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Pest Prevention – How to Deal with Fruit Flies

It’s hard to dispute the fact that fruit flies are just about the most annoying pests the average home garden designer encounters. You grow your own produce, you have every intention of putting it to good use and somehow – somewhere along the way – you find your home infested with fruit flies.

They crawl and breed in and on your food, they fly all over the place when you try to swat them and do little other than annoy, irritate and wreck your produce.

Garden designers may face slightly more severe pest-threats, but fruit flies top the table when it comes to annoyance.

Fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) invasions seem to come out of nowhere, though the little critters are in fact pretty much always around. It’s just that they’re usually based outdoors, only heading inside when they detect an ideal place to breed and thrive. This means that if you provide such a place – ripe tomatoes and peaches proving downright irresistible – that’s exactly what they’ll do.

The question being – how do savvy garden designers and home growers deal with fruit flies? Or better yet, prevent them from setting up home in your home in the first place?

What’s important to remember is that once they’re in, they’re likely to multiple very quickly. Fruit flies only have a lifespan of a few days, meaning that they have to breed like crazy. Which is what they do – the females laying as many as 500 eggs on the food sources they find and settle on. Even something as simple as a rotten potato or a splash of juice you didn’t even know was there can be more than sufficient.

On the plus side, fruit flies are in no way directly harmful to human beings. In fact, they can actually be beneficial – newborn fruit flies eat the kind of nasties that would otherwise harbour potentially harmful fungus and bacteria. Hence why they’re technically a friend of the proactive home grower or garden designer. Without fruit flies, rotting or rotten waste could actually prove more harmful than it would be with their presence.

Not that this makes them any less annoying, but still – an interesting plus point to at least take into account!

Back to the small matter of dealing with them, it takes a bit of effort to get the job done, but the good news is there’s no need for any chemicals or pesticides. Instead, it’s a case of focusing on prevention, along with the most effective devices for getting rid of them once they’ve set in.

The following tips from expert garden designers and home growers across the UK should prove helpful:

  • Do your best to minimise the kinds of food sources fruit flies are attracted to in the first place. Keep ripe fruit out of reach in sealed containers, or better yet in the fridge where fruit flies cannot live.
  • If you collect compost in your kitchen – which of course you should do – it’s a god idea to keep the bin or receptacle as tightly sealed as possible at all times.
  • Get rid of anything that becomes a little too ripe as quickly as you can. The longer it sits around, the more likely it is to attract fruit flies.
  • Always address spills and splashes as soon as you notice them. You only need a small sticky fruit juice stain to open the doors to fruit flies.
  • When going about your daily recycling, ensure that all cans, bottles and containers in general are rinsed clear and free from food debris. Which is of course good practice for sensible recycling anyway.
  • If you see fruit flies in your home, keep an eye on them to see where they are coming from. Watch them closely and you should find the source soon enough, after which you can eliminate it.
  • Fruit fly traps can be hugely effective and can even be homemade. Such devices work by combining a container from which fruit flies can’t escape with a quantity of cider vinegar or something similar. They’re attracted by the smell of the vinegar, enter the trap and end up stuck.
  • If looking to prevent infestations effectively, keep a fruit fly trap in the kitchen at all times – even if you don’t currently have a problem with them.

Follow these simple steps and you should be able to deal with fruit flies like the pros – quick, easy and effective advice from leading garden designers and home growers!


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