How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies: A Comprehensive Guide

Fruit flies, those tiny, annoying pests, can quickly turn a peaceful kitchen into a buzzing battleground. They’re attracted to ripe fruits, vegetables, and even the tiniest spills, leaving you wondering “what scent keeps fruit flies away?” and how to get rid of them for good.

But fear not! This guide will equip you with various natural and effective methods to eliminate these pesky invaders and reclaim your kitchen.

Understanding Fruit Flies: The Enemy Within

Before we delve into the battle strategies, let’s understand our enemy. Fruit flies are tiny insects, typically 1/8 inch long, with reddish eyes and a brown or tan body. They are attracted to ripe fruits, vegetables, and fermented liquids, and can lay up to 500 eggs at a time.

Identifying the Fly: Friend or Foe?

Fruit flies are often confused with other types of flies, so it’s important to identify them correctly before taking action. Drain flies, for instance, look like tiny black moths and are attracted to moisture. Fungus gnats have long legs and are often found around houseplants. Fruit flies, on the other hand, are quick and elusive, and are usually found near ripening fruits and vegetables.

Natural Remedies: Repelling and Trapping

Now, let’s explore the natural ways to combat these pesky flies:

1. Scents They Despise:

Fruit flies have a strong aversion to certain scents, including:

  • Basil: This herb’s strong aroma effectively repels fruit flies. Place fresh basil leaves around your kitchen or hang muslin bags filled with dried basil.
  • Peppermint: The minty scent of peppermint is another effective deterrent. You can use peppermint essential oil in a diffuser or place fresh mint leaves around your kitchen.
  • Eucalyptus: The strong, fresh scent of eucalyptus is also disliked by fruit flies. Use eucalyptus essential oil in a diffuser or hang muslin bags filled with dried eucalyptus leaves.
  • Lemongrass: This citrusy scent is a natural repellent for fruit flies. Use lemongrass essential oil in a diffuser or place fresh lemongrass stalks around your kitchen.
  • Lavender: The calming scent of lavender not only repels fruit flies but also creates a relaxing atmosphere in your kitchen. Use lavender essential oil in a diffuser or hang muslin bags filled with dried lavender flowers.
  • Clove: The spicy aroma of clove is another effective deterrent for fruit flies. Use clove essential oil in a diffuser or place whole cloves around your kitchen.

2. DIY Fruit Fly Traps:

These simple traps can effectively capture and eliminate fruit flies:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar Trap: Fill a small jar with apple cider vinegar and add a few drops of dish soap. The flies will be attracted to the vinegar’s scent but will be trapped by the soapy mixture.
  • Wine Trap: Pour a small amount of red or white wine into a glass and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke a few small holes in the wrap and the flies will be attracted to the wine’s scent but will be unable to escape.
  • Milk, Sugar, and Pepper Trap: Mix 2 ounces of ground pepper, 1/4 lb of raw sugar, and one pint of milk in a saucepan. Simmer for 8-10 minutes and pour the mixture into a shallow dish. The flies will be attracted to the sweet scent but will be killed by the pepper.

3. Cleanliness is Key:

Maintaining a clean kitchen is crucial in preventing fruit fly infestations.

  • Wipe up spills immediately: Fruit flies are attracted to even the smallest spills. Clean up spills promptly to avoid attracting them.
  • Store fruits and vegetables properly: Keep fruits and vegetables in airtight containers or in the refrigerator.
  • Empty trash regularly: Don’t let trash accumulate, as it attracts fruit flies. Empty your trash can regularly and keep it tightly closed.
  • Clean drains regularly: Fruit flies can breed in drains. Pour boiling water down your drains regularly to kill any larvae.

4. Essential Oils: A Natural Defense:

Essential oils offer a natural way to repel fruit flies. You can use them in a diffuser, spray them around your kitchen, or apply them to cotton balls and place them near areas where fruit flies are active.

5. Incense: A Smoky Solution:

Fruit flies are sensitive to smoke and will avoid areas where incense is burning. Light an incense stick and let it burn in your kitchen to deter fruit flies.

6. Wine, Beer, and Bourbon: A Tempting Trap:

Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of alcohol. Use a small glass of wine, beer, or bourbon as a trap. The flies will be attracted to the scent but will be unable to escape.

7. Milk, Sugar, and Ground Pepper: A Sweet and Spicy Solution:

This mixture is a sweet and spicy trap that attracts and kills fruit flies. Mix 2 ounces of ground pepper, 1/4 lb of raw sugar, and one pint of milk in a saucepan. Simmer for 8-10 minutes and pour the mixture into a shallow dish. The flies will be attracted to the sweet scent but will be killed by the pepper.

Additional Tips for a Fruit Fly-Free Kitchen:

  • Keep your kitchen well-ventilated: Fruit flies thrive in humid environments. Open windows and use fans to keep your kitchen well-ventilated.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables refrigerated: If you’re not planning to eat fruits and vegetables right away, store them in the refrigerator to prevent them from attracting fruit flies.
  • Use mesh screens on windows and doors: This will prevent fruit flies from entering your home.
  • Check for overripe fruits and vegetables: Regularly check your fruits and vegetables for signs of overripeness, as these attract fruit flies.
  • Dispose of overripe fruits and vegetables properly: Wrap overripe fruits and vegetables in a plastic bag and throw them away in a sealed trash can.

Conclusion: Reclaim Your Kitchen from the Fruit Fly Invasion

By implementing these natural methods, you can effectively eliminate fruit flies and reclaim your kitchen as a peaceful and pest-free zone. Remember, consistency is key: maintain cleanliness, use repellents, and set traps to keep these pesky invaders at bay. With a little effort, you can enjoy a fruit fly-free kitchen and savor the sweet taste of victory.

Make a Fruit Fly Spray

As tempting as it may be to buy over-the-counter pesticides, consider making an alcohol spray as a safer alternative. “Instead of dangerous and toxic pesticide spray, use 91 percent isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle,” says Timothy Wong, technical director at MMPC, an environmentally sensitive pest control company. “It is effective at killing the flies on contact and less harmful than conventional pesticide.”

How to Prevent Fruit Flies

You can keep fruit flies away from your house with a few easy lifestyle adjustments and home improvements.

What smells repel fruit flies?


What smell do fruit flies hate?

What Smell Do Fruit Flies Hate? Fruit flies dislike the smell of herbs, such as lavender, basil, mint, and rosemary. Hang or grind up these natural strong scents to help repel fruit flies and keep your kitchen smelling clean.

What repels fruit flies the most?

Use Natural Scents Lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, clove and basil herbs and essential oils can be effective in detering and preventing fruit flies: Place herbal tea bags around your kitchen. Add a few drops of essential oils to cotton balls and put them where you’ve seen fruit flies. Hang sachets of dried herbs.

What is the fastest way to get rid of fruit flies?

Bowl and Soap Trap Fill a microwave-safe bowl with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. Microwave the bowl so the mixture becomes even more aromatic. Leave the bowl out uncovered as fruit fly bait. The soap will reduce the surface tension, causing any fruit fly that lands on the surface to drown.

What essential oils get rid of fruit flies?

CAMPHOR (be very cautious with this one), LAVENDER, PEPPERMINT, CLOVE, LEMONGRASS, all deter fruit flies. They can’t stand the smell. You can dab some cotton balls in these oils and wipe around the home, especially in the kitchen area, and deter these rascals all while making your home smell naturally amazing.

What smells keep flies away?

Some smells that keep flies away are pepper, pine, mint, eucalyptus, citronella, lavender, and white vinegar. Knowing what smells flies hate and how to use these smells can help you repel flies naturally, without using poisons or strong chemicals around your home.

What scents do fruit flies hate?

Lavender is another wonderful scent that is often used for anything from perfume and cologne to a car air freshener. While it may be a pleasant smell to take in, the scent of it is something that fruit flies hate. Look into getting some lavender essential oil. Once you do so, you can add a few drops into a spray bottle with some water.

Do essential oils repel fruit flies?

While many essential oils repel fruit flies, they do not stop the itching and irritating feel. Lavender’s anti-inflammatory properties allow it to heal bug bites and stop itching. It is an essential oil very close to home.

What scents repel fruit flies?

Citronella and lemongrass are two more scents that fruit flies can’t stand. Both have strong citrusy notes that are highly effective in warding off these unwelcome guests. Citronella candles are a popular choice, while lemongrass oil can be used in a diffuser. Pro tip: Combine the two for a double whammy of fruit fly repelling power!

Leave a Comment