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Monday
Sep212009

Tips to Discourage Fruit Flies Around the House

Every year, during the summer months, many of us are subjected to some unwanted visitors.  Fruit flies can be a problem around anyone's home, but they can be a bigger problem if you're a raw-vegan.  It's pretty much impossible to banish fruit flies entirely, but they can certainly be managed.  Like with most things in life, the key is to be proactive.  It's easier to prevent a fruit fly infestation in the first place rather than trying to get ride of them after the fact.  Stay a step ahead and you'll be in good shape. 

Tips for preventing fruit flies in your home:

  • Keep fruit in the fridge during sumer:
    With your fruit locked away in the refrigerator, the little pests won't be able to get at it, (or even smell it).  Just remember to set out the next day's fruit the night before so it's warmed up by morning.
    (Side note: Keep in mind, certain fruits shouldn't go in the fridge unless you want them to permanently stop ripening. Tropical fruit like mangos, papayas and melons, and stone fruit like peaches and plums should be left at room temperature until they're fully ripe.  Then, once they're ripe, feel free to cut them up and put them in the fridge.  If you refrigerate them too soon, they won't ripen at all.)
  • Use over-ripe fruit quickly:
    Fruit flies are particularly attracted to the stronger smell of over-ripe fruit.  Don't let it sit around for long.  If you can't use it up in time, cut it up and freeze it to use in a smoothie.
  • Store compost well:
    While it smells bad to us, the aroma of compost is alluring to fruit flies.  Make sure you keep your food scraps in a container with an air-tight lid.  You should take your compost out frequently too, if you have the option.
  • Don't let your dishes pile up:
    This one's so obvious we can often overlook it.  Leftovers appeal to fruit flies too.  Wash your dishes and rinse out old bottles and cans quickly.  If they sit out for days, soon you'll have a swarm of pesky insects on your hands.
  • Clean out your drains:
    The drain in your kitchen sink has plenty of old food residue in it.  This is a perfect breeding ground for fruit flies.  Keep the pipes clean to discourage any smell.
  • Use a fruit fly trap:
    No matter how spotless you keep your kitchen, there's still going to be the occasional few that sneak through.  I use a really simple trap that you can get at most hardware stores for a couple of dollars.  (Of course, you can always get a prettier one if you prefer.) For bait, I use vinegar.  You could always use fruit juice, but I use vinegar because it lasts a long time and because the flies are much less likely to lay eggs and hatch inside the trap.

By keeping on top of things and adopting these habits, you should be able to enjoy a virtually fruit-fly-free summer.

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Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

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