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Help! How do I get rid of them?

Hi. I have a gnat (fruit fly, whatever) infestation! I have NO idea where they came from or why they are here, but I can't get rid of them. I clean and clean and bleach and disinfect and make sure the trash is out and everything I can think of, excepting buying bug spray, and there are still dozens of them. I don't want to use a bug spray b/c I have children and that stuff is toxic and scary. Also, it kind of messes with my breathing.
So, anyone have a tried and true home remedy for getting rid of the little buggers? (pun intended)

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Asked by other_mommy at 5:15 PM on Aug. 18, 2009 in Home & Garden

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Answers (8)
  • vinager.. spray ur counter tops.. thats what i did,,, i also got those fly strips (as nasty as they are) and i dont have any anymore..

    Answer by ArlieBeeMee at 5:17 PM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • Put out a cup with apple cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap. They will be drawn to it and right in the cup.

    Answer by treynlisa at 5:21 PM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • if you have plant's in your house...they might be from your soil. I get them and thier always in my plants. You can try soapy water. It works on bugs that eat the leaves...maybe it will work on them too.

    Answer by GotToHaveFaith at 5:21 PM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • vinager didnt wok for me... ive even resulted to the bug sprays and wont let the children within 10ft of the kitchen.... they are everywhere prolly atleast 100 at any given time!!! im just glad we are moving friday and hoping they dont follow!

    Answer by 2cuteboysrmine at 5:21 PM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • You won't use bug spray but you will use bleach? That is nonsensical.

    1. Use a one-pint glass jar. Add 1/4 - 1/3 cup of warm (not boiling) water. Sprinkle a package of activated dry yeast over the water. Add one teaspoon of sugar to activate the yeast. Swirl the yeast liquid. In a few minutes, the sugar will cause the yeast to foam and expand and start producing CO 2 .

    2. Take a small plastic bag (like a sandwich Baggie®) and place over the mouth of the jar with one corner reaching into the jar.

    3. Poke a small hole (no more than 1/8-inch diameter) in the corner of the bag with a pencil.

    4. Secure the bag around the rim with a rubber band or canning ring.

    This trap will immediately begin attracting flies, which will crawl down the plastic, through the hole and into the jar. Once captured, most of them will be unable to find their way back out.


    Answer by rkoloms at 5:38 PM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • Fruit flies tend to be active during the daytime, so make sure your trap is on the counter during the day.

    Some captured female fruit flies will lay eggs, which hatch into maggots. These maggots will feed on the yeast liquid in the bottom of the jar. At 77 degrees F, it will take about one week for fruit flies to develop through three maggot stages, pupate and produce a second generation of adult flies. (At 70 degrees F, this life cycle will take about 10 days.) Once they are mature, the maggots will crawl up the inside of the jar to pupate. At this point, it will take less than a day for them to emerge.

    Most of these second generation flies will be unable to find their way out of the trap, but to prevent any escapees, you may want to dump the contents of the yeast trap and clean out the jar to kill the larvae. Dumping the trap one week after you initially made the trap should be soon enough.

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:39 PM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • Re: bug spray vs. bleach

    I understand that bleach is toxic. I don't bleach anything below counter level, so my toddler can't be bothered by it. Furthermore, I bleach while they are at school or at their friends' houses. The bleach doesn't mess with my breathing, so it seemed to be the best option. Also, I do not use bleach regularly; I did it this time b/c I've been fighting these nasty things for more than 2 weeks and I can't figure out why they don't just die or leave with the lack of food!

    Besides, I don't use spray bleach so I don't worry about the fog of bleach. Bug spray is an uncontrollable spray that mists over everything and then I have to go behind it and clean up anything it may or may not have touched, in case my hands-on-everything toddler touches something and then puts her hands in her mouth.

    I may be responding to this b/c I am being oversensitive. If so, I apologize.

    Answer by other_mommy at 5:58 PM on Aug. 18, 2009

  • I heard apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soup in a glass, their attracted to is and get stuck in the liquid. also if you have any house plants check the soil they may be hatching from there, you may have to get a insecticide spray for them, they have some that are natural & safe around kids and pets

    Answer by northcarolinama at 10:34 PM on Aug. 18, 2009

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