In this write-up, I’ll be giving you tips on how to get rid of fruit flies.
If you have a potted plant in the house, then you must have come across a group of tiny insects just above the surface of the soil. While these insects do not cause any harm to the plant itself, they could be a real eyesore.
If you’re having this issue and you have no clue on how to eradicate them, then I suggest you keep reading.
About Fruit Flies
Fruit Flies to not harm your potted plants, rather, they feast on decaying organic matter and fungi found in the soil of your potted plants.
Their life cycles are heavily dependent on rotting organic debris. For this reason, you can also find them around your kitchen perching on over-ripe fruits.
Luckily, fruit flies are very easy to get rid of. You also do not use chemical-based pesticides for their removal. This would harm or kill your potted fruit plants.
How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In Your Kitchen
Use the tips below.
Don’t Keep Over-Ripe Fruits
As I have mentioned before, fruit flies do not eat fruits, they only feed on the decaying organic matter and fungi that develop from them.
A lot of this can be found on over-ripe fruits, and it will attract the fruit flies. The solution to this is quite obvious, do not let your fruits get too ripe. If they do, then you have to dispose of them.
Leaving over-ripe fruits in your fridge or kitchen table is a crystal clear invitation to the fruit flies to come and have the time of their lives!
Gather up any over-ripe fruits and put them in a plastic bag. Take them outside and dump them in the trash can, but make sure the bag is tightly sealed, so the flies won’t get a whiff of it and infest.
Also make sure your bins are emptied regularly, as they don’t a lot of rotting organic matter.
If there are no potted plants or over-ripe fruits in your kitchen, then you wouldn’t find a single fruit fly there.
It’s that simple!
How To Get Rid Of Them In Potted Plants
If the fruit flies are not in your kitchen feasting on fungi from rotting fruits, then they will be in your potted plants feeding on organic matter.
There are different natural means by which you can kill them without harming your tree.
Try the substances below.
Use Neem Oil
Neem oil is very helpful in the fight against so many species of insect pests, and fruit flies are among those that can be eradicated with it.
Neem oil is sold commercially both as a pure substance, or in an organic-pesticide form.
You can buy some neem oil and apply it to the soil surface of the plant. You can also apply some across the plant leaves and around the flower pot.
Neem oil can also be used as a repellent, this is helpful if your plant hasn’t yet been infested by fruit flies.
It works by limiting the fruit tree’s ability to feed. This powerful oil can also hinder their growth and laying of eggs by interfering with their hormone systems.
If the fruit flies cannot feed, cannot grow, and cannot lay eggs, then they will be gone for good.
Garlic is one of the most potent natural substances that can be used to repel fruit flies (and many insect pests in general).
Luckily, there are different ways to use garlic against pests.
Try these variations –
Make A Garlic spray
To make a garlic spray, you need to get some garlic cloves. The amount you need depends on the number of fruit flies you are fighting.
On average, you will need about 100 grams of crushed garlic and 0.5 liters of water. To spice things up you can also use about 10 grams of soap.
Be careful of the soap you use though. A potash-based soft soap is your best bet. That’s the kind used in washing dishes and it doesn’t contain caustic soda. In case you didn’t know, caustic soda will harm your plants, so be sure the soap you use doesn’t contain it.
Blend the items in a container and mix them very well. If it is too concentrated, then you can do the mixture with a little more water.
Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and apply directly on the flies and all over your potted plant.
Garlic works very well against fruit flies at different stages of their lives. These include the egg stage, larvae stage, and adult stage.
The strong scent and other natural properties of garlic are impossible for most (if not all) insects to withstand. They will have to leave or they will be dead if they remain there.
Use Garlic In Powder Form
If you don’t want to make a spray, then there are other ways you can use garlic to fight fruit flies. Crushing and drying it to a powdery form is one such option.
If you don’t want to go through the stress of crushing and grinding, then you can take the easy option, which is buying already made garlic powder.
Take the powder to the flower pot and sprinkle around the soil surface. You don’t necessarily have to sprinkle the powder on the leaves since the flies are mostly in the soil. Then again you don’t want your beautiful plants covered in a powdery substance.
Leave the garlic powder there for as long as it remains visible on the soil surface. After a week or so, you can add some more to the soil and just leave it to do its job.
Do this until the fruit flies are completely gone.
You can also use this as a preventive measure, as fruit flies will not come near the potting soil if it is covered in garlic powder.
Make A Garlic, Onion, And Chili Combo
A garlic, onion, and chili combination will also hurt fruit flies. Similar to the other variations of homemade garlic repellents, this is also easy to make.
Here’s what you need to do.
Grind a bulb of garlic and a build of onion. Stir until they are well blended in. Take a tablespoon of powdered chili and add it to the mixture.
Boil some water and pour the combination into the pot (use about 2 liters of water). Stir it all up and leave it for a while to cool off.
Filter the mixture through a piece of fine cloth and store the liquid in a container. If you wish, you can add a tablespoon of soft soap and mix (this is optional).
One the combo is ready, you can pour it into a spray bottle and apply it on the soil of the infested flower pot.
Caution When Using Garlic To Eradicate Fruit Flies !!!
Keep in mind that garlic won’t just kill the pests, it will also kill beneficial insects.
For this reason, it would be in your best interest to concentrate your spraying on the areas that are mostly affected. This will reduce the number of beneficial insects that are affected.
How To Control Fruit Flies
Besides killing them, there are things you can do to keep them from even existing in or around your home.
These include –
Bury The Eggs
Fruit flies lay their eggs on the soil surface of potted plants. A quick and easy solution to preventing a new generation of fruit flies from seeing the light of day is to bury them.
Get some coarse sand and spread it all over the topsoil of the flower pot. Make sure it is two to three inches thick and it covers every bit of the topsoil surface.
This will bury the larvae beneath the soil and they will not be able to crawl out after their eggs have been hatched.
Throw Rotting Fruits Away
I have mentioned this before, but it also applies to fruit fly prevention.
If you find that fruit is becoming too ripe, then you have to dispose of it quickly before the fruit flies pick up the scent.
Do Not Over Water Your Potted Plants
Plants need water to survive but in the right amount. Giving your plants too much water will cause wilt, and is bad news for you.
In case you didn’t know, fruit flies love damp dirt, and their eggs and larvae thrive in it. If the soil is not damp all the time, both the eggs and larvae will die.
Fruit flies do not harm your plants, but they can be quite an inconvenience to you, especially when they gather around a rotting fruit in your kitchen.
Such an eyesore needs to get rid of, which is why I hope the tips I’ve provided on how to get rid of fruit flies has been helpful.