New data indicates that August is the peak month for fruit flies in the UK, with 2023 expected to be the “worst year to date”, according to Alliance Online, which supplies insect control devices.
To help Britons reduce the chances of having pesky fruit flies in their home, Rachael Kiss from Alliance Online has shared five preventative steps Britons can take to “act now”.
She said: “Summer is just around the corner which means longer, brighter days for Britons itching for some glorious sunshine.
“However, when warmer weather arrives, insects are more likely to appear in the house and cause a nuisance, and pesky fruit flies prove to be the biggest culprit. Thankfully, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to reduce the chance of infestation.”
1. Keep surfaces clean and sanitised
Keep surfaces clean and sanitised to prevent fruit flies, and any other unwanted pests, who will be attracted to any food remnants, however small they are.
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Fruit flies usually appear in the kitchen when food is being prepared and served, especially common during the summer months when the doors and windows tend to be left open.
Households should also take out the rubbish bin more often than usual ahead of fruit fly season, so food waste doesn’t end up rotting as this is “the perfect attraction and breeding ground for fruit flies”, calmed the expert.
2. Store fruit and vegetables properly
Fruit flies are attracted to the ripeness of fruit and vegetables and the smell of fermentation, so seal and refrigerate food and keep it in an airtight container.
Rachel said: “There are numerous airtight containers currently on the market and, thankfully, they aren’t too expensive, so it’s worth investing if you’re sick of fruit flies.”
3. Make traps and natural repellents
The expert noted that the “most used, and arguably the most successful”, fruit fly prevention tactics are traps and repellents.
Traps and repellents are easy to set up as households will likely already have all the ingredients ready at home.
Rachel instructed: “For a trap, fill a small bowl or jar with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of washing-up liquid. Cover the container with plastic wrap and poke some small holes to entice the flies – this works with red wine too.”
Natural repellents are also “strong deterrents” for fruit flies. The strong scent of dried basil, mint and bay leaves can be simply left where fruit flies are typically found which should “repel them from the area”.
Alternatively, mix water with essential oils like lemongrass, lavender, or eucalyptus which can be sprayed as a natural repellent.
4. Keep drains clean
Fruit flies can breed and lay eggs in the organic matter in damp areas, particularly drains. Therefore households should clean their drains regularly.
Rachel suggested using a mixture of white vinegar and baking soda to “eliminate any buildup and deter fruit flies” from breeding there. The expert added: “If you don’t have baking soda or vinegar, boiling water could work just as well.”
5. Use a fan
Using a fan is a preventative measure to deter fruit flies as fruit flies are weak fliers and dislike strong air currents.
Rachel explained: “By placing a fan near where fruit flies congregate, you can create an environment with increased air circulation which makes it more difficult for the fruit flies to fly and land on surfaces.
“In addition to the benefit of a fan cooling down your home during hot weather, the constant movement of the air created by the fan can disorient fruit flies and makes it a challenge for them to navigate and find food sources.”