How to fight banana flies

Everything from ants to bats. Tired of banana flies in the kitchen and utility room? Guide to control and how to get rid of banana flies in your home.

We all know it. You have just bought a delicious herb for the windowsill, but suddenly three days later an army of small flies swarms around it. And what's worse – they've started hanging out over at the fruit bowl. The banana fly has found its way into your home, and it has invited its entire extended family along. But fear not! Below you will find a guide to both prevention and effective control.

What is a banana fly and is it dangerous?

The banana fly is a small, yellowish-brown insect of approx. 3-4 mm with transparent wings. It is also known as wine fly, fruit fly or vinegar fly – dear child has many names, or in this case: pesky little fly has many names. They all belong to the same parent genus, but their names say something about where each subspecies likes to romp the most. Having said that, it is generally true for all of them that they love a moist and semi-rotten environment where a fermentation process has started. Therefore, it is important not to have overripe or bruised fruit lying around, as they can attract banana flies from far away.

The same applies to empty wine, beer and soda bottles or cans. The moist environment attracts the banana fly because it is the perfect place for it to lay its eggs. The banana fly can lay up to 500 eggs in its relatively short lifespan of approx. one month. The eggs hatch in a few hours, and after 8 days the fly is fully grown.

In the warm months, the banana fly also breeds outside, so there you have to be aware of fallen fruit, rubbish bins, compost heaps and the like. as these are also good breeding grounds.

The banana fly is not dangerous (nor are its eggs), but it can be a carrier of infection, as it, like other flies, likes anything that is spoiled or rotten. Therefore, it may have been in contact with bacteria before it settles on your food, and it is therefore extremely important to wash all food before eating it.

How does the banana fly get into the house?

Contrary to what many thought before, the banana fly does not just appear spontaneously in your fruit bowl or herb plants from the supermarket. They can get in through even the smallest cracks, so open doors or windows are no problem. You can also be unlucky that they have followed you from the last shopping trip - there may be eggs on fruit and/or in the moist soil of the herbs, and when the eggs hatch, we have trouble.

That is why it is always important to wash newly bought fruit thoroughly - especially if you have a fruit bowl sitting outside. In the refrigerator, the banana fly dies from the cold, so it is also worth considering storing all fruit in the refrigerator.

How do you prevent against banana flies?

To prevent the banana fly from breeding in the first place, it is important to keep the kitchen neat and clean without wet areas with leftover food. Use possibly a cleaning agent to remove organic contamination. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for use as safety equipment may be required.

During cooking, all vegetable and fruit waste should be thrown into the compost as soon as possible, or at least out of the house, perhaps in a small tin with a lid. All bottles, cans or glasses that are to be recycled must be rinsed beforehand, and if you want to avoid banana flies, there is now another reason to be extra careful when rinsing.

After the meal, all leftovers must be packed away as soon as possible - both so that the food does not spoil, but also so that the banana fly cannot find a new home for its eggs.

Finally, it is important to immediately rinse all food residues and glasses off the dishes – especially if the dishes are not taken away immediately. Finally, it is recommended to wipe the kitchen surfaces with a cleaning agent or detergent.

What do you do if you already have banana flies?

There are various easy solutions for combating the small insects.

Fly paper – Hang one or more rolls close to the area with the most banana flies. The glue contains neither poison nor insecticide, and the roll lasts for a long time if it is not hung in direct sunlight. Remember to hang the fruit fly trap out of the reach of children or pets.

Banana fly/fruit fly traps – these contain an attractant, after which the fly drowns in the liquid inside the trap.

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