Nontoxic Sprays for Fruit Flies
While they might not make your skin crawl the way spiders or cockroaches can, finding fruit flies inside your home is never pleasant. Use a nontoxic spray to get rid of them without exposing your home or family to dangerous chemicals.
Found all over the world, fruit flies range in color from pale yellow to black, although they are too small for most people to notice their color. They have red eyes and are attracted to rotting fruit because they breed in the spoiling plant tissue. They do not bite or sting and have no interest in humans or pets, so they are not dangerous for your family. They can be irritating, however, and having them inside can make you feel as though your home is dirty.
To create a nontoxic spray that gets rid of fruit flies without putting your family at risk, start by chopping up a few oranges or lemons. Place the pieces, including the rinds, into a large bowl. Bring a pint of water to a boil on the stove. As soon as the water starts to bubble, take it off the heat and pour it over the sliced fruit. Let it sit until it cools, then pour the water into a plastic spray bottle. Add 1 tsp. of liquid dish soap to the bottle and shake well to mix it through the water.
The spray is infused with citrus oil, which contains d-limonene, a natural insect repellent. Dish soap contains chemical compounds called surfactants, which penetrate a fruit fly's soft body and poison it. Shake the spray bottle well before each use. Direct a fine spray of the solution at any fruit flies you see. It will kill those that it comes in contact with and helps drive any survivors out of the area. Wipe up any spray that lands on counters or the floor with a damp cloth.
To get rid of fruit flies most efficiently, you should get rid of whatever is attracting them. That means disposing of fruit that falls from trees in your yard rather than letting it rot on the grass. Throw away any fruit in your kitchen that has gone soft. Tossing it in the trash will only draw the flies' attention to the garbage can; you need to dispose of it outside. Once the food and breeding area they seek is gone, the fruit flies will begin to disappear. Use the spray to handle any stragglers.
- "Tiny Game Hunting"; Hilary Dole Klein, et al.; 2001
- "Residential, Industrial and Institutional Pest Control"; Pat O'Connor-Marer; 2006