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How To Keep Gnats And Fruit Flies Out Of Your Kitchen!

Looking for a few secrets to keep gnats and fruit flies out of your kitchen and off of your countertops, sinks, fresh fruits and vegetables?

Although gnats and fruit flies can be an issue anytime of the year, they can be especially bothersome during the summer when fresh, overly ripe vegetables and fruits attract them in droves. So much so that they can all but overrun a kitchen space.

It seems within minutes, either of the pests can find and swarm a freshly sliced piece of fruit or sit atop a juice or wine glass. And as any gardener knows, just picked fresh vegetables from the garden are a prime target as well. Especially when they sit on the counter or table and become slightly over-ripe.

how to stop fruit flies and gnats
Fruit flies and gnats will swarm to open fruit and vegetables quickly.

But it doesn’t stop with just vegetables and fruit. In fact, any solid or liquid food source that is slightly past its prime or overly sweet or sugary will attract these annoying little pests. And once they arrive, they can be hard to get rid of.

How Gnats & Fruit Flies Multiply

As it turns out, not only are the adult fruit flies and gnats attracted to the sweetness of fruit, vegetables and other food sources, they lay their larva in it. And they do so that the larva can feed off it easily. Left unchecked, fruit flies and gnats can multiply in mind-boggling numbers.

Although both pests are very similar and hard to tell apart, there are differences. Gnats live for about ten to fourteen days and reproduce nearly the entire time they are alive. Fruit flies are more productive, laying eggs that can hatch into larva in less than a day. Even worse, once a female fruit fly is two days old, she can start laying eggs!

But here is the good news – with just a few simple preventative practices and a few methods to control existing populations naturally, it’s possible to eliminate both of these pesky pests from your kitchen. And even better – in quick fashion.

how to stop gnats and fruit flies
Aging fruit left out on counters is one of the easiest ways to attract a population of gnats, fruit flies – or both!

How To Keep Gnats And Fruit Flies Out Of Your Kitchen

Preventing Gnats – The First Line Of Defense

When it comes to eliminating both pests, it all begins with prevention. As you will see later in the article, there are some excellent methods to get rid of existing populations, but if you don’t put preventative measures in place, they will just keep coming back.

There are three major aspects to prevention, with the first and most important being to store food properly. Nothing attracts fruit flies and gnats like fresh fruit and vegetables. Especially over-ripe and/or damaged fruits.

The biggest key to success in keeping both away is as soon as fresh produce comes into the house, store it as quickly as possible. Especially if your fruits and vegetables have any signs of damage or are extremely ripe.

The best way to protect fruits and vegetables from gnats and fruit flies is in the refrigerator. But for fruits like tomatoes that are best kept out, the key is to keep them completely out of the kitchen. A cool basement or garage is far better – because as you will see below, in the kitchen, they can find a lot of places to multiply

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Don’t Leave Dirty Dishes Out – How To Keep Gnats And Fruit Flies Out

The second key to prevention is to keep the surfaces in your kitchen clear and clean at all times. Clearing dishes from the sink and counter immediately is a must. Dirty plates, bowls and the residue in juice, soda and wine glasses will attract both pests quickly.

In addition, it’s important to wipe counters clean after every use. This will remove any trace of liquid or food particles that attract gnats and fruit flies. This residue is an easy food source, and one that helps keep their population thriving.

Finally, be sure to keep all garbage and trash cans covered and out of the way. An open trash bin is easy prey for fruit flies. There, they can find rotting food and lay larva that can reproduce at will.

Drain and Garbage Disposal Treatment – How To Keep Gnats And Fruit Flies Out

Drains and garbage disposals are a favorite of gnats and fruit flies. At the top of the drain, in the trap, and in the teeth of the disposal, chunks and food particles can remain – and it is there that they live and reproduce.

how to get rid of fruit flies and gnats
Garbage disposals and drains are two of the biggest breeding and hiding grounds for both gnats and fruit flies.

Always flush drains and disposals with plenty of water to clear debris from the blades after every use. Ice cubes placed in the garbage disposal do a great job of cleaning and clearing scraps from the blades. You can also use a solution of 1 to 2 tablespoons of bleach with 1 gallon of water and pour down the drain. The bleach kills both the fruit flies, and the larva.

Now that we have covered how to prevent fruit flies from finding a home – let’s take a look at a few quick and easy ways to get rid of the ones that are already living in your kitchen!

How To Eliminate Fruit Flies – 3 Simple & Safe Methods

So how can you effectively kill gnats and fruit flies without chemical sprays? There are actually a couple of great home remedies below that will trap and kill both pests – but one of the easiest, fastest and cleanest ways to eliminate gnats and fruit flies is with an indoor UV light trap.

The trap works by attracting flying insects with an ultra-violet light. Then they disappear onto a sticky trap that can collect hundreds. The pads are easy to change out, and the flying pests are gone for good!

The traps even work to capture mosquitoes and moths as well. They are quiet, safe, and most of all, they really do work! Product Affiliate Link: Katchy Automatic Indoor Fruit Fly/Gnat Trap

UV light traps are quiet and work extremely well to rid spaces of gnats and fruit flies.

Apple Cider Vinegar & Dish Soap

If you are looking for a quick at-home remedy to get rid of existing gnats and fruit flies, apple cider vinegar and dish soap can be combined to make a great homemade trap. To use, fill a small glass or plastic container with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish detergent.

The fruit flies are attracted to the cider vinegar and the dish soap makes them unable to fly out. Be sure to place the trap in a remote area of the kitchen, away from the counter and kitchen table. This will help draw them away and not closer to where you eat and cook.

Wine In A Bottle

If you happen to have a bit of old or stale wine (not that that actually happens very often) you can also create a trap from a wine bottle. The fruit flies are attracted to the sweetness of the wine, and head inside the bottle and drown.

The wine bottles make a nice “hidden” trap if you use a dark bottle. Again, place out of the kitchen to draw gnats away instead of bringing more into the space.

Here is to keeping gnats and fruit flies out of your kitchen and your home! For more on keeping pests away, check out Pest Control category on the website.

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