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Not in My House! Prevention & Home Remedies for Fruit Flies

fruit flyLate summer and early fall are usually a time for mellow enjoyment spent with friends and family. So the last thing you want to do is to share those good times with tiny little annoyances also known as -- fruit flies!

In August, September, and even October fruit flies are at their most active. That's because they've had the entire summer to breed and overpopulate inside spoiled fruits and vegetables.

By the time summer ends, chances are you are going to be bringing fruit flies home as they hitch a ride on overripe specimens harvested in the home garden, or brought from supermarket produce sections or neighborhood green markets.

Ridding the house of fruit flies

fruit fly trap baited with apple cider vinegar
A fruit fly trap can be fashioned out of a water bottle
cut in half, with the top inverted to act as a funnel.
Fill the bottom half with apple cider vinegar and
houseflies and fruit flies will be attracted to
the bait. Once inside, they can't escape.

While prevention is key (see below), what happens when fruit flies invade the kitchen or take up late summer residence in the living room or bathroom?

Instead of "creeping out", take heart. Several home remedies for fruit flies have proven effective in eliminating the annoying little pests without the use of chemical insecticides.

For example, there's the tried-and-true mixture of apple cider vinegar inside a homemade fruit fly trap (see photo) that effectively tempts them with a fruity aroma. Once inside, they can't get out. (Some remedies suggest substituting a spoiled apple or banana.)

Other homeowners say that adding apple cider vinegar and a little dish detergent in a shallow bowl also helps lure fruit flies to their doom, as they slip and drown in the mixture.

Another simple, old fashioned recipe calls for a bowl of sugar and milk -- resulting in suffocation for the little critters who often fail to escape from the creamy mix.

Telling fruit flies to bug off

Once you have your fruit fly problem successfully under control, prevention is key to avoiding another infestation. That usually means 1.) carefully choosing produce that you purchase at the market by inspecting for over-ripeness and 2.) storing produce in the refrigerator as soon as you get it home to prevent spoilage.

At home you can also follow proper hygiene in the kitchen to help keep down the population:

Cutting up a ripe pineapple or watermelon for a fresh fruit salad? Just make sure that peels, rinds, or sweet fruit juices are wiped clean from the kitchen counter. Also consider giving the kitchen drain a good baking soda or ammonia bath to cut down on food aromas that fruit flies can't resist.

Enjoy the end of the summer. Just remember that with a little prevention -- and successful home remedies -- fruit flies won't think there's an open invitation for the winter.

More about fruit fly remedies and prevention around the Web:

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in the House - Check out visitor suggestions with great ideas for their favorite recipes and remedies for getting rid of the little household pests.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies - WikiHow strikes again with a complete tutorial detailing how to prevent and get rid of fruit flies in the house or the home garden with step-by-step photo instructions.

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