Last Updated: March 16, 2022
Do you have a problem with pesky fruit flies invading your home? If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone—fruit flies are one of the most common household pests that can often be difficult to get rid of. For this reason, in this article, we will discuss the causes of fruit fly infestations and how to prevent them, while also providing some home remedy recipes and tips on how to get rid of fruit flies and keep these pests from coming back.
What Causes Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies get their name from being attracted to ripe or decayed fruit. They feed on the sugary fruit juice, and can also be found near fermented liquids such as beer, wine, and vinegar, as well as in environments with high levels of bacteria. Fruit flies can get into your house in a variety of ways, including through open doors and windows, or even on fresh produce—if you’ve recently brought home some fresh fruit from the grocery store, chances are they might be infested with fruit fly eggs.
The reason why getting rid of fruit flies can be difficult is that the whole mating and transformation process takes less than a week, meaning their reproduction is extremely fast. The female fruit fly will lay her eggs on the surface of the fruit, where they hatch into larvae within 24 hours after being laid. Once hatched, the larva eats for about five days before transforming into an adult fly which then starts mating again.
What Do Fruit Flies Look Like?
Before you start thinking about possible ways to get rid of fruit flies, you have to make sure that the unwanted pests in your home are, in fact, fruit flies. Identifying them is rather easy: they are a small, fly-like species, growing up to 1/ 8 inch in length, with bodies that are black on top and gray on the underside, though to us they appear tan. They are commonly known for their red eyes, although some of them can have black or reddish-brown colored eyes. Although you can use a homemade fruit fly trap on adult flies, it wouldn’t work on their larvae, which are about 1/ 4 inch long and whitish in color, except for their two black mouth hooks. Being so small, they can sometimes be mistaken for dirt, so pay close attention if you suspect you might have a fruit fly infestation.
How to Recognize a Fruit Fly Infestation
If you’ve noticed more than a handful of fruit flies buzzing around your house or apartment lately, it’s safe to assume that you are dealing with a fruit fly infestation.
As infestations can come out of nowhere, you should always be prepared with knowledge about how to get rid of fruit flies in the house. The two main signs to look out for are the brown flies themselves and their larvae. While you can easily spot adult flies flying around, their small larvae can easily go unnoticed, so be on the lookout for both.
|DID YOU KNOW: Fruit flies have a very powerful sense of smell. They are able to smell rotting produce even from outside, using their antennae to follow it. Once the fruit on your counter goes past the ripe stage, fruit flies are able to detect it and find their way inside.|
Gnat vs Fruit Fly
Although they look very similar, there are a few ways that can help you make a distinction between gnat vs fruit fly. Fruit flies are usually smaller than gnats and have red eyes, while gnats typically have black-colored eyes. In addition, the shape of the fruit fly’s body is more round, similar to that of the common housefly. Gnats, on the other hand, have longer bodies and dangling legs, making them look like small mosquitoes.
Making this distinction is very important, as the products you can use to get rid of gnats differ from what is recommended for taking out fruit flies.
How to Prevent Them
Even though how to get rid of fruit flies includes many effective home remedies, it would be best if you can prevent them from invading your home in the first place. Here are a few things you could do to prevent a fruit fly infestation in your home:
Keep Your Kitchen Clean
This is probably the most useful tip to prevent having fruit flies in your home. Clean your counters regularly with a damp cloth, as even bread crumbs and spilled drinks can attract pests. Make sure you wipe the surfaces with a dry cloth afterward, to get rid of any excess moisture.
Don’t Leave Any Food Overnight
Make sure you store any food scraps safely by putting them in your fridge. You can do the same thing with the fruit bowl that’s sitting on your counter.
Use Fly Screens on Your Doors and Windows
Even though it’s easy to make a DIY fruit fly trap, preventing these pests from entering your home might be an easier solution. Using fly screens on your doors and windows will keep bugs from entering your home. It’s also a good idea to always keep your windows closed when you’re not home.
Get Rid of Any Present Fruit Flies
Finally, make sure you get rid of any already present fruit flies, so that you can prevent further breeding. You can effectively do this by making use of some of the methods and home recipes that follow.
|DID YOU KNOW: The best way to prevent and get rid of fruit flies is to make sure your kitchen is clean and dry constantly. Fruit flies like slimy environments, like drains, garbage cans, disposals, empty bottles, mops, etc., as those are the places in which they live and breed.|
|What are fruit flies? – Small fly-like insects with red eyes and tan body, that get attracted to fermenting food.|
|The reason it can be hard to eliminate fruit flies is because they have a very fast reproduction rate.|
|Fruit flies are attracted to ripe and fermented fruit, as well as to slimy and sugary surfaces.|
|You can prevent fruit fly infestation by keeping your kitchen clean and your doors and windows closed and storing your food safely in the fridge.|
How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
The first step to figuring out how to get rid of fruit flies in your kitchen or drain is throwing away anything that they could lay eggs on. This means that you should toss any ripe fruit or vegetables that are sitting on your counter, and create a habit of storing fresh produce in your fridge. Proceed with taking out all the garbage and cleaning all surfaces and containers (including the garbage cans). Finally, thoroughly clean your drain as it probably contains fermenting waste.
Once you finish cleaning up, consider using some of the following home fruit fly remedy repellents:
This is one of the most effective ingredients you can use to repel fruit flies. Take a look at the following home remedies and learn how to get rid of fruit flies with white vinegar:
Paper Cone, Vinegar, and Old Fruit
This fruit fly trap is really effective at capturing adult fruit flies, making it difficult for them to escape once they’re trapped. All you need is a paper cone, a bottle or jar, a piece of fruit, and white vinegar. Roll a piece of paper into a cone and secure it with tape. Put the piece of fruit and a little vinegar in the bottle/jar and place the cone in it, and put the trap where you noticed these pests flying around most often, like your trash can. It usually takes a couple of days for most of the flies to get trapped.
Bowl of Vinegar and Dish Soap
Another tip on how to get rid of fruit flies indoors is to use a mixture of vinegar with dish soap. Pour some vinegar in a bowl and add some dish soap over it, and place the mixture near the fruit or the trash can. This will kill the fruit flies on contact, and within a day or two, you should have your problem solved.
Apple Cider Vinegar and Plastic Wrap
If you have a lot of fruit flies, you can get rid of them all with a simple apple cider vinegar trap. All you need is a Mason jar, some plastic wrap, and some apple cider vinegar, and you’ll be ready to make your apple cider vinegar fruit fly trap. Here is how to do it:
- Pour the apple cider vinegar into the Mason jar until it’s about ¾ full.
- Add sugar to the mixture, then stir until it’s dissolved.
- Cover the top of the Mason jar with plastic wrap, making sure to seal it well so that no fruit flies can get in. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap with a sharp object (such as a toothpick).
- Place the Mason jar somewhere fruit flies are commonly found, such as near your kitchen sink drain or garbage can.
The apple cider vinegar will attract the fruit flies, and after a few days, you should notice few fruit flies around your home, putting this remedy among the top solutions when it comes to how to get rid of fruit flies fast.
Old Wine or Beer
Another way of repelling fruit flies is by using old wine or beer. The yeast in these drinks will attract the fruit flies, and they’ll get stuck in the liquid once they try to drink it. Simply pour some old wine or beer into a bowl or Mason jar and place it where you’ve seen fruit flies congregating, like near your kitchen sink or trash can. Within a few days, the majority of them should be gone.
Professional Extermination Services
If all other methods for dealing with the problem of fruit fly infestation in your house fail, you might need to call professional extermination services. These companies will be able to get rid of all the fruit flies in your home using chemical insecticides. However, this is usually a last-resort option, as these chemicals can be harmful to both humans and pets.
As they’re among the most common household vermin, the odds are you’ll be dealing with fruit flies at some point in your life. If you already have a fruit fly infestation, however, there are several ways to get rid of them using household items like vinegar, sugar, dish soap, or old wine or beer. Hopefully, you’ll find these methods to be effective for getting rid of the fruit flies in your home.
The fastest way to eliminate fruit flies is to make a fruit fly trap by pouring vinegar in a jar and adding some dish soap afterward. If the fruit fly infestation is in your drain, pouring boiling white vinegar into the drain has proven to be very effective.
You can try to get rid of fruit flies in your home by making some home remedies that are proven to work, such as combining vinegar with dish soap or a piece of old fruit, using alcohol like old wine or beer, etc. These methods make sure calling extermination services are your last-resort option.
Fruit flies get attracted to overripe fruits and vegetables, fermenting beverages, moist organic matter in drains, garbage disposals, etc. They can be brought into your home if there are fruit fly larvae on the fresh produce you bought, or they can get inside through an open door or window.
How to get rid of fruit flies in a day can be a tough, but not an impossible question. Some claim that placing a jar with white vinegar and dish soap close to the drain or garbage cans has proven to be the most effective method of eliminating fruit flies overnight.