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evegrimm's avatar

Another fruit fly question. (Please read specifics!)

Asked by evegrimm (3714points) October 22nd, 2009

So I have fruit flies.

I’ve done what others have suggested—removing old fruit, putting good fruit in fridge, taking out trash, etc.

Unfortunately, they’re still here. (It’s only been a day or so.)

Any ideas for how to get them from bombarding me while I EAT??? (Can you tell it’s bothering me?)

I put out a fruit juice trap (juice + oil in a bowl covered with plastic wrap with holes poked in it), but nothing yet. They seem more interested in my bathroom (dirty laundry? yummy coconut body wash?), bedroom and basically, anything that isn’t the trap.

How long will I need to put up with them before they start dying off?

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32 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Put a Piece of Fruit somewhere. Soon the Flies will assemble on it for their Feast. That is when you spray them with Chlorine. They will drop like Flies.

evegrimm's avatar

@ragingloli, what is the source of the chlorine? (Chlorine bleach? Chlorine for the pool?)

That’s actually a good idea.

(Someone else suggested a hair dryer to suck ‘em up and fry ‘em…if only I had a hair dryer. :D)

ragingloli's avatar

I use a Cleaner with a high Chlorine Content. Works great against Fruit Flies, but the larger ones don’t seem to care very much.

markyy's avatar

If you don’t have a hairdryer use your vacuum. I once vacuumed up an entire generation of fruit flies, it was a huge success, I even made a: Mission Accomplished banner. I’ll probably die and reincarnate as a fruit fly and get sentenced for genocide.

evegrimm's avatar

@markyy, can you be more specific about how you used the vacuum? (Was there a collection of flies that you just <slurp> sucked up? Or did you go hunting?)

markyy's avatar

Slurp them up, leave the vacuum there for easy access and if the next time you return and you see 1 or 2 more slurp them again, repeat. Of course I assume you know this isn’t going to work if you don’t get rid of what attracts them in the first place, and yes you do need to like hunting (or have the gene :P).

shego's avatar

@evegrimm check this out I have tried the first one, and it worked. :)

markyy's avatar

Or how about this flygun, ok I’ll stop now :)

Jeruba's avatar

Wouldn’t you end up with a colony in your vacuum cleaner—if they didn’t just fly back out when you turned it off?

arnbev959's avatar

Instead of fruit juice and oil for your trap, try a piece of a fruit or vegetable— or the insides of a tomato or cucumber.

I’ve been fermenting seeds in my kitchen, in jars with plastic wrap over the top. Fruit flies always go through the air holes and get stuck. (Perhaps “stuck” isn’t the right word. They are free to go back out the way they came, but they never do.) When the seeds are done I just take the jar outside and remove the plastic wrap, and shoo the flies out. I also try to help free any of the flies who have gotten stuck in the gook, and transplant any larva to a place outside where I think they will have a chance at living. If you use a disposable cup, you can just place the entire thing outside until the flies have finished with it.

There are sometimes larva crawling around in the vegetable juices. My guess would be that your flies are looking for a good place to lay their eggs. If you provide that for them, they’ll likely all go there, instead of in your bathroom or around you.

avvooooooo's avatar

I used a shopvac. Got so good with it that I could even snatch ‘em out of the air when they were zooming about. It was quite the entertainment when my apartment was infested with flies for no discernible reason. When I was done for the moment, I’m suck up a plastic bag a little way into the tube, enough to create a pretty effective barrier. If its a wet/dry vac, you can even suck up some bleach… Or pour some in the collector tub thingie before you start so they DIEDIEDIE when they get in there.

markyy's avatar

@Jeruba I even vacuum flies.. Gosh was I born like 500.000 years to late.. I put my hand on the nozzle, so the vacuum sucks extra hard for a while and so far none of them came out.

Skippy's avatar

½ cup apple cider vinegar with a few drops of Dawn. mix – Leave glass of this stuff in kitchen. Change daily. You will be surprised how many are really there in your house.

They come near your face because they are looking for sugar and liquid, and your eyes have that content (bug guy’s words)

MissAnthrope's avatar

What @Skippy said. Apple cider vinegar with a few drops of soap to clear the skin on the top of the water, that way they’re drawn to it and sink immediately. It’s very common to get fruit flies in bars, the ones where I’ve worked poured bleach down the drains every night because they will actually reproduce in there.

I wish you the best of luck.. seriously, fruit flies are a real pain in the ass to get rid of once you have them. :\

SpatzieLover's avatar

@evegrimm I do as @markyy does & as @Skippy does, besides what I wrote on your last Q.

If I were you, I do a bit of it all to get rid of the colony before they breed any further.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Fruit flies only have a lifespan of one day. So there is a place in your house they are breeding and multiplying. You’ve got to figure out where this is. Now fruit flies are attracted to fruit and sugar but you say you’ve already dealt with that. They are also attracted to standing water (oh and dirty dishes). So if you have a leak somewhere then perhaps they are around that. Or if you have recently closed up the bathroom windows for winter so more dampness is collecting you may see if there is one particular spot it is collecting. Also check your water trap under the fridge.

These mixes that attract fruit flies don’t seem to work all too well. Or they never have for me. This is because there are baby fruit flies or eggs somewhere in your house. So even if you attract all the live ones it is likely they have already breeded and new ones will be appearing soon. The only thing that works for us is finding the source and getting rid of it. If there are a lot congregating and sitting in one spot then that is the general area they are attracted to. Perhaps there is some water or food hiding somewhere.

To answer the other side of the question you can’t get them to stop attacking you as long as they are in the house. They suck! ;)

evegrimm's avatar

Okay, update:

They are now mostly gathering around the container of vinegar + sugar + soap, but aren’t GOING IN! (They just sit on the edge and hang out.)


(The vacuum trick works, somewhat.)

SpatzieLover's avatar

@evegrimm Just take the plastic wrap off and let the little bastards fall into the bowl.

Maybe set out a saucer with some honey and see if they get stuck in there.

evegrimm's avatar

@SpatzieLover, there is no plastic wrap on it…it’s just a mini-tupperware (yogurt container).

I’m thinking it needs to be SUPER CLEAN before I use it for this…so that there’s nothing interesting on the edge, you know?

I have no honey in the house right now…

SpatzieLover's avatar

Put the solution into something with less of a sharp edge. Maybe a saucer or a shallow bowl. Ergh! They are like an irritating little science experiment, aren’t they?!

SpatzieLover's avatar

A less scientific way to attract them would be to put out a glass of red wine (actually any sweet wine should attract them to fly in)

evegrimm's avatar

@SpatzieLover, too true!

Hmm…not old enough to purchase wine (yet). But it’s supposed to work really well. (Hmm…may ask mother for excess wine…)

evegrimm's avatar

Okay, I tried it with the lid for the tupperware…very sharp edge. Hopefully it works! <fingers crossed>

SpatzieLover's avatar

@evegrimm I still wonder where yours are coming from. I just had a ridiculous mess of breeding houseflies. After a week of sucking them up, I discovered on rotten potato in a fresh sack I had just purchased.

evegrimm's avatar

@SpatzieLover, I’m not sure. They might be…down the drains? I honestly have no idea…there’s nothing out anymore that would be a breeding ground for them. (All fruit is now in the fridge, as is bread!)

There seems to be less than yesterday (trash day), so maybe it’s the leftover kiddies. Hopefully.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@evegrimm <fingers crossed> I hope you’ve got ‘em nailed after tonight.

It’s getting late in the season for any flies by me, so my swarm perplexed the crap out of me.

evegrimm's avatar

I think it might be because it’s warmer inside my place than it is outside, so they’re attracted to that. Or it could be that one or more of my local grocery stores has fruit fly larvae on its produce. :(

SpatzieLover's avatar

@evegrimm I’m pretty sure you brought them home from the grocer. That’s the only way I get them. We keep our home cold all year! I don’t think they’d purposely breed here ;)

MissAnthrope's avatar

@evegrimm – If there’s no food out and they still are breeding, try the bleach-water in the drain trick.

evegrimm's avatar

Note to self: buy some bleach. :D

dabbler's avatar

If you’re using a shop-vac there is usually an outlet that is the same size as the inlet you have the hose plugged into. After you’re done slurping up the bugs plug the free end of the hose into the outlet. If you worry about them coming back out the hose you can run the vacuum a few seconds before you pull the ‘free’ end out of the outlet to suck ‘em back in and you’re ready for the next batch.

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