Q&A

Here's how to deal with all those fruit flies

Got a lot of fruit flies in your home? Here are some solutions from an expert. Debra Mudryk is a senior home economist with ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen and she chatted with The Homestretch this week.

They can lay 400 to 500 eggs at a time, so it's no wonder it feels like they are everywhere right now

Fruit flies like to lay eggs on moist or damp surfaces, so when the eggs hatch they have something to feed on. They tend to like rotten food that is beginning to spoil. (Rod Millington/Herald-Tribune/The Associated Press)

Got a lot of fruit flies in your home? Here are some solutions from an expert.

Debra Mudryk is a senior home economist with ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen and she chatted with The Homestretch this week.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. You can listen to the complete interview here.

Debra Mudryk is a senior home economist with ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen. (Submitted by Debra Mudryk)

Q: Why does it seem there are so many fruit flies around right now?

A: One fruit fly can lay 400 to 500 eggs and their adult life is about three to four weeks. But if they are laying that many eggs at a time, you are going to end up with a lot of fruit flies, and they are hard to get rid of.

Q: How do you get rid of them?

A: First of all, keep all food sources in your refrigerator. All your fruit, vegetables, tomatoes, onions, garlic, even your bread — keep it in the refrigerator until all the fruit flies are gone.

Wash the inside and outside of the garbage can.

Keep your compost bins tightly sealed. You should be cleaning those regularly as well.

Wash things out with all-purpose cleaner and water.

Put your potatoes in a brown paper bag and fold down the top several times using a clip. Some people will put them in the refrigerator but I think they are better stored in a paper bag.

Treat house or office plants with a gnat spray from your greenhouse, just follow the instructions on the label and keep those plants in a separate room.

Make sure there are no chocolate bars or chips sitting out that they can get into.

Make sure you get rid of all food sources.

They like to lay eggs on moist or damp surfaces so when the eggs hatch they have something to feed on.

They tend to like rotten food that is beginning to spoil. Bananas at the bottom of a fruit bowl are a beautiful area for them to mature.

Grapefruit is one way we bring fruit flies into the home, and with fruits and vegetables from our garden and our trees.

Tiny little holes in your screen door, they will come in that way as well. They can come in as fruit flies or as eggs.

Q: What kind of traps can we use?

A: I use a mason jar with an inch or two of cider vinegar, or any kind of sweet juice, then make a funnel out of a piece of paper or magazine page with just a small, quarter-inch hole at the bottom that will sit an inch above the cider vinegar level.

I always secure the funnel to the jar with tape.

I know other people who take a piece of plastic wrap instead of the funnel. Make some holes so they can get in.

For me, that doesn't catch as many flies as quickly. When you have 400 or 500 flying around, like my son had when he first moved out, it can take almost a month to get rid of them.

It feels like fruit flies are everywhere these days and they just seem to be multiplying rapidly. Host Doug Dirks called in the big guns. Debra Mudryk is a senior home economist with ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen. We're hoping she can solve all of our fruit fly problems! 5:54

With files from The Homestretch