The Fruit Fly Infestation | Why are there fruit flies in my bathroom?
Why are there fruit flies in my bathroom? Why are there fruit flies in the kitchen? Why are there fruit flies in the bedroom?
Those were the questions from two weeks ago.
How can we have caught and killed hundreds of fruit flies yet they seem to still be multiplying?!? Why does it seem like the fruit fly problem is getting worse and not better?
Those were the questions this past week.
It all started late one night after I found about 20 fruit flies flying around the bathroom. A few days prior I had seen a one or two and I thought maybe it was something in the trash, so I took it out and replaced it with a fresh clean bag. Well, a few nights later they had multiplied like crazy!!
After I googled why are there fruit flies in my bathroom I googled how to naturally get rid of fruit flies… because if you’ve known me long enough, you know that I am not only passionate about home improvement but I’m passionate about healthy living – and that includes chemical free living as much as possible – so I didn’t want to purchase a spray or cleaner to get rid of them (if there is even such a thing.)
I’ll go over a few methods I used to get rid of fruit flies below and a few I didn’t but would like to try if I ever have to deal with a fruit fly infestation again (but lets keep our fingers crossed this won’t happen again shall we?) But first… do you want to hear the ending to this fun little story?
So where was I? Oh yes, I wanted to naturally get rid of the fruit flies. Well all the methods I tried worked wonders but I wasn’t understanding how the fruit flies were still multiplying even though we were catching hundreds per day. I was starting to believe that they had to be breeding and feeding off something else in the house (something that wasn’t in the bathroom because it was almost impossible for them to find food or a good breeding habitat in there.)
I just didn’t get it. There was no food out on the counter, all the damp towels were removed, washed and dried, method #1 & #2 were working.. what was the deal!?!
WELLLLLLL… Mr. Stone Head decided to go fishing/camping with a friend and while I was getting some things ready for him I discovered it! The source of the fruit flies was from decaying fruit we had left in a bag from when we had gone camping over a month ago! GAAARRRROOOSSSSS. There were at least 4 pieces of fruit in the bag, two of which I couldn’t even figure out what they used to be and two were decaying and rotting clementines. Should I say it again? Gaaaarrrooossss.
So the moral of the story is that if you’re doing all you can to get rid of fruit flies but it doesn’t seem to be working, you’re missing the source of the fruit flies. You have to get rid of the source to get rid of the flies.
But before I get into how to naturally get rid of fruit flies, I wanted to share with you a few disturbing things I learned about fruit flies.
Facts about Fruit Flies
First, fruit flies are also referred to as “drain flies” because that’s where they like to breed – on the gunky grossness inside the drain lines. They can spread and infest other areas of the house very quickly and are especially keen on fruit – hence the name fruit flies. They will actually burrow their eggs into the food and that’s where they hatch. And yes, it’s very possible to eat the food without noticing the fruit fly eggs contained in it… GAAAARRRROOOSSSSS.
They can spread so quickly because the females can lay 100 eggs per day. Those eggs then hatch within 12-15 hours and at day three those new baby flies can reproduce and start laying 100’s of their own eggs… see how quickly things can escalate?
Luckily, fruit flies are dumb and are fairly easy to get rid of.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in a Bathroom
After reading about the fascinating life of a fruit fly, I researched how to get rid of them. It turns out there are lots of methods you can use! I’ll list the methods I did first and then go over some others that I’d try in the future should I ever have a small infestation of fruit flies again (fingers crossed I don’t though!) And again, I use all natural methods so these are totally safe around pets and kids and won’t cause cancer.
You could use any of the tactics below for getting rid of fruit flies that are also in your kitchen. However, if they’re in your kitchen and you leave food out on the counters, your first plan of attack should be to either get that food/fruit in the fridge or cover it in airtight containers.
It also helps to get rid of anything damp or wet as fruit flies love that type of breeding habitat!
Apple Cider Vinegar | Get Rid of Fruit Flies Option #1
This was the first thing I tried to trap and kill the fruit flies and it worked! I took a small bowl and poured a little apple cider vinegar into it. Then I covered it in saran wrap and poked a bunch of small holes with a toothpick in it and placed it near where I thought they were breeding (the sink drain.) Within 4 hours I had 8 fruit flies floating in the apple cider vinegar and after 24 hours there were at least 50!
I changed the ACV each morning and continued to catch flies for a few days. Why does this method work? Apparently, the flies are attracted to the smell of the ACV and go in through the holes but drown when they can’t get back out.
Boiling Water | Get Rid of Fruit Flies Option #2
Since fruit flies like to breed in drain lines, I’ve read that it can be a great practice to run boiling water down the drains and toilets! I’ll be honest, I didn’t go to the kitchen, fill up my tea kettle, boil water and then pour it down the drain. I just ran the hot water on FULL HOT for a solid 2 minutes – but I swear the hot water that comes out of the tap in this house is almost boiling so I figured it’d work – #lazygirlproblems.
You can also boil up some white vinegar and throw that down all the drain lines as well… I didn’t do that but it was a suggestion I read that I’m passing along to you.
Funnel & Stinky Bottle | Get Rid of Fruit Flies Option #3
The last measure I took to get rid of the fruit flies was to take an almost empty beer can and place a paper funnel into it. This idea is the same as the ACV and saran wrap with holes poked in it, the flies are attracted to the smell and go in through the larger end of the funnel but can’t figure out how to get back out.
If you don’t have half empty beer cans laying around (we usually don’t either, but luckily an uncle who likes beer was over for dinner and left a few behind) you can use wine bottles, juice bottles or soda cans – anything that would attract a fly really!
Plain Ol’ Soap, Water & Light | Get Rid of Fruit Flies Option #4
I didn’t wind up trying this method mainly because I don’t have a small light for the bathroom – this method would work perfectly under the light that most people have over their stove (usually from a microwave.) So what you do is take a small bowl, fill it with soap and water and leave it under the light at night. Apparently the light attracts the fruit flies (and mosquitoes to boot) and when they land on the water, they can’t get back off because of the surface tension created by the soap.
Again, I haven’t personally tried this method so if you do, let me know how it works in the comments!!
Fruit & Funnel | Get Rid of Fruit Flies Option #5
This is very similar to the funnel & stinky bottle method above only this one uses fruit! A banana is the most commonly used fruit for this trap but an apple or peach would do well too. Stick the fruit into the bottom of the jar, roll up some paper like a funnel and place it in the jar. Again, the fruit flies are drawn in but can’t figure out how to get out. Dumb flies.
You can also put the banana at the bottom of a shallow dish and cover with saran wrap and poke holes in it just like you were setting up for the apple cider vinegar trap in option #1. While fruit flies will go after any kind of fruit, they like over ripe and rotten fruit best!
So that’s that!
I hope you find this post helpful because I had NO IDEA about any of this just a few short weeks ago! (Especially when I was frantically searching google for “why are there fruit flies in my bathroom!?!”)
And I’m all about spreading the word on chemical free living! So before you go and buy some spray or bomb try these options first. And make sure you keep up with whatever method you try because it can take a few weeks to completely get rid of them! Even if it seems like they’re gone, continue the method for a few more days just to make sure all the eggs are hatched and you won’t have another re-occurrence of an infestation.
You can also order fruit fly traps on amazon… here’s an example of one but why would I spend almost $15 on one when I poke holes in saran wrap or a glass jar and a paper funnel? Just sayin’.
Speaking of killing things.. Here are my other natural DIY recipes for doing just that…
Here’s my three ingredient DIY weed killer recipe
Here’s my three ingredient DIY ant bait and killer recipe
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