How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies In 4 Easy Steps

Summary: To effectively fight a fruit fly infestation, the first step is to identify where they are coming from. Once discovered, you can use things like bleach (for drains), a DIY trap and a few other methods to get rid of the fruit flies. However, as outlined in this article, fruit flies are usually getting into your house for a reason, and once you sort that out (such as rotten fruit, removal of rubbish, etc.), the problem can often go away by itself.

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 potential 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, there is no need to worry or to stress, as this guide will show you how to do this quickly without disrupting your daily schedule or damaging your monthly budget.

I highly recommend that you follow the removal process in the same order as outlined in this article (starting from step 1) and to do all of them on the same day. This shouldn’t take you too long and the relief will be worth it! Speaking of which, I have had many readers asking about how long it will take to get rid of their fruit flies, and although each situation is different, you should start seeing positive results in 2-3 days with this guide.

Can Fruit Flies Eventually Go Away By Themselves?

Yes, once you have removed the reason why they are finding your home a great place to live, their numbers will slowly reduce and eventually you won’t have a fruit fly problem anymore.

However, I don’t recommend this passive approach, as it can take much longer than it should (2-3 days vs 1-2 weeks). Your best bet is to follow the steps in this article (don’t skip any steps) and then make yourself a fruit trap, which you can place in any rooms where you find fruit flies. Don’t worry, this trap is easy to make and you can find my guide by clicking here.

Step 1 – Get Rid Of The Fruit Flies In Your Kitchen

Picture of a fly on fruit The first step is to remove any rotten food (especially fruits and vegetables) that you may have in your house. Although these are usually found in the kitchen, its worth your while to thoroughly check the entire house for old food that may have been left lying about (check under the fridge, couches, beds, etc.).

At this stage, you have a fruit fly problem, so even if your fruit or vegetables are slightly overripe (especially if it has bruises), it needs to be thrown away immediately. Yes, this is a bit of a waste of food, but if don’t want to throw it away I hope that you are hungry, because then it needs to be consumed. 😉 On a side note, if you often find that you have uneaten food that goes bad on a weekly basis, might be an opportunity to rethink how much is purchased in the first place. If you don’t, the fruit flies will continue visiting your home, laying eggs and you will have a seemingly endless fruit fly infestation.

  1. The removal of waste is a critical part of keeping fruit flies under control, but sometimes putting food into the rubbish bin is not good enough. Garbage bins are a breeding ground for fruit flies as they often can get inside and feast without you even knowing about it. If you can’t take your rubbish bags out every single day, I highly recommend that you put the offcuts from meal preparations into a smaller plastic bags, tying them up and putting them inside your main garbage bin. This will greatly reduce the chance of a fruit fly infestation as they won’t be able to reach the food as easily as before.
  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 especially attracted to sugary food and drink, so make sure that you wash these plates and cups as soon you are finished using them.
  3. As a general recommendation, make an effort to keep the kitchen clean at all times (get the entire family on board with this). Having clean surfaces, floors, etc. is not only beneficial for everyone’s health, but it will also reduce the possibility of getting fruit flies in your home again.

Step 2 – Eliminate Fruit Flies In Your Outside Areas

yard fruit flies

Get Rid Of Fruit Flies In Your Yard

The next step is making sure that your rubbish bags (that taken from the house) are completely sealed and as far away from the house as possible. I recommend that you put your bags inside of a sturdy, plastic rubbish holder (preferably one with its own lid) as well, you can normally buy these at very reasonable prices at Walmart, etc.

If you make your own compost (from offcuts, etc.), that is very cool, but please make sure that it is very far away from your home. Unfortunately, as awesome as compost heaps are, they often attract fruit flies, which in turn can make their way into your home. Although your house may be clean and they may not stay long, it is definitely not a nice feeling to see fruit flies around, especially when they pose a risk in terms of bacteria, etc.

Lastly, if you find fruit flies are hanging around your outdoor veggie garden, fruit trees, plants, etc, I recommend that you use a spray bottle with a little dish soap, and use that to apply the mixture. This can be a little difficult depending on where they are gathering, but this is a relatively cheap way of sorting them out. The soapy solution will not damage anything either, but they will spell doom for the fruit flies and it is a great alternative to using poison.

Step 3 – Kill The Fruit Flies in Your Drains

At first glance, you may think that your fruit fly problem couldn’t be coming from your drains. However, it is actually pretty common and I always recommend my readers do this when they have an infestation. This is also gets rid of other insects that may be lurking in these areas, as well as killing bacteria which is very important. Please repeat these steps for all basins, sinks, outdoor drains, etc. that you can find:

  1. You are going to need about 32 ounces (1L) of white vinegar for each drain. This is usually very cheap and can be purchased at any food shops. Take a moment to count how much you will need before going out to buy some, nothing worse than doing multiple trips for nothing. You can use a little less than this for indoor drains, and outside ones may need a little more.
  2. Next, divide up what you have purchased and pour it down each drain. It really is as easy as that. This will kill insects on contact, as well as kill bacteria that it comes into contact with. I personally do this every 2-3 months, even if I don’t have a fruit fly problem, as it is a great way to clean up your drains.

NOTE: If you can figure out how to take out the actual drain plug, that would be helpful as it will ensure that the vinegar doesn’t miss any eggs and kills all the bacteria. Once removed, scrub it clean and use plenty of soap. If this is not possible, don’t be discouraged as this treatment will still be pretty effective. I have had a number of readers asking about using bleach to kill fruit flies in their drains, and yes it does work. However, unless you have a major issue in your drains (e.g. you haven’t cleaned them with anything in the past 5 years), the vinegar works wonders.

Step 4 – Sort Out Fruit Flies In The Bathroom

Quickly remove fruit flies in your bathroom The last place that needs your attention is the bathroom, as fruit flies are often attracted to damp clothes, towels, etc.

I know that most people won’t leave something like this in their bathroom for weeks (for health reasons, not to mention the horrible smell), but I have seen it before and the last thing you need is fruit flies laying their eggs and breeding in there. If you suspect your bathroom has a fruit fly problem, please wash all your towels, give the entire area a spring clean (walls, floors, etc.), make an effort to put away clothing left on the floor.

How Can I Proactively Keep Fruit Flies Away?

Although no pest control solution is perfect, you will get pretty good results by simply keeping your home clean and following the tips about controlling fleas in your outdoor areas (mentioned above). Here are a couple more tips for you to use to keep these pests away:

  1. If you are going on holiday, make sure that you have emptied your bins and cleaned up properly. If you have left food lying around or the bin is full of rubbish, you are basically asking for a fruit fly infestation.
  2. Keep a sharp eye for any fruit or vegetables that might be reaching the end of life. I have made the mistake of leaving potatoes in a kitchen drawer for too long, only to come back to a horrible smell and a bunch of fruit flies who were rapidly increasing their numbers by the day.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the life cycle of fruit flies (article on this blog), as well as where they come from, which will help you to be educated about this pest and better equipped to stop a small problem from escalating into a major infestation.

In the end, it helps to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to fruit flies, and the good news is that it is not too difficult to do that.

Readers Ask: Getting Rid Of Fruit Flies In The Office

Due to popular demand, I am adding this section, even though the same sort of approach applies for the workplace as it does for the home.

If you are struggling with fruit flies at the office, please don’t stress. Fruit flies don’t bite and you just need to find out what is attracting them. This can be slightly more challenging in a large office, but get everyone together and check drawers, cupboards, floors, etc. for old food, rotten fruit, etc. Once you find this, get rid of it and put a few fruit fly traps in the office overnight.

If you want to go the extra mile, go ahead and clean the drains as well (using the method listed previously). After a few days, you will find relief, presuming that the reason why they are there in the first place has been removed.

In summary, remember that it’s extremely important to address the causes of 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 aim to get back to you within 24 hours 🙂

Educational Video On Removing Fruit Flies:


  1. Avatar Jat Talmage says:

    I have dogs that use the yard for their toilet ! Would that attract fruit Flys ? The yard is cleaned everyday .,

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Jat! No it wouldn’t, especially since it is being cleaned up each day. Hope that helps.

  2. Avatar Vansssa says:

    Hi umm.. I have fruit flies in my room and a spilled applesauce user my bed. There are at least 25 flies around my room, but I think I found the source. There is a spot of applesauce with at least 50 if not more rice grain sized white things in it I have come to the conclusion that that could be the source. Could it be the source. If so, how do i get rid of them fast. I’m only 15 and if like to get some sleep in my own room. I have a fear of bugs so I can barley stand my own room. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Vanessa! Apologies for the late response, have been away for the holidays. Sounds like it, I recommend that you spend a couple hours cleaning your room and removing any food, drink, etc. that could be attracting them. Don’t forget to wipe down your surfaces, hope that helps!

  3. Avatar Naomi says:

    We have fruit flies coming in from outside. We just moved into a house and I started noticing them in the kitchen,living room, and bathroom. It’s hard to eat because the very small ones with full of energy dive into our food while we are eating. I got rid of what seemed like hundreds with apple cider vinegar, but I see them also on our front porch and on our screen door (mostly the very small baby ones). They keep coming back in every single time it starts warming up. What can I do? Also I’d like to add that when we moved in, the people that lived here before didn’t take care of their yard and the grass was to my knees and hedges have never been trimmed in years it looks like. I don’t know if that would cause these gnats or not, but I thought I let you know . We mowed the yard and tried to clean up as much as we could but are waiting to get a trimmer for the hedges. The only trees I have is one pecan tree and one hibiscus. Don’t know if this would attract them or not.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Naomi, your best bet is to find out where they are coming from. It is very likely to be in the yard, so your first call of business is to sort that out. Let me know how it goes, but don’t stop using the fruit fly traps (with apple cider).

  4. Avatar kellan schneider says:

    I’m a college freshman and over what seemed like 1-2 days I went from 2 or 3 flying around to at least 50 in different parts of my dorm room. I made 3 one of those cup/soda/plastic wrap traps and hung up 4 sticky fly ribbons in the locations I spot them. I’ve caught a decent amount in my closet, but all of the ones flying around my room don’t seem to be attracted to any of the traps.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kellan, I have an article on this blog that will help you make some DIY traps, they work really well. I suggest you take a look at it.

  5. Avatar Joann says:

    How much bleach should you put down your Derain when trying to get rid of fruit flies how much is too much ?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Joann, I use about 2 cups 🙂

  6. Avatar LINDA says:

    Is there a way to tell the difference between fruit flies and drain flies? We only get them in the Winter.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Linda! Yes, drain flies have “scaly” wings, unlike fruit flies. If you google each one (under images), you will see what I mean. Hope that helps!

  7. Avatar Dale Bellaire says:

    Hi thank you for your informative article. We had had a battle with fruit flies for over a month and the apple cider vinegar and dish soap in a bowl works great and we would often find 30+ in the bowl after a few days but couldn’t seem to get rid of them completely. I put all my fruit in the fridge and went through my pantry and found a single serve apple sauce container which had been perforated and was totally full of them and likely a breeding ground. I took the pantry apart and cleaned it thoroughly and got rid of anything that was not canned for boxed. We also got lemon grass oil and mixed it with hot water in a spray bottle and sprayed areas they liked and this is a natural repellent so they don’t come back and not toxic like a lot of commercial bug sprays. There are not as many now and I am hoping within a few days to have them totally gone.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dale! Thanks for your kind words and your useful tips, I appreciate it and I am sure the community will as well! Have a good one!

  8. Avatar niya says:


    I am losing my mind with these damn flies. I think this all started when there was a leak in my apartment from.behind the sink, because I jave lived here for 3 years and never had a problem before. Main areas that have issues are rhe kitchen and also a bedroom which has mould and gets quite a lot of condensation on the windows. Waiting for the landlord to sort this out.

    I thought it was the leak which was caused by a faulty draining board which was fixed but we just started seeing the brown fruit flies everywhere. Pulled out everything by the kitchen and found some stagnant water that had been there aa a result of the leak, cleaned that up. Still the same. Making sure everything is away, no dishes moved everything in the kitchen to make sure no food had dropped anywhere that was attracting them.nothing. this morning, I came into the kitchen to put the dishes away, and found 3 or 4 in a cup. I’m totally freaked out now and disgusted. Does that mean they breed in there? I don’t understand where they are coming from at all. I am.about to pull out the whole kitchen again because it makes my skin crawl. Any suggestions? Does mould have an effect amd do they breed in any dampness even if it is just clean drainage fr dish water? PS sorry for the novel

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Niya! Sorry this is causing you distress. You are probably describing drain flies, they look very similar. Either way, try pouring some drain cleaner down your drainpipes, that will give you some relief until the landlord sorts it out. Good luck, please share this post on Facebook if you appreciated my help.

  9. Avatar Shannon says:

    Can fruit flies make nests in the siding of a building? I have noticed a LOT of them outside my apartment building that swarm on my front door and in my screened in patio in the back. I have sprayed both areas with eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender, and even pesticides and they keep coming back after a couple days. I even contacted my property manager and they had pest control spray around my back patio only to have the stupid things return the next day. It was only recently that I noticed them by my front door, so the problem seems to be getting worse. Luckily I haven’t had a problem with them inside, but if there is a nest somewhere hiding in the slats of the siding I’m afraid that they will make their way in. It’s so annoying! Im going to try the apple cider vinegar, but shouldnt the landlord/property manager do something more to eliminate the problem? I live in Florida and the complex is very clean – no one leaves their trash outside all day or anything like that. Any help or advice on how to deal with the manager would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Shannon! It is unlikely, so I would rule that one out. Yes they should, speak to them and get it sorted. Good luck!

  10. Avatar Pat L. says:

    Thanks for the great article and info. I have heard BEAPCO 6-pack Drop-in Fruit Fly Traps work well if you don’t want to bother making your own. Thought I’d pass it along… I just ordered myself some.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Pat! Thanks for the suggestion, much appreciated.

  11. Avatar Toni says:

    I have noticed them about a week now. I started with normal vinegar in bowl uncovered. Found 2 in there the next morning. Left mashed up bannana in glass jar with cling film and holes. Collected 1 or 2. Going to buy Apple cider vinegar tomo to also trap. There seems to be bout 5 flying around my kitchen all the time. I Looked at the wall inside my cuboards and there looks like there is grease on the wall. Could that be causing them?? It’s an okd kitchen and I only moved her 8 month ago. I’m co seeing buying a steamer and taking my whole kitchen off the wall to clean behind it! Is this nesscessary? It’s bothering me now. I’m ocd mad. No fruit or veggys are ever left to Rott. Bin is taken out every night and work tops dettold every night. Even dish clothes are thrown in wash every night. So there is no bacteria left anywhere but the sticky stuff behind my kitchen cuboards. Any suggestions??

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Toni! It could be that, but I don’t suggest doing it yourself. Maybe there is a company that you could get in to do the cleaning for you. Either way, you are on the right track, get rid of the source of the problem, which is the reason they are being attached to the kitchen.

  12. Avatar Rachel says:

    I’ve been getting fruit flies in my apartment recently and am frustrated with the situation. It’s not bad enough to be called an infestation, but I always see 1 or 2 at a time, and after killing them, I’ll always see another one. However, when I thoroughly search my apartment, I can’t seem to find any, but when I’m sitting on the couch or at my desk, one will just fly by. I freeze all my compost and wipe down my counters everyday. I also don’t cook anymore, and have no fruits or produce, and keep my grains in airtight containers. I’ve tried DIY traps and drano down my drains, but I can’t seem to get rid of them. Is it possible that they’re coming in from outside (I don’t open windows anymore) or from my neighbors through walls/vents? I kill an average of 5-7 a day, but can never find any when I make the effort to search. Please help 🙁

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Rachel, if it is bothering you so much, it might be worth just getting an exterminator to sort this out for you so you can go back to living a normal life. I will send you some info 🙂

  13. Avatar Kelly says:

    Hi I’ve had these flies now since end of may people arw telling me they fruit flies but I don’t have fruit laying around there’s no food anywhere they seem to be in my son’s room mostly as I set up traps and there’s about 50 of them in there hardly any in other rooms I’m finding them upside dwn on window sills dead don’t know where they coming from I’ve cleaned and bleached drains still got them can u tell me why I’m getting these if there’s a empty house next door and theres rubbish outside there as there is lots of it can they be coming in my son’s room from there as my house is clean don’t have plants anywhere so I’m struggling with where they coming from thanks

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kelly! They are probably coming from the next door rubbish heap, maybe call your local services and get them to come collect it?

  14. Avatar Chelle says:

    I’m having problem with flies in my house idk if they are fruit flies or not but they in both my kitchen and dining room they stay on my cabinet doors all up on my ceiling fan idk what to do I’ve tried the vinegar the fly strip I’m about to move out We gonna use a bug bomb tonight if it don’t work I’m moving out HELP please

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey! Let me know if the bug bomb helps, I will help you if it doesn’t.

  15. Avatar susan says:

    i have planted from seed many vegetables and the fruit flies seem to be killing them what can i do ? Please help

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Susan, try using a fruit fly trap (I have a DIY guide) near the veggie garden, I havn’t used it outdoors but I am sure it will work.

  16. Avatar N says:


    I’ve had fruit flies in my apartment for a very long time. It’s not an infestation, but it is enough to gross me out and be really annoying. I currently estimate I probably have 5-7 adults flying around. I have put draino down all my drains (kitchen included), put hot boiling water down all of the drains, I have absolutely no food out on the counter and I have no dishes in the sink at all ever (I always immediately put them in the dish washer). I also Lysol and clean my counters every day. I have no idea where they are coming from because I even tried to treat the drains. Do you have any ideas? Could they be coming through the vents from my neighbors? I can kill the adults by smushing them or with the apple cider vinegar, but every day there seem to be new ones. What can I do? Any ideas? I’m so fed up!!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi N, I suggest using my DIY fruit fly trap (article on this blog) or getting a pro to come help you. Hope that helps!

  17. Avatar stasy says:

    Hello so for about a week now I’ve been having fruit flies (with the red eyes and everything) in my bathroom. I’ve bleached the place clean, went around everything I can see. I through away anything possible in my fridge that could cause anything. And they still show up in my bathroom. Iive in a basement condo, I don’t know if that does anything. I was wondering what I could do, and does the bleach thing and boiling water really work!?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Stasy, something must be attracting them. You just need for find it, sorry 🙁

  18. Avatar Autumn says:

    I have a really bad infestation of fruit flies. I live in an apartment building, and believe I’m getting them from my neighbors. Since I started noticing the flies I’ve kept everything extra clean, but they continue to come back. It’s gotten so bad that I’m finding 20+ dead inside my fridge! I’ve moved the trash can out on the balcony, we don’t leave out any food, and I’ve cleaned the drains. I don’t know what else I can do.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Autumn, probably get a pro to help you, considering you have tried all my methods already. Will email you.

  19. Avatar Stephanie C says:

    Can the fruit flies get into my produce in the fridge?
    Also if they are still going at a glass of wine i covered should i not replace it after a day?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Stephanie! Unless the door is open when they are flying around, its unlikely. Additionally, fruit flies don’t like the cold. Probably would be a good idea to replace the wine. Good luck!

      • Avatar Stephanie C says:

        Thank you the quick response.
        Few more questions, we did purchase a used rug from a garage sale this weekend. The rug is very clean and was being used in their living room, it was not stored in the garage or anything. Could the flies have come in on this?
        Also we have a small rug by the sink and my dog’s food rug. Should we wash these and not put them back down until the flies go away?

        • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Stephanie! Its highly unlikely! Yes, definitely wash that and keep it clean, you don’t need to put it away though.

  20. Avatar Wendy Tatham says:

    I have used some sugar with water in a wide mouthed container, covered it with saran wrap, poked some tiny holes into the saran wrap near the center. I have caught about a hundred flies so far this summer.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Wendy! Thanks for the suggestion, I appreciate it 🙂

  21. Avatar Kim S says:

    Hi, I have also been dealing with fruit flies, lately. I have made sure that no old fruit is thrown away in the trash can or if I do, it is put into a smaller plastic bag, tied up and then thrown into the trashcan. I have also made fruit fly traps, using a cup, apple cider vinegar and a sandwich bag fastened over it with a hole in it, so they can get in, but can’t get out. But, I was wondering, can I spray a bleach solution directly into the garbage bag, so they won’t want to lay their eggs in there? Because sometimes, food doesn’t always get thrown away properly. Or, maybe the dish soap solution?

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Kim, yes you can definitely do that. Try the bleach, it will work.

  22. Avatar Lachelle says:

    Hey whats the best method to get rid of fruit flies with my 11 month old in the house. By reading a previous article of yours it looks like she is having an “allergic” reaction to them. Ive been trying for weeks to get rid of them (and have made a dent) but these damn flies are not giving up. Im very scared to do much with my baby at home with me (Im a stay at home mom). Thank you soooooo much!!!

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Lachelle! I suggest that you start with my fruit fly trap. Good luck!

  23. Avatar Ahsan Rafique says:

    Covering the opening and, cleaning the plot at back of opening where people used to throw their garbage, eliminated those nasty bug/drain flies, thanks alot again for your help 🙂

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Ahsan! Its a great pleasure!

  24. Avatar Ahsan Rafique says:

    thanks a lot natasha for giving me time, I will try to cover the opening and then I’ll inform u about the output 🙂

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Pleasure, good luck, hope everything goes well 🙂

  25. Avatar Ahsan Rafique says:

    Hi, i need your suggestion , plz help me natasha, these nasty drain flies are making me extremely mad, actually they just only appear in my attached bath with my room, the bath has door in opening, the opening is exposed from roof top, and there is an open plot at back of my room where there is a lot of exposed garbage and trash that my neighbor’s throw away, i don’t know what to do, to get rid of these nasty bugs.. 🙁

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Ahsan! I recommend that you either make a plan with that rubbish or find a local exterminator in your area to provide a chemical solution. In the meantime, maybe put some close knit netting to close those holes to keep the fruit flies out.

  26. Avatar Dedy says:

    The red wine vinegar works wonders. I set the trap at night and woke up to 40 flies in it. I hadn’t realized that there was so many in my home. But definitely try it.

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hi Dedy! Thanks for the suggestion, I will do 🙂

  27. Avatar Laura Whitcomb says:

    I absolutely Love the pics and info on your site, seems so good to find a site with real solutions! The ones that you call biting midges, are they also known as the no-see-ums(biting midgets aka gnats)? Thanks

    • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Laura! They are different but the removal method is almost the same. Gnats are much smaller and can bite, leaving a little bit of skin irritation (hence why so many people email me and say that fruit flies do bite whereas in reality its probably gnats).

  28. Avatar 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 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 😛 Good luck!

  29. Avatar 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 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.

  30. Avatar TBB says:

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

    • Natasha Anderson 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!

  31. Avatar 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 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?

      • Avatar 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 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 🙂

      • Avatar Cindy Clark says:

        Yes, she’s serious. Microwaving does not kill fruit flies or roaches.
        My problem is the litterboxes. I clean them morning. & bedtime. Is there something I can add to the litterboxes? I use the ground corncob litter because it’s dust free. Please help!!!

        • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Cindy! I suggest putting an apple cider fruit fly trap near the litterbox. That should work 🙂

  32. Avatar 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 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!

  33. Avatar 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 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.

  34. Avatar 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 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!

  35. Avatar 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 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!

  36. Avatar 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 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!

  37. Avatar 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 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 🙂

    • Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

    • Avatar Susie says:

      The apple cider vinegar and dish soap always works the best, and is a inexpensive way of getting rid of them… place apple cider vinegar with a couple drops of dawn dish soap in glass containers all around your home and the fruit fly’s go in but then don’t come back out. Works like a charm.

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Susie! Thanks for your comment and confirmation 🙂

      • Avatar Sam says:

        I used the fake kind of vinegar with some dish doap and it didn’t work! Does it have to be apple cider vinegar?

        • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Sam, I have only used Apple Cider so I think you should too 🙂

    • Avatar linda jemeyson says:

      I had these all over my house-tiny black flies/gnats- placed little cups of cider vinegar with a spoon of detergent, had to change every couple days they worked so good, in 1 week all were gone, now if I even see 1 I set out a little cup. this is a great remedy

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Linda! Glad it worked for you, good job!

  38. Avatar 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 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.

      • Avatar Maria says:

        I just moved in a apartment building and signed a contact lease! I’m just realizing that I have what appears to b fruit flies but I have no fruit and my apartment is clean. Yes, neighbors leave trash in hallways and trash area is infested with them. I hate them and can see them flying around in my bedroom and everywhere. Not in bunches but I see them and feel them land on me especially in bed and sitting in living room watching tv. I feel like I’m losing my mind. What can I do? Is this a reason to fight my lease? I’m disgusted and hate coming home to this!

        • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

          Hi Maria! There is a definitely a reason to fight your lease, your landlord needs to sort this out. In the meantime, get some netting for open windows and try keep those pests out the home to start with. Sorry!

  39. Avatar 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 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!

  40. Avatar 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 Natasha Anderson says:

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

  41. Avatar 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 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. 🙂

  42. Avatar 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 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!

  43. Avatar 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 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. 🙂

  44. Avatar 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 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 🙂

    • Avatar jo says:

      How many hours after I set up traps for fruit flies will I start noticing a difference? The traps are little jars with apple cidar & a touch of dish soap covered by plastic with a few holes in it. And about how many days will it take to get rid of them all?

      • Natasha Anderson Natasha Anderson says:

        Hi Jo, leave them for a day at a time, replace and after a couple weeks, you will have results.

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