Fruit flies are one of those flies that can cause serious damage to your garden or farm. They attack in huge numbers and are very difficult to control and kill. They are sometimes seen to cause 100% damage to hosts plants thus causing thousand of dollars in economic losses. So, it very important to know the steps that can quickly and effectively get rid of fruit flies. With that in mind we created the 23 amazingly effective ways to get rid of fruit flies.
So, what are these 23 amazingly effective ways to get rid of fruit flies? These 23 ways will help to quickly get rid of fruit flies and here are our top 23 recommendations
- Pytherin Spray
- Use Trap
- Don’t Keep Fruits Uncovered
- Get Rid Of Their Eggs
- Clean Your Dustbin
- Use Drain Gel
- Keep Your Kitchen Clean
- Use Essential Oils
- Use Sticky Fly Trap
- Use Stale Beer Or Wine
- Use Fruit Protection Bag
- Non Toxic Trap Stick
- Clean Your Kitchen Sink Drain
- Remove Damp Clothes
- Vacuum Them
- Use Chicken And Guinea
- Use Nematodes
- Take The Help Of Ants
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- Toxic food baits
- Male Annihilation Technique
- Mass Trapping
- Sterile Insect Technique
Read this article to know these 23 ways in details and use them efficiently.
You can also download this cheat sheet to get quick look at these 23 amazingly effective ways just click on the image and Save it or you can download by clicking on the Download button.Download Now
1. Pytherin Spray
You can use Pytherin spray to easily get rid of fruit flies. It is a chemical spray that works really well. Although remember to wear mask before spraying since it is a chemical and it can cause allergic reaction in some people. Here is how to use it
Use this pytherin sprays directly over the place where you see fruit flies and
Remember to cover your fruits with some polythene before spraying
If you’re using it in your house then spray it and get away from the room and let it work for 45 minutes. If you’re spraying it in your garden or farm then after spraying stay away from that area for 20 minutes.
After that you’ll see most of the fruit flies are dead
Then remove the polythene covers from the fruits and open the windows to get rid of the chemicals.
2. Use Trap
You can use trap to capture and kill fruit flies. Here is how to make one
- Take a glass bottle
- Cut some fruits and place it inside the bottle
- Make a funnel or buy a plastic funnel and then place it on the top of the glass bottle
- Then wait for 24 hours.
- After that you’ll see fruit flies has entered the bottle
- They will enter the bottle through the funnel but won’t be able to get out as a result they will be trapped.
- Pour hot water from the funnel and then wait for 5-10 minutes and you’ll see them die
- Once they are dead throw away all the things along with the fruits flies.
3. Keep Your Fruits Covered
If you’ve sliced some fruits and if you keep them uncovered then fruit flies will get attracted towards it and the infestation will start. So the best way to avoid it is by using a solid cover made of stainless steal or plastic it shouldn’t have any holes in it and that will stop fruit flies infestation. You can also put that food in a refrigerator also to avoid infestation but if you don’t to put it in refrigerator then you can use this solution.
4. Get Rid Of Their Eggs
Fruit flies lay eggs in dark and moist places. Rotten fruits, damp places, uncovered dustbin are perfect place for laying eggs. So make sure that these things are taken care of so that the infestation can be stopped in the first place. If you see fruit flies eggs it’s easy to identify some of them looks like white rice and other looks like maggots covering an area then use soapy water to get rid of the it. You can also use product like room cleaner to get rid of the eggs. It can also stick just under you kitchen basin, trees and inside fruits. The eggs are sticky and you need to look properly everywhere.
5. Clean Your Dustbin
If you have uncleaned dustbin then that can become a major cause for fruit flies infestation. So, you need to make sure that you keep your dustbin cleaned. Fruit flies will get attracted towards the foul smell coming out from the dustbin and will try to make every effort to get inside it and if they gets in they will lay eggs and that will increase the infestation so it’s best to get rid of the trash from the dustbin in the first place. Clean it frequently and if you smell something foul then immediately get rid of the trash.
6. Use Drain Gel
Drain gel works really well in removing fruit flies. It is made of bacterial formulation that get inside fruit flies and starts eating it inside out thus killing it.
Use 4 oz of this drain gel per use for 5 times in a row to get rid of fruit flies.
Pour it through kitchen basin following the above guidelines and you’ll be amazed by it’s effectiveness.
7. Keep Your Kitchen Clean
You need to make sure that every corner of your kitchen is cleaned as these fruit flies can hide in any dark and moist place. Cleaning it with a room cleaner is more than enough to get rid of these fruit flies. Remove waste food, clean your utensils and make sure no food is left to rot. This step will stop fruit flies from infesting in your house in the first place.
8. Use Essential Oils
Essentials oil also works really well in getting rid of fruit flies. The strong smell from essential oil works as a repellent for various kinds of pests. Essential oil like lavender essential, cedar oil, rosemary essential oil, cinnamon oil, eucalyptus oil works really well against fruit flies. So, use essential oil to get rid of fruit flies. Here is how to use it
- Take a bowl and fill it with water
- Put 6 drops of essential oil in it
- Stir it for 15 seconds.
- Soak this mixture in a cloth that you’ll use to clean
- And then clean all around the places where you see fruit flies. Don’t forget to clean the corners it’s important
- Or you can put this solution in a sprayer and spray it in all those places where you see fruit flies i.e. directly over plants, fruits, leaves etc.
9. Use Sticky Fly Trap
Sticky fly trap uses glue to trap fruit flies. This glue is strong enough for fruit flies. It totally stops their movement and more they struggle the more they get trapped thus killing them. Sticky fly trap can capture fruit flies in masses so if you have serious infestation of fruit flies consider using it. Place it in all those places where you see fruits flies and that will capture them. Use multiple sticky traps and place it in different locations to capture them.
Alternatively you can also you a simple trick to capture even more fruit flies. Just place fruits below the sticky fly traps, that will attract more fruit flies and the sticky fly trap will capture even more flies.
10. Use Stale Beer Or Wine
You can also capture fruit flies using stale beer or wine. As both are made from fermentation it will attract the fruit flies and once fruit flies gets inside the bottle they won’t be able to get out of it and will die immediately by drowning. You can then pour some hot water or soapy water to kill them completely. Once they are dead throw the wine or beer away. If you have enough stale wine or beer you can simple use it and make multiple traps and place it in different places in your house to kill even more fruit flies.
11. Use Fruit Protection Bag
You can use fruit protection bag to keep your fruits safe and stop fruit flies from getting attracted towards your fruit. These are aeration bag made of soft fabrics. No fruits flies will be able to enter these bags. These are also water resistant bags. They are also very thick and sturdy.
12. Non Toxic Trap Stick
You can use this to capture fruit flies. It basically attracts fruit flies by various colours and multidimensional patterns and once they get in they get trapped into the glue and then die. This is very effective way to get rid of fruit flies without using any toxic chemicals. You can just hang it in those places where you see most of fruit flies and it will get rid of them.
13. Clean Your Kitchen Sink Drain
Fruit flies like drains because drains are one of those places that are really hard to clean. Simply putting down water through the drain doesn’t really clean the drain and that why it becomes a serious problem as people fail to realise where they are coming from in most cases. So you need to keep drain clean.
You can use bleaching powder to clean the drain. It works really well to get rid of various kinds of pests and it also works in getting rid of fruit flies.
14. Remove Damp Clothes
Since fruit flies are attracted to damp and moist places so they will get attracted to damp clothes too. So you need to make sure that the clothes are not damp and stinking otherwise it can become home for fruit flies and you won’t even realise it.
15. Vacuum Them
It’s a simple method. If you have a vacuum cleaner then take that near fruit flies and vacuum them to get rid of them. To make it even more effective you can lure more fruit flies near in your house and vacuum them in totality. The more the amount the better it is. Here is how to make the lure
- Just cut some pieces of fruits and keep them in a bowl or use some overripe fruits
- Don’t cover it.
- After about 30 minutes you’ll see many fruit flies has gathered there
- Then just vacuum them to get rid of them
You can also use half rotten fruits to lure fruit flies in case if you don’t want to spoil your fresh fruits and then do the same thing to get rid of them.
16. Use Chicken And Guinea
Chicken and guinea can also be very helpful in getting rid of fruit flies they will eat the fruit flies maggots that are on the ground and will decrease infestation. So, you can keep chicken and guinea in your farm and let them roam free when you see fruit fly infestation.
17. Use Nematodes
Nematodes are also found be helpful in getting rid of fruit flies maggots. Nematodes works on various kinds of pets and fruit fly larvae is one of them. Nematodes are basically microscopic round worms that destroy fruit flies maggots from inside. It is very effective and doesn’t do any harm to your fruits or vegetable.
However don’t use nematodes directly over the fruits and vegetables rather remove the larvae from the fruits or vegetables throw them in the ground and then use nematodes directly over them.
You can apply nematodes directly over the maggots fallen into the ground.
18. Take The Help Of Ants
Ants are also found to be helpful in getting rid of fruits flies as they kill fruit flies larvae. You can capture some ants and relocate it into other infested plants to get rid of fruit flies. However some ants can cause harm to ripe fruits so once the ants gets rid of the larvae just use water jet to get rid of the ants.
It easier to get rid of ants compared to fruit flies maggots. Just water is enough to get rid of ants but it may not work for fruit flies maggots.
19. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
IPM is a methods that recommends growing of various combination of protection plants that will repel fruit flies from your garden or farm. It doesn’t kills them it just repels them. It is a natural way and it discourages the use of broad-spectrum chemical pesticides.
20. Toxic Food Baits
After knowing the foods that are infested by specific fruit flies you can make toxic food baits. Just apply specific toxic applicable to that fruit fly and apply it on the foods and whenever that fruit fly tries to feed they will get affected by that toxic and die. It is very effective against large infestation of fruit flies because fruit flies attack your garden or farm for feeding and if some of those foods are poison then they are bound to die.
Although while applying you should keep in mind that you can’t apply those poison in all of your fruits or vegetables. Apply only to those which one is already infested or potentially going to get infested and do wear gloves when applying toxic food baits and then afterward wash your hands as these poison can be harmful for humans.
21. Male Annihilation Technique
Male Annihilation Technique is used to get rid of males from fruit flies species to such a low quantity that they can’t mate anymore. It is done by attracting the male using male lure and then combine it with insecticides. These traps contain parapheromones which attracts male fruit flies. Multiple traps are set to capture massive amount of male from any fruit fly species. It is done during heavy infestation and it works really well. You can do that too if you want to get rid of heavy infestation. Here is how to make a simple lure:
- Take a 1 liter plastic bottle
- Pour insecticide inside the bottle. Fill up 1/3 of the bottle with the insecticide and then close the cap
- Make 4 holes in the bottle with 12 mm in diameter
- Then add a string to the cap of the bottle using glue or strong tape.
- Dip a small 1-2 cm wood piece in male lure and attach it to the bottom of the hanging string.
- Add a string to the neck of the bottle
- And keep it hanging onto those plants or trees where you see most of the infestation. You can add as many of these trap to capture and kill more fruit flies.
For plants that are unable to hold the weight attach the bottle at the end of the stem. Just make sure that the insecticide doesn’t flows out of the bottle holes.
Fruit flies will be able to get in but won’t be able to get out of the trap because the are not intelligent enough to do that and will die inside the trap because of the insecticide.
Change the insecticide and the lure once a week to keep it clean and more effective.
22. Mass Trapping
Mass trapping also works in the same way as male annihilation technique except it attracts both male and female of fruits flies and also other insects that are attracted towards the lure. The lure is made of fruits that are specifically liked by that particular species of fruit flies. It attracts both fruit flies and other insects inside a trap and once in they are unable to get out of the trap. The trap also has insecticide in it so they are unable to live once they are in. Multiple traps are set throughout the garden or farm and it catches multiple fruit flies. There are professional devices out in the market that you can use and it’s very effective and hassle free.
23. Sterile Insect Technique
This a highly effective technique. Here a large amount of sterile male of that particular species of fruit fly is released in the wild as a result these sterile male fruit flies compete with the wild male for breeding and when the female fruit flies mate with the sterile males no offspring are produced. Thus, controlling the population growth. These technique is cost effective because no chemicals are used here as chemical treatment are much expensive.
Signs of a Fruit Fly Infestation
It’s quite simple to identify fruit fly infestation
In Your House
You’ll see adult fruit flies flying around in your kitchens or over fruits. Along with that you’ll see fruit flies larvae on your kitchen counter of floor and there will be multiple of them and on the fruits and vegetables. They can be mistaken with something else but the easiest way to identify them is by their horns. If you look closely you’ll see pair of horns.
Adult fruit are also attracted to liquor, mainly wine and beer bottles because they are made from fermentation. You’ll see fruit flies flying over the bottle of these liquors. They are only attracted to liquor that are made of fruit fermentation.
So, if you see this immediately move away from that area and go to somewhere else. That will stop them from flying over your liquor bottle temporarily then use the solutions mentioned above to get rid of them as they can be very dangerous if they somehow manage to get inside the bottle. They will release bacteria in it that can cause serious diseases.
In Your Garden Or Farm
You’ll see them sitting or hovering over your ripe to almost decaying fruits or vegetable. These fruits or vegetables are their host plants. They will start feeding and breeding on these plants and can cause serious damage to your plants.
The above picture shows the effect of fruit fly infestation on Guava so, if you have a host plant in your garden then this can happen if proper steps are not taken at the right time. Massive infestation are often seen in gardens and farms. They attack in massive numbers and starts feeding and breeding on hosts plants.
Why Fruit Flies Are Bad News
Problems Faced By Gardeners
In case of severe infestation you can find fruit flies maggot in almost all of the harvested crops and fruits causing severe damage and leading to big loss. So, if you’re a gardener or you have a farm then it can become a serious issue.
Firstly if you’ve fruit flies in your area then it will drastically reduce the number of crops that you can grow.
Secondly it can create major damage to fruits and vegetables making those fruits and vegetables completely non edible and can cause frustration as you won’t be able to share your fruits and vegetables with family, friends or do business with it.
Thirdly It will cost you more money. Since you won’t be satisfied with the crops and fruits. You would want to have more fruits and vegetables so that you can share it with family, friends or do business with it and that will cost you more money than you expected but less desired result as those new plants will also get infested by fruit flies.
If you’ve a large farm them you can face these problems.
Problems Faced By Large Farms
Big loss because of severe damage caused by fruit flies making the infested crops or fruits useless and completely non edible.
Second major problem that you can face is that you may not be able to fulfill the demand as it’s very hard to guess how many fruits and crops will actually survive and be edible.
Thirdly the infestation just keeps growing if you don’t do proper treatment. As they give birth to more larvae and they grow rather fast and just keeps multiplying thus increasing the infestation and causing even more damage, making it very unpredictable to guess how many crops or fruits will survive.
The only way to avoid this problem is to do treatments and on time. That will save you time, energy and money. You can use the solution provided in this article to reduce the damage to a great level.
Damage Caused By Fruit Flies That Can Affect You
Fruit flies cause major damage to fruit, vegetables and other plant crops. Oriental fruit fly for example is known worldwide for its destructive impact on agriculture so, if you have a farm or garden and if you have host fruits and vegetables that falls under the food source then be prepared to face serious problem.
We have listed the country below that has been attacked by oriental fruit flies over years and if your country falls under it then you should follow the steps mentioned in this article to get rid of them. Then there is also olive fruit fly that only feeds olive.
So, if you have olive plants in your farm or garden then these fruits flies can create massive problem. It has been found that Olive Fruit Flies can cause 100% damage to olive plants by totally damaging the fruit. If you don’t have Olive plant in your garden you won’t even see Olive fruit Fly even if your country is affected with Olive fruit flies. Another dangerous fruit fly is the Mediterranean fruit fly also called Medfly.
These fruit flies do massive destruction in the areas where they infest destroying the host fruits and vegetables completely and rendering them dry and useless costing millions of dollars worth of loss for countries. These fruit flies are hard to eradicate so the control and eradication efforts costs huge amount of money..
Because the economic threat from these fruits flies are seen in various countries so, vast amount of researches are are researching to find the best way to fight and control these fruit flies. These pests are really the most devastating one. They attack in huge numbers and are very difficult to control and eradicate. Also, they can move from one region to another region very fast it that makes it even difficult to get rid of them.
Pest management techniques that are used against them are cover sprays with pesticides, more targeted pest control techniques like male annihilation technique, toxic food baits, parapheromones or mass trapping, sterile insect technique, integrated pest management are used to control them and to get rid of them.
The Risk Of Fruit Flies
Fruit flies can cause serious health issue they contain bacteria that can cause diseases like E.coli. It is a dangerous disease that is often caused by consuming foods that are contaminated with the harmful bacteria. Fruit flies will not bite you but they do feed on various fruits, vegetables and if by accident you end up eating them then you are prone to these food borne diseases.
Even if you identify their maggots and get rid of those foods, fruits flies can still affect you because they occasionally sits on your plates, your brush even water. Wherever they can smell food they can sit there apart from that they can also sit on some random places and can transfer the bacteria especially if those places are those that you’re going to consume.
And if you accidentally consume fruit flies that can also cause diseases. They are not the source of diseases but they carry various microorganisms that causes serious diseases. So, if you have serious infestation of fruit flies immediately get rid of it as they are very dangerous.
4 Most Destructive Fruit Flies
If you have any of these four fruit flies in your area then beware as they can cause serious damage to your fruits, vegetables and crops. You can use the solutions mentioned in this article. They are amazingly effective to get rid of fruit flies.
Traits Common In All Four Species
Larvae length is around 1/16-3/8 of an inch.
1. Eggs white, up to 1/16 of an inch long.
3. Pupation mostly occurs 1-2 inches under the soil.
4. Most of them feed at dawn and mate at dusk.
1. Oriental Fruit Fly
They are also very destructive in those areas where they infest. They have a wing pattern of 2 solid black. Abdomen has gold to brown colour with a prominent horizontal black T.
- Known Hosts are over 200 within fruits and vegetables.
- Name of hosts are like guava, mango, papaya fig, starfruit tomato etc
- Native: Asia
- Distribution: Asia, Australia, Africa and islands of the Pacific.
- Maturity: 37 days fully mature
- Eggs to adult: 19 days
- Eggs hatching time: 38 hrs.
- Larvae development time: 7-8 days.
- Larvae to adult: 10-11 days.
- Total eggs females lays (at a time): over 130 eggs /day, in groups of 10, but can be in group of 100 or more.
- Oviposter: Slim and pointed.
- Larvae: 10 mm in length, looks like maggot.
2. Mediterranean Fruit Fly
Mediterranean fruit fly is considered to be one of the most destructive fruit pest. It can tolerate cold climates. They infest in large quantities and it becomes very difficult to control them and it’s also very expensive. The larvae usually feed upon the pulp of fruits and absorbs all its juice and making it dry and inedible.
- Wing pattern is multi-colored along with black tiger-like stripes. Black spots on back. Abdomen usually brown in colour but be different also.
- Native: First seen in Hawai’i
- Distribution: Australia, Mediterranean countries, Central, and South America, South Pacific, Hawai’i. Dominant pest in Hawaii over 3000 ft
- Hosts: Over 300 hosts. Preferred hosts include coffee, guava, orange, peach, plum, pepper, rose apple etc.
- Maturity: 18-31 days.
- Eggs to Adult: 19 days.
- Eggs hatch time: 2-3 days.
- Larvae development time: 7-8 days.
- Larvae to adults: 9-10 days.
- Total eggs females lays (at a time): 10 eggs/day, singly, or group of up to 10.
- Eggs design: slender, curved, shiny white (1 mm long)
3. Solanaceous Fruit Fly
Also known as Malaysian fruit fly.
- Native to: South and Southeast Asia.
- Identification: Wing pattern has 2 black plus a black spot at the wing
- Abdomen usually brown
- Ovipositor : 1/16 inch.
- Distrbution : Taiwan , China, Laos, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Pakistan, and Hawai’i.
- Hosts: 33 mostly (tomato, pepper, eggplant
- Life cycle: 48 days.
- Egg to adult: 21 days.
- Eggs hatch time: 2 days.
- Larvae development time: 8-9 days.
- Larvae to adult: 10 days.
- Total eggs females lays (at a time): 10 eggs /day, one at a time.
4. Melon Fly
Melon fly is considered the most destructive pest of melons and similar crops. It attacks flowers, roots, fruits and stem and can cause huge damage. Melon fly has also been seen to cause serious damage to tomato, cucumber and to other hosts plants.
- Native to: Malayan region.
- Identification: Wing pattern almost tiger like stripes and a black spot at the wing tip.
- Abdomen usually brown with gold with a visible faint black “T”.
- Ovipositor: Straight. About 1/16 inch long.
- Distribution: Africa,China, Ceylon, Guam, New Guinea, Hawai’i, Burma, , Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Southeast Asia, Rota and South Asia.
- Hosts: Over 100
- Preferred host: Melon etc
- Other hosts include tomato, papaya, cucumber, eggplant, etc
- Life cycle: 37 days Fully grown
- Egg to adult: 15-18 days.
- Eggs hatch time: 30 hrs.
- Larvae development time: 7-8 days.
- Larvae to adults: 9-10 days.
- Total eggs females lays (at a time): 15 eggs /day, singly or can be in clusters.
Mediterranean Fruit Fly
Asia: Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, , Turkey, Yemen
Europe: Azores, Albania, Balearic Islands, Corsica, Canary Islands, , Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Maderia Islands, Portugal, Sardinia, Southern Russia, Sicily , Spain Slovenia, , Yugoslavia
Africa: Angola, Algeria, Burkina Botswana, Berin, Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Congo, Congo, Sudan Democratic Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Keyna, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Madagascar, Malwai, Maritius, Morocco, Cameroon, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Reunion, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Uganda ,St. Helena, , Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, , Zimbabwe
Australia: Western Australia
South American: Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, , Uruguay, Venezuela
Central American and Caribbean: Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama,
Oriental Fruit Fly
Asia: Bhutan, Bangladesh, , China (southern), Cambodia, Hong Kong, India (numerous states), Indonesia, Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, , Nepal, Ogasawara Islands, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand Taiwan, , Vietnam
Africa: Most countries on sub-Sahara Africa have been infested
Pacific Islands: Mariana Islands, Tahiti, Hawaii
Life Cycle Of Fruit Flies
There are four stages for fruit flies. These stages are egg, larva, pupa and adult. First the female looks for ripened fruit then lays eggs inside it. The eggs are white in colour and looks like tiny banana.
After that maggots come out of that egg and start feeding on that ripened fruits. After few days of feeding maggots get ready for their next stage
The larvae crawls out of that spot and looks for a dry spot and over there they turn into a brown oval pupa.
This is the stage where the larvae develops its whole body and then emerges out as fruit flies that can fly. It usually takes 7-10 days but can take longer depending upon the environment.
So, stopping them at the maggot stage is a good idea to stop fruit flies infestation.
So, that’s it. We hope you’ll use this article as a guideline to get rid of fruit flies. Don’t forget to download the cheat sheet, it will give you a quick look on all the 23 ways that we have mentioned in this article.
Welcome to my blog. I have been doing pest control for years since my house, garden and pets were always attacked by various kinds of pests and as a result I had to know proper pest control techniques that works. In this blog I share all the tips and tricks that I know and I hope you’ll find it helpful.