How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies – 6 Ways To Combat Fruit Flies + Prevention Tips

Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc Experience: 3 years

Did you walk into your kitchen, only to find it swarming with tiny flies? Are these flies coming from the trash cans that were left open or from the fruits that you forgot to refrigerate the previous night? These tiny nuisances are undoubtedly fruit flies.

Fruit flies can enter your homes rather easily and pose a risk of contaminating the fruits and veggies you may have left outside for ripening. Hence, it is necessary that you get rid of them before they spread diseases. This article has simple DIY traps that can help in getting rid of fruit flies for good. Read on to know more!

Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

Fruit flies need a moist area to grow – like ripened or fermenting fruits or vegetables. Drains, garbage bins with leftover food, cans, empty bottles, and cleaning mops and rags – all of these can attract fruit flies.

Adult fruit flies usually lay up to 500 eggs at a time on such moist surfaces. When these eggs hatch, the larvae from them may also begin feeding on these surfaces.

Since these flies are tiny, they can easily sneak into houses through the windows or door screens. They can also directly hatch in the fruits/vegetables or other surfaces they were laid on.

Here are some interesting facts about fruit flies.

Facts About Fruit Flies

  • Fruit flies have a rapid life cycle. They live and die quickly.
  • In a single mating, fruit flies can produce hundreds of offsprings that are genetically identical.
  • Fruit flies have helped widely in genetic research and are the ideal lab subjects for many genetic studies.
  • Fruit flies were first genetically studied by the American biologist and geneticist, Thomas Hunt Morgan.
  • Fruit flies were found to have 14,000 genes (despite being so small!) whereas humans have 24,000 genes.
  • A striking 75% of genes that cause diseases in humans were also mirrored in the fruit flies.

Who knew these pesky creatures could actually be useful in research! Let us now look at some factors that can attract fruit flies to your home.

What Causes Fruit Flies?

The causes of fruit flies include:

  • Unrefrigerated fruits and/or vegetables
  • Infested fruits and vegetables that were purchased
  • Inadequately screened windows and/or door screens
  • Open trash cans and drainages
  • Old sponges, mops, and rags
  • Unwashed dishes
  • Potato and onion storage areas

All these factors could be contributing to the sudden infestation of fruit flies in your homes. However, worry not. Listed below are some easy and effective ways to get rid of fruit flies naturally.

How To Combat Fruit Flies Naturally

6 Ways To Kill Fruit Flies

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

You Will Need
  • A bowl or cup
  • ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • A plastic wrap
  • A rubber band
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a small bowl or cup and fill it with one-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar.
  2. Wrap the mouth of the cup with a plastic sheet.
  3. Use a rubber band to hold the wrap in place.
  4. Poke small holes in the plastic wrap using a needle or safety pin.
  5. Place this trap in an area prone to fruit flies.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this when you notice an increase in fruit flies in your home.

Why This Works

The fermented vinegar attracts fruit flies. These flies can easily enter the cup/bowl via the holes in the plastic wrap, but they can’t crawl back out.

2. Red Wine Trap

Red Wine Trap
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • ¼ cup of red wine
  • 1 bowl or cup
  • A plastic wrap
  • A rubber band
  • A drop of liquid soap
What You Have To Do
  1. Pour one-fourth cup of red wine into a glass bowl or cup.
  2. Add a drop of liquid soap to it and mix well.
  3. Cover the opening of the bowl/cup with a plastic wrap.
  4. Tie a rubber band around the wrap to keep it in place.
  5. Poke small holes in the wrap.
  6. Place this trap in the infested area.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this once every few weeks.

Why This Works

The fermented red wine can attract the fruit flies into the bowl. However, once the flies get trapped in the liquid wine, they can’t get out.

3. Clean Your Drainage

You Will Need

A bacterial digester or bleach

What You Have To Do
  1. Pour some bacterial digester into the drains that are infested by the eggs of fruit flies.
  2. You can also substitute a bacterial digester with bleach, but it won’t be as effective as bleach may not stick well enough to kill the eggs.
How Often You Should Do This

You can follow this procedure once in a few months or whenever you see an increase in the number of fruit flies in your home.

Why This Works

Cleaning infested drainages can prevent the eggs of fruit flies from hatching. This can help you combat them.

4. Paper Cone And Banana Trap

Paper Cone And Banana Trap
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • A piece of paper
  • A slice of banana or any other fruit
  • A glass jar or bowl
  • A tape
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a piece of paper from a notebook.
  2. Gently fold the paper to make a cone.
  3. Place the paper cone in an inverted position over the jar.
  4. Tape the cone to the jar.
  5. Keep the trap in any corner of your kitchen.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this whenever there is an increase in the number of fruit flies in your home.

Why This Works

The ripe banana attracts the fruit flies that will get into the jar through the paper cone. The flies will not be able to find their way out once they enter the jar.

5. Homemade Essential Oil Spray

Homemade Essential Oil Spray
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons of witch hazel
  • 30 drops each of lavender, cinnamon, citronella, and cedarwood essential oil
  • An empty spray bottle
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Blend all the ingredients in the spray bottle.
  2. Fill the remaining bottle with water.
  3. Close the bottle and shake well.
  4. Spray this mixture around the areas where fruit flies are more likely to rest.
  5. You can also use this spray on plants infested with fruit flies.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this whenever you notice the flies in your home or garden.

Why This Works

Witch hazel helps the essential oil in spreading whereas coconut oil acts as an emulsifier. Fruit flies dislike the smell of essential oils and are repelled by the spray.

6. Apple Clove Trap

Apple Clove Trap
Image: Shutterstock
You Will Need
  • 1 ripe apple
  • 30-35 cloves
What You Have To Do
  1. Take a ripe apple and stick 30-35 cloves all over it.
  2. Do not remove the apple peel.
  3. Place this trap near your windows, doors, or any place where you don’t want the fruit flies swarming.
How Often You Should Do This

You can do this every once in a while.

Why This Works

This is one of the best ways to get rid of fruit flies. Fruit flies are repelled by the strong smell of cloves. Hence, they will not enter your home if you keep this trap near your doors and windows. The flies already inside your home will also flee away.

Along with these traps, you may take the following prevention tips to control fruit fly infestation in your home.

How To Prevent Fruit Flies

  • Maintain proper sanitation in your kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Clear your garbage cans regularly.
  • Either eat or refrigerate ripened fruits.
  • Use screens on your windows.
  • Wash and dry the damp kitchen towels regularly.
  • Keep your homes and surroundings clean.
  • Buy fruits and vegetables from hygienic places.

Often, fruit flies are mistaken for gnats due to their similar appearance.

Hence, we have summed up some of the major differences between the two.

Fruit Flies Vs. Gnats

Fruit Flies

  • Fruit flies are usually beige or brownish-orange.
  • They are usually round, like a smaller version of the common house fly.
  • Their eyes are easily recognizable as they are big and bright red.
  • Fruit flies feed on overripe fruits or rotting food.
  • They divide rapidly.
  • Fruit flies contaminate food and can cause diseases to spread.


  • Gnats are glossy and often black or deep gray.
  • Gnats are comparatively longer and look more similar to mosquitoes.
  • Gnats have very small eyes that can hardly be seen.
  • They nest in the soil of gardens or indoor potted plants.
  • Like fruit flies, they divide quickly.
  • Gnats can damage plant roots.

You can easily manage combat fruit flies with the help of the traps and tips discussed in this article. Now that you have a fair idea about fruit flies, what attracts them, and how to get rid of them, waste no time in putting all you know into action.

Do let us know how this article helped you. Have you tried any of these methods to get rid of fruit flies? Which method was the most effective? Share your thoughts and feedback with us in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What attracts fruit flies?

Fruit flies are mostly attracted to ripening fruits and vegetables. They are also attracted to moist areas like drainages or wet mops and kitchen towels. Fruit flies can also be found in garbage bins, especially if they contain leftover food.

How to get rid of fruit flies in plants?

All the traps mentioned in this article can help you get rid of fruit flies when placed next to the affected plant. The essential oil spray remedy is an easy way to get rid of fruit flies in plants.

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
Shaheen Naser

Shaheen NaserHealth & Wellness Writer

Shaheen holds a postgraduate degree in Human Genetics and Molecular Biology from Bharathiar University. She is a Geneticist with proficiency in Biotechnology, Immunology, Medical Genetics, Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Genetic Counseling. Her passion for writing and her educational background have assisted her substantially in writing quality content on topics related to health and wellness for over three years. In her full bio

Latest Articles