To help you with this situation, we’ve listed the top 7 places in your house to answer the question, where do fruit flies lay eggs plus how to get rid of them. Let’s dive right in!
Like most household pests, the first step to insect elimination is the removal of their food source and habitat.
If you’ve noticed a sudden influx of fruit flies inside or near your home, it’s likely that dozens of fly larvae have hatched.
- 1 1. Where do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs? – Drains
- 2 2. Garbage Disposals
- 3 3. Empty Bottles and Cans
- 4 4. Where do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs? – Trash Cans
- 5 5. Cleaning Rags and Mops
- 7 6. Areas with Stagnant Water
- 8 7. Rotting Produce
- 9 Where do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs? – Final Thoughts
1. Where do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs? – Drains
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The best way to clean your drains is to mechanically remove the build-up with a drain brush.
You can also flush them out with the help of commercial drain cleaners. These cleaners have acids that help dissolve tough build-up including grease, hair, and rotten organic matter. Drain cleaners should be used only once a month as they’re highly corrosive.
If you’re not fond of drain cleaners and instead want to go natural, you can make a DIY drain cleaning mixture with half a cup of vinegar and two cups of salt and baking soda.
Pour this mixture down the drain and follow it up with boiling hot water after an hour or two. This mixture not only kills the existing larvae living inside your drain but also softens and removes the debris stuck inside.
We recommend cleaning your drains once a week. Household drains should be cleaned professionally every few years to prevent build-up, outflow, and leakages. This is especially true if the plumbing system is old.
2. Garbage Disposals
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Normally, garbage disposals aren’t on top of the list in terms of favored breeding grounds. This is primarily because they’re self-cleaning and hidden away under the kitchen sink. It’s only when sludge, foul odor, and leakages occur that fruit flies flock in and around the garbage disposal to lay their eggs.
If you notice flies around your garbage disposal unit, this is an indication that it needs to either be cleaned or checked for leakages.
Cleaning Your Garbage Disposal
The easiest way to get rid of rotting smells from your sink’s disposal is to pour a mixture of hot water and soap into the sink. If the smell persists, pour baking soda down the drain and add vinegar. Let it sizzle for about 10 to 15 minutes, then turn the garbage disposal on and let the hot water from the tap run for about 30 seconds.
You can also use the ice cubes and kosher salt method. Simply throw a handful of ice cubes into the drain and follow it up with about three or four tablespoons of kosher salt. Turn the garbage disposal on and let it run for 10 to 15 seconds or until the sound of crushing ice cubes disappears.
Also, don’t forget to clean the rubber splash guard. Pull it out of the drain and thoroughly clean it with a scrubbing brush and lots of dish detergent to remove the small food particles trapped underneath it.
While the splash guard is off, shine a flashlight into the disposal and remove excess food particles using pliers or tongs. Before doing this, make sure to unplug the garbage disposal. Never use your fingers even if the machine is unplugged as the blades are extremely sharp.
3. Empty Bottles and Cans
Fruit flies are attracted to empty bottles and cans that previously held beer, soda, juice, and anything with sugar content.
Fruit flies have a strong sense of taste and smell. Traces of sugar and yeast left in empty bottles can have high nutritive value. For this reason, adult fruit flies lay their eggs inside said bottles and cans until their young are able to breed for themselves.
To prevent this, always empty containers and take them directly to the recycling bin. If possible, rinse the empty bottles and cans with water before disposing of them. Glass bottles should be placed in a clean glass disposal bin.
4. Where do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs? – Trash Cans
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Fruit flies are almost always found in and around trash cans because they offer warmth, protection, and, of course, food. Rotting food found in trash cans produces methane gas, which fruit flies (and most other flies) are attracted to. Summer enhances the scent of the food remnants inside, making it even more appealing to lay their eggs in.
Prevent this by regularly taking out and cleaning your trash cans with baking soda. Baking soda helps absorb any foul leftover odor that attracts flies. For best results, leave the baking soda overnight.
Always make sure that your trash cans are covered with a lid and aren’t overflowing. If you spot maggots or larvae wriggling around, kill them with one part vinegar with three parts boiling water.
Once the insects are taken care of, clean and disinfect the inside of the can with soap and disinfectant. Make sure to get into every nook and cranny until you’re 100% sure they’re completely clean.
Then, thoroughly dry the can using towels or allow them to air dry completely before putting any bags in.
5. Cleaning Rags and Mops
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Mops and cleaning rags contain enough organic matter and biofilm to support the development of larvae. Fruit fly larvae feed on residual food particles and flourish in the moist environment it brings.
Mops, cleaning rags, sponges, and brooms must be cleaned thoroughly before they’re returned to the storage closet. They should also be completely dry and mounted to a wall rack system.
If you suspect maggots and larvae living in your mop, saturate it with one part bleach to 15 parts water. Let it soak for about an hour. Then, agitate the mop head and squeeze out as much of the solution into a bucket. Rinse the mop with clean water and wring it dry.
To prevent reinfestation, always rinse and clean the mop thoroughly to remove organic residue between uses and allow it to completely dry once you’re done using it.
6. Areas with Stagnant Water
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Stagnant water can be found in plant pots, dug-outs, roofs, discarded cans, and tires. You’ll also find it in natural containers such as leaf sheaths, hollow tree trunks, ponds, swamps, and more.
Inside the home, stagnant water is often a result of water leaks and flooding. Common areas with stagnant water include crawl spaces, basements, bathrooms, and under kitchen sinks.
When left untreated, stagnant water can be extremely dangerous as it’s a breeding ground of bacteria, parasites, and insect larvae. The longer it sits, the more deadly the water becomes.
Prevent larvae infestations by dealing with stagnant water as soon as possible.
If the area is small, use rags or towels to clean it up. If it’s large, use pumps or wet/dry vacuums. Revisit the area after a few hours to check if the water is caused by some kind of leakage. Call a plumber to take care of it if it does.
7. Rotting Produce
Fruit flies are attracted to the rotting scent of produce found in kitchen tables and gardens. As much as possible, keep fruits and vegetables inside the refrigerator or on the table with a transparent lid. In your garden, make sure to harvest produce before they rot to prevent fruit fly infestations.
Where do Fruit Flies Lay Eggs? – Final Thoughts
Fruit flies lay hundreds of eggs daily. To prevent full-blown infestations, it’s important to get rid of their larvae as soon as possible.
Fruit fly larvae are commonly found in areas with rotting organic matter in drains, trash cans, mops, and even gardens. Luckily, fruit flies and their larvae are relatively easy to eliminate. Simply follow the tips above and you won’t have to worry about these pesky insects!
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