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How to get rid of fruit flies – 7 fast and effective tips

Discover the fastest way to banish fruit flies once and for all

A bowl of apples in a kitchen
Chloe Best
Chloe BestLifestyle Features Editor
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Fruit flies are an unwanted visitor in many kitchens, particularly during the summer months, when they seemingly appear out of nowhere and multiply at an alarming rate, tucking into the contents of your fruit bowl and hanging around on your worktops no matter what you do to try and get rid of them.

Fortunately, there are several fast and effective ways to banish fruit flies from your kitchen, without the need for toxic chemicals or specialist equipment. Meanwhile, with some preventive measures you can keep the pesky flies out of your kitchen for good, so you can enjoy your fruit all to yourself.

What causes a lot of fruit flies in the house?

Fruit flies typically first enter your home via fresh fruits and vegetables that you may have purchased at the supermarket or market, either as adult flies or if fruit flies have already laid eggs within your produce.

These pests are attracted to ripe fruit and vegetables along with other decaying material, like rubbish, where they will lay eggs and multiply quickly, typically hatching within a day or two. Fruit flies have a short lifespan and will be fully-grown adult flies within a week, who then lay their own eggs and continue the cycle. Given that each female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at a time, the problem can quickly get out of control!

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Where do fruit flies lay eggs?

Female fruit flies typically lay their eggs inside or on the surface of overripe, decaying or rotting fruit, but they can also be found inside bins and drains, where they can often find the food and moisture they need to survive.

Are fruit flies harmful?

Fruit flies don't typically pose any health risks, but they can be a nuisance and do indicate a need for a deep clean of the kitchen or area affected.

Do fruit flies go away naturally?

It would take a long time for fruit flies to go away naturally, as it would require keeping everywhere absolutely spotless so they have nowhere to lay eggs or feed from. To nip the problem in the bud it would be best to act quickly as soon as you see the first fruit fly by using one of the methods below.

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

You can buy premade fruit fly traps to kill fruit flies quickly, or go for a DIY route using store cupboard ingredients such as apple cider vinegar or vinegar, but to keep them away for good you will want to follow the steps below to ensure you have removed any potential eggs and give them no opportunity to reproduce again.

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How to get rid of fruit flies in your home:

Deep clean your kitchen and rethink storage -   

One of the most important first steps you can take is to deep clean your kitchen and throw out any rotten food. You may also find it best to store fresh fruit and vegetables in the fridge, and wash them as soon as you get them to remove any potential eggs.

Ensure you regularly wipe down kitchen surfaces and take out rubbish, giving your bin a thorough clean too so there's nowhere for fruit flies to lay eggs. Our ultimate weekly cleaning schedule will help you to stay on top of chores with minimal effort.

Try a DIY fruit fly trap –

Vinegar and washing up liquid can be surprisingly effective as a homemade trap for fruit flies. Simply place a bowl of vinegar on your worktop, and add three drops of washing up liquid, then leave uncovered. The fruit flies will be attracted to the smell of vinegar, but the addition of washing up liquid means they should sink and drown.

Alternatively, apple cider vinegar is another effective homemade remedy for getting rid of fruit flies. Simply pour a little into a glass then cover with cling film and secure with an elastic band. Poke a few holes in the wrap so the flies can enter; they will be lured in by the smell of the vinegar but will be unable to get out again. 

For best results, place a few of these traps around your kitchen to ensure you kill off the pests quickly.

Another popular way to try and trap fruit flies is by leaving out an open bottle of wine or beer with a small amount of liquid at the bottom, which also attracts the bugs in due to its scent. The skinny neck of the bottle will make it hard for the fruit flies to escape again, but you could also add a couple of drops of washing up liquid to maximise your chances of success.

Use a pre-made fruit fly trap - 

There are many pre-made fruit fly traps that can be effective alternatives to homemade remedies, including sticky fly catchers or liquid traps that should help you to get rid of fruit flies quickly.

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