Welcome to Brisbane’s Fruit Fly season.  As the weather warms up, Brisbane homes typically see a rise in the number of teeny tiny flying things.  And typical fly spray just doesn’t cut it (and nobody wants to spray fly spray around food prep areas anyway).

Why do I have fruit flies?

I can tell you, it’s not your fault.  Fruit flies and gnats are remarkably resilient and efficient.  The fruit fly life cycle is a matter of days, so you can go from zero fruit flies to a whole house full literally overnight. There is a difference between fruit flies and gnats, and if you’re keen, and equipped with a microscope, you can find out which is living in your space.  The general rule is, if they’re coming from a house plant, it’s a gnat (they lay eggs in the soil of house plants).  If they’re coming from your kitchen, it’s probably a fruit fly.

Fruit flies lay their eggs in decaying fruit.  This doesn’t mean you need to have a rotten fruit bowl to be affected.  The imperfect onion in your pantry, the tiny bruise on the apple, it’s more than enough to house dozens or even hundreds of eggs.  They also like garbage disposal units, bins, drains, and even mop buckets.  Anywhere something fruity once was, is a happy place for fruit flies.

Luckily, they’re easy to eradicate.

How to kill fruit flies in a Brisbane home

First, remove any subpar fruit and vegetables from the space.  Put all your fruit in the fridge for now, or in a sealed container.  If they seem to be hanging around your sink or bin, give it a good clean.  Remove all food sources from the general area.

Next, is the simple, easy recipe for mass fruit fly disposal:

In a small bowl or ramekin:

  • Dissolve one teaspoon of sugar in 30mls of warm water
  • Add 50 mls of apple cider vinegar.
  • Add ONE drop of dishwashing liquid (this breaks the surface tension of the mixture so they can’t ‘float’ but too much will overpower their favourite smell, apple cider)
  • Place at the centre of fruit fly activity.

Go to bed.  In the morning, you will find yourself in possession of some rather gross fruit fly vinegarette.

Repeat until they’re all gone – usually 2-3 days.

Not working?  They may be gnats.

Gnats too like a nice dish soap vinegarette but not as much as their fruity friends…  Gnats are tricker because they love indoor plants in warm environments. Indoor plants are prone to soil fungus which is what gnats live for – and Brisbane’s warm humid weather is ideal for growing a fresh crop of gnats.  Don’t kill off all your indoor plants just yet and be very careful which product you use on your plants as house plants are terribly sensitive, some would say downright temperamental. This is also a sign to check other places where humidity and moisture affects your home, because it can attract other infestations like silverfish.

If the problem persists, just give us a call. Brisbane is, unfortunately, the ideal location for fruit fly infestations.  We can come out and help diagnose your infestation and help you deal with it.  More importantly, we can tell you if the issue attracting these little blighters is also putting your home at risk of other infestations, including the dreaded cockroach – who is also looking for a nice warm comfy place to call home this time of year.

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