Has anyone else noticed the recent invasion of fruit flies taking place on the Eastern Shore? Some are blaming it on the rain and the swampy conditions we’ve been experiencing, others say that the temperature drop is forcing the creatures to warm up in our homes and businesses, the rest may just have fruit rotting in their houses. Who knows?
“They come in waves. They’re here one day, gone again. Then the next day, the flies are back,” said West Ocean City resident, Diana Nichols.
Some coastal residents just can’t seem to get rid of them. After deep cleaning your kitchen, closing all of your windows, taking out the trash, and pouring mildly soapy water down your drains, you’d think the fruit flies would leave. Guess again. So what does work?
“We had to do a report in college on fruit flies, conduct an experiment with the flies,” said Heather Basmajian of Ocean City.
“It seemed like the flies would mass produce and escape all the time. Then we’d have to figure out how to catch them."
Even years after studying fruit flies while in school, Basmajian still believes that the best way to capture these tiny six-legged creatures is by placing several cups of a sudsy dish soap and water combination around your home.
“I’ve tried everything to get rid of these flies!” Nichols said with frustration.
“I’ve even tried to put out glasses of red wine with dish soap in it thinking that the flies might be attracted to something sweet.”
Nichols came up with a clever strategy; Putting plastic wrap with a few tiny holes punched through it over a dish of soapy water. The fruit flies will be attracted to the sweet, bubbly substance and easily enter the dish but not be able to get out.
“I’ve captured at least 200 of them in one day,” said Nichols.
Considering the fact that a female fruit fly can produce up to 500 eggs in their lifetime, 200 doesn’t seem like too many –especially when you consider the fact that the average fruit fly lifespan is only seven days.
Hopefully the autumn temperature decline chases the fruit flies away from our coastline quickly. With forecasted temperatures in the 60-degree range all next week, maybe the 85-degree loving flies will vanish within a few days?
Our tips? Try methods like Basmajian’s and Nichol’s. It’s worth a try to get some of these pesky flies out of your home or business. If that doesn’t work, just put up with the annoying little bugs for a few more days and hope that the weather chases them away soon.