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How can I get Rid of Fruit Flies?

Nicole Madison
Updated Mar 05, 2024
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Fruit flies are those tiny flies you'll often find hovering over your fruit bowl or around your kitchen sink drain. While they don't bite or otherwise harm humans, they are rather gross, as they make maggots. Getting rid of them can be surprisingly difficult since they're so small. However, with a little effort, you can be free of them in no time.

To get rid of fruit flies, make your first step getting rid of what attracts them: food in which they can breed. Cover your fruit bowl or store your fruit in the refrigerator. Sweep up all crumbs and wipe down any counters that may have food residue on them. Clear your drain of all food, and make sure your trashcan has a lid. Discard any overripe fruit, especially bananas, as they are a fruit fly's dream.

Clean thoroughly to get rid of fruit flies. Wipe up spills right away, and wash your dishrags and dish towels frequently. Avoid leaving dirty laundry around when you have a fruit fly infestation. Never put garbage of any kind in your waste-paper baskets. Clean the seals of your refrigerator and under and around your stove and dishwasher.

Once you've cleaned up and made your home inhospitable to fruit flies, it's time to get rid of those that have already invaded. Spraying isn't your best bet, as you'll probably end up spraying your dishes, food, and food-preparation surfaces too. Instead, use a trap.

One trap that may help you get rid of fruit flies involves a bowl, plastic wrap, and balsamic vinegar. Put a skinless piece of fruit in the bowl with the vinegar; make sure the fruit is old enough that it's beginning to rot or is at least on the verge of doing so. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and don't leave any creases. Then, use a fork to poke small holes in the plastic. If the holes are small enough, the flies will get in, but they won't be able to maneuver back out again.

You can also use a bottle trap. Start with a large, plastic soda bottle. Pour in some vinegar (a funnel may help) until the bottom 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) or so is covered. Then put a couple of drops of dish-washing liquid in the vinegar. When your tiny pests try to land, they'll get stuck in the liquid. Others will simply get trapped in the bottle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes a fruit fly infestation in the home?

Fruit fly infestations typically begin when these tiny insects are attracted to overripe or fermenting fruits and vegetables in your home. They can also be drawn to moist, organic materials like garbage disposals, trash bins, and mops. Ensuring produce is stored properly and maintaining cleanliness can help prevent their arrival.

How can I quickly eliminate fruit flies from my kitchen?

To quickly address a fruit fly problem, begin by removing any overripe produce and cleaning up spills and residues. Create a simple trap using a bowl filled with apple cider vinegar covered by plastic wrap with small holes poked in it. The vinegar lures them in, and they can't escape, reducing the population swiftly.

Are there any natural remedies to get rid of fruit flies?

Natural remedies for fruit flies include traps made with apple cider vinegar or wine and dish soap, which break the surface tension so flies sink and drown. Herbs like basil can also repel them. Regularly cleaning drains and surfaces with a mixture of baking soda and vinegar can prevent breeding grounds from forming.

Can fruit flies cause harm or spread diseases?

While fruit flies are primarily a nuisance, they have the potential to contaminate food with bacteria and other pathogens. According to a study published in the 'Scientific Reports' journal, fruit flies can transfer microbes from a dirty surface to fresh food, which underscores the importance of managing these pests promptly and effectively.

How can I prevent fruit flies from coming back after I've gotten rid of them?

Preventing fruit flies from returning involves a few key steps: store produce in the refrigerator or sealed containers, dispose of garbage regularly, clean spills immediately, and ensure window screens are intact. Regularly wash bins and recycle containers to remove any residues that might attract fruit flies.

Is it possible to completely eradicate fruit flies from my home?

Completely eradicating fruit flies can be challenging due to their rapid breeding cycle, but it is possible with diligence. Consistently practicing good sanitation, removing attractants, and using traps can significantly reduce their numbers. Sealing entry points and monitoring for new activity will help keep your home fruit fly-free over time.

AllThingsNature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a AllThingsNature writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

Discussion Comments

By anon930487 — On Feb 05, 2014

There is an easy, EPA approved, do-it-yourself commercial pest control solution! Fruit Fly Bar Pro is a silent, odorless, colorless killer that attacks and treats the problem area at its source. One treatment lasts for up to four months without shutting down your business a single hour!

By anon119864 — On Oct 19, 2010

i will try this. there are so many fruit flies in my house it's not even funny!

By anon116718 — On Oct 07, 2010

I don't think it's a good idea to be putting ammonia down the drain and back into our water systems. However, try using white vinegar instead or a hot water(boiling or close to it) and bleach solution.

By anon94054 — On Jul 06, 2010

I have a major fruit fly problem they but the method caught 86 in one week. this helped a lot. Thanks.

By anon50160 — On Oct 26, 2009

I've heard pouring ammonia down your drain actually helps destroy gnats and other nasties. Try that. I'll be getting a bottle as soon as I can.

By lil_moon — On Jul 09, 2009

I've tried the bottle method to get rid of fruit flies, but without success. I'll have to try the bowl method to see if that works. I think they breed in my garbage disposal.

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a AllThingsNature writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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