Essential Oils for Fruit Flies- Deter Pests Naturally
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While the summer months may bring warm weather and plenty of sunshine, it also brings some annoying pests, including fruit flies. If these tiny insects plague your home, you will love hearing about some natural yet practical solutions for keeping fruit flies at bay.
Commercial traps and chemicals can help you get rid of fruit flies, but you may not want to bring these into your house, especially if you have children or pets. We’ll share with you some strategies for using essential oils to rid your home of fruit flies without breaking the bank.
What Are Fruit Flies?
Drosophila melanogaster, also known as the common fruit fly, comes into your home as larvae, usually on the surface of produce. They can also make their way through open windows, and because they are so small, they even fit through the mesh in your screens. Fruit flies thrive in moist environments with fermenting food, so they love to swarm near fruit, around your garbage, in the drain of your sink, and around empty bottles and damp rags.
Even though they only live about seven days, you can develop colonies in your home that keep reproducing, providing you with an endless supply of teeny but annoying pests. Getting rid of fruit flies doesn’t have to be complicated if you know what works well on these insects, and essential oils make the perfect fruit fly deterrent.
Essential Oils for Fruit Flies
Essential oils are made from the leaves, stems, bark, roots, and flowers of plants and trees that naturally contain oils. These oils protect the plants from diseases and pests, and when they are extracted and distilled, they can be used in your home for many purposes.
The Best Oils to Use
There are several oils that are effective for repelling these insects.
Peppermint Oil for Fruit Flies
One study showed that some flies were susceptible to the volatiles generated by peppermint oil. There was also a 100% mortality rate for fly eggs and nymphs exposed to peppermint oil.
Lavender Essential oil for Repelling Insects
Lavender is a powerful deterrent that also helps your house smell fresh. Multiple studies have shown that lavender can be used to deter insects like mosquitoes, flies, fleas, and moths.
Lemongrass Essential Oil for Fruit Flies
For many years lemongrass has been used as an active ingredient in different pesticides. Its pesticidal uses include: antimicrobial, antifungal and insect repellent. One study showed that when stable flies were exposed to the nearl and citral from lemongrass oil, they were successfully repelled.
Tea Tree Oil & Fruit Flies
Some people think that tea tree oil can be used to successfully deter fruit flies but it may actually have an opposite effect. A 2015 study found that male mediterranean fruit flies showed strong short range attraction to tea tree oil and an increase in fruit fly mating success. So this is an oil that you may want to avoid.
Essential Oil Blends for Fruit Flies
If you want to create an effective blend to help rid your home of pesky fruit flies, try equal parts basil, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oil. Together, this mix has the right combination or scents to keep fruit flies and other pesky insects at bay. On its own, peppermint essential oil is also effective at ridding your home of fruit flies as well as other common pests. Peppermint oil even helps keep mice away.
Another powerful blend you can make includes equal parts lavender, peppermint, clove, and camphor essential oils. These powerful ingredients work very well, can freshen your home, and also work on other, common household insects.
How to Use Essential Oils
You can add a few drops of one or more of these recommended essential oils to a room diffuser, and place it in the area where fruit flies are congregating.
You can create a spray using ten drops of your favorite oil or blend combined with four cups of water. Place in a spray bottle, shake well before using and spritz around any surface where you see fruit flies. You can add essential oils to rubbing alcohol instead of water to create an effective insecticide, too, using this same method.
Place a few drops of your favorite oil in the drain of your sink, run water, and turn on the disposal to freshen your drain. You can also place a few drops of your preferred oil or blend onto your dish sponge to keep it from developing flies.
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