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New Year Cleaning: How to Get Rid Of Fruit Flies, Mildew, and Disinfect Your Home

2020 has been a strange year, to say the least. Besides essential workers who have been working nonstop – thank you, we appreciate you! – most of us have been doing our best to stay safe at home. So how about we spruce up our space this weekend, and start 2021 on the right foot? 

This is not a deep clean your home post, but an “I have not left my house in months, and weird things are starting to grow, post. Don’t worry, these tips are easy and not too time-consuming, so you can go back to binging your favourite Netflix show in no time. 

Fruit flies in your kitchen? 

Let’s start with a common, irritating pest that most homeowners will have to deal with once in a while: fruit flies. They seemingly come out of nowhere and make themselves very comfortable in your kitchen. These tiny bugs are attracted to fermented fruitsvegetablesand traces of food or other sticky spills you may not even be able to see on your countertops. The first step in getting rid of fruit flies is to get rid of expired fruits and veggies, and to wipe your counters clean. Female fruit flies will look for sticky surfaces (i.e., juice spills), or inside of rotting fruits to lay their eggs – and these mamas can lay up to 500 eggs at a time (yikes)! After hatching, babies only take a few days to become functional adults and can mate on their 2nd day of adulthood. So, when you spot a single fruit fly, for your own sanity, spring into action right away. 

Apple Cider Vinegar and Plastic Wrap: 

Fill a glass or bowl with apple cider vinegar and cover the top with plastic wrap, poking a few tiny holes. To seal the edge, wrap an elastic band around the plastic wrap. The fruit flies will be attracted to the scent of vinegar, which will lure them inside the trap, and once inside they won’t be able to escape.  

Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish soap: 

Fill a glass or bowl with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap, then mix it well. The smell of the vinegar will attract them and the dish soap will trap them inside the mixture – similar to quicksand.  

Old Beer/Wine 

If you’re participating in dry January, this is a good one. Just leave a bottle of beer or wine open near the fruit fly hotspot and they’ll be lured by the smell and trapped inside because of the narrow neck of the bottle.  

Mildew 

Mold and mildew grow and thrive in moist conditions. If a spot in your home tends to get wet and isn’dried up quickly or regularly, things will start to grow. Here is how you should remove mildew when you see it: 

On your walls: 

Start by wearing gloves, and mix one part bleach to three parts water. Dampen a sponge with your mixture and apply to the moldy area. Once the mildew disappears, dry the area with a towel.  

Other: 

If you find mold growing on upholstery, antique, carpet, or other fabric surfaces, it’s best to have it cleaned by a professional – they will know how to take care of the affected area and can prevent future incidents 

Disinfect your home 

Start the new year fresh by thoroughly disinfecting your home. There are a lot of surfaces in our homes that we can overlook when it’s time to disinfect, let’s get rid of that bacteria.  

Supplies: Soap, water, and your favourite disinfectant. 

Start by cleaning the dirty surface with soap and water and then disinfect. 

Here is a list of high traffic areas you should tackle: 

  • Doorknobs 
  • Light switches 
  • Cellphones 
  • Keyboards and mice 
  • Tables (especially your work-from-home table) 
  • Toilet handle 
  • Faucets 
  • Refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave handle 
  • Remote controls 
  • Staircase railings 
  • Kitchen cupboard and drawer pulls 

 

And there you have it, a few things to spruce up your place that aren’t too overwhelming and will get you ready for what 2021 has in store for us. Happy New Year!