Fruit flies in the ice maker
August 29, 2017 9:45 AM   Subscribe

Fruit flies are breeding in my ice maker, or perhaps in the water line that goes to it. I've thoroughly cleaned the bin where the ice falls, but they were back within a day. I put some vinegar jars in the freezer, but they only helped temporarily. What can I do to solve this problem at the source, not just collect already hatched flies?
posted by mermaidcafe to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Seal up any fruit, veggies, or perishable open food in your fridge and on the counter. Set vinegar traps.

Disconnect the line (fruit flies love kitchen sink drains, maybe something similar is happening with the line). Seal both ends with saran wrap + anything else with holes near it (e.g. the bin where ice falls). Wait a few days (can take up to 2 weeks, google 'fruit fly life span', but I'd recommend a minimum of 72 hours) . Flush the line *very thoroughly* with an appropriate water line- and food-safe cleaner (not vinegar, which is attractive to them). See if it continues.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 10:31 AM on August 29, 2017

Waterlines are under constant pressure. There's no fruit fly breeding going on in there.
posted by humboldt32 at 12:10 PM on August 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

It's unlikely that they're breeding in your freezer, as freezing food scraps before composting is a common technique for killing fruit flies and their eggs. More likely, they're breeding under your fridge where the drip pan is or in the back of your fridge where some food may have fallen to a hidden spot. Pull everything out of fridge, check for old food or sticky spots, clean everything thoroughly. Clean the drip pan under your fridge. Scoot the fridge out and clean beneath and behind it. Cover/seal all food out on the counter. Then set vinegar traps on the counter. This should take care of your problem.
posted by donnagirl at 12:33 PM on August 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

Do you have a drip tray under your ice / water dispenser on your fridge door? If so, clean it thoroughly, the standing water under may be why they are hanging around.
posted by ananci at 1:12 PM on August 29, 2017

I'm in Florida, fruit flies are A Thing here, and we finally overcame them last year. First, we cleaned everything thoroughly, then we added a small bit of bleach to the drains to kill any eggs or nests in there. Don't do this if you have a septic system, just stick with boiling water instead.

Also, we made sure to store all fresh fruit in either the fridge, freezer, or airtight containers on the counter, along with getting a trash can with a tight lid and emptying it frequently. Finally, we created fruit fly traps (we used the inverted water bottle traps). Either cheap wine (Three Buck Chuck from Trader Joe's is great for this) or the apple cider vinegar and dish soap baits gave us the most success killing them.

It worked so well last year, so we've been keeping it up this summer to keep things from getting out of control again.
posted by PearlRose at 1:20 PM on August 29, 2017

Unless you're getting frozen fruit flies in your ice-cubes, they're not happening inside your freezer.
posted by slightlybewildered at 4:42 PM on August 29, 2017

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