How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies and Keep Them Away

The gorgeous smell of ripe peaches draws you to the kitchen. The fruit has been mellowing in a bowl on the counter, and the aroma is heavenly. You eagerly pluck a perfect peach. Then, out of the bowl flies a swarm of tiny bugs.

Fruit flies! Gross.

Here’s the good news. Fruit flies don’t bite humans or pets, thank goodness. But, there is bad news, too.

These buggers easily spread bacteria from dirty surfaces to clean ones, contaminating your food and possibly causing disease.

A little more bad news: They breed fast. Time to learn how to get rid of fruit flies.

Fruit Flies vs. Drain Flies vs. Gnats

Before you jump to action, take a second to confirm that the insects are, in fact, fruit flies. These produce-loving pests have the same oval shape as house flies. They range in color from light tan to brown and often have stripes or spots. Most notably, they’ve got red eyes.

Here are two fruit fly lookalikes to watch out for:

  • Drain flies have distinctly furry bodies and heart-shaped wings. They breed in sinks and garbage disposals and congregate in much larger swarms than fruit flies.
  • Fungus gnats come in gray-to-black hues, have longer, mosquito-like bodies and buzz around potted houseplants rather than fruit.

The Best Trap to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

You can find instructions for a dozen different types of homemade fruit fly traps. We’re cutting to the chase and giving you the one we think is most effective and worth your time.

These instructions show you how to get rid of fruit flies with vinegar and dish soap. You can use any type of vinegar, but apple cider vinegar is the most alluring to fruit flies.

Grab a jar with a lid. You can use a mason jar or any cleaned-out jar, such as a jelly jar. Next, get a hammer and a thin nail. Carefully poke a half-dozen holes in the jar lid by hammering the nail through. It’s OK if the holes are tiny.

Don’t have these supplies? Instead, cover the mouth of a drinking glass with aluminum foil, securing the foil with a rubber band. Use a toothpick to poke tiny holes in the foil.

Next, fill the jar with about 2 inches of apple cider vinegar. (Tip: Heating the vinegar helps release its irresistible odor.)

Then add a squirt of dish soap. Screw on the lid and place your fruit fly trap near the bugs. (If you can make more than one of these traps, all the better.)

How Does the Trap Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

The apple cider vinegar lures the flies through the holes in the lid and down into the jar. They land on the vinegar to feed, but the dish soap doesn’t allow them to lightly rest on top of the liquid. Instead, they sink. If they do manage to escape drowning in the vinegar, they likely won’t be able to find their way back through the holes in the jar.

Stop Fruit Flies From Coming Back

Get rid of fruit flies once and for all by removing access to their food source. Ripe fruit sitting on the kitchen counter is a big attraction for them. So are other fermented, sugary substances, such as vinegar and alcoholic beverages, which can leave sticky residue behind after a spill if not cleaned completely. Food scraps in the garbage disposal and trash may also be the culprits.

Your best bet is to buy fresh produce (nothing overripe) and wash it right when you get home to clean off any fruit stowaways that might already be present. Keep produce in the refrigerator and throw away anything that’s starting to rot.

Don’t delay cleaning drips and spills off countertops. And take out the trash regularly (or whenever it’s especially loaded with juicy scraps).

Flies in general aren’t fond of strong-smelling herbs such as basil and peppermint. You can send a keep-out message by adding a fragrant plant or two to your kitchen.

Once you start trapping fruit flies, they will all eventually die off, but it could take up to a few weeks for all the eggs (yes, laid and hidden in various locations, ick!) to hatch, mature and die.

If you’ve got a swarm of buzzy bad guys that just won’t go away, then it’s time to call in pest control expert. Our technicians can quickly identify the pests, the source and the solution.

We’ve Got You Covered

ScherZinger Pest Control is a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton and Columbus. We’ve been pioneers who have engineered new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website or Facebook.