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Pests/Fruit flies

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Question
Hello, I am having problems with swarms of fruit flies in my kitchen  and adjoining family room. We have used apple cider vinegar which draws and kills then but they keep coming back I have thoroughly washed and bleached the trash can and sink drains and removed all produce. I am at my wits end!!  Help!

Answer
Denise,

There are two different flies with the common name "fruit fly". The one that occurs in homes and develops in compost pails and vegetable matter is also called the "vinegar fly". The other "fruit fly" (also called the "picture-wing fly") is a pest of tree fruit and is much larger (see http://www.livingwithbugs.com/fruitfly.html for ways to tell the two apart). The only way to effectively control the vinegar flies is to locate the source, some type of over-ripe or rotting vegetable matter. Traps are only good for detecting flies not eliminating them. Since the flies don't live long there must be a source of vegetable matter such as a compost pail in the house. Once you locate the source and dispose of it the flies should go away.

Jack DeAngelis  

Pests

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Jack DeAngelis

Expertise

I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects such as aphids and spider mites, insects that bite and sting such as ticks and wasps, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.

Experience

20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.

Organizations
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

Publications
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html Fine Gardening magazine

Education/Credentials
Ph.D. in Entomology (the study of insects)

Awards and Honors
see www.livingwithbugs.com/resume.html

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