7 plants to keep fruit flies away from your home

Fruit flies are perhaps one of the most annoying household pests. They barge in and make themselves right at home. With a knack for being attracted to overripe fruits and vegetables and even stagnant drains, fruit flies cause a major nuisance this time of year. Although fruit flies are not on anyone’s list of devastating disasters, they are quite depressing, to put it mildly.

Learning how to get rid of fruit flies is one way to deal with this problem, but it’s better to prevent them from entering your home in the first place.

There are measures you can take to deter them from your home in the first place – such as planting the right plants. There are certain species that are harmless to humans but have repellent properties for fruit flies.

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Here are seven plants that repel fruit flies and help keep them away from your home. It’s a good bet that you can easily introduce a few of these into your home and yard to create a fruit fly-free haven.

no. 1: Basil

Basil is one of the most popular herbs in everyday dishes like pizza and pasta, and it’s useful in another way: to repel fruit flies. As a bonus, ants and mosquitoes also hate the strong smell.

Basil is non-toxic to both cats and dogs, so it is a particularly good choice if you have pets.

no. 2: mint

While most people find the scent of mint pleasantly refreshing, this is not the case for fruit flies. It’s a scent that makes them turn around and fly away!

Mint is very easy to grow indoors and outdoors. In fact, know that under sunny conditions and moist, well-drained soil, it will arrogantly take over not only where it is planted but also its surroundings – and I mean quickly! Your best option is to grow mint in containers, then prune it back as needed to create beautiful, lush foliage.

Although delicious when added to iced tea and other drinks, peppermint is toxic to both cats and dogs, so avoid this plant if you have curious pets.

no. 3: Lavender

When it comes to plants with distinctive scents, lavender may top them all. And fruit flies hate it! They hate it so much that they will shun it at every opportunity (as is the case with spiders, rodents, and even deer).

A hardy plant, lavender prefers full sun and well-drained soil. If you’re growing them outside and want to take advantage of their fruit fly-repelling properties, cut bunches, tie them into bouquets and hang them indoors.

no. 4: Rosemary

Rosemary is easy to grow indoors and outdoors, requiring full sun and regular water in well-drained soil. Rosemary planted near entry points can stand guard to chase away fruit flies before you even know they’re in the area.

This plant is non-toxic to cats and dogs, which makes it even better.

no. 5: Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaves are full of oil that is often used for medicinal purposes. This wonderful oil can help reduce pain symptoms and encourage relaxation, so it’s a beneficial oil to say the least. We humans enjoy many of the benefits of eucalyptus. However, it is not a fan favorite of fruit flies. Growing eucalyptus outside or as houseplants indoors will soon work its magic.

Warning: Eucalyptus is also toxic to cats and dogs, so keep pets away.

no. 6: Venus flytrap

Technically a Venus trap will not repel fruit flies. They produce a sweet scent that mimics fresh flowers to attract these pests to their “mouth.” When a fruit fly steps on one of its tiny hairs, it closes to capture the fly, turning the situation into a delicious meal.

This carnivorous plant is relatively easy to care for but will require a taller container because the root system can be deep and complex. You will need a sunny location for best growth with well-drained, acidic soil.

Venus flytrap is safe to grow around your pets because it is non-toxic.

no. 7: Clove tree

Another natural plant that fruit flies cannot tolerate is the clove tree. The little stick-like spice is actually the dried flower buds of the clove tree that have been picked before they have a chance to bloom.

If you want a steady supply of fruit fly repellent cloves, you can grow your clove tree outside, or even bring it indoors as a houseplant.

Too much work to grow your own clove tree? Get a can of whole cloves from the supermarket or online.

Cloves are on the list of items that can be toxic to cats and dogs, so avoid this if you have pets.

Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all her recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments on “Ask Mary.” This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blogger, and the author of Debt-Proof Living.


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