Fruit flies infiltrate student housing

As fall turns to winter, we notice a few more guests on campus. No, not prospective students or visiting lectors, smaller guest who tend to bug people. Fruit flies.

There have been serval complaints made by residents in the Hewlett-Packard apartments of having fruit flies occupying their living spaces.

Environmental Services Superintendent, Tim Stewart, says that fruit flies are not uncommon at this time in the season.

“They’re  common, especially at this fall transition time, this is when we’re getting hit hardest, always have, not just us at Linfield but the whole area and so their very prevalent right now,” Stewart said. “With such a mild launch into our winter, they are really prolific right now.”

While the fruit flies maybe sticking around the area for the time being, there are steps that students can take to prevent or get rid of the fruit flies.

The first thing students should do is put in a work order, said Director of Facilities and Auxiliary Services, Allison Horn.

“There are some things you can do on your own, but if you need experts to come, you should put in a work order,” Horn said.

Javier Mendoza, Cleaning Services Supervisor, is the expert in facilities services who deals with any pest problems on campus.

“The first thing you should do is take the trash out, that the most important in,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza also touches on the importance of also tending to the recycling. As the Linfield campus works to become greener, it is also important to remember to rinse recyclables so they don’t attract flies.

“I noticed them the weekend before Halloween. We heard they like carved pumpkins, so we threw ours away, got rid of all of our fruit in the apartment, and put out traps filled with apple cider vinegar and dish soap,” junior Malika Reynolds said. “Our roommate who works at facilities told us that people have asked them for help, so we figured we would go to them if it didn’t get better.”

It is important to contact facilities because it may not even be fruit flies.

“It could be fruit flies or drain flies, so it’s important to have those identified and we can help with that.” Mendoza said.

Stewart also added that it could also be fungus gnats, if you have plants.

“The first thing we want do is find that harborage, what’s bring them in,” Stewart said. “It’s key to keeping them out.”

Once the problem has been identified, there are some home remedies that students can use.

“Cider vinegar is a major attractant for fruit flies, they get in, they drink it, they get drunk and they fall in and die,” Stewart said.

Sophomore Morgan Folsom suggest her own home remedy.

“A lot of times they lay their eggs in your sink,” Folsom said. “So usually pouring some bleach down there helps them from magically re-spawning.”

While junior Morgan Seymour’s HP apartment hasn’t been affected, she still took preventive measures to ensure this.

“We try to keep our apartment super clean and we keep all of our fruit in the refrigerator so I think that’s why we’ve been able to avoid them,” Seymour said.

Students best bet for help on the subject is contact facility services and placing a work order, so a full assessment can be made of each situation.

“When students are first living on their own, it’s a whole new world,” Horn said. “It’s different from being able to tell your mom that there’s a problem, so we’re happy to help.”

Kaylyn Peterson / Managing editor

Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at