Best Way to Get Rid of & Kill Fruit Flies in Your Home

By HomeAdvisor

Published January 26, 2021

fruit fly close-up

The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to make a homemade fly trap using items like apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Keeping your kitchen clean and free from rotting or molding food can stop flies from coming back. You may also need to clean your drain with boiling water, vinegar or bleach.

On this Page:

  1. Best Fruit Fly Traps
  2. Best Way to Get Rid of Fruit Flies that Have Infested Your Home
  3. Best Way to Kill Fruit Flies in Your Drain
  4. Most Effective Way to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Forever

If you have little black bugs flying around your kitchen, there’s a good chance you have fruit flies. They can come up through your sink drain, or you may bring their larvae home on the produce you buy in the store. Unfortunately, fruit flies spread dangerous bacteria, like E. coli, salmonella and listeria. But it’s easy to get rid of fruit flies with DIY pest control methods.

Best Fruit Fly Traps

The best way to catch fruit flies is to make your own trap with items you probably already have on hand. Try mixing apple cider vinegar with a drop or two of dish soap in a shallow bowl. The vinegar attracts the flies, but the dish soap weighs them down so that they can’t fly away easily.

Another option is to use a jar and paper cone. Fill a jar with something that will attract flies, such as a splash of wine, a piece of rotting fruit or apple cider vinegar. Make a cone out of a sheet of paper, and place the narrow end in the jar. The flies will enter the jar looking for food, but the cone prevents them from coming back out.

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Keep in mind that organic pest control is best when dealing with fruit flies. Insecticides should not be used around food. They can also be toxic, particularly when used around children and pets.

Best Way to Get Rid of Fruit Flies that Have Infested Your Home

While traps are the fastest way to get rid of fruit flies, they may not take care of an infestation. An average female can lay 2,000 eggs in her short lifetime, and it only takes 30 hours for those eggs to hatch. If you really want to handle an infestation, you’ll need to use the traps and clean up a bit.

Fruit flies are attracted to any type of sweet rotting food, especially fruit and vegetables. Bananas, melons, squash, apples, onions and potatoes are some of their favorite items. You may see the flies in your kitchen year-round, but they’re more common in summer and early fall. So, make sure you store your fruit and other foods properly, and discard anything that is old or moldy, especially during the warmer months.

You’ll also want to clean up any sticky spills in hidden places like under your refrigerator or in drawers. These make for inviting places for flies to lay eggs. Even dirty mops and rags that are sitting around can attract them.

It’s also important to be mindful of your garbage. Take the trash out daily as food sitting in your can can attract flies as well.

Best Way to Kill Fruit Flies in Your Drain

Another easy way to get rid of fruit flies is to treat your drain in your kitchen sink. While there are many ways they can enter your home, many infestations start when the flies come up through the drain. A pest control expert will almost always treat your drains first when providing services for fruit fly removal.

You can try this yourself by pouring boiling water or boiling white vinegar down your drain. This will kill any larvae in the drain and may dislodge any type of food build-up that is attracting the flies.

Most Effective Way to Get Rid of Fruit Flies for Good

The best way to get rid of fruit flies for good is to take steps to prevent them. While none of these are foolproof, they can help keep many kitchen pests at bay.

  • Thoroughly wash any produce you bring home from the store — it could have eggs on it that will hatch in your house.
  • Also, don’t buy more food than you will eat. It tends to sit around and rot when you do.
  • Keep the food you do buy in the refrigerator or in a sealed container.
  • Clean up any spills or messes as they happen.
  • Keep your kitchen and bathroom drains, as well as your garbage disposal clean.
  • Keep screens on your open doors and windows so flies can’t enter through them.
  • Lights near doors and windows also attract flies.
  • Consider regular local pest inspections. Like any other infestation, the only way to get rid of bugs for good is to kill the ones you see and don’t see.
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