If you're battling a swarm of annoying flies, a good homemade fruit fly repellant can help drive them out of your home and most importantly, keep them from coming back.
Every summer, these tiny little pests create havoc inside your kitchen. Often forming a small cloud around your fruit bowl, the flies can enter your home in a variety of ways.
Since they're so small, they can easily fit through a window screen or chances are you bought some produce from your local grocery store that contained fruit fly larvae.
Plus, with a lifespan that only lasts about 8-10 days, they reproduce quickly in your sink drains, produce, compost scraps and anywhere they can find decaying organic material.
Before you know it, what once was a few pesky flies will turn into a swarm. Here's the good news.....fruit flies are easy to prevent, trap and repel to keep the problem from coming back.
The first step in repelling fruit flies is to remove or cover the fresh fruits and vegetables you have sitting on your kitchen countertop. If you don't have room inside your refrigerator, try covering the fruits with plastic wrap or simply place them in a sealed container.
As the fruit starts to decompose it's a magnet for the flies to feed on and lay their eggs. A single fruit fly can lay up to 400 eggs so unless you remove the food source, you'll be fighting an endless battle.
Keep your sink drains clean by pouring a small amount of bleach or boiling water down the drain, take out the trash on a regular basis and wipe down your countertops to remove any leftover organic material.
Also, don't forget to change out that old sponge you have sitting next to the sink. The fungus and decaying organic material found within an old sponge is another great spot for fruit flies to lay eggs.
After you've removed all the available food sources, the next step is to make a simple homemade fruit fly trap. These traps are easy to make and they only cost a few dollars in supplies.
To make the trap you'll need:
Start by taking a plastic cup and pouring a few inches of apple cider vinegar into the cup. Fruit flies love apple cider vinegar and they will be drawn to it like a magnet once you remove all the available food sources.
Next, take the liquid dish soap and add about 2 or 3 drops of it into the apple cider vinegar and stir it up. The soap changes the surface tension which prevents the flies from being able to fly away, causing them to drown.
Finally, cover the cup with plastic wrap and poke about 15 or 20 holes in the top with a toothpick. I like to put a hair tie or rubber band around the plastic wrap to keep it tight, but you can also use tape.
That's it! Your homemade fruit fly trap is complete. Place the trap in your kitchen or other areas where you've noticed the flies. I like to make a couple of traps to quickly remove the flies.
It won't take long for the traps to do their job. After about 3-4 days, you can throw out the trap and replace them with new ones if you still have a few lingering flies.
After you've successfully removed all the flies inside your home, you can reduce the possibility of them coming back by making a homemade repellant. My two favorite natural repellants for fruit flies are lavender and lemongrass. They smell great to us, but fruit flies despise the fragrance.
Lavender Fruit Fly Repellant:
Growing fresh lavender in your kitchen is a great way to deter the flies. Place the fresh lavender near your kitchen sink or fruit bowl to help prevent the flies from coming back.
If you don't have the time or desire to grow lavender, purchase some lavender essential oil and place several drops on a cotton ball. I like to place the oil infused cotton ball in a small dish and set the dish out on the countertop. It makes the kitchen smell great and it helps repel the flies.
Lemongrass Fruit Fly Repellant:
Just like the lavender, lemongrass smells great to humans but the flies hate it. I love lemongrass because it smells fresh and clean......perfect for your kitchen. Lemongrass is a natural bug repellant that also works on ants, mosquitoes and even fleas. It has anti fungal properties plus it helps kill bacteria.
To make the spray take 4 cups of water and add approximately 15 drops of lemongrass essential oil to the water. Next, pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray your countertops, garbage and sink with the lemongrass spray.
Don't spray any fruits with the lemongrass, just spray the areas around them. The scent will repel the flies and your kitchen will smell great!
Before you make a homemade repellant, take the time to remove any old fruits and vegetables from your kitchen. Then, make a simple trap to remove the flies that are currently living in your home and finally make the repellant to keep the flies from coming back.
Since the repellant won't kill the flies, it's important to use this as the last step. Use the lavender or lemongrass throughout the summer and you'll be able to enjoy a home that's free of fruit flies.