Its scientific name is Ceratitis capitata , although it is much more commonly known as a fruit fly or Mediterranean fly . This small insect, which shows an enormous capacity to reproduce when temperatures are high, is a very annoying pest both at home and in orchards and gardens.
How to get rid of fruit flies from fruit trees
In fruit trees, an infestation of fruit flies can be especially harmful, since they can lead to a loss of up to 30% of the crop’s production. These insects can be seen throughout the year when the weather is warm enough, but it will be in summer and autumn when you have to be more attentive to their appearance, as they will be attracted by the smell of ripe fruits.
If you wonder how to eliminate fruit flies from plants and fruit trees, take note that using insecticide for fruit flies in a massive or indiscriminate way should always be the last of our options, since this type of Practices are harmful both for the environment and for the fruits, the tree itself or the plants in which we spray it, since residues may remain on these.
Thus, it is best to opt for an ecological treatment for the fruit fly , as is the case with traps. Preparing an ecological trap suitable for organic crops is very simple. Follow these steps:
- Look for a plastic bottle, regardless of its size, but transparent or semi-transparent if possible.
- Add to the same apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of food coloring.
- After this, stir the mixture well and put a cap on the bottle.
- Make small holes in the upper part of it, which will be where the flies enter, which will not find their way out later.
- These bottles must be distributed throughout the area of the crop to be protected, adding up to three traps per fruit tree, at different heights, if the plague is serious.
The traps prolong their effectiveness if they are placed in the shade, but they will have to be changed if it rains and water enters them. In any case, it is important to renew each fruit fly trap after 30 days, cleaning them and filling them with new mixture. The holes must be small so that the flies do not easily find the exit, since the smell will guide them to enter and it will be much easier for them to enter than to exit.
How to get rid of fruit flies in the kitchen
These flies are also common in kitchens and homes when the temperature is favorable, reaching our home through doors and windows almost always attracted by the smell of the remains of fruit in our garbage, or by the aroma of fruit fermenting in the fruit bowl, even if it seems fine to the naked eye. ¿ How to combat fruit fly indoors?
- To eliminate them from the kitchen, the best and easiest thing is to resort to the traps again . Those described for fruit trees also work at home, although here it is easier to make them with a bowl, water, vinegar and a little dishwasher. Mixing the mentioned ingredients in a bowl and leaving it uncovered and in the air, in the area where the flies are, they will come to get wet attracted by the smell of vinegar. However, common detergent has the property of reducing the surface tension of water, so the flies will sink and drown instead of settling on the surface.
- Another especially useful solution for plant lovers is to turn to our insectivorous friends, that is, carnivorous plants . The Venus flytrap and the sundew are two species that will give a good account of them, obtaining extra nutrients in the process.
- If what you want is to drive away the fruit flies without having to kill them, you can use the onion , whose smell acts as a repellent for this insect. Cut an onion in half and put one of the halves in the fruit bowl, or where the flies are most concentrated, and they will soon disappear.
How to prevent fruit flies
As with most pests, prevention tends to be a much more effective measure than elimination once the pest has appeared. To prevent an infestation of fruit flies, follow these tips:
- The main thing is to maintain optimal levels of hygiene, throw out the garbage daily and keep it covered, in addition to cleaning the bucket or container as often as necessary.
- If you do not want to keep the fruit stored in the fridge or in a closet, you have to keep it covered in linen or cotton bags, which will make it difficult for the fly to pick up its smell or reach it.
- Avoid the accumulation of dirty dishes or bottles and glasses with remains of drinks.
- In an orchard or garden, it is essential to remove the fallen pieces of fruit before they rot on the ground and to collect the ripe ones from the branches.
- Again, it is important that the garbage or compost areas are kept under surveillance in the orchard or garden.
- Use plants that act as a repellent, such as onion.