You Should Definitely Be Rinsing Bananas To Prevent Pesky Fruit Flies

We've all been there. You stock up on fresh fruit and all is well until you notice those pesky little bugs buzzing around in your kitchen, near your glass of red wine, or around your bananas. They seem to come from nowhere as soon as your bananas ripen. Fruit flies, also known as vinegar flies, feed on fermenting or over-ripe fruits and vegetables (per Penn State Extension). "The complete life cycle of vinegar flies (egg, maggot, pupa, adult fly) can take place in as little as eight days if the conditions are right" explained Dr. Ed Rajotte, Professor of Entomology at Penn State. The "ideal" environment for a fruit or vinegar fly is a warm, humid 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In less ideal conditions, the fruit fly eggs can take twice as long to develop (per University of Washington).

If you see pesky fruit flies they either came in from outside following the scent of ripe fruit or the tiny eggs were already on the surface of the fruit you brought home (per Michigan State University Extension). Luckily, there are a few simple habits that can stop fruit flies before they hatch. One of these tips caused quite a buzz on TikTok when user @thatcleanbee suggested washing bananas as soon as you bring them home. One viewer commented, "how come no one's ever said this before? I always wonder where all the flies are coming from. always only when I buy bananas."

Making your kitchen less buzzworthy

For years, extension services like Michigan State University Extension have recommended that people wash the surfaces of all produce including banana and melon peels. Not only does this help prevent fruit flies and it also prevents foodborne illness from bacteria (per Ohio State University). Montreal Science Centre instructs you to wash produce with a water-vinegar solution before putting them in your refrigerator. You can clean banana peels again using a damp cloth before drying them and placing them back on your counter.

Of course, bananas are not the only way fruit flies come in. As one TikToker commented, "I have fruit flies even if I didn't buy bananas recently." Cleaning all produce helps and so do these other tips from Michigan State University Extension. Fruit flies also enjoy drops of fermented cider, soda, and wine so be sure to rinse the containers before recycling. Your trash or compost bin likely contains delicacies fruit flies enjoy so empty them often and keep an airtight lid. Also, they come in from outside if the mesh on your windows is large enough for them to fit through.

Clean warm, moist spaces where they hide, per Penn State Extension. A TikTok commenter offered another helpful hack, "don't forget to spray/pour white vinegar down the drain/plug hole cos [sik] the little buggers hang around in there too." If you already have a fruit fly infestation, use one of these DIY traps to get rid of them!