Controlling Fruit Flies
The great Groucho Marx once said “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” Truer words were never spoken. Fruit flies, or Drosophila, can smell the yeasty odor emitted by a slightly overripe banana from a thousand yards. The flies are so tiny that they can enter your home right through the mesh of your window screens or any other bitty crack.
Fruit flies like more than a banana. They also love unrefrigerated potatoes, tomatoes, and peaches. While you may be unaware, these items are actually slowly fermenting on your countertop. Like any good wino, fruit flies are drawn to the alcohol created in the process. The flies gobble up the liqueur and, like many other drunk critters, they get lovin’ on the mind. After eating, the tiny flies can lay up to 300 eggs on your fruit. These hatch into larvae within hours and can be flying around your fruit bowl within days.
Fruit fly eggs or larvae might also be on produce when you bring it home from the store. That’s why experts recommend that you wash and thoroughly dry your bananas when you bring them home. And if you’re really fearful of fruit flies you can store your bananas in the refrigerator. The skins will turn an unappetizing dark brown but the fruit inside will remain fresh and tasty longer than if the ‘nanner was left on the counter. A word of warning: Bananas must be ripe before you refrigerate them. If they are even slightly green, they will not ripen even when returned to room temp.
Rather than leave potatoes in a drawer, you can also store them in the fridge, where they will last much longer. You can do the same for tomatoes and peaches. And if you have a fruit fly infestation, you can get rid of them by beating them at their own game. Pour an inch or two of beer into a glass jar and place a paper funnel over the top. The beer will attract the fruit flies and they will easily find their way inside the jar. After partaking, they won’t be able to find their abdomens with their six legs, if you know what I mean. In a few days, cap the jar, toss it in the trash, and watch time fly like an arrow.