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Eradicating Kegerator Fruit Flies PDF Print E-mail

A home beer kegerator is probably the best addition to any Man Cave or Home Bar, but if you’ve had your home beer kegerator for a while you know about fruit flies. They seem to come from no-where, sometimes in the early spring and sometimes later in the year. Then you clean and clean and they seem to reappear out of no-where!

Everyone gets fruit flies one time or another. Matter of fact the cleanest house on the block is as likely to get fruit flies as any other because of the way fruit flies get into your house. Sometimes adult fruit flies hitch a ride into your home on fruits or vegetables. Also fruit flies lay eggs on the skin of very ripe or fermenting fruit, and you could unknowingly buy a piece of fruit with hundreds of eggs just waiting to hatch into baby fruit flies! Or they may even hitch a ride on your clothes or a friend’s clothes.

Regardless of ‘why’, once fruit flies invade your house they seem to head straight for your kegerator, and there is a reason for this. Fruit flies are attracted to your beer faucets for the same reason they are attracted to a piece of very ripe or rotting fruit – they can smell your tap! But it gets even worse from there. About 48 hours after they emerge, female fruit flies are ready to lay their own eggs and these nasty little bugs are more than happy to lay eggs inside your beer faucet! These little gnats can cause serious havoc with your home kegerator. The most threatening aspect of these creatures is the potential for them to infect brews with harmful bacteria, spoiling a whole keg of beer, or even the beer lines of your kegerator.

There are some simple steps you can take to minimize fruit flies.

1. The most important step is to take is to look before you buy any fresh fruit from your local grocery store or fruit stand. More than once I’ve walked into the produce department of my local Wally-World and noticed what looks like a faint cloud over some peaches or other soft fruit. Look closer and you will see that the faint cloud is really a swarm of fruit flies that have infested those peaches or bananas. When I see this I won’t buy any fruit from them that day because I know that at least a few have jumped over to other fruit in the area.

2. Once you see any sign of fruit flies in your house, throw out or eat or cook any very ripe fruit you have. This is because fruit flies aren't limited to just bananas or peaches. They will infest anything with starch or sugar, even soft potatoes that have been sitting for a while.

3.  Then set up traps to catch any fruit flies left flying around. The best fruit fly trap is sticky fly paper and the most common type of sticky fly paper is the pull out rolls. To use one, you pull out the center then tack the end onto something with the included thumb tack. Unfortunately, the more effective this trap is, the more disgusting it appears as more and more dead fruit flies stick to the paper.

Another handy fruit fly trap is a old wine bottle or beer bottle trap. Anyone who has poured a glass of wine that has been left uncorked the morning after the party has, in all likelihood, encountered the corpse of a fly. They often get trapped in the bottle, lured by the sweet smell of wine or beer, but unable to escape due to the funneled exit. Dark glass bottles with an inch or so of beer or wine left in the bottom are probably the least offensive fruit fly traps, but they are not nearly as effective as fly paper. Just make sure you label your trap so that someone does not try to drink from the bottle or throw it away.

3. Take out the garbage after an infestation – often! You’d be surprised how much of a difference this step makes. It’s because the fruit flies are attracted to your garbage and every time you take out a bag you will be taking out a sizeable portion of your infestation.

But how do I make sure fruit flies don’t invade my kegerator?

That’s the easy part – you buy and use Beer Faucet Protectors on your kegerator tap faucets. Beer faucet protectors are made of soft plastic and are designed to slip over the mouth of your beer faucets. They work in two ways. First, they completely block off your beer faucet so that the fruit flies can’t smell your beer. Second, they completely block off the fruit flies access to the inside of your beer faucets. The best part is Beer Faucet Protectors are washable and reusable. Some users even spray a little StarSan in their beer faucet protectors before installing them for a little extra protection.

You can buy Beer Faucet Protectors for less than $1.00 each in packs of 6.

Black Red Blue 2 of Each Color

Beer Faucet Protectors are also available from Amazon for less than $0.30 each in packs of 40. And at less than $0.30 each, these are cheap enough to use for a week, then throw away and replace!

Black Red Blue 10 Red, 10 Blue, 20 Black

And BTW, don’t bother with beer faucet plugs and brushes like the one shown below!
These are sold under several names like ‘Kleen-Plug Draft Beer Faucet Cap’, 'San Jamar KLP200 Kleen Overnight Beer Tap Plugs', or ‘Faucet Hygene Plug’, and are marketed as a great way to keep your beer faucet clean. But when it comes to fruit flies, they are really the opposite! Fruit flies are small enough to crawl in between the plug and the mouth of your beer faucet and lay their eggs on the brush bristles and inside of your beer faucet, then you scrape the growing fruit fly maggot all over the inside of your beer faucet when you pull out the plug!

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