Life Hacks

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

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Fruit flies are unwanted houseguests, and getting rid of them is not as easy as many think. You can shoo them away but eliminating them for good needs a smart and long-term solution.

These pesky pests are annoying as you will see them in front of you when cooking or sitting on your food. But you don’t have to worry. Here you will learn what causes fruit flies and effective ways to repel fruit flies.

Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

Many people don’t know where fruit flies come from. They are usually attracted to fermenting vegetables and fruits. These pesky pests are known to inhabit garbage disposals and trash cans if there is plenty of food.

Female fruit flies lay around 550 eggs at a time, which hatch in 24 hours. This makes it very difficult to control these critters.

They lay their eggs on kitchen counters or inside decaying or rotting fruits. After the eggs hatch, the larvae feed on the surroundings for several days and then evolve into mature adults.

Fruit flies’ life cycle is also very fast as they can mate after two days only after maturing. This means that these pests will have multiplied to thousands of them for only one week, hence the need to act quickly.

How Do You Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

There are numerous ways of getting rid of fruit flies, from store-bought applications to DIY methods.  The following are some of the ways that will help you eliminate these nuisance pests from your home:

Find Their Origin

You need to ask yourself, where are the fruit flies coming from? If you see that they are flying out from open food items or decaying fruits, just throw the food out and clean that area.

This will help to prevent female fruit flies from laying eggs on these surfaces. Besides, ensure you disinfect that area using any cleaner type. Eliminating where they inhabit will help you get rid of fruit flies.

Keep All the Surfaces Clean

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Keeping all your surfaces sparkling clean is one of the simplest ways to repel fruit flies. If you don’t want fruit flies in your home, make sure you regularly clean all the surfaces, including countertops.

Ensure that your kitchen sink is free of food residue and other particles since this can be the best breeding ground for fruit flies. In addition, if you see them around the trash can, take it out and wipe down the can with a heavy-duty cleaner. Always let the can dry well before you use it.

Regularly Change the Sponges and Dishcloths

Sponges and dishcloths are kitchen items that aid in keeping utensils clean. However, they are sometimes left with food leftovers.

Though some of these food leftovers may be invisible, they accumulate inside, and fruit flies start breeding on them. To prevent this from happening, ensure you frequently replace these dishcloths weekly.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Pour apple cider vinegar into a glass or bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Secure the edges using a rubber band and poke some tiny holes in the plastic wrap.

The vinegar will attract many fruit flies. Once they get inside, it will be difficult for them to get out; hence they will die there.

Use Vinegar, Old Fruit, and Cone Paper

Place a small piece of ripe fruit in a jar. Add some little vinegar, and roll the paper into a cone shape. Place the tiny opening down, and stick the paper into the jar.

The smell of the over-ripping fruit will attract the fruit flies. The cone paper will trap these pests, and they will not come out.

Use Dish Soap, Black Pepper, Sugar, and Milk

cleaning kitchen in latex gloves
Photo by Ron Lach on

Mix ½ cup of milk and add two teaspoons of sugar. Heat this mixture in a microwave or on a stove and stir it until the sugar dissolves completely.

Stir in a dish soap’s squirt to make it sticky; hence the fruit flies can escape. Place the mixture into a bowl and sprinkle it with black pepper.

What smell do fruit flies hate? The scent produced by the mixture will keep away all the fruit flies. Eventually, your home will be free from these critters.

Use of Beer or Old Wine

Fruit flies like the smell of beer or old wine. What you need to do is to leave a little beer in an open bottle. The fruit flies will be attracted by the stale beverage and get inside the bottle, the skinny neck will trap the flies, and they won’t escape.

To make this DIY trap more successful, you can add a few drops of a soap dish. You will be surprised by the effectiveness of this DIY trick by seeing potential casualties of fruit flies.

Deterring Scents

What do fruit flies hate? Fruit flies hate various natural scents such as eucalyptus, clove, lavender, lemongrass, and peppermint.

Hang dried herbs in muslin sacks or paper tea bags around your house. You can also add these plants’ oils into a diffuser for a pleasant scent that will keep fruit flies away from your home.

Cover Fruit Bowls

Fruit flies have a strong sense of vegetables and fruits, and they are lured from far away. Therefore, ensure you keep your fruit bowls clean and cover them with a cloth, cake dome, or plastic wrap.

Hire an Exterminator

This should be your last resort after all the other DIY methods have failed. The methods exterminators use are effective though costly. The chemicals applied to get rid of fruit flies can adversely affect you, your loved ones, and your pets.


a fly perched on a plant
Photo by Ray Bilcliff on

Fruit flies are annoying pesky pests and can pose health risks if not controlled. They carry bacteria that they deposit on your fresh fruits and foods. Plus, the females lay eggs on fresh fruits contaminating them.

You can use the above methods to repel fruit flies from your home. Remember, the most important thing is to keep your surfaces clean and free from any food particles.

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