How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Fast

Summary: Learning how to get rid of fruit flies is very important for any household that has been invaded by these little insects. The kitchen will be first on our list to investigate as its often the source of the infestation but places like your toilets and other places also need your attention. There are a number of home remedies for fruit flies that are effective and the good news is that most of them are very cost effective.

Fruit flies are often a major problem during the hot summer months. Even during the winter, you may have a fruit fly problem if you are not careful. Losing the battle against these pests, especially when its humid and hot can not only be irritating but can also pose a serious health risk due to their exposure to rotten fruit, animal (and sometimes human) excrement and bacteria ridden garbage. Many people feel that its impossible to effectively fight an infestation of fruit flies. However, this guide will show you how to do this quickly without disrupting your daily schedule or damaging your budget.

How Can I Get Rid of These Damn Fruit Flies?

For effective fruit fly control, you need to identify the route cause instead of just fighting the symptom. So in other words, before you start on your campaign against these flies, you need to identify the causes of fruit flies as soon as you start seeing them. Once this has been accomplished, you can then remove fruit flies that are left. Lets have a look at the exact steps that are needed. Please note that these steps are not in order of priority. It is my recommendation that all of them should be done to ensure that you get rid of fruit flies fast. For more information on where fruit flies actually come from, check this out. Lets have a look at a few ways we can eliminate fruit flies.

Remove Fruit Flies in Your Kitchen Before They Spread!

Picture of a fly on fruit Although fruit flies don’t bite, I am sure you want to start your removal process immediately! Keeping that in mind, the first step should always be to remove any rotten fruits or vegetables that you may have in your house. Although these are usually found in the kitchen, its worth your while to thoroughly check everywhere for things like apple cores, peach pips and other things like this. Even if your fruit or vegetables is not completely rotten but is slightly over ripe, has a slight slimy feel or has any sort of bruises, it needs to be thrown away immediately.

This may cause some concern for some people as they may feel that this is a waste of food. However, although this may be true, you are focusing on the symptom instead of the cause, as we discussed earlier. What do I mean by this? Well, instead of complaining about wasting food, wouldn’t it be better to cut down the amounts of fruit and vegetables (and other food) that is purchased weekly so that you don’t ever have the situation of them going rotten in the first place? This will definitely save you money in the long run! Giving the current economic climate, this is definitely good news for most of us!

  1. Another important factor when it comes to disposal of waste is the removal of garbage as soon as humanly possible, especially in areas like the kitchen. Garbage bins are a breeding ground for fruit flies as they often contain rotting foods that pose serious health concerns. If you feel unable to remove the garbage bags on a regular basis, (we understand, life is extremely busy sometimes) I highly recommend putting offcuts from fruit and vegetables (and any other fresh food, including meat) into a smaller plastic shopping bag. Once you are done preparing the meal, tie up the bag and put that inside your main garbage bin. This will greatly reduce the chance of a fruit fly infestation as unrefrigerated produce can be the main cause of fruit flies in your home.
  2. Make sure that your dishes are always clean as dirty dishes eventually attract bacteria, which in turn will attract fruit flies, which will make killing these fruit flies in the kitchen very hard. Remember that fruit flies are also attracted to sugar and other forms of sweet food and drink. Jelly and cake are examples of the types of food you definitely do not want to leave lying around else you will attract bugs. On the same line of thought, just because these foods may have been consumed, there is almost always some stickiness left over on the plate or bowl. This can attract fruit flies and if left unattended for a duration of time, they can lay their eggs (part of the fruit fly life cycle) in your house (as they feel there is a ready source of food nearby) and cause you weeks of frustration.
  3. Don’t forget that certain drinks such as wine and orange juice (and other sweetened drinks, especially coca-cola) can also attract these insects, definitely something you do not want. But as a general recommendation, its always good to keep a clean kitchen for many health reasons so try your best to wash your dishes on time and put them always after drying them properly.

Tips for Eliminating Fruit Flies in Plants and in Your Yard

yard fruit flies

Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In Your Yard!

The next step that should be taken is to focus on removing any form of compost from the near vicinity of your house. Many people make their own compost from food offcuts (onion peels, pips, etc) and this can be commended. However, although this may be great for your garden, its really not helping your fruit fly infestation. I am not in any way suggesting that you should stop doing this, actually I honestly think its very resourceful. You just need to make sure the compost is away from your living space (if it is not put in the garden immediately) as it has the potential to attract fruit flies.

Another area of concern for home owners is the problem of fruit flies attacking their plants. This can seriously detract from the overall appearance of your interior décor and can give the impression that your house is not clean. Therefore, it is in your best interests to solve this problem immediately. I have a great method to get rid of flies on house plants and it involves mixing a little bit of dish washing liquid into about one liter of water. Then put this solution into a small spray canister and use that on your plants. Make sure you only put a tablespoon or so of the dish washing liquid in the water, that’s all you need.

At first you may be worried that the foam this creates will damage your plants but do not worry, it will not do any harm and will keep those pesky fruit flies away. The same can be done for your plants outside, such as roses and other highly prized items in your garden collection. However, this method is usually used in-doors due to its non-abrasive approach and insecticides tend to be used to outside.

Dealing With Fruit Flies in Your Drains

At first glance, you may think that your fruit fly problem couldn’t be coming from your drains. However, its very possible and if this is the source, the best way to get rid of flies in your house would be to kill them here before they spread to other areas. In fact, in all aspects of life, its very important to always go after the root cause instead of chasing symptoms and the same applies to gnats, bees and anything else that might start to swarm your living areas. You need to take a proactive stance and this is exactly what we are going to do.

  1. You need to figure out how to take out the actual drain plug. It is usually secured by screws but sometimes it can have waterproof glue that is keeping it in place. Either way, the first step is getting it out and any adhesive that is removed can easily be replaced later.
  2. Now that the drain plug has been removed, take a long, hard bristled brush (these can be found at most shopping malls, if you do not have one already) and push it up and down the pipe repeatedly until you feel that it has been adequately cleaned. Its important to do this properly the first time as it shouldn’t need to be repeated for a good couple months.
  3. When you cleaned the pipe with your hard bristled brush, it should have removed most of the debris but there still may be some left over. Simply taking a hose pipe, preferably with a high pressure nozzle, will ensure that any remaining muck is eliminated and your drain pipe is left nice and clean.
  4. The last step in getting rid of fruit flies in your drain is to pour boiling water down the pipe that you just scrubbed and cleaned. Since fruit flies are often attracted to areas where there is a high level of bacteria, this method will ensure that you eliminate this as well so the fruit flies do not return. A great addition to hot water is to also pour some household bleach down the drain so if you have some handy, I highly using it. I recommend doing it every couple weeks to kill any lingering bacteria, whether its attracting fruit flies or not.

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies in Bathroom Areas

Quickly remove fruit flies in your bathroom Another place that is problematic when they start laying their eggs and you need to control fruit flies from spreading into your toilet areas. Fruit flies are also attracted to damp clothes and things like sponges, mobs and face cloths because of bacteria buildup. Another big cause for concern is when towels are left crumpled on the floor after showering or using the bath. If they are left there long enough, you will start having an issue with bugs such as fruit flies. I understand that this will not happen overnight. But if this is done on a regular basis, you might find that this stimulates the infestation that may affect other parts of your house. And as I am sure you can imagine, you don’t really want bugs coming from the toilet and then landing on your food. This can be dangerous to your health and that of your family. I cannot stress the importance of keeping your bathroom clean. This is not only so you can keep fruit flies away but also for lots of other health reasons. Without going into too much detail, I think its safe to say that it’s a high priority when it comes to maintaining a high level of cleanliness.

How You Can Get Rid of Those Fruit Flies in the Office

Fruit fly problems in the office

Deal with fruit flies in the office

Believe it or not, even the work place can become infected with fruit flies, even if staff do not bring fruit to work. Remember that fruit flies are attracted to any form of rotten food? Well, many people have these bugs in their work space and it can be very frustrating, in addition to embarrassing, especially if a new client has come to visit and sees them flying around.

The good news is that you just need to follow the steps outlined earlier and apply them to the areas in your workplace. So clean and pour boiling water down your drain pipes, (also use bleach if its available) spray your plants with a soapy solution (created by mixing dish washing liquid and water), throw old food away and keep rubbish bins sealed up tight. After you have completed this step, all you need to do is set a few fruit fly traps and you will start to see immediate results.

Is There Any Way Prevent Fruit Flies From Infesting My Home?

Well I also follow the same routine of being proactive instead of reactive. So instead of having to deal with a fruit fly infestation, I make the effort to try and prevent it happening in the first place. However, sometimes life does catch up to me and dishes are left unwashed for a day or two. Or perhaps I go on holiday and forget to take out the trash. When this does happen and I start to see fruit flies around my house, I don’t get myself worked up but instead simply kill their breeding areas and then follow the steps outlined above. Many people have asked me, “how do you get rid of fruit flies naturally in the fastest way possible” and my simple answer to that is, don’t get a fruit fly problem in the first place. ;) But when you do, get rid of them in one go, don’t stretch it out over a couple days and you will get rid of them.

In summary, remember that its extremely important to address the causes for the fruit flies before you start working on a solution to remove them. I highly recommend giving that trap a try if you have already removed the causes for the initial infestation as it is a great solution that can be used on a tiny budget. I have made a great video on the subject and I am sure that it will complete your knowledge on this subject. If you have any problems, please ask in the comment section and I will try get back to you within 24 hours :)


Video: Tips for Fruit Fly Removal


Natasha Anderson

Natasha Anderson

Hi there! My name is Natasha and I would like to thank you for reading this guide. If you have any concerns or would like to ask a question about this article, I encourage you to leave a comment below and I will provide a reliable answer within about 24 hours. Remember, all this information is provided at absolutely no cost and if you have enjoyed what you have read, please show your appreciation by sharing this post on your favorite social network below. I look forward to helping you!
Natasha Anderson
Natasha Anderson
Please note that the contents of this guide is for informational purposes only. If you would like to receive professional advice to diagnose a pest control related problem, please contact your local exterminator immediately.

Comments

  1. myrna d. gonzalez says:

    Hi I dont know what kind of pest I have now in my house.I thought at first these are fruit flies basing on what I read.But then when I was reading your post you wrote there that fruit flies dont bite people.I was really confused.Because the insect that I have bites and they are all over my house.I am very clean in my house and its only me and my husband.But my husband buys and eats a lot of bananas and I love fruits too.It did not happen to us before.We have been living in this house for 13 years and this is the first time that we have this infistation.They are very quick when flying and we dont even see them when they dive to bite.We could only feel them but dont see them landing on our skins.I have tried the traps but up to now my traps are still lonely because no visitors at all.Please advise me what to do.I’m so desperate now because I could not even enjoy sitting infront of my computer without a fan or a mosquito killer.thank you very much..

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Myrna! It sounds that you may have a swarm of biting midges that are giving you grief. These little pests can leave a rather nasty bite (especially if you have sensitive skin) and are also attracted to decaying foodstuffs like fruit. Either use an insect bomb in your house or use a wall plug mosquito repellent as they are known to also keep midges away. Let me know if you need anything else :)

  2. dani says:

    I had fruit flies once in my house they came from bananas I had forgotten about the best way to kill them fast within only a few hours is Mr. Clean diluted with water kills them almost instantly and makes your house smell good in the process :-)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Dani! Thanks for the suggestion, I havn’t tried that method myself but since you have had success with it in the past, I will definitely pass that knowledge on to anyone that needs it. :)

  3. carmela says:

    how long does it take to get rid of them and if you see them flying is there a certain spray i can use

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Carmela! Traps are going to yield better results than a spray and I recommend you rather try that (there is a guide dedicated to it on this blog). If you are determined to use a spray, you can pick up an aerosol bug spray at most supermarkets but just be careful as some of them are fairly toxic. Good luck!

  4. joey says:

    a spray bottle of dish wash soap in water — would you also recommend that for use indoors use (on fruits) instead of just outdoor plants? My partner prefers very ripe bananas (and we also keep them ripe for banana breads, etc) so often fruit flies are a problem. Sometimes I keep the fruit in the pantry, but am not sure if that helps/ don’t want fruit flies to be in there…

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Joey! You could use it on your fruits but just make sure that you give them a good rinse before you eat them (also tell your family to do the same). I better solution would be to keep any ripe fruits (like those bananas) in a brown paper bag (like those you get an a chemist or at a fast food outlet). This can actually accelerate the ripening process (I use this for avocados) and will also keep the smell away from fruit flies. :)

  5. David Eckrich says:

    Great article, but one caution that I would give is that if you have PVC pipes under your sink, you shouldn’t pour boiling water through them. Not saying I don’t do when I’m draining pasta or something, But it can definitely shorten their lifespan.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey David! Thanks for that timely advise, definitely something to consider if you have PVC pipes and I appreciate your input. :)

  6. Barb Brown says:

    Your solutions sound great but what if you can not find the source? I have not been able to find the source so do I just follow all the rest of your solutions?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Barb! Have you checked all the places that outlined in this article? If so, you can still make yourself a fruit fly trap (I have a separate article on this) and while its not really a permanent solution, it will give you some relief. Maybe the next time you see them flying around, try and pin point where they seem to be congregating because something is definitely attracting them to your house. Hope that helps!

  7. Jewel says:

    I cannot get rid of them. We get them every apartment in our complex. Flushed the sinks and tub drains with scalding hot water and soap and bleach. No fruit any where please help.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Jewel! One of my readers had a similar experience that we discussed at length via email and eventually we figured out that they were coming in from outside due to a large amount of compost that was being used in the garden. Combined with a few other things (humidity, etc.), it actually became a big problem for those living in the complex. I recommend investigating this possibility and also make sure that the residents are sealing their rubbish bags when they take them out for collection.

  8. dale hershey says:

    I/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and a couple drops of dish soap in a small open container…tried it….it really works !!!!!….by…by…fruitflies !!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Dale! Glad to see you had some good results with the method. I have also used it in the past and got rid of those damn pesky fruit flies pretty quickly :)

    • Chris Christianson says:

      Tried the apple cider vinegar and dish soap…. didn’t think it was working, no flies in cup… until I swirled it around. Never been so excited to see all those nasty buggers drowned at the bottom! Apparently they’re heavier than the solution! It works!!! Thanks!!!

      • Natasha Anderson says:

        Hey Chris! Its a pleasure, make sure that you share your discovery with anyone that is still struggling with fruit flies :)

  9. cheyanna says:

    you can also use lemon and water squeeze some lemon juice right from the lemon and put the rest of the whole lemon in the water and they will be attracted ad they will die because the lemon is poison to them

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Cheyanna! Thanks for the awesome share, I appreciate your contribution to the community and I will definitely give that method a shot in the future. Cheers!

  10. Cheyenne Barnett says:

    is this soap and water mixture ok to spray on african violets…….I have numerous household plants and they are all over everyone of them.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Chayanna! After being contacted by someone with more experience in this subject, I have been informed that you should not do this otherwise it will damage them fairly badly. Have you tried using a fruit fly trap? I recommend taking a look at my article on this subject as it sounds like it would be perfect for your situation. Cheers!

  11. Shana says:

    Thank you for all the tips. We seem to have greatly reduced the fruit flies in our home, but it took several days of all out effort to get rid of them and there wasn’t a really easy quick fix like I had hoped for. We made the mistake of leaving produce type fruit in the trash can while we were out of town for the weekend and when we returned the flies just went nuts. It took cleaning, hot water in the drain, constant trash removal, and such to get rid of them. We tired the apple cider vinegar like other sites suggest but that didn’t work as great as we had hoped. Thank you for your article.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Shana! Its a pleasure, glad you have had some positive results. Thanks for sharing your experience. Most pest control solutions (especially natural ones) usually are not instant. But I am happy to hear that you stuck with it and got rid of them eventually. Have a good one!

  12. Kurt says:

    Hi. I have had fruitfly issues for about a week or so. It all happened when my roomate was too lazy to do the dishes. Since then I tried the apple cider vinegar trap, sprayed everywhere, set up traps, poured boiling hot water and bleach down the sink, and they are still around. The apple cider didnt work, and the traps collected about 50, but they are still swarming everywhere in the house and now a lot are in the bathroom. Would a bug bomb be a legitimate solution for this?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Kurt! A bug bomb would work but remember that you will need to get rid of the reason why they are congregating in those areas. In addition to keeping the dishes clean, make sure that you keep the trash closed, take it out regularly (and keep it away from the house), etc. If you have done all these things, grab yourself an insect bomb, just make sure that you follow the instructions carefully.

  13. sarai says:

    I left a rotten banana In my desk 2 weeks ago now there are fruitflies and white things I think are maggots what shall I do

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Sarai! I suggest that you follow the instructions in this article and take a few moments to check out my fruit fly trap article and you will get rid of them in no time! In the meantime, make sure that you throw that fruit (and any other old food, etc.) away and take out the trash on a regular basis. Let me know if you need some further assistance after looking though those resources. Good luck!

  14. pat duench says:

    last year I was so fed up with them I put infested bananas in the micro wave oven and zapped it for 2 minites when time was up I opened the door to my surprize the fruitflies flew out of oven does anything kill them??????????

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Wow, that is incredible. I have never experienced such a thing before, neither did I think it is possible. Are you being serious lol?

      • Rachel J says:

        I have also angrily microwaved fruit flies for long amounts of time, only to have them fly out afterwards unscathed. Pat Duench is serious, and so am I. They are annoyingly resilient, like stinkbugs.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hey Rachel! That is amazing, they really are such a pest lol. Please feel free to let me know if you need any help with your fruit fly problem :)

  15. TBB says:

    How do you get these small flies out of your clothes? What’s the most effective solution?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey TBB! If they are only in your clothes, just chuck them into the wash and that should kill them all. Good luck!

  16. rob says:

    This year, our first ever invasion, I’ve tried the vinegar traps, killing literally hundreds, maybe over a thousand that way. They also love milk’n'sugar coffee traps, really anything that will ferment and emit carbon dioxide. I also use the flt swatter and a quick squirt of Green (slows them down enough to paper towel them). The swatter is especially gratifying when you get say a dozen at once, a little fly party on the drop of juice, jam, whatever. THE MAIN PROBLEM IS WE NEED A REPELLANT, NOT JUST CORRECTIVE MEASURES AFTER ATTRACTING THEM! I read that fresh basil was something they hated, but putting a bunch in my kitchen did nothing.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Rob! If you are purely looking for a repellent that works, try lemongrass essential oil and hot water (in a spray bottle). However, its just not realistic to coat everything with it and your efforts are better spent trying to find out whats attracting them and actually killing them in your home.

  17. rob says:

    Natasha, thanks for the reply and info. Spray lemongrass essential oil and hot water, eh? Coating, tho. So maybe candles or infusers?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Rob! Its a pleasure! Basically you just need to put some lemongrass oil and warm water in a spray bottle and target any areas where you keep finding fruit flies. I am not too sure what you mean by the candles and infusers :P Good luck!

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