As one might imagine, fruit flies are drawn to fruit. The flies tend to linger around certain areas in the kitchen: overripe fruit and vegetables, dishes that need to be washed, and trash cans. Big groups of fruit flies also tend to congregate where there is food that is rotting, namely fruit. Fruit flies can reproduce in trash cans and fermenting juice left behind in the sink or other places, in bottles that are empty, and in mops and rags. It doesn’t take much for development—just a wet film of material that is starting to ferment. The flies are able to contaminate food with bacteria as well as other organisms that bring about diseases.
The best way to prevent infestations of fruit flies is by cleaning up messes immediately, particularly food or beverages that have spilled; taking out the trash on a regular basis; washing dishes; and storing fruit in the fridge instead of on the countertop, especially after it has ripened. The flies are attracted to fruit that has passed the ripening phase.
To eliminate fruit flies, spray them with soap and water and then wipe them up with a paper towel. Fly swatters also work. Once a home is full of fruit flies, it’s best to locate and eliminate any and all areas for breeding. The breeding sites must be removed or cleaned or else the problem will persist, regardless of how often insecticides are used. After finding breeding areas and eliminating them, it’s best to use a pyrethrum-based, aerosol insecticide to eliminate any flies that are still flying around.