Brody Brothers has been in the pest control business for more than 30 years. In that time, we’ve seen almost every pest-related problem you can imagine (and probably some you can’t!).Just like any other industry, from marketing to retail to real estate, we see trends come and go. Along with the resurgence of bed bugs that we talked about, we have also seen a noticeable uptick in calls about black-eyed fruit flies over the last few years.
More money, more problems – the scourge of the fruit fly
Even 15 years ago, it was almost unheard of for our clients to call us about fruit flies. Now it seems they’re cropping up in homes all over Maryland.
And they’re coming from a place you might not expect: your granite countertop.
You might be scratching your head at this point, and we can’t blame you, but allow us to explain. As people in the Baltimore area have gotten more affluent, granite countertops have become the top pick for new kitchens.
The sinks in granite countertops are mounted with clamps and adhesive caulk, holding and sealing the sink to the countertop. Over the years, this seal can break down, allowing moisture and debris to accumulate. The black, slimy film that forms is the perfect breeding ground for the black-eyed fruit fly.
Fruit Fly Facts
Fruit flies are harmless, but they sure are annoying. These tiny insects are active year-round, but are most prominent in the summer and fall. True to their name, they are attracted to overripe pieces of fruit and vegetables, where they also lay their eggs.
The red-eyed variety tend to gravitate toward sweet fruits like bananas, oranges and apples, but the black-eyed ones we’ve seen surge in numbers are more interested in potatoes, onions and other veggies. They also tend to be slightly larger than their more common red-eyed relatives, but it’s easy to confuse the two.
Getting rid of any rotting fruit or vegetables is the first and most obvious step to getting rid of both types of fruit fly, but don’t be discouraged if that doesn’t solve the problem right away; the adult flies can live for up to a week.
Of course if you’re dealing with these pests week after week, and you’ve checked high and low for what might be drawing them to your kitchen, the seal between your granite countertop and sink may be the culprit.
Getting rid of the (fruit) fly in the ointment
There’s no need to get rid of your beautiful granite countertop, but if you’re experiencing a significant fruit fly problem, you will need to put in some work (or call in the professionals).
Assuming you’ve already gotten rid of any rotting fruit and cleaned off all your kitchen surfaces, the best way to get rid of fruit flies in this situation is to remove the sink, scrape out the old caulk and reseal. Caulking over a bad seal will not get rid of the problem and is a waste of your time and money.
Are you dealing with fruit flies or another type of pest? Not sure where your bug infestation is coming from?