You bought a bunch of fully-ripe bananas and put them in a fruit bowl over the counter for your children to eat. However, you woke up the next day to a dark cloud of fruit flies hovering above the bananas and spreading to other parts of the house. So, what’s the best way to keep fruit flies away from bananas?
Here are 7 ways to keep fruit flies away from your bananas:
- Seal all crevices and keep all windows and doors closed.
- Keep everything in the kitchen clean.
- Cover the banas up.
- Wash the bananas.
- Use fruit fly traps.
- Use herbs and essential oils.
- Apply bug sprays as a last resort.
This article will elaborate on all of the hacks mentioned above. Read on to learn about how to keep fruit flies away from bananas.
1. Seal All Crevices and Keep All Windows and Doors Closed
The fruit flies around any food and fruit, including bananas, seem so concentrated that you may think the fruit generates them. But that’s not true, although they get multiplied by hundreds in a matter of hours when they lay eggs on the fruits.
They don’t appear out of thin air. Instead, they make their way into our homes quite normally and in a sneaky way!
They get into our houses through doors, windows, and any openings inside the house. Some could also get a free ride into our homes on the fruits we buy from the store.
So, it’s essential to keep them from entering the house in the first place by sealing all crevices and keeping all the doors and windows closed. Install tight-fitting window screens to prevent them from entering the house. However, since it’s impossible to keep them from entering the house entirely, you can take other steps to minimize their presence.
2. Keep Everything in the Kitchen Clean
Bananas are among the many things that fruit flies are attracted to, including sweet-smelling foods and ripened fruits that release fermented substances, sugary drinks, and even trash and dish-washing sponges.
So, it’s important to keep all of these places clean, immediately washing the dishes, and keeping all mops, cleaning rags, and sponges dry. Plus, make sure your trash can is always clean and dry, as they’re a favorite hub for fruit flies.
When you bring fruits from the store, clean and dry any surfaces they touch to avoid any sugary residue being left behind.
3. Cover the Bananas Up
Although bananas look appealing on the countertop, they attract fruit flies like moths to a flame! So, it’s better to keep the bananas in the fridge. Even if they blacken a little, they’ll remain nice and firm on the inside for a few days.
However, if you like to keep bananas in the fruit bowl, make sure to cover the bowl with a lid or saran wrap to prevent them from attracting fruit flies.
Here are some other things to remember:
- If you recycle things, make sure they’re clean of any food residue.
- Watch out for odors. Whenever there’s a stink, something is rotting and potentially a hub for fruit flies.
- Turn off the lights near doorways and windows as light can attract fruit flies.
4. Wash the Bananas
When you take bananas home, immediately put them in the sink and wash them thoroughly to remove any fruit fly eggs potentially living on them. The next best thing is to eat them as soon as possible and never let them over ripen.
If the bananas have cracks or cuts in their skin, it’s better to discard them as fruit flies may have already laid eggs in these cuts. But you don’t need to throw away the whole banana because fruit flies only stay at the surface, so you can cut the cracked part and throw it away.
Additionally, wipe the bananas dry, and keep them in the fridge to prevent fruit flies from growing. It’s better to put the bananas in an airtight container instead of a fruit bowl because circulating air makes bananas ripen and blacken faster.
If the bananas aren’t ripe entirely, you can keep them outside the fridge in a cool and dry place.
5. Use Fruit Fly Traps
If you forget to take preventive steps or fruit flies catch you off-guard, there are several ways to get rid of them. One of the best things to do before reaching out for the fogger is to trap them in harmless materials.
Here are some solutions you can use to trap fruit flies:
- Apple cider vinegar trap. Fruit flies love the smell of fermenting material, so apple cider vinegar can attract them easily. Half fill a glass with apple cider vinegar. Then, cover it with plastic wrap fixed in place with a rubber band. Make small holes in the plastic cover so that fruit flies can get into the glass. They can’t get out of the glass easily, and you can catch many of them this way.
- White vinegar solution. If the fruit flies have spread to other parts of the house, especially in the drain, you can use a white vinegar solution. Mix hot water and white vinegar in equal parts and pour it down the drain. It simply kills the fruit flies and even the eggs they may have laid.
- Dish soap trap. Fill a deep bowl with apple cider vinegar and add some dish soap to it. Leave the bowl uncovered to attract the fruit flies. The dish soap will trap them inside the liquid by cutting the vinegar’s surface tension.
- Flying insect trap. You can use ready-made insect traps that are easy to find and set up. They have different mechanisms, but the most common ones, such as the Garsum Flying Sticky Trap (available on Amazon.com), have very strong adhesive surfaces on both sides that attract fruit flies. You can use them until fully covered with fruit flies and even other pesky insects.
- Funnel trap. Mix water and dish soap in equal parts and pour the mixture into a jar. Add a piece of banana to the mixture to lure the fruit flies into the jar. Make a paper funnel and put it on the mouth of the jar. The fruit flies get into the jar but can’t go out, and the dish soap kills them gradually. You can also use beer, yeast, or red wine as a fermented material that can attract fruit flies instead of the banana piece.
6. Use Herbs and Essential Oils
Certain scents deter fruit flies since they can’t stand them. Lavender, clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, basil, and lemongrass are among the best ones. You could hang the herbs in tea bags in different parts of your kitchen or use their essential oils in a diffuser.
7. Apply Bug Sprays as a Last Resort
Using insect-killer sprays should be a last resort because they’re poisonous, especially if you use them in the kitchen. They end up on your food and dishes, potentially poisoning you, too.
If you have to use insect fogs, use them with caution, reading the labels carefully. Plus, always keep them away from the reach of children and animals.
- WebMD: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
- Housewife How-To’s: How To Kill Fruit Flies and Get Rid of Them For Good
- HomeSteady: Can Cold Temperatures Kill Fruit Flies?
- Magical Life of Fruit: How To Store Bananas (NOBODY TELLS YOU THIS)
- The Spruce: Get Rid of Fruit Flies With a Homemade Fruit Fly Trap
- Agrilife Today: How to get rid of fruit flies in your house
- College of Agriculture, Food and Environment: Fruit Flies