Fruit flies are small flying insects that thrive in kitchens that stock fresh produce. They have tan bodies with black bottoms and red eyes. Even if fruit flies aren't exceedingly harmful, they can still be a tremendous nuisance in homes and commercial kitchens. Fruit flies will appear all year long if there is a food source and an entrance point, especially in warmer climates, but they are most common during the spring and summer months.
Fruit flies can be a real nuisance to remove once they have already infested your refrigerator and kitchen. It is important to do what you can to prevent the fruit flies from entering your home in the first place. Check the insulating stripping on your refrigerator. Wear and gaps in this stripping can be an easy entrance point for these pests, so repair or replace as needed. Store all fresh or cooked food in sealed containers to keep fruit flies from getting into the food. Check for water leaks from the fridge that could be attracting more flies.
If you already have fruit flies, llocate the food source for the fruit flies and remove it immediately. For example, if you find a rotten banana in the back of the crisper drawer, this is likely drawing them inside. Dispose of the banana, then clean the crisper drawer and surrounding area with hot water and disinfectant soap. Dry out any areas where excess moisture collects, as this can attract more fruit flies. Keep checking your fridge for more signs of fruit flies. If no more bugs appear within two weeks, it's likely you removed all of them.
To keep fruit flies out of your fridge, keep some things in mind. For example, never let fresh produce rot on the counter or even in your refrigerator. Use produce as quickly as possible and dispose of any overripe fruit or vegetables in an outdoor receptacle such as a trash can or compost heap. Keep these outdoor receptacles as far away from your home as possible to deter bugs from entering your home in search of more food. Before storing food in your fridge, cover in foil or plastic wrap to create a barrier against fruit flies and other insects.
Fruit flies can lay hundreds of eggs at a time, according to the University of Kentucky, making treating them a difficult task. After the egg is laid, it only takes about a week for the new fly to hatch. If you have a fruit fly infestation, continue to treat the affected and surrounding areas regularly until there are no signs of the insects for at least two weeks.
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