Fruit flies and gnats are a very serious problem during the warmer months and can wreak havoc on your fruit bowl and vegetable patch. Not only are these tiny pests frustrating to be around, but also, they significantly reduce the lifespan of any produce in its wake. A banana could be good one day, and the next you’ll pick it up to find it’s become nothing but a peel. That garden you planted with all those beautiful looking tomatoes? Say goodbye once the fruit flies come!
Fruit flies and gnats also seem to multiply daily! Because of this, people hurry to the store to buy the first pesticide they can find. Though pesticides are successful in eliminating the little creatures, they are dangerous for human consumption, not to mention expensive.
So what options are there?
Fortunately, there are a number of remedies you can cook up with stuff you already have lying around your kitchen. But first, you need to make the trap…
Before concocting your natural pesticide, you will need a cup, a rubber band, and plastic wrap. You will pour one of the five following solutions into the cup, wrap the top with plastic wrap (tightly!), then secure it with a rubber band. Poke holes into the top with the tip of a pen or something of similar size. Then watch your concoction do its work!
1: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar really is a miracle remedy. From encouraging hair growth to detoxifying your body, this stuff has made headlines recently for its miracle properties. Now, I’m about to add one more use to the list.
Gnats and fruit flies are already attracted to the stuff but heat up 1/2 a cup and they won’t be able to resist it! Add a few drops of dish soap to make the liquid heavier, and therefore harder to escape.
2: Red Wine
Ever notice that gnats go straight for your wine once the corks off? That’s because they love the stuff! Or, at least they love the smell. Combine 1/2 cup red wine with 1 and 1/2 cups water and pour into the cup. Place the jar where you see them congregating the most, and then watch as they fly into the holes, only to find that they can’t get back out.
You may have to empty the cup a few times and create a new solution, depending on the severity of your problem.
3: Milk, Pepper, and Sugar
If you have extra dairy on hand, heat up two cups of milk, and then add 8 tablespoons of sugar and 4 tablespoons of ground pepper. Then just leave the mixture in a shallow dish near the problem area. The pests will flight right in, but because the mixture is heavy, they won’t be able to get out.
4: Overripe Food
What better way to attract gnats and fruit flies to your trap than by putting what they love most at the bottom of it: fruits and veggies! You may need a larger jar for this solution to work, but the concept is the same: smash up the fruit gone bad (or just leave it be – they don’t care!), and voila! You’ve killed them with kindness (well, kinda).
5: Lemon Scented Sprays
If you don’t want to make a trap – or in addition to doing so – spray the area with a (strong) lemon scented spray in order to prevent them from spreading. Gnats and fruit flies don’t like the smell of lemon and so will avoid it at all costs.
For best results, mix 2 cups of hot water and 10-15 drops of lemongrass oil in a clean spray bottle. Then spray onto your kitchen surfaces.
To keep the critters from gnawing on your plants, mix 4 cups of water and 2 cups of lemon scented dish soap, then spray your infested plants.
By utilizing these tricks, your home and garden will be gnat and fruit fly free in just one short week!