Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies

At Servall Termite & Pest Control we know how annoying fruit flies can be. You forgot about a banana on the counter and one day you notice a fruit fly, within a day they are everywhere, long after the banana is gone. Here is an article from newsolio.com we found to give you some tips on how to control fruit flies.

Learn to find the source of fruit fly infestation. Kill the pests safely without contamination of food, and prevent re-infestation.

There are few pests in the home more annoying than fruit flies. These tiny, swarming insects take to the air in large groups when startled. They can arrive in the home easily via an open door, through a window screen, or come in on produce that contain the larvae.

Though entry to the home is easy, getting rid of these insects can be a challenge. The fruit fly has a life cycle of one week and each fly can lay 500 eggs in that time. The potential for population explosion is enormous. Fruit flies are often confused with fungus gnats. It is not terribly important to identify which you have, since both pests respond to many of the same treatments. There are many types of flytraps available for purchase or easily made at home, but the user needs to keep in mind that the traps only kill the adults and the real need is to kill the maggots. Any small container, like a glass of water with vinegar and sugar stirred in will attract the adults and some will drown.

The key to getting rid of fruit flies is identification of the food source, which is also their breeding ground. They are attracted to rotting, fermenting fruits and other decaying, moist organic matter. If the flies have been present for any length of time, they may have located more than one source of food, so do not stop looking when you find one rotten piece of fruit in your fruit bowl. Check drains, garbage containers, empty soda bottles and cans, etc. Remove and clean up drainage from all rotten fruit and vegetables. Empty garbage containers and clean the container with soap and water. Do not leave containers like soda bottles that may contain a small amount of attractive liquid lying around. If you are lucky, this alone may solve the problem.

If you continue to be plagued by these pests, you have not found all the food/breeding grounds. Yellow sticky traps can be helpful in locating a hard-to-find source. They are inexpensive and readily available anywhere pesticides are sold. Each is a small (perhaps two inch by 3 inch) piece of bright-yellow poster board coated with a sticky material. It is possible to make your own, but it is a messy chore and I do not recommend it. Fruit flies are attracted to the color, land on the trap and are stuck. Place them in locations around the problem area. While it may be satisfying to see a bunch of flies stuck on the trap, only adult insects are killed. It is still necessary to find out where the larvae (maggots) are. Use the traps to locate the breeding ground. Some traps may have few insects caught while others have many. Check the area near the busiest trap. Clean up the source of the problem. For drain infestation, I have found it helpful to flush out the drain with hot water then pour in a tablespoon of liquid dish soap gently mixed with a quarter cup of water. Do this at the start of a time the drain will not be used for a while, like before retiring for the night. Repeat for two or three days.

There are still other places these flies can live and breed. Are there any puddles under appliances? Moist crevasses at the base of cabinets should be checked. There is no substitute for good sanitation. It may be helpful, after cleaning, to spray crevasses with pyrethrin, an organic insecticide made from marigolds. Since most fruit fly infestations are in food storage and preparation areas, it is important to consider the safety of any product used to kill the pests. You may find that houseplants have been infested. While it is possible for fruit flies to live and breed in the moist soil of a houseplant, it is more likely to be fungus gnats. There are products specifically for the treatment of fungus gnats in houseplants. I suggest a small amount of research to find those products, if houseplants are a problem.

Any treatment for fruit flies, cleanliness, pyrethrin spray, drain treatments, must be continued for a week to insure all the larvae and adults have been killed. The yellow sticky traps are used for monitoring. When you stop catching new insects, your problem is solved.

Prevention of re-infestation is the next step. Remove all rotten produce and wet garbage from the building promptly. Do not allow puddles to accumulate under appliances. Flush out kitchen or other affected drains with hot water daily. With these measures, you will not keep fruit flies from entering your home on occasion, but you will stop a couple of hungry flies from turning into a full-blown problem.

If you find you have a fruit fly problem that you cannot control or exterminate yourself please visit www.servallpestcontrol.com or call us today at anyone of our four convenient locations

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