I leave bananas out on the counter, I find them surrounded by fruit flies. I can't put them in the fridge since that causes them to ripen quickly. What other options do I have?
If you can't put them in the fridge, store them in a sealed paper bag.
However, what you say is not true. They will actually ripen less quickly in the fridge. See this answer for more tips on how to decelerate the ripening of bananas.
If you still want to prevent fruit flies you have to, shortly said: clean more often.
Here are some tips:
- Keep counters clean
- Fruit flies really love spilled food or juices, crumbs, etc.
- Wash bananas and melons
- Cover your fruit bowl
- Control things that smell bad
- these include but are not limited to:
- garbage cans
- pet bedding
- litter boxes
- these include but are not limited to:
Source: Housewife How-To's - How to kill fruit flies (and prevent them, too)
IF you already are seeing fruit flies around your bananas, try this to get rid of them quickly:
Get a glass, fill it about 1/4 - 1/2 full of RED wine. Wrap the glass in saran (clear plastic wrap) and use a toothpick to poke about a dozen or so holes in the top of the wrap, which will allow access into the cup for fruit flies. Put the glass with the punctured wrap right next to the bananas, or in any other place in the kitchen that you are seeing the flies. You may want to use multiple cups.
The fruit flies will be VERY attracted to the scent of the red wine. They will enter the cup through the holes you punched in the top, but will not be able to navigate back out. I'm not sure why, but this is common for fruit flies. They cannot get back out of the trap once they get in.
Chances are, the fruit flies will not be interested in getting out any way - they will be so attracted to the red wine that they will land in it, drink it, become intoxicated, and drown in the wine. This is even better than the "Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish Detergent" method of controlling fruit flies. In fact, I did this just last night, placing 3 cups in the kitchen (we have a HUGE swarm right now due to an undiscovered piece of food getting stuck to the sink drain). In one cup, I counted about 11 dead fruit flies. In the second cup, 7. In the third cup I had 5 dead flies. I have only seen one or two stragglers in the kitchen since then. It really works well!
I know this question is pretty old, but we used to have a ton of fruit flies in our house, and this year we had NONE. Our fruit of choice is peaches, and we usually buy too many to put in the fridge. What I did is fill my sink with cold water, add 1/4 cup of white, distilled vinegar and soak the peaches for 5 min. Then you just put them on a towel on the counter, and no fruit flies. Very easy.
Drape mosquito netting over them, or use some similar fine mesh. That allows air to flow and (if the holes are small enough) will prevent fruit flies from landing on them. Just make sure to "tent" the mesh/netting so that it's not directly touching the bananas; if it's touching the netting, I'd be worried about fruit flies somehow reaching through the holes in the netting and nibbling at the bananas' peels (or laying eggs or whatever they do).
Peel the ripe bananas and store them in the freezer in a ziploc-type bag. It's then really easy to use them as and when you need them, especially if using them in smoothies. Ideally buy them ripe from the store so you can peel them immediately and don't have to leave them to ripen. As Alex says, putting them in the fridge should slow down the ripening process, so I guess you can even store the peeled bananas in the fridge too.
Flair's contention that
[putting bananas] in the fridge [...] causes them to ripen quickly is false, though a common misconception. Actually, refrigerating bananas cause their peels (aka skins--the terms are apparently interchangeable) to blacken (as explained here), but the fruit itself keeps quite well (as explained here). Unless you plan on eating (or displaying :-) banana peels, banana fruit ripens more slowly when refrigerated. So if you're only eating the fruit, do what I do:
- allow unpeeled bananas to ripen at room temperature.
- once ripened, refrigerate unpeeled bananas for up to 5 days.
- if necessary to store ripe bananas for periods > 5 days: peel, cut, and freeze.
That being said, note also that banana peels/skins are edible! though they require quite a bit of preparation. Banana-peel cake is apparently popular in Brazil; some English-language recipes are here and here.
The thing that really attracts fruit flies is when the banana tears open and the pulp is exposed.The best way to avoid this is to separate them when they are not yet ripened; that way you won't tear open by grabbing or clasping to tear one away. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn4p6WnGOmg&t=1s