Learn how to use essential oils for fruit flies
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If you are looking for essential oils to repel fruit flies or need to find essential oils for fruit flies, you're most likely familiar with essential oils and may even have a few bottles. Some of the best essential oils for fruit flies are Thyme, Basil, and Peppermint. If you have one of these oils add a few drops to your diffuser and watch those fruit fles disappear! Below is a quality diffuser my family has been using for the past few years. Actually we have gone through several as we often give them away after guests tell us how much they like them. Check it out.
Meandering fruit flies are a common sight in many homes. These miniature pests often can be an over sized annoyance. From flying into your eyes or dropping into a fresh glass of wine, fruit flies are experts at interrupting a relaxing dinner. The bacteria fruit flies carry mean they can do more then interrupt your dinner, they can also make you sick. To prevent these pests from taking up residence at your dinner table, lets review a few natural pest repellents for fruit flies. First we will consider essential oils for fruit flies.
A great essential oil for repelling fruit flies is basil oil. An article in the March 2009 issues of the Journal of Economic Entomology described the lethal effects of basil oil on fruit flies. Researchers in this study wanted to determine the specific chemical components in Basil and its effects on fruit flies. The chemicals they isolated were trans-anethole, estragole, and linalool. The researchers concluded “If trans-anethole, estragole, linalool, methyl eugenol, and basil oil are mixed with attractants such as paraphermones in an appropriate formula, they may be used as a natural insecticide.” If you do not have access to the individual components of basil try a high quality basil essential oil for fruit flies. Just make sure its properly mixed!
Thyme oil was also tested in the previously mentioned 2016 study. Fruit flies that came into contact with thyme oil had a higher mortality then compared to the other essential oils. Since thyme oil is know to be effective on other pests such as stick bugs and mosquitoes the Researchers noted that it could be a good candidate for a natural insecticide.
A bundle of thyme. Thyme was used to ward off nightmares in the middle ages and is now a staple in most kitchens.
In a 2016 study by scientists from Vineland Research and Innovation Centre peppermint oil was determined to be an effective fruit fly repellent. The researchers costed wicks with fruit juice and peppermint oil, which would both attract and then repel the flies. This is called a push-pull test. During the tests all but a few fruit flies contacted wicks treated with peppermint oil. The peppermint oil continued to repel fruit flies for six day after the initial treatment.
Along with peppermint oil being an effective essential oils for fruit flies its also known to be an effective natural pest repellent against cockroaches, house flies, and mosquitoes. In addition to repelling fruit flies and other pests peppermint essential oil can also kill them. To do this however the pests need to come into direct contact with the oil.
The researchers concluded “Peppermint oil appears to be a good candidate for testing under field conditions, where persistence of repellency and distance of repellency from ripe fruit will be important factors determining the effectiveness and feasibility of using essential oils as part of a management strategy.”
Just because there are some essential oils that repel fruit flies doesn’t mean they all do. Tea Tree oil is actually known to have the opposite effect, it attracts fruit flies. Tea tree oil was the subject of a 2015 experiment to find a natural fruit fly attractant. When exposed to Tea Tree oil male fruit flies were more prone to mate then those not exposed.
Viewing essentials oils as all being variations of the same thing is common problem. There are many, almost countless recipes of fruit fly repellents that use tea tree oil online. This is an excellent reminder of why we only use products that are scientifically proven to work!
Now that you know what oils to use check out the links below for a few of my favorite deals.
When using essential oils its important to remember that they should never be used at full strength. To use essential oils for fruit flies you have to main options. Option one is to make a spray, and hit the buggers as you see them. The second option is to use a diffuser near the fruit fly out break.
The fist step is to create your essential oil mix. To do this you will need basil or peppermint oil, distilled water, and grain alcohol. Its important to use at least 190 proof grain alcohol. The higher alcohol content is needed for the components to mix. Remember oil and water typically do not mix. The higher alcohol content also prevents bacteria from growing in your spray. Below is a simple and effective recipe.
The first and simplest option is to create a spray. If you just want to test your mix use a spray bottle that will not need to be reused for anything else. Once you are happy with the results be sure to transfer the mix to a dark glass bottle, and store it in a cool and dark location. Heat and light will degrade the potency of your mixture.
If you elect to use a diffuser to fight fruit flies just use a few drops of essential oil and water and place the diffuser near the fruit fly infestation. If you do not already own a diffuser there are many to choose from.
Essential oil diffuser options range from elaborate one hundred dollar models to the basic under twenty dollar price range. For most people the basic model is adequate. Amazon offers a great basic model that includes a night / mood light mode along with auto shutoff. This is my personal favorite since its under thirty dollars with an almost five star review.
Once you select a diffuser be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Diffusers often have specific setting that will relate to your room size and how long you want it to run. Be careful if using a diffuser around pets and small children. This is especially true with cats, as essential oils can be fatal to cats.
Essential oils are one of the best ways to get rid of fruit flies in your house but if your a scientist in a lab there are a few more options. Check out the video below of scientists using fungus to kill fruit flies.
Something sinister might be growing in the fruit fly on your counter. If you find the little bugger dead in the morning with its wings sticking straight up with white stuff on it then it may have been killed by fungus! Yes killer fungus is real and turns fruit flies into real life zombies.
What makes the killer fungus even weirder is that it always kills the same way, at the same time of day. Four to five days near dusk, after a fruit fly comes into contact with a fungus spore the fruit fly climbs to the top of the highest near object, and shoots its wings straight up.
At this point the fly is dead, but the fungus is very much alive and in control! Within a few minutes the fungus bursts out of the fruit flies abdomen, kind of like aliens! Once the fungus spores are in the air more fruit flies will be infected and start they cycle over again!
While essential oils are excellent for getting rid of fruit flies that are buzzing around you also need to get to the root of the problem. This means understanding where the fruit flies came from and how they are staying alive in your house. Usually these little buggers catch a ride into your home on unrefrigerated fruit such as bananas. Once in your house fruit flies are able to reproduce in various locations.
Almost any moist area is suitable for fruit flies to lay eggs. Anything from the same fruit they came in on to sink drains, most mops to over watered house plants is all fruit flies need to lay eggs. So while the essential oils will keep them away be sure to eliminate all moist areas in your home so they cannot lay eggs.
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