Why Are There Fruit Flies in My Kitchen? (Plus, How to Get Them Out)

by Missy Nolan
An apple that has been cut in half has been left to attract the fruit flies

Few things can ruin your appetite like an annoying swarm of fruit flies hovering around ripe produce.

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If you can relate, you might be wondering where these icky insects came from and how to get rid of fruit flies in your house.

What Are Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies are tiny oval-shaped insects that measure about 1/8 inch. These unpopular pests have six legs and are a type of fly. As you may have guessed, fruit flies love fruit, but they're also willing to hang out in your garbage disposal or drain if you don't have fermented produce available.

It's important to get rid of fruit flies fast if you find them in your house, as they can live up to 30 days. Don't wait for fruit flies to die on their own; failing to kill fruit flies quickly can lead to an infestation in your home. One female fruit fly can lay 500 eggs the day after mating with a male, which gives you very little time to kill fruit flies. This is bad news for your family because fruit flies can contaminate food and cookware with disease-causing bacteria. 

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Why Do Fruit Flies Hang Out in the Kitchen?

Fruit flies enjoy hanging out in kitchens because cooking spaces often have their favorite things: food and moisture. The smell of rotting fruits may turn your stomach, but fruit flies love decaying fruits and vegetables. However, removing all the ripe produce from your kitchen won't always keep these pests away. Like humans on a hot summer day, fruit flies love wet environments, so you can find them wherever moisture thrives. Fruit flies often lurk in drains or garbage disposals, under piles of damp rags or towels or in empty cans of soda or juice. 

While the kitchen is a popular choice for fruit flies, you may also find them in laundry rooms or bathrooms. These rooms often have plenty of moisture, which creates a welcoming environment for these pests. 

How Do Fruit Flies Get in the Kitchen?

Fruit flies may seem to magically appear as soon as you forget about a bag of potatoes in the pantry or the spotted bananas on your kitchen counter. When food begins rotting, fruit flies follow the aroma and sneak in through open windows and doors. These flying insects can also make their way into your home via larvae-covered fruits and vegetables from your garden or the grocery store. 

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Once you notice fruit flies in your home, you must act quickly. Here are some steps you can take if you're not sure how to get rid of fruit flies.

1. Remove Rotting Food

Don't just toss those fermented fruits or spoiled veggies in the kitchen trash can. Take them outside to your garbage bin so pests aren't tempted to hang out in your home. Make sure you also discard old water bottles and soda cans, as fruit flies love moisture. 

2. Create a Fruit Fly Trap With Apple Cider Vinegar

Fermentation attracts fruit flies, so you can create an effective DIY fruit fly trap with vinegar. Combine a few drops of dish soap with a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a bowl, and stir in a pinch of sugar. Leave the bowl uncovered to kill fruit flies that drink the mixture. 

3. Kill Fruit Flies With Old Liquor Bottles

Fruit flies like alcohol, so use that to your advantage. Cover old wine or beer bottles with plastic wrap, and secure the plastic with a rubber band. Make sure to poke a small hole in the top so fruit flies can sneak inside. 

Home remedies for fruit flies are often successful, especially if you get rid of fruit flies fast and take steps to keep them from returning. However, you may need help from a pest control company if you have a major fruit fly infestation in your home or business. 

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Tips for Keeping Fruit Flies Out of Your Home

After getting rid of fruit flies, you probably want to keep these bacteria-sharing pests from returning. Make sure you keep kitchen counters and drains clean, and discard old food immediately, preferably in an outdoor waste bin. Growing fresh herbs like basil indoors can also help repel fruit flies. Store produce and other leftovers in sealed containers so insects can't enjoy a feast. Don't forget to check for fruit flies in drains, trash cans and mop buckets regularly, and treat any outbreaks immediately with a DIY fruit fly trap.

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Elocal Editorial Content is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Editorial Content should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed professional in your state reviewing your issue. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the eLocal Editorial Team and other third-party content providers do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of eLocal or its affiliate companies. Use of eLocal Editorial Content is subject to the

Website Terms and Conditions.

The eLocal Editorial Team operates independently of eLocal USA's marketing and sales decisions.

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