Things most of us love about summer: warmer weather, longer days, vacations, evening walks, BBQs.
Thing most of us don't love about summer: frizzy hair, out-of-control humidity, mosquitoes, pulling weeds, fruit flies.
Truthfully, there is very little I don't love about summer. I had to think for a little while to come up with some negatives about it. The fruit fly dislike though? That one was easy.
I was reminded just how much of a nuisance fruit flies can be when I went to pick strawberries at a local farm recently. I left some of the berries out and within a few days, we had some new kitchen residents — a group of not-so-welcome fruit flies. But, thanks to a quick 3-ingredient solution, they were gone as quickly as they arrived. Fruit flies are not as big of a problem this early in the summer, they usually hit their peak towards the end of summer/early fall. But the possibility for them to show up once the warmer weather arrives is always there.
Before I tell you how to get rid of them, have you ever wondered where they come from? How they end up swarming your fruit? I did a little research and here is what I found.
It was once thought that fruit flies were "born" from rotting fruit...doesn't make much sense, right? That theory was disproven when it was found that fruit flies come from outside. They can smell fruit from miles away. Once they smell it, they hone in on its location and head straight for it. Because they are so small, they make their way in through any tiny crack they can find and before you know it, you have some new fruit fly friends setting up shop in your kitchen. Fruit flies can also be brought home from the grocery store.
Fruit flies are attracted to fruit when it starts to over ripen. When fruit is overripe, it starts to ferment — fruit flies love this. They eat the fermenting fruit and lay eggs which hatch quickly, therefore producing a never-ending stream of fruit flies. Until you step in and do something about it, that is.
The easiest thing you can do to stop them in their tracks is to get rid of any overripe fruit. If the fruit is still usable, refrigerate it. There are many solutions to the fruit fly problem all over the internet, and I have tried a few, but this is the one I keep coming back to — because it works the best for me.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 drops of dish soap
1 cup water
1. Pour water into a shallow bowl and add apple cider vinegar.
2. Add the 2 drops of dish soap to the mixture.
3. Stir until the soap is distributed.
4. Place in the area where there are the most fruit flies. If there is more than one area, prepare more bowls and place in the necessary areas.
5. Empty the bowls as needed, prepare more as needed.
What makes this solution work? The fruit flies will be attracted to the bowl by the smell of the apple cider vinegar (the stand-in for the overripe fruit). The soap is added so the fruit flies don't just sit on the surface of the water and drink. The soap will weigh them down so they can't get out.