Fruit Flies: The Scourge of the Kitchen

If you’ve ever swatted at fruit flies hovering over your kitchen counter and wondered what purpose they could possibly serve, you’re not alone. So, how do you keep them out of your kitchen? A fruit fly has pretty simple needs in order to prosper and multiply, and those needs are usually met in our homes: moderate temperatures and a source of fresh fruit that’s on the overripe side. That’s why fruit flies live high on the hog in places like dumpsters, compost heaps, and in kitchens. We seem to see more of the little pests in the early fall, when they move inside as the weather cools. The good news is that fruit flies aren’t dangerous in any way. They don’t carry disease and they don’t cause fruit to spoil or rot. The simplest way to get rid of fruit flies is with a simple vinegar trap. Take a canning jar with some vinegar in the bottom and a top of plastic wrap with a few holes punched in it. The flies will be attracted to the vinegar, but won’t be able to get out. Before long, you’ll have a floating graveyard of fruit flies to dispose of. Sewer gnats can be mistaken for fruit flies, so if you have no fruit in the house, you might check your drains. Sewer gnats are attracted the slime that can develop in the sludge that accumulates in drains. So, how do you rid your drains of the annoying little pests? Pour ½ a cup of salt, ½ a cup of baking soda, and one cup of vinegar down the drain. The vinegar will react with the baking soda, causing it to bubble and fizz. This reaction is what will kill the larvae. Leave the mixture overnight, then flush the next day with hot water.