What is going on with the fruit fly invasion. Seems everyone we know has lots...

Asked October 15, 2013, 7:19 PM EDT

What is going on with the fruit fly invasion. Seems everyone we know has lots of fruit flies in their homes. We have been using cups of vinegar and dish soap to catch them. Any more ideas?

Ashtabula County Ohio insects fruit flies entomology

1 Response

Vinegar flies, also known as fruit flies, are a common occurrance in homes, especially in the late summer and fall. As their name implies, they feed and develop in ripe, overripe and rotting fruit. Vinegar flies normally live outdoors, and as crops and home gardens beging producing vegetables and fruits in the late summer and fall, the population of these flies begins to build up rapidly. The flies come into the home on the fruits and vegetables picked from the garden or on produce from the grocery. The adult flies themselves may not be present on the fruits, but their tiny larvae may be. They only take about 1 week to develop, so one infested piece of produce can quickly produce lots of flies inside the house. The adult flies themselves are so small they can also move in from outdoors directly through window screens and other small openings. The onset of cool or cold weather will decrease or eliminate the populations outdoors. Also cleaning up overripe and rotting furits from the garden will help reduce their populations. Indoors, traps using vinegar as bait will attract and reduce the adult flies. Vinegar mimics the smell of rotting fruit that the flies are attracted to. Keep fruits and vegeatables in the refrigerator when possible or use them up before they become overripe. Keeping garbage cans clean will also help. If you search the web for fruit flies or vinegar flies, you will find lots of extension fact sheets on how to make the traps and help eliminate these flies.