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.
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.
With files from The Homestretch
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Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area. It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary, generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road). Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.
Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016, Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.
Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.