For many families, the summer can mean great weather, outdoor fun and backyard barbecues. But this beloved season can also spell problems with fruit flies for many kitchens and homes across the U.S.
While a pest control service can come to your rescue, it's always best to try to prevent fruit flies from establishing themselves in your home in the first place. Here are a few tips to squish the issue before the flies set up camp.
As Real Simple magazine advised a restaurant owner, the best way to prevent fruit flies from annoying you and your customers is to clean everything. Restaurateurs can use an all-purpose cleaner to scrub down every surface where food and trash are kept. Next, you'll want to get rid of any old food or fruits. Fruit flies are aptly named - they love fruit, juice and wine. Exposed fruit isn't just an invitation indoors, it's also where fruit flies breed.
Also, take out the trash twice a day, mop the floors and scrub every surface. An area that's sometimes overlooked by restaurants or homeowners is the recycling bin. Whether it's liquid trapped in bottles you want to recycle or compost that hasn't made it outdoors yet, these green practices can lead to fruit fly breeding under the wrong conditions. Eliminate the possibility that they can breed, then wait for your space to be fly-free.
Cut off access
The University of Kentucky's College of Agriculture, Food and Environment explained that the only way to prevent fruit flies is to stop them from gaining access to what attracts them. This means you can't keep fruit out on the counter after it has ripened - eat it or put it in the refrigerator. UK noted that an onion or piece of fruit that got lost in the cabinet may turn into the host of thousands of breeding fruit flies.
It's also important to shut doors and windows completely, Real Simple magazine advised. Fruit flies can easily fit through most screens.
Be smart when outdoors
Since fruit flies can attack on picnics and cookouts too, it's important to practice indoor health habits outdoors. Keep everything sealed and covered until it's consumed. Store trash far away from food to avoid crossover contamination.
With fruit flies, it's important to act early, otherwise you might find yourself with thousands more to deal with the next day.