How do we keep the fruit flies away?
So it's summer. The fruit is great. We like to keep it out in bowls in the kitchen so someone can grab a peach or a banana or an apple or a mango if the mood strikes. Sadly, the fruit flies seem to get more out of it than we do. The fruit is NOT rotten or even overripe. But we can't seem to keep them away. Short of keeping it in the 'fridge, does anyone know of a simple solution for keeping them away? Is there some kind of natural repellent (bay leaves?) that we could use?
I've found that most of the time the flies come into the house as eggs on the fruit itself. After a couple of frustrating summers of dealing with an infestation, these days I immediately wash and dip in a very dilute bleach solution any fruit that I plan to leave out. No fruit thus far this summer.
Best trick ever - discovered entirely by accident last year. I had a piece of plum cake in a bowl covered with plastic wrap which, alas, had a small hole in the middle sitting out on my counter. All the fruit flies went into the hole - and were unable to find their way out again. Zillions of fruit flies trapped by their own stupidity.
So...put a piece of rotting fruit or whatever into a container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and poke a small (very small) hole into the middle. Ta da. Fruit fly trap extraordinaire.
No really this works like a charm.
First off, you have to find where your fruit flies are domiciling. I usually check my onion- potato drawer for a vegetable which has evolved into a community house. Do the obvious and throw it away!
I then pull out my vacuum cleaner and suck up any fruit flies I find with the hose attachment. This works well on flies, moths and other pests. Sometimes it takes a few days to collect the crew, but once they are suppresed and off premises you can leave fruit on the counter without a care.
I know it sounds weird but it works.