How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Bowl of fruit

Nothing’s worse than reaching for a piece of fruit, just to realize it’s covered in dozens of tiny flies. Fruit flies are one of the most common household pests in the United States and infestations can spread incredibly quickly. Though it can be frustrating to deal with these tiny pests, there are some simple techniques you can use to treat an outbreak. Here are a few steps you can follow to get rid of fruit flies:

Eliminate Water Sources

Like most pests, fruit flies need water to survive. Removing any sources of water is a great way to prevent fruit flies from settling into your home. Check for moisture issues caused by problems like leaky plumbing or a dripping faucet, and avoid leaving cups of water out in the open.

Store Food in Airtight Containers

Fruit flies feed on a variety of foods, from ripe produce to juice to leftovers. To keep fruit flies away from your snacks while also preventing them from feeding and breeding, be sure to store your food in airtight containers. If you like to keep fruit or vegetables out on the counter, protect them with mesh covers.

Sweep Up Food Crumbs

It doesn’t take much to feed a tiny fruit fly. Even small crumbs on the counter or floor could be enough to sustain an infestation. Regularly wiping down your countertops and sweeping or vacuuming your floors will cut off their food supply. 

Clean Away Food Residue

Fruit flies are attracted to food residue as much as they are to crumbs and leftovers. Try to routinely wipe down your chairs, tables, garbage bins, and other areas that may come into contact with food. If you have a garbage disposal, you may also want to regularly clean it or flush it with water.

Dispose of Trash in Lidded Bins

Many pests feed on trash, and fruit flies are no different. Disposing of trash in tightly lidded bins – both indoors and outdoors – is a great way to keep fruit flies and other pests from feeding on your food waste.

Contact a Professional

A fruit fly infestation can be frustrating and difficult to control. If you have tried these steps and still aren’t seeing results, it may be time to contact a pest control expert who can identify and treat the root cause of the problem. At United Pest Solutions, it’s our goal to provide you with reliable solutions that will keep your home pest-free long-term. With over 60 years of experience serving the greater Seattle WA area, our skilled team is prepared to help you get rid of fruit flies for good. To get great pest control services, contact our team today!

Why Do I Still Have Flies in Winter?

What a cluster fly in winter looks like in Seattle WA - United Pest Solutions

What a cluster fly in winter looks like in Seattle WA - United Pest SolutionsMany people are surprised when they find flies buzzing around their homes in the middle of winter. Though flies may seem more like a summer pest, there are many species that will overwinter by hiding indoors. Cluster flies are one of the most common overwintering species, and homeowners throughout the Pacific Northwest often find these pests indoors as soon as temperatures drop.

How Do Cluster Flies Survive in the Winter?

Cluster flies begin preparing for winter by clustering as adults in warm and protected areas, such as wall voids or attics. Most homes are warm all year-round so on many occasions they “wake up” and fly around inside the house instead of escaping outside. This is because they “forget” how they got inside in the first place.

If there is a silver lining, it is good to know that these flies are the “cleanest” and most “sanitary” of all flies. They lay their eggs in the soil, and when they hatch the larvae crawl inside earthworms, then leave the earthworm as adults. They do not feed on any trash or any of the nasty things associated with all other flies. However, they can be a HUGE nuisance once inside.

How Can I Get Rid of Flies?

Flies are a nuisance no matter the time of year, which is why it’s useful to know how to get rid of infestations. Fly prevention doesn’t have to be difficult, either! Here are our top tips for getting rid of flies in winter:

  • Seal any cracks or gaps. If you have lots of cracks or gaps leading into your home, it will be easy for pests to get inside – and not just flies! Use caulk to seal off any openings around your house, especially around your foundation, windows, or utilities. BUT, in the case of Cluster Flies, wait until late Spring or early Summer. Otherwise, you may accidentally trap all the flies inside and temporarily have a worse issue.
  • Repair any broken screens. If you’re in the habit of leaving your windows open, be sure they’re all protected with a screen. Also remember to check the screens for any holes or tears that pests could crawl through.
  • Use sticky flypaper. Sticky fly paper is exactly what it sounds like – a sticky ribbon of paper designed to trap flying insects. Flypaper often has a sweet scent to draw pests in, and you can treat an infestation by placing some in rooms where you keep finding flies.
  • Make a fly repellent. Flies are sensitive to certain scents, which you can use to make a natural fly repellent. Some great fly-repelling essential oils include lavender, mint, and lemon. Mix a few drops of these with water in a spray bottle and spritz around your home, especially along entry points.

Get Effective Pest Control Today

If you are struggling with a fly infestation and can’t seem to find a solution, don’t worry! The experts at United Pest Solutions are prepared to provide services or recommendations to get rid of these pests. Our skilled technicians have been proudly serving the Seattle WA area for nearly 60 years, and we are dedicated to providing you with excellent service and effective solutions.

Rather than dealing with obnoxious buzzing for months on end, give us a call today!

Late Summer Pests in the Pacific Northwest

United Pest talks about the late summer pests in the Pacific Northwest.

Family enjoying a BBQ. United Pest talks about the late summer pests in the Pacific Northwest.

[2021 Update]

Summer brings warm weather and longer days, but it also brings pests. As you anticipate your pest control needs this summer, keep in mind the various pests that invade homes and businesses in the Pacific Northwest during this time of year.

Here are some of the most common invaders and tips to help control them.

Common Late Summer Pests in the PNW

Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are one of the most common pests discovered in hotel rooms. Since summertime is a time when many families travel, it’s important to stay on guard. Remember, these pests are great at hitchhiking.

Ticks

Ticks can transmit diseases to humans, some of which are considered harmful. These pests breed in the summer and live in tall grassy, or wooded areas and on pets.

Ants

These tiny pests start to come out in the springtime and stay around during the warmer summer months. You’ll most often see them out on pavement but after a good rainfall, they may make their way into your home seeking dry shelter.

Flies

If you’re having a lot of gatherings outside your home that involve food, you’re likely to see flies buzzing around. They like food and warmth. So summer BBQs are a good recipe for attracting flies.

Stinging Insects

Like flies, stinging insects including bees, hornets, and wasps prefer warmer weather. Since they’re out more during this time of year, the chances of someone coming near a nest are higher.

Mosquitoes

This time of year is famously known for its high number of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes breed in standing water, so mosquito problems may increase after heavy rain.

Wildlife

As summer turns to fall several critters, including squirrels and raccoons, may start planning ahead to the winter months, looking for warm shelter. This may involve them invading your home, damaging it in the process.

Termites

Subterranean termites and Dampwood termites live in the Pacific Northwest. They will make nests in your soil and in any wood items you may have around your home including old wood stumps.

How to Prevent Pests During Late Summer

  • Eliminate standing water: like previously mentioned, mosquitoes breed in standing water. So eliminating these sources will help reduce mosquitoes on your property. Think buckets, tarps, birdbaths, and flower pots.
  • Keep your grass trimmed: this will help reduce mosquitoes and help
    prevent ticks.
  • Relocate firewood: if you keep firewood on your property, store it away from your home and if possible keep it elevated.
  • Properly seal your home: ensure windows, doors, and garage doors aren’t kept open for long periods of time and install or repair any screens.

Pest Control Seattle

If you’ve tried these methods or already have a pest infestation on your property, we can help! United Pest Solutions is your local source for pest control in the Seattle area. Our certified technicians will identify which type of pest you have and find a solution. So contact us today!

April Showers May Bring More Than Flowers

Umbrella with heavy rainfall. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about why April showers may bring more than flowers.

Umbrella with heavy rainfall. United Pest Solutions serving Seattle WA talks about why April showers may bring more than flowers.It’s a well known saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” But, here in the Pacific Northwest, our rainy season may also bring something less desirable than colorful blooming flowers — pests! Heavy rainfall can cause large areas of standing water which pests like wasps and ants are attracted to. This is why we at United Pest Solutions have come up with some tasks you can do to help prevent a pest infestation this spring.

First, here are some common pests to look out for.

Ants

While ants are known to be on the hunt for crumbs of food, they’ll also enter homes in search of water. Most ants are simply a nuisance however, the Carpenter Ant is a wood-destroying pest. It can damage the integrity of your home as it excavates wood.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches can carry diseases and bacteria. They will infest your food and contaminate countertops, spreading diseases through their excrement. Cockroach infestations are a tough pest to deal with. It’s highly recommended you contact a professional to eliminate these pests as soon as possible.

Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are known for spreading potentially harmful diseases including Zika and West Nile. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, including clogged gutters, birdbaths, play equipment, and more. It’s important to eliminate any sources of standing water to help prevent a mosquito infestation.

Rodents

Rats and mice will infest any home tidy or not. These rodents will not only cause damage to your home, but they also spread harmful diseases. Because of the dangers these pests pose, we recommend seeking professional help if you believe you have a rodent problem.

Flies

Like mosquitoes, flies also breed in stagnant water. While some flies are merely a nuisance, others can bite. In the past, flies have been linked to the spread of typhoid fever, food poisoning, and diarrhea.

Keeping Pests Away

  • Clean out gutters and downspouts
  • Repair water leaks and dripping faucets
  • Remove sources of standing water including, play equipment, tarps, discarded tires, and birdbaths
  • Regularly trim grass and shrubs
  • Seal cracks and openings on your foundation and siding
  • Keep woodpiles stored away from your home
  • Regularly throw out the trash and keep your outdoor garbage can tightly shut
  • Practice cleanliness around your home, especially the kitchen
  • Ensure screens on your windows and doors are intact and not broken

Professional Pest Control

Many pests, especially insects live in soil so when there is heavy rainfall affecting their habitat, they may seek shelter inside your home. Other pests like mosquitoes and flies breed in stagnant water. So if you have puddles of water near your home, don’t be surprised if you see a sudden increase of these flying pests.

Even if you take extra precautions and utilize these safeguards, you may still need to contact a professional pest control company. United Pest Solutions has been providing the Seattle WA and Everett WA area with environmentally responsible pest control since 1960. We serve both homeowners and businesses.