A fruit fly infestation can be a serious nuisance for homeowners. These common flying pests are a hassle and tend to breed in large numbers. They are generally attracted to fruits, vegetables, and other foods often left on counters too long.
They are a nuisance pest. Fortunately, they’re not particularly dangerous, just annoying and gross. Many people use traps and sprays to get rid of them.
In this article, we’re going to look at how to get rid of fruit flies with lemon.
When you’re trying to deal with an infestation near food, you need to be super careful and not use any posions. This is one of the reasons lemon is so helpful!
Prevent Fruit Fly Infestation
In addition, you should store fruit in airtight containers to prevent other insects, like fruit flies, ants, moths, and beetles, from flocking to it.
The first step in preventing fruit fly infestation is cleaning and sanitizing the house daily. Try to remove all the rotting food or leftovers that could attract the flies.
Don’t forget to clean cutting board and sink in the kitchen every day, they love to set up shop in sink drains.
You should also ensure that all your trash cans are covered and closed tight so they don’t attract flies. Keep your food covered when not cooking so it doesn’t spoil quickly.
The next step is to ensure that you have an efficient pest control system. It will help reduce the population of fruit flies significantly over time and keep them from getting into your home in the first place.
Indeed, fruit flies are a pain to deal with. Hence, practicing all available prevention methods is necessary to avoid the spread.
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies with Lemon
Lemon is a citrus fruit widely used in cooking and as a flavoring agent. It can, however, also be toxic to some organisms, like fruit flies. It contains the sour chemical known as citric acid, which can be lethal to the fruit fly’s cells.
Lemon (along with another acidic kitchen staple: red wine vinegar) is considered one of the best fly control methods. It has been around for centuries and can be used as an effective fly control solution as it contains a natural and organic power to repel insects.
Also, lemon can be used as a spray, bait, or granular formulation, depending on the need.
The benefits of using lemon for fruit fly control are numerous. It can be used as a preventative measure to keep flies off your food, as an eradicating method to kill the flies quickly, and as a repellent to keep your home free from flies.
Lemon instantly reduces fruit fly infestations due to the presence of citric acid, which is toxic to some insects. In addition, lemon juice has a strong smell that repels flies away from your property.
The smell also aids in killing the eggs and larvae of the fly.
Lemon is effective on other pests like ants, roaches, spiders, and mosquitoes. Moreover, It is also used to clean surfaces to kill germs without the need for harsh chemicals or detergents.
Fortunately, lemon is considered safe for use around pets and children because it does not have any harmful effects on them. Therefore, lemon is a natural and inexpensive pesticide that controls flies and other insects without using chemicals.
How Does a Lemon Work on Fruit Flies?
Cut a lemon in half, leaving the inside of the fruit exposed. The juice from the fruit has a natural acidity that attracts flies to it. The fly lands on the exposed part of the fruit and gets stuck on the juice inside. It irritates their feet, which makes them want to leave as soon as possible.
Lemon juice has a natural acidity that attracts flies to it.
When they try to leave, they get their feet stuck in between two sections of fleshy tissue called lobes and will be unable to move out of it. It also causes them pain and discomfort, making them want to stay away from that spot forever.
The lemon’s rind also has a high concentration of organic acids and enzymes that are toxic to insects.
The acid irritates the fly’s eyes, mouth, and other sensory organs. It causes the fly to lose its balance and fall off.
Citric acid has a low pH level of around two and contains malic acid, which can kill fruit flies by dissolving their exoskeleton and digestive system.
The lemon’s rind contains organic acids and enzymes that are toxic to insects.
The Science of Lemons and Fruit Flies
According to an experiment, lemon drastically reduces the lifespan of fruit flies. The experiment was conducted in three stages. Initially, the fruit flies are separated into two groups: one with access to water and another with access to a sugar and lemon juice diet.
The number of fruit flies in each group was counted every day for ten days to determine the changes. Later, the fruit flies were weighed and dissected on day 10 of their respective diets.
The results showed no significant difference in the lifespan of the group that fed water. Whereas fruit flies that fed on sugar with lemon juice had a significantly shorter life span. The experiment led to a theory that lemons have an “insecticidal” effect on fruit flies due to chemical reactions.
Lemon Trap for Fruit Flies
Try using a lemon trap to eliminate fruit flies from your home or farm. You only need a half-cut lemon and some clove to prepare the trap. Grab a good amount of clove and stuff it in each half-cut lemon piece. You can also smash the cloves before putting them on the lemon.
When the trap is ready, place all the lemons near your garden or kitchen window. Within 12 hours, fruit flies will disappear and won’t leave their droppings either.
There exists another method where you can use pure lemon juice to trap the fruit flies. Slice a lemon into two pieces. Squeeze all its liquids into a transparent container. Make sure the container is at least 40% filled with lemon juice.
More than eight lemons can be consumed while preparing this trap. You may place a few slices inside the container with the lemon juice, and add some dish soap. Then poke the holes in the container lid and close it tightly. Place the container near the infested area. The fruit flies will be attracted to the container and enter it through the holes to consume the juice.
The fruit flies won’t be able to escape the container due to the citric acid reaction in their body. Meanwhile, you can observe the complete activity and put some water droplets on the holes once the fruit flies are fully trapped.
Finally, you can place the container in the microwave at a high temperature for 15-30 seconds to ensure they are all dead. Next, you must dump the entire content into a trash bin outside the house.
The last step is not critical. You could just throw the container far away from the infested area or release them in the open air. But many people prefer to kill fruit flies in the microwave to interrupt their rapid reproduction.
Lemon traps are a popular and effective way to control fruit fly infestations. They are easy to use and keep the flies from spreading.
However, there is no evidence that these traps will work for all types of fruit flies. Unfortunately, there are some species of fruit flies that do not get trapped with lemon.
Consequently, the lemon trap only works for certain fruit fly species, not all.
If it doesn’t work, try switching to a vinegar trap for fruit flies.