Getting rid of fruit flies begins with cleaning the area where the infestation is first, and then using various methods of capturing and eliminating them. There are numerous ways to remove the fruit flies from the home, whether they are to be released or killed. There are chemicals and traps that can be purchased at most home improvement and retail outlet stores, as well as many home methods that require using common items found around the house.
Clean the Infected Area
The first step when eliminating fruit flies is to remove the areas that attract them, and that offer them spaces to breed. Clean everything in the area, remove any garbage and debris, scrub the counters and cupboards if they are present, and remove any standing liquids or damp clothes. This includes cleaning out the drains in the sinks, which is an area that is commonly skipped. If plants are present in the house they should be sprayed down with a mixture of water and dish soap to destroy the larvae that may be present, as well as forcing the fruit flies to move into other areas.
Remove the Breeding Grounds
Remove all of the standing water and damp clothes, including unfinished laundry piles and watering bowls for any pets that are present. Bath or kitchen towels that are used over and over need to be removed and washed thoroughly in hot water. Damp clothes and towels like this are great breeding grounds for fruit flies, so in order to get rid of the problem they need to be removed.
Catch or Kill the Fruit Flies
The next step is to catch the fruit flies. This can be done by using traps or insect zappers and strips, or the house can simply be sprayed with a bug spray designed to kill them and the larvae. Some of these chemicals can be dangerous to other household pets and plants, though, so a few basic home remedies can be used instead.
Home Removal Methods
One of the most common ways to catch fruit flies is to place a bowl of fruit, with a small amount of wine added to it, in the area where the flies are most prevalent and allow them to infest the fruit. Once they do, bag the piece of fruit up and seal it tightly before removing it from the premises. If the flies are to be let loose, take them to a location away from the home and dump the fruit out, otherwise throw the bag away and allow them to die. Repeat this process until all of the flies are gone.
Another common home method for removing fruit flies is to place a bowl of water mixed with dish soap on the counter and allow them to land in it. The dish soap will kill them on contact. Once the bowl is full of dead fruit flies, dump it out and start over with a fresh bowl of soapy water.
Keep Things Clean
It is also a good idea to walk around the entire house and spray with a soap mixture to ensure that any stray fruit flies are killed, along with any larvae that have been left behind. Once the fruit flies are gone, keep the area clean by using an industrial cleaner, never allow standing water to sit out, and repeat the process of spraying the entire house down with dish soap and water every couple of weeks to ensure that no new fruit flies hatch and start the infestation to begin all over again.