How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies Fast

Fruit flies are fast-breeding and invasive. Because they can reproduce quickly, it’s best to have a plan in place to get rid of them every spring and summer. With just a few ingredients, you can build your own fruit fly traps and keep these pests at bay.

fruit fly

Our Top Picks For The Best Fruit Fly Traps & Sprays

Not All Tiny Flies Are Fruit Flies

It’s important to know what sort of pest you’re dealing with before you try to contain or poison them. There are several tiny flies that may become nuisances in the kitchen.

  • Fruit flies live happily around any fresh or rotten produce. Additionally, they can live in organic matter and trash. If your garbage is open, fruit flies can feed there.

  • Sphaerocerid flies make their home in rotten produce, moist drains, and trash cans.

  • Phorid flies like trash cans, soil and moist drains. They can also feed on spoiled flesh. If you return dried leaves from your houseplants to the potting soil, Phorid flies may make themselves at home in this mulch.

  • Drain flies are drawn to sewers, soil and, of course, drains.

Around your home, keeping animal waste picked up is critically important to reduce the population of large and small flies.

Within your home, keep trash covered and reduce the amount of standing water (such as dirty dishes left in the sink or half-filled cups and glasses) left lying around.

Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

Fruit flies lay their eggs on ripening produce. These eggs hatch into maggots or larvae within 30 hours. Fruit fly eggs are tiny; it’s nearly impossible to find them inside a piece of fruit before they hatch.

Once the maggots have hatched, they burrow into the fruit, causing it to spoil. From here, fruit fly maggots move to a dryer location to pupate.

It’s important to note that the timing of the pupate stage is variable; fruit flies can hatch from the pupae in as little as two days at room temperature.

Fruit fly pupae are extremely difficult to destroy because they’re tiny and generally aren’t found around food.

Two days after hatching, female fruit flies are sexually mature. In their short lifespan (generally 8 to 10 days after hatching from the pupae), female fruit flies can lay hundreds of eggs.​

How Long Do Fruit Flies Live?

From egg to breeding adult, fruit flies live for 24 days. This includes​:

  • Eight days as larvae, eating as much as possible inside the organic matter upon which they hatched
  • Six days as pupae, dormant and encapsulated, then
  • Eight to ten days as adults. Two days after leaving the pupae, fruit flies can breed and lay more eggs.

What’s The Best Way To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies?

Prevention is critical when keeping fruit flies out of your home. Keep trash covered or at least stored away in a cupboard and empty bins frequently in the spring and summer.

Don’t rely on screens to keep away these tiny pests; they can sneak in through the mesh.

Keep air moving so fruit flies have a hard time landing on counters and tables.

What do fruit flies eat? Moist organic matter. The smell of Beapco Fruit Fly traps may be what your flies are looking for.

Don’t leave any produce out during warmer months. Make sure counters and cabinets are wiped down regularly. Don’t overwater indoor plants or leave any water standing around uncovered.

Like many unwelcome guests, if you stop feeding them, they’ll stop showing up!​

Fruit Fly Traps And Repellent

Avoid using any toxic fruit fly spray around food. There’s no need to poison yourself and your family in an effort to get rid of these pests.

If you’d like to use a natural repellant spray to make fruit flies unwelcome, consider blending peppermint essential oil with warm water and spritzing it along countertops and around sinks. It will freshen the air and send fruit flies looking elsewhere.

There are several commercially produced sticky traps available. You can place them along the edges of counters and around sinks until they’re full.

Make Your Own Fruit Fly Trap.

The simplest way is to set an overripe piece of fruit in an open plastic bag on the counter. A produce bag from the grocery store with a chunk of banana on it works well for this. As the fruit flies visit, tie the bag shut and throw it away.

Doing this every few hours over the course of a weekend will greatly reduce the number of fruit flies in your house because you’re discarding eggs and adults at the same time.​

What attracts fruit flies? Apparently, they’re drawn to fermentation and rot. You can capitalize on this by leaving a bit of red wine in the bottom of the bottle.

Fruit flies will stop, enjoy a drink, and be unable to make their way out of the bottle. If they visit and join the party but don’t drown, cap the bottle and put it in the freezer to kill them.

You can also build a trap with a jar and a piece of paper.

homemade fly trap

In the bottom of the jar, place​:

  • a piece of overripe fruit
  • a splash of apple cider vinegar
  • a drop of dish soap​

Roll the paper into a funnel and place it in the top of the jar. Fruit flies will enter the funnel and feast on the fruit. Because they won’t be able to escape due to the funnel, they’ll fall on the liquid. The soap will break the surface tension and they’ll sink and drown.

Final Thoughts

Any time you bring produce into your house, you may be carrying fruit fly eggs. They don’t bite, but they do carry bacteria as they travel, so it’s important to use preventative measures where possible and use traps as soon as you notice them hovering about.​

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