The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fruit Flies on the Rise-dough?

1doughgirl's picture

Fruit Flies on the Rise-dough?

Fruit flies hover around and even dare to land on my rising dough and my cooling bread. Yelling at them and threatening them with my rolling pin has not scared them away. Is there some sort of netting that would keep them off or other solution?

jcking's picture

Or airline tickets.


MangoChutney's picture

I keep my rising dough covered.  I cover the container with a disposable plastic hair shield, such as is used while coloring hair.  So far I have been re-using them, but they only cost about a dime each if they get damaged.  I usually don't worry about cooling bread, since the crust is still intact.  Lately I have gotten ants in my breadbox, and that bothers me.  I don't like to think the crumb of my loaf has become an ant farm.  I may have to locate a circa 1980s paper bag in my utility room closet, and put my loaf into that.

Edit: I wrapped my loaf in a cotton kitchen cloth - one of those big ones that I use to strain cheese curds from whey.  I think that will stop the ants while not trapping moisture.

PaddyL's picture

I put about an inch of vinegar, preferably apple cider, into a jar, pull a piece of plastic wrap tightly over it and poke a couple of holes in it; the flies get in and can't get out.  The other day, I stupidly left a piece of cut tomato on the counter and it was being devoured by fruit flies, so I stuffed the whole thing into a jar, caught all the flies that way, and threw the whole thing out, jar and all.  I had a beautiful starter completely lost to fruit flies last year, so I've learned to cover my rising dough tightly with plastic wrap to keep the wretches at bay.

clazar123's picture

Fruit flies are very short lived and if you have a lot of them, they are probably living and multiplying somewhere. I usually check my onion basket and potatoes first. Then any fruit,of course. If you can refrigerate the fruit, do so and they will go away quickly once they die off.

When I had a bad infestation,once, I kept vacuuming them up but did use some starter as an attractant.They were on the counter and the cabinets above and all around the food source by the hundreds. I also discovered they LOVE pickles or sauerkraut fermenting. I think they come home from the grocery store on the fruit and veggies and hatch at home.

MangoChutney's picture

To protect starters and other cultures, I use a cotton handkerchief held over the mouth of the jar with a rubber-band.

diverpro94's picture

I have a problem with that, too. I have a 2500 sq. ft. garden and I have a lot of produce that sits on my counter. When one tomato goes soft, a WHOLE swarm of fruit flies attack my kitchen.


Normally, I put foil or plastic wrap over my bowl that my bread is rising in and I stick it into the oven. When I proof my bread, I normally cover my loaves with a slightly damp paper towel (if the dough is low hydration) and cover the whole thing with plastic wrap. Then, I cover my loaves with a tea cloth. I have a slight problem with the edges of my dough sticking to the paper towel, but it isn't that bad and it saves me the effort of having to scare away the flies.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The good old fashioned sticky fly tapes.  Come rolled up inside a paper tube with a thumb tack stuck into the end.  Warm with the hands first to loosen the goo.  Hang it where it won't get caught in hair or thrown in the wind.  Believe me, no fun when that happens!  I never could get the tacks to work and hang them on sticks or hooks in the ceiling.  

I've been fighting potato beetles lately.  Using a small jar and knocking them into it.  They are after my eggplants and chewing on my sunflowers and ground cherries.  I have one haphazard potato plant that seems to attract most of them (looks pretty torn up) and when I see them munching, they're doomed!  First place I look.  I just leave the jar sitting nearby with a little soapy water inside ready for action!