Fruit flies can be troublesome year-round but are particularly common during late summer/fall as they are drawn to ripened or fermenting fruits and vegetables.
Melons, tomatoes, grapes, squash, and other perishable items brought in from the garden often cause an indoor infestation. Also, fruit flies are attracted to rotting potatoes, bananas, onions, and other unrefrigerated produce purchased at the grocery store.
In this article, you will learn how to get rid of fruitfly in houseplants.
Read also: How to Get Rid of Hoverfly
- How to Get Rid of Fruitfly in Houseplants
- Simple Steps To Get Rid of Fruit Flies in House Plants
- Preventive Measures of Fruit Flies in Houseplants
How to Get Rid of Fruitfly in Houseplants
Set Up Traps
1. Use Fly-eating Plants
There are more than 600 species of carnivorous plants in the world. Having at least one of those near your houseplants will come in handy in getting rid of fruit flies.
The most popular insect-eating plants are Venus Flytrap and Pitcher plants. They are a natural method of pest control and very effective at that.
2. Lure Them
Fruit flies are drawn to the beer, wine, and vinegar. Mix any one of these with some dishwashing liquid to create a trap.
Pour the solution into a container and cover it with some food wrap. Puncture holes with a toothpick on the wrap to allow the fruit flies to enter the trap. Once they enter the container, they will drown in the solution, with escape impossible because of the covering.
Put the trap near the infected plants, and wait. Guaranteed, you will have several fruit flies plunge to their demise in the solution. Clear out the dead flies regularly.
3. Candle Trap
Fruit flies do not see at night. Therefore, they would make a beeline to any light source they find. Well, what if you set a light source as a trap?
This is exactly what the candle trap is. As the fruit flies near the candle flame, they get incinerated to death. To ensure that they all die, put a water bowl under the candle so that fruit flies that do not burn to death will drown in the water below.
Ensure the candle is positioned in a safe environment to prevent damage.
Once you have set up your traps, consider adding preventive measures to enhance your defence against fruit flies.
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4. Trap Them With Rotten Fruit
This trap is similar to the vinegar and dishwashing liquid solution.
Use rotting vegetables and fruit to attract fruit flies into a trap instead of throwing them away.
Put the decaying produce in a container and cover it with food wrap. Make sure there are toothpick-sized holes in the food wrap for the flies to gain entry. Once they are in, dispose of the spoiled fruit and the trapped fruit flies.
5. Use Insect Killing Machines
The concept behind using machines is the same as the candle – attract fruit flies with light.
Put these machines near the source of the infestation, and watch the fruit flies move towards being zapped to death by these machines. This would, of course, cost you more than a candle, but the machine is worth the investment.
Simple Steps To Get Rid of Fruit Flies in House Plants
1. Turn the Soil
Disturbing the soil is an excellent way of affecting the breeding cycle of fruit flies. The fruit fly larvae thrive under the soil’s surface, where it is dark and damp. Turning the soil regularly exposes the larvae to the light and dry air above.
You may sometimes consider repotting the plant if the problem is widespread. Get rid of the infested soil and put it in a plastic bag. The airtight conditions will suffocate the larvae and kill them off.
Sanitize the pot thoroughly before reusing them.
2. Change Your Watering Routine
Fruit flies love moist conditions. They need a little dampness, and they begin breeding in no time.
Therefore, consider changing your watering habits. If your house plants require less water than what you already give them, reduce the watering. This will help make the surrounding drier and hence help control fruit flies in your house plants.
If determining the moisture levels in the soil is difficult for you, get a moisture sensor. This gadget will help you tell how wet the soil is.
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3. Control the Humidity
Moist conditions offer a good breeding environment for fruit flies. Their best food source, fungus, also thrives when it is too humid. Make sure you are not overwatering your plants.
Empty trays from underneath the pots, where excess water is collected.
4. Attack the Root Problem
Rotting leaves and fruits attract Fruit flies.
Also, they feast on any fungus that grows on rotting matter. Be keen to remove damaged fruit and leaves and clear any fungus. Spray your plants with alcohol or spray them with dishwashing liquid to eliminate the fungus.
Preventive Measures of Fruit Flies in Houseplants
1. Natural and Essential Oils
Purchase essential oils that are made from the insect repellents mentioned below. It will have the same effect on the fruit flies. Burning these essential oils as incense will send the fruit flies away.
Other effective repellents are cedar chips or camphor. The natural oils from cedar chips are a barrier for your house plants.
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2. Get Insect Repellant Plants
Several popular herbs, such as lemongrass, peppermint, and lavender, repel fruit flies.
Since these are all seasonal plants, exercise care when placing them. Even putting leaves of these natural repellents should suffice. Scatter them along the base of your affected plants to keep the fruit flies away.
3. Use Sticky Boards
Have you heard of sticky boards?
If you haven’t, no worries!
You can put sticky traps near your house plants to catch fruit flies. The surface of the boards is covered with extremely sticky glue, and you are bound to catch other insects as well.
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4. Have the Right Soil
Having the right mixture of inorganic and organic ingredients in your soil can go a long way in preventing fruit flies infestation.
Organic ingredients such as fibre, charcoal, and coconut chunks mixed with inorganic perlite will stop the growth of fruit flies.
Using slow-decaying and well-draining soil will prevent pests from laying eggs in it.
5. Cut Out Air Supply
The fruit flies lay their eggs just beneath the surface of the soil. Once the eggs hatch, the larvae wriggle their way to the top for air.
You can block the larvae from reaching the surface by spreading a layer of aquarium gravel or coarse sand. This will smother the pests. They should die out soon after.
Read also: 10 Best Vegetable Mulches
6. Non-toxic Sprays
You can make your repellants and use them to prevent fruit flies from infesting your houseplants.
Mix a few drops of peppermint oil or lemongrass with some water to create a natural repellant. Spray the non-toxic repellent on your house plants to protect them from fruit fly infestation.
Caution: While the solution is harmless to human beings, your pets could be allergic to them.