Fruit Fly Problems

You’d think that a warm summer day would be when fruit flies would be most bothersome. It’s true — fruit flies are often a summer woe thanks to all those delicious watermelons and cantaloupes decaying in your kitchen. But fall can present just as many issues as summer when it comes to fruit flies.

fruit flies Nov 1As the garden starts to go to seed we all try to get as much out of it as we can before the first frost sets in or we have to turn the soil. We’re bringing in the last few tomatoes, a stray zucchini or two and of course all those seasonal pumpkins! Each and every one of those healthy fruits and veggies is a feast for fruit flies.

Fruit flies feed on organic matter, preferably that which is a little past its prime. They also lay eggs in rotting organic matter. Fruit flies use all their sense to detect their favored foods within about ¾ mile radius. They’re also willing and able to fly more than 5 miles in a day. That’s why it seems like they appear out of thin air as soon as a piece of fruit arrives in the house.

So as soon as you put out your decorative pumpkin, chances are good that a fruit fly will be there momentarily. From there, it’s easy to catch the wind from the opening of a door and float right inside the house. And it’s not just the seasonal fruit that attract fruit flies. Mulch, compost and garden waste will also bring them near.

There’s good news and bad news about a fall fruit fly invasion. The bad news is that they breed and like crazy. The good news is that their total life span is only a month or two long. So if you cut off the food supply and take away their breeding grounds, in a few weeks they’ll be gone.

Put your fruits and veggies in the fridge to help curb fruit flies. If the produce items can’t be kept cold, then use a sealed container or baggie to keep the fruit flies off of your food. Move your compost pile well away from the house or use a closed bin instead of a pile. To remove breeding grounds, get a trash can with a tight-fitting lid and take your trash out at least daily if not twice per day. Fruit flies can literally hatch and become mature enough to breed between breakfast and dinner of the same day.

A little extra effort will have your house fruit fly free in just a few weeks!


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