Fruit flies feed on any kind of rotting fruit, including, but not limited to apples, bananas, pears, grapefruits and citrus. The fruit flies lay their eggs on or near the host plant.
The larvae hatch from the eggs as maggots and eat whatever is available. This can be anything from your fruits to your very house itself!
Fruit flies can get into an incredibly small crevice where you cannot see them, and because of the rate at which they can procreate, once they have infested a garden, it can be a difficult challenge to get rid of them.
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Are Fruit Flies Bad For Gardens?
These small insects are not only harmful to your fruits, but they can also be a nuisance for your other garden plants. The larvae of the fruit flies actually eat the roots of your plants and if you have maggots infesting your garden, it will be difficult to fix.
If you have fruit flies in your house, try to keep a close eye on the plants and clean or replant them as soon as you can. Otherwise, the health of your plants will severely degrade, and they will become inedible.
How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In The Garden.
There are many methods of getting rid of fruit flies in the garden, but some are more effective than others.
- Fruit Fly Traps
The most common method of getting rid of fruit flies, is by using a fruit fly trap. Fruit fly traps can be expensive to make or purchase at the store, so we suggest simply making your own. The first thing you will need is an orange peel or some apple slices, the second is a cup and some vinegar.
Make sure that the cup isn’t plastic because it can melt from the heat of the vinegar in the sun and leave a horrible odor!
Take your apple or orange peels and put them into your container. Then, full the container with vinegar. The flies will come to your fruit and drown in your fruit fly trap.
Vinegar is not only known for being one of the most common household cleaners, but it is also something that can prevent you from having those nasty fruit flies flying around. You can get rid of them simply by using vinegar in any of your household cleaners, and spraying the area directly around your garden.
Vinegar is harmful to plants in large doses, but when mixed with a water solution, it won’t have devastating effects on your plants.
- Aromatic Sprays
Aromatic sprays are possibly the most effective way to get rid of fruit flies. They will attract the flies, and kill them at the same time. The smell won’t be as intense as the vinegar though and you can use it directly on your plants.
Your plants will not be harmed by this spray, but your house would smell a bit better if you used an aroma spray rather than vinegar!
- Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth, also called “food grade diatomaceous earth”, is a type of natural chalk that is actually made from the skeletons of tiny freshwater phytoplankton. It has an abrasive quality that is capable of getting rid of fruit flies easily.
It won’t harm your fruits or anything else in your garden, but it will get rid of any fruit flies on contact. Although it is harmless to humans, make sure that you don’t use too much of this powder around your plants or in your food.
- Physical Removal
You can always physically remove the fruit flies from your fruits and garden. You will be able to see the fruit flies flying around on your plants and you can actually go around and pick them off.
They are easy to catch and get rid of, but it is hard to keep up with them since they reproduce so fast! You can use a fly swatter, or an electric fly swatter if you are feeling bold.
- Keep Your Drains And Pipes Clean
One of the main ways that flies get inside your house is by going down your sink or bathtub drain. Try to clean them out at least once a week to keep fruit flies away. Make sure you also check out the other drains where water may leak, such as your washing machine and dishwasher!
- Cover Your Ripening Fruit Early
Most fruit flies are around when fruit has just begun to ripen, and as soon as you can tell, you should cover that fruit with a cloth or a net. This can prevent them from flying all over your garden, and make it much easier to spot them.
- Eliminate Their Food Sources
Fruit Flies also love to feast on spoiled fruit, so you should make sure that your garden is well kept and free from any rotting fruit that could attract them. This won’t be as effective as getting rid of them when you are able to see them, but it will certainly help.
- Mop Up Any Spills Right Away
Fruit flies love to eat the sugar from spilled soda or beer, so make sure that you clean up the spills as soon as they happen. Make sure to discard any containers that may have been used for a drink as well.
- Keep A Long Term Trap Nearby
Your local hardware store will usually sell high tech long term traps that can protect your garden year-round. These traps are placed just next to your garden for an easy way to catch any fruit flies that fly over to your garden. You can also use these traps once you notice a problem, and try your best to get rid of the fruit flies at that point in time.
- Get Your Hands On Fruit Fly Resistant Fertilizer
Fruit flies are not picky when it comes to food, which can be difficult for your garden. You can buy fruit fly resistant fertilizer that will keep your garden free of fruit flies and their larvae.
- Plant Roses And Geraniums
Both of these flowers smell nice, which will give your garden a lovely fragrance when in bloom. They also attract bees and other pollinators, which will help the other plants around them. These bees will also keep fruit flies away, which is a great added bonus.
- Replace Your Trash Cans Regularly
Fruit flies like to eat your trash, so make sure that you check your cans frequently. When the fruit flies have completed the cycle of their life, they will fly away and deposit their eggs in a new place. You can use this knowledge to find them and get rid of them at that point in time.
- Use Insecticidal Soap Spray
Fruit flies love to eat, and not much else. If you can make it unpleasant enough for them, they may choose a different place to lay their eggs. You can use insecticidal soap to get rid of them in their larval stages so that they do not have a chance to fly away and lay their eggs.
Some of these sprays can be dangerous to your fruit if you plan on consuming any plants in your garden, so you should always be careful and look for soap sprays that are also not toxic to humans.
- Consider Hiring An Exterminator
If your fruit fly problem gets out of hand, it may be time to hire an exterminator. Fruit flies are easier to get rid of than some other pests, so it’s worth the money to have someone come in and do it for you. Just make sure that you look into the different types of fruit fly control options before you actually hire someone.
Also, you may read: How to Reclaim a Neglected Vegetable Garden to Regain its Initial Glory
How To Prevent Fruit Flies From Return
- Fill Your Garden Holes And Fluted Baskets With Soil
If you have open holes in your garden and can’t protect them with screens, make sure that you fill them in with soil to prevent fruit flies from finding a way into your garden. Bugs love to lay their eggs inside of dense ground, so they will fly away once they are done laying their eggs.
- Use Bug Repellent Spray On All Fruit
Fruit flies hate the smell of citrus fruits and other plants that produce these smells. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use bug spray on your fruit as soon as you notice them in your garden. Make sure that you buy no-toxic bug spray so you aren’t poisoning yourself.
- Do Not Overuse Fertilizers
Although it is a good idea to fertilize your plants once a year, don’t overdo it. Fruit flies thrive in the rich soil that quickly forms after fertilizer is applied to the ground. By over-fertilizing your plants, you’ll create a nutrient overload that will attract more fruit flies than you can possibly keep under control.
- Don’t Overlook Dead Plants
Fruit flies spend their entire lives consuming the decaying remains of plant life. Dead and dying plants are a signal to them that it’s time to call your garden home. If you spot plant death in your garden, take immediate action by pulling that plant and disposing of it as soon as possible.
- Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Fruit flies are very attracted to substances that you might not consider, such as sugar, honey, red wine and some types of chocolate. Don’t leave any of these things out in the open where they can attract your fruit flies. Clean up clutter in your kitchen and make sure that all fruit fly traps fill with water every week.
- Keep your Pantry Clean
Fruit flies love to feast on rotting fruit, so make sure to place all your fruit and vegetables in a dark, well-sealed area. Fruit flies are known to lay their eggs in the areas where the fruit is stored.
Keep all foods under tightly closed containers as well because many of these insects drink liquids like honey, syrup and other sweet liquids.
- Consider a Green House
If you’re really having trouble with getting rid of fruit flies, then consider building a green house. Green houses allow you to control the climate much more effectively than an open air or indoor garden, and you can design it in a way that will keep flies and other types of pests out for good. This is obviously an expensive choice, but it may be worth it to some people.
- Install a Screen On Your Curtains
Most fruit flies are attracted to light, so you should install a screen over the lightbulbs in your kitchen and other areas that are frequented by fruit flies. By covering up the light, the fruit flies will not be able to identify what they’re looking at on the other side of the curtain and will fly away in search of something else.
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Fruit flies can be taken care of in a variety of ways, so you are welcome to use any method that works for your situation. The most important thing to remember is that it is very easy for fruit flies to lay eggs in all sorts of places. If you notice a fruit fly problem, you should act immediately before the problem gets out of hand.
Before you choose a method to control fruit flies, you should always read the directions carefully to make sure that it is safe for your plants. Adding some sort of pesticides to your garden could have a negative effect on your plants, so make sure that what you use is safe for both humans and crops in general. Hopefully, one of these methods will help you get rid of fruit flies in no time at all!
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
I am sharing all the practical tips on how to grow various plants, flower plants, vegetables in the garden. Read more about me.