5 Ways To Find And Defeat Fruit Flies

Fruit flies love the smell of ripe, rotting or decayed fruit and produce. That means you need to find and get rid of them before your home fruit trees start to fruit and they do irreparable damage. Here are five ways to stay ahead this summer.

Keep your kitchen spick and span

Fruit flies have an excellent sense of smell and are quickly attracted to fruit bowls containing ripening fruit. They can also be found in dustbins and compost heaps, feeding on rotting fruit, and even enjoy fermented drinks like beer, wine and cider. Keep your fruit in the fridge, your kitchen surfaces clean and ensure that your bins are well sealed. You can also repel fruit flies by grinding up or hanging bunches of fresh herbs such as lavender, basil, mint and rosemary in your kitchen.

Scout early in the season

If you grow fruit trees around your home or in your garden, the earlier you start to scout for fruit flies, the better chance you have at managing them before it’s too late. Look for the flies themselves, as well as tiny ‘sting’ marks in your fruit where the female deposits her eggs. Early fruit drop may also be a sign of a fruit fly infestation. This happens once the larvae has hatched and burrowed into the flesh of the fruit, causing it to rot and drop early. The larvae then burrow into the soil to pupate and will emerge as adult fruit flies.

Use sticky cards

Yellow sticky cards are attractive to fruit flies and are a useful tool to help you monitor for early signs of an infestation. Insect Science’s Yellow Sticky Cards and Delta Traps® can be used to monitor the number of insects caught, giving you an early warning of infestation and giving you time to implement further measures. Yellow Sticky Cards are pesticide-free and easy to use.

Clean and sanitise your orchard

A fruit fly infestation won’t just go away on its own—in fact, it is more likely to get worse if you don’t put a stop to it as soon as possible. Removing the pupae from the soil is one way to slow down the spread. Remove and destroy any fallen fruit to prevent larvae from pupating in the soil. Burn the debris, or bury it at least a foot into the earth. It is also important to remove other host plants in the area which might attract fruit flies. Wild growing guava is a good example of fruit fly attractants.

Use pheromones to break the mating cycle

When it comes to fruit flies, prevention is the best method, and using pheromone-based traps helps you control population levels. Females use pheromones to attract males when they are ready to mate. The Insect Science E.G.O. PheroLure® capsule, placed in a McPhail Bucket Trap, mimics this process by dispersing the pheromone scent and drawing males into the trap. Once inside the trap, males are prevented from mating and starting a new generation. Be sure to start trapping before your fruit starts to ripen to stop the damage before it starts.

Visit https://insectscience.co.za/pest/fruit-flies-mango/ and https://insectscience.co.za/pest/mediterranean-fruit-fly-and-natal-fruit-fly/ to find out more.

Or visit www.shop.insectscience.co.za

The Gardener