How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies – A Step-By-Step Guide

You need to get rid of fruit flies as they can annoy and cause concern for your health. When you have fruit flies in your home, it makes the place feel unhygienic. So, it becomes a cause for embarrassment. Different insects, from ant to spiders, are not something you wish in your home. Fruit flies come under the category of insects that can make you frustrated. You can kill one or more fruit flies and suddenly you can see several flies. With some simple steps, you can deal with the nuisance and keep your home safe from diseases.

What Are Fruit Flies?

Before going into the details of how to get rid of fruit flies, you need to know more about the small insects. It is comprised of several different species who belong to the Drosophila genus. The annoying fruit flies you encounter in-home and other areas belong to the D. melanogaster species. The flies are also known as vinegar flies. You can find them anywhere in the world. it is present in homes, grocery stores, food processing plants, warehouses, wineries, restaurants, and other structures. While you can shoo them away, it offers no long-term solution. It is better to keep your kitchen clean and take some steps to prevent their breeding. It will help you get free of the flies in no time.

Fruit Flies

Have you observed that there is always more than one fly disturbing you? The multiple fruit flies are found in your kitchen or near the fruit bowl because the mature female fly always lays multiple eggs. They lay it on the surface or inside a fruit that is overripe, decaying or rotten. So, when you see fruit flies, take immediate action as they can reach the adult stage within days. A mature female can lay up to five hundred eggs. With a quick life cycle, the flies can multiply quickly, leaving you frustrated. So, it means you need to start cleaning your kitchen as early as possible.

Difference Between Fruit Fly And A Gnat

Difference Between Fruit Fly And A Gnat
fruit fly

When you see little black bugs flying in your house, you may confuse it with a gnat. It is a common lookalike. So, you have to confirm the insect type when you see them. Fungus gnats are black or gray while fruit flies look brown, light tan or reddish-orange. You can find the fruit flies near too ripe fruits or fruit produces. Fruit flies thrive on substances with high fructose content while gnats live in soils or plants. So, observe the insects. The place where you spot them can help differentiate fruit flies and gnats.

Fruit Fly Lifecycle

Fruit flies are usually found hovering around overripe fruits or decaying vegetation. You can find it mostly around your fruit counter as the ripe fruits tend to attract the flies. The fruit flies are also present near fermenting materials. So, its presence is noted near soft drinks or leftover beer. You might have noticed the presence of the flies in the kitchen more compared to other rooms. It is because of the vegetable and fruit presence. The fruit flies increase in number after a major home canning effort. Apart from annoying, the fruit flies are also a cause of health concern. The small insects frequent unsanitary areas like garbage. So, they come in contact with disease-causing bacteria. It can spread the bacteria onto your food and make you ill. So, you need to take steps to get rid of fruit flies.

Fruit Fly Lifecycle

Like all flies, fruit flies also develop by complete metamorphosis. It undergoes three stages of development to become an adult. At room temperatures, the eggs take one to two weeks to develop into an adult. The first two stages of the development of fruit fly spans for approximately eight days. While the last stage lasts for six days. Fruit flies can live for several weeks. The three stages of development of fruit flies are:


A female fruit fly lays the eggs on top of fermenting materials (attractants). So, it lays eggs on decaying fruit, beverages, garbage, decomposing vegetable matter or slime in drains. The eggs require an area that has moisture content. So, it can also lay the eggs on wet rags or mops.


Larvae hatch twenty-four hours after the female fruit fly lays the eggs. The larvae undergo instars. It is the molting stage that leads to the development of head, mouth, spiracles, cuticle, and hooks. When the larvae emerge from the fruit fly eggs, it feeds near the fermenting/decomposing material. The stage lasts for five to six days.


To pupate, the larva crawl to a drier area. It occurs during the third instar of larvae. During the stage, a pupa case forms of the skin of the larvae. It proceeds to develop into a hard surface. After twenty-four hours, the pupa develops into the adult fly. It is possible to see the folded wings and pigmentation of eyes through the puparium (the pupal case). Just before the adult fly emerges, the pupa darkens.

Adult Fly

The adult fly appears after the completion of metamorphosis. It pushes through the anterior end of the pupal case (also referred to as operculum). Initially, the fruit fly appears light in coloration. It has an elongated abdomen and expanded wings. But, after a few hours, the physical appearance changes. It becomes dark and expands its abdomen. The fruit flies also extend their wings. After 48 hours, the adult flies become sexually mature. So, the female fruit flies start breeding and laying eggs. The adult fruit flies are extremely fertile for their entire life spans. So, they can cause significant annoyance. The female flies can store sperms from multiple inseminations. So, it tends to use the sperm stored for future egg production.

Characteristics Of Fruit Flies

Fruits flies are common in homes, restaurants, grocery stores and other areas where it is possible for food or produce to rot as well as experience fermentation. Adult fruit fly measures 1/8 inches and has red eyes. It has a tan fort part and black rear portion. The newly emerged male fruit fly is attracted to lights. But, a fertile female fruit fly stays near the fermenting material. It continues to feed near the surface of the fermenting mass.

Why do you need to get rid of fruit flies? It is because of its enormous reproductive potential. With ideal opportunity, they can lay hundreds of eggs within their lifespan. So, you can see a tremendous increase in the number of flies within a within. The life cycle of a fruit fly from eggs to adults is completed within 7-8 days. Without preventive or eradication methods, it can affect your kitchen. They carry disease-causing bacteria, which makes you ill. It also makes your kitchen unhygienic.

Get Rid Of Fruit Flies By Taking Preventive Measures

Instead of finding the best way to get rid of fruit flies, you can prevent them from attacking your home or business place. So, to avoid the problem, you need to eliminate the source of attraction. You can follow the steps suggested below to avoid fruit flies in your home:

Avoid Fruits To Become Overripe

Fruits in a warm environment can become ripe. As it starts to ripen, it releases ethanol. So, eat ripe fruits or refrigerate them. You can discard overripe fruits if it is impossible to eat them.

Discard Cracked Portion Of Fruits/Vegetables

The cracked or damaged portion of a fruit or vegetable can attract fruit flies where they lay eggs. So, the wounded portion has high chances of eggs or larvae presence. Therefore, cut the rotten fruit or vegetable and place it inside the refrigerator. Else, it becomes the breeding ground for fruit flies.

Clean/Empty Recycling Bin

You need to clean the recycling bin to avoid the presence of spilled juice or other sugary fruits. The bin can also contain discarded fruits or vegetable remains that attract fruit flies. So, clean them after emptying it.

Prevent Fruit Flies From Outside

People who have garden cultivating fruits and vegetables need to equip their windows and doors with mesh screens. The tight-fitting screens avoid the fruit flies from getting into your homes. The garden can have overripe/damaged fruits and vegetables, which is breeding ground for fruit flies. Since it is impossible to check each and every fruit/vegetable, you can avoid fruit flies by taking putting mesh screens on windows and doors.

Effective Methods To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies

It is not easy to kill the fruit flies as they can anticipate your attack. They can reposition their legs when they sense an attack. So, how can you get rid of fruit flies? Here are some effective ways to eliminate the annoying fly from your home or workplace:

Make A Vinegar Trap

You need to make a vinegar trap to attract the fruit flies. So, take a bowl or cup with a small amount of vinegar at the bottom. Apple cider vinegar, balsamic or red wine vinegar is perfect to make the trap. You need to cover the trap tightly with a plastic wrap. Secure it with a rubber band around it. Make small holes in the plastic wrap that allows flies to crawl in. But, they get trapped inside the bowl as they cannot crawl out.

Make A Vinegar Trap

You can also make a funnel instead of covering it with plastic wrap. Roll a funnel out of a piece of paper and put it in a jar with little ACV. You can place it at the place with several fruit flies. Release them outside after trapping the flies. Using a ripe banana or other fruit instead of vinegar can also prove effective.

Make A Soap Trap

You can make a soap trap in a similar way. Take a small cup or bowl. Mix water with a few drops of dish soap. Add one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar can attract fruit flies. But the flies cannot escape the trap due to the surface tension of the water. So, the flies fall and drown in the water. Also, you can use funnel and jar to keep the flies contained inside the jar.

Place A Carnivorous Plant

Place A Carnivorous Plant

Have you heard about carnivorous plants? There are plants that can trap insects and eat them. You can consider placing a carnivorous plant, like the sundew plant to eliminate the frustration caused by fruit flies. It is ideal when you have a garden with ripe fruits.

Take Care Of Your Damp Clothes

Damp and wet dishrags or kitchen towels are the breeding ground for fruit flies. So, wash the dishrags and kitchen towels as soon as you use them. Keeping them clean will get rid of fruit flies.

Refrain From Keeping Ripe Fruit On Counters

When the fruits ripen, it starts to ferment. It can attract fruit flies. You never know how they enter your home as they seem to appear out of thin air. So, place the ripe fruits in the fridge or place them in paper bags while keeping them on the counter. When you place in the fridge, the cold slows down the ripening of the fruit. It also avoids the development of flies. The ripe fruits start releasing ethanol that attracts the flies or hatches the eggs. So, overripe fruit in a warm room is a magnet that attracts fruit flies.

Wash Dishes To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies

Restrict the breeding ground of fruit flies by keeping up with the dishes. You need to wash them to cut down the breeding. The fruit flies tend to lay eggs on the gunk accumulated on your plates in the sink. So, avoid leaving dirty plates or cups of water/liquid in your sink.

Clean The Drain

It is essential to clean the drain in the kitchen to prevent the breeding of the fruit flies. So, use ice or apple cider vinegar can aid in cleaning the drain. You can run a kitchen fan to keep the fruit flies away. Since the flies breed on rotting fruit and vegetables, keep the drain clean to avoid the problem.

Check For Rotten Produce

You need to eat overripe fruits on your counter. If you cannot eat them, then toss it out. For vegetables, you can cut the rotting part of the vegetable. You need to throw away the cracked and damaged parts of the fruits and vegetables. Rotting fruit or vegetables can spill juices that breed thousands of fruit flies.

Freeze Your Compost

If you have compost at home, then change the habits to deal with fruit flies. While some bugs can offer greater benefits for the compost pile, it causes havoc with fruit flies. The insects can lay eggs and breed on the compost of the produce. Freezing the vegetables or fruit waste is an effective method to prevent the breeding of fruit flies. It kills the flies and their eggs. You need to churn the compost often to prevent the breeding of fly. Place fruit fly traps near the compost. If the contents do not decompose quickly outside, then you freeze the scrap produce before taking them outside.

Try Essential Oils

The essential oil has insect-repelling properties. So, you can try some natural oils to get rid of fruit flies. You can place basil plants directly near the fruit bowl. Basil plants can repel fruit flies. You can also try soaking cedar balls or lavender oil in the sponge on the counter near the fruit bowl. Lemongrass and incense can also repel fruit flies. So, opt the effective method to keep the annoying insects at bay.

Wash Incoming Produce

At times, you can bring the fruit flies to your home. You unwittingly bring produce from grocery stores that have eggs of the fruit flies. So, you need to avoid such issues by washing the fruits and vegetables you bring from the grocery store. As soon as you get home, wash them properly. It applies to bananas too. While you may think no need to wash bananas. But, it contains sticky substances that can attract fruit flies. Try to wash the fruits and vegetables before bringing them into your house. So, place a clean bucket with water outside to wash the produce.

Get Rid Of Fruit Flies By Eradicating Breeding Places

The best possible method to get rid of fruit flies is to kill them. You need to find the source of breeding and take steps to kill them. Eliminating the breeding area is necessary for the proper management of fruit flies. Here are the steps to find the area of infestation and eliminate fruit flies completely:

Identify Breeding Sources

You need to look for sources where you have stored vegetables or fruits. Focus on areas that are outside refrigeration. You need to look under appliances, garbage cans, and recycling bins. Spilled juices or sugary items behind an appliance can even become the fertile breeding ground for fruit flies. While searching for the breeding grounds, focus on moist decaying organic matter. It is because the larva of fruit flies can only survive in the suggested condition. Organic debris is vital to completing the fruit fly life cycle. So, remove the materials and food on which fruit flies can lay eggs.

Finding a potential breeding source can pose a big challenge. In some cases, the sites are inaccessible like drains and garbage disposals. In such cases, you can tap a food storage bag over the openings of drain or garbage disposals. If fruit flies breed in the area, then you can catch the adult flies in the bag.

Eliminate Breeding Source

You need to eliminate the breeding source using insecticide. Use a pyrethrum-based aerosol insecticide to kill the adult fruit flies.

The suggested steps can help you eliminate the fruit flies and help overcome the annoying problem of fruit flies effectively.


The fruit flies are experts at escaping. While fruit fly is the smallest one found in most homes, it can make you frustrated. You need an effective plan to eliminate the flies from your home. So, you need to get rid of fruit flies with the above-mentioned methods. You encounter the problem usually late summer or early fall. It can infest garbage areas or kitchens.

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