Controlling fruit flies begins outdoors. If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees there is a better than equal chance that there are fruit flies laying in wait in the ground for the right moment to spring upon you and your home. With a little cleaning and spraying beforehand you can rid your garden and trees of this nuisance pest.
Controlling fruit flies can only start if you know what you’re looking for and where you should be looking. There are a number of different varieties of fruit flies and they all differ in size and color. The common fruit fly that you will most often deal with is no more than 1/8” long, red eyes, two tone body and spotted or stripped wings. The adults suck their life giving juice from the leaves or fruit or a vegetable and lay their eggs inside the fruit. The larvae grow by feasting on the fruit, their favorites are tomatoes, pears, plums and cherries but they are not that fussy and they will go about their business on anything organic.
The best way of controlling fruit flies is to clean the area. Clean your garden plot of all rotting vegetable matter and clean under all the fruit trees. Once the fruit fly has taken control and infected your fruit with their eggs there is no way to salvage the fruit. You must rid your garden of these pests before they have a chance to get started.
Once you have completely cleaned your garden and fruit tree area in very early spring, dispose of the litter properly. The fruit flies really don’t care whether they are in the actual garden or the compost heap so make sure you bag the debris and put it out with the trash for disposal in the landfill or incinerator.
Once the ground has been thoroughly cleaned of debris, give it a good spraying of insecticide as the cocoons are not only on the top of the soil, they can burrow down into the soil only to emerge later. Controlling fruit flies is an on-going project and the application of insecticide throughout the season is highly recommended. It is your choice to use an organic compound or chemical, just as long as you do it to keep the fruit flies at bay.
If you don’t get them all you still want to protect your home as best you can so the next step in controlling fruit flies are the screens on your windows and doors. They should be secure, preferably made from 16 mesh with no rips, holes or tears. Don’t leave doors open any longer than it takes to come in or go out.