How I Won the War Against Fruit Flies

Fruit flies in the kitchen have been the bane of my existence for as long as I can remember (I wrote about this bane in 2004 and 2008, and received much helpful advice in reply).

This year I decided that it was a losing proposition to try to control fruit flies once they’d taken over: I needed to get ahead of them, and remove the conditions in which they thrived.

And so that’s what I did.

I never left food or dishes out on the counter.

I washed everything to be recycled, immediately.

I washed out the kitchen sink drains with vinegar and baking soda every few days.

I wiped down the kitchen counters constantly.

Despite all advice from purists, I stored all fruits and vegetables in the fridge, tomatoes included.

And it worked.

The kitchen wasn’t 100% fruit fly-free, but over the summer I saw only perhaps a dozen, and I took their emergence as a sign that I needed to double-down on my prophylactic control measures.

In saying all this, I suppose it’s equally possible that this year happened to be an off year for fruit flies for other reasons: perhaps the combination of sun and rain and temperature conspired to be inhospitable to them, and nothing I did had much influence.

I will chose to believe, however, that I conquered them through my vigilance.


Rob's picture
Rob on September 23, 2020 - 14:53 Permalink

I hate to tell you this, but we were just recently remarking how few fruit flies we had this summer. We did nothing different to prevent them. The few that we did see appeared in a short window at the end of August, early September.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 23, 2020 - 16:11 Permalink

I suspect that you run a tighter household, and may have been adhering to fruit fly mitigation guidelines that were never implemented in our “lets leave ripe mangos in the sink for a week”-style lifestyle.

Donna Glass's picture
Donna Glass on September 24, 2020 - 07:29 Permalink

congratulations!!! I've never had many fruit flies but I keep a clean ship, and I also put my Fruit in the refrigerator the 1st Fruit fly I see.
Sometimes it's the small steps we take in life that make things easier

Sandy 's picture
Sandy on September 24, 2020 - 08:16 Permalink

Well done! We have had lots of fruit flies around. I need to remember to follow more of your steps next year.