Fruit flies in summer: first aid against the pests
On sultry summer days, fruit flies can be very annoying. The small insects buzz around the fruit plate and are attracted by open juice containers. Although this is not harmful to health, it is not very appetizing. In addition, the infested fruit spoil more quickly because putrefactive bacteria and yeast are transmitted.
What is colloquially referred to as the fruit fly, mostly belongs to the genus Drosophila, is about three millimeters in size, dark colored and has light red eyes. The insects can get into the kitchen in various ways - for example through the open window if they are attracted by the smell of fermenting food. Often, however, the eggs already adhere to purchased goods or fruit from the garden. The female looks for overripe fruit to lay the eggs, preferably damaged spots or stalks. So the larvae have enough food and millions of small flies can hatch within a few weeks.
This need not be. An old home remedy for the pests is a lock trap with fruit juice, vinegar and water. A splash of washing up liquid reduces the surface tension so that the flies drown. However, the application is controversial because more animals can be attracted. The scent of clove oil, basil, holy herb and sandalwood is said to drive away the pests. A carnivorous plant such as butterwort and sundew can also help. The insects stick and are digested.
"However, prevention is still better than fighting," emphasizes Harald Seitz from the Federal Center for Nutrition (BZfE). "Only buy small quantities of fruit in summer and don't leave it open any longer." The fruit bowl can be protected with a close-meshed net or a cotton cloth. "Many types of fruit such as berries, ripe apples and pears are in good hands in the fridge's fruit and vegetable compartment when the heat is humid," explains Seitz. "Rinse empty juice and wine glasses directly to avoid attracting fruit flies." Compost and waste bins should also be emptied more frequently in the summer months. Heike Kreutz, respectively