Fruit Flies in Refrigerator: Causes and Solutions
The cold temperatures of your refrigerator is not the ideal location for fruit flies to thrive. You will most likely find dead fruit flies in your fridge rather than live ones, as the tiny flies cannot thrive or reproduce in the cold. However, if you notice tiny dead bugs in your fridge, it means you have a fruit fly infestation on hand, and it's time to clean your kitchen!
Fruit flies, as their name suggests, feed off overripe fruit. However, the flies may also eat meat, fresh food, and rotting food sitting around. When you transfer fly-laden food into your refrigerator, the tiny black bugs may end up in your fridge and perish with the cold. This is the main cause of fruit flies in your fridge.
You may not notice the exposed food immediately. The flies may seek the warmest area in your fridge, hence, you may find a number of dead flies around your refrigerator door. Still, they most likely originated from any exposed fruit, spoiled food, or meat in your fridge. Cleaning your fridge should remove most dirt, rotting fruit particles, and dead fruit flies.
To clean your fridge, start by placing all perishables in a cooler. This will help keep food cold, and prevent them from spoiling. Properly store food in an airtight container, or cover them with cling film to prevent fruit flies from feeding off of them. Wipe up any spills, and use several coolers to avoid cross-contamination.
Use a sponge and some dish soap to clean the fridge. You may turn the fridge off, but this is optional especially if you are using the freezer. Use a mild soapy water solution to clean up spills, dried food particles, meat drippings, and crumbs from your fridge. Remove the shelves whenever possible, and wash them with soap and water. Clean the drip tray as well, as this warm, moist area may be breeding grounds for fruit flies.
Let the fridge dry and cool before placing the food items back inside the fridge. Make sure your food is free from pests, and toss out any food that has gone bad, or has mold on it. Keep your fridge fresh by setting it on its dehumidifier settings. To get rid of the recurring infestation, you will need to remove the source of the infestation.
Getting Rid of a Fruit Fly Infestation
There are three ways you can get rid of fruit flies in your home: using vinegar traps, cleaning the drains, and setting sticky fly traps around your kitchen. These will kill off fruit flies and fruit fly larvae, getting rid of the infestation for good!
Using Apple Cider Vinegar Traps
Fruit flies are attracted to ripe fruit, and apple cider vinegar gives off the smell of fermenting fruit, making it the ideal bait to catch fruit flies. Create a trap using a clear glass jar, and fill the jar with apple cider vinegar until it is 1/8 full. Add a few drops of a dish soap solution, and stir thoroughly to combine everything well.
Cover the jar with cling film, and poke small holes for the flies to go through. Place the trap in your fridge, or in areas where the flies are most concentrated. The trap should entice fruit flies to enter through the small holes, and trap themselves as they can't find the way out.
Cleaning the Drains and Garbage Disposal
Fruit flies thrive in moist locations - these moist areas are where the tiny bugs lay eggs. Simply pour baking soda and vinegar down the drain, and let the solution bubble. Rinse the sink with freshly-boiled water to kill off any remaining flies. Clear the drains and garbage disposal frequently until the fruit fly infestation is completely gone.
Setting Sticky Traps
Sticky traps are meant to trap adult gnats and flies, preventing them from reproducing. However, this trap will not kill off eggs or larvae. Sticky traps are most effective when done in combination with cleaning the drains, as doing so will fully remove any flies, as well as their eggs and larvae.
Fruit flies, drain flies, and fungus gnats inside the fridge carry bacteria and viruses that can affect your food. Your best bet in removing these pests is to manage the cleanliness of your kitchen. Make kitchen cleaning easy, convenient, and hassle-free with Luce Home cleaning services - we'll make sure those pests bug off for good!
Looking for kitchen cleaning tips? Check out our blog for articles on kitchen cleaning, sanitizing, and organizing!