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Question DetailsAsked on 9/4/2012

What are the best ways to get rid of fruit flies?

We were visiting my folks this weekend, and their kitchen has a swarm of fruit flies. My parents have a garden, and I'm sure the fruit and vegetables are the cause. I'd just need to recommend them some good solutions short of fumigating the place!

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6 Answers

Voted Best Answer

The quickest way I've found to get rid of them (as opposed to preventing them - see answer above) is to put a half cup of cider vinegar (must be cider vinegar) in a jar or bowl and put a half-dozen drops of dishwashing liquid on top of it. Leave out on a counter wherever the problem exists. Empty and refill as needed.

Answered 4 years ago by Labour of Love


Ok. First things first. Use google images to make sure they are fruit flies and not phorid flies or fungus gnats. Tip- the red eyes are a give away.
If they are fruit flies, the key to elimination is to clean or remove breeding areas and prevent future entry to the home. The adults are short lived, but missing a breeding area can allow reinfestation. I'll try to hit the main areas of concern.
1. Clean and sanitize trash cans including surfaces beneath bags. If possible, take trash outside at least daily. Rinse and repeat.

2. Inspect and remove any infested fruit (bananas are the worst). Place ALL other fruit in the fridge until infestation resolved.

3. Remove and discard any fresh flowers in the home. Do not replace until infestation resolved.

4. Clean all counters, floors, hard surfaces of any residual food/juice and sanitize.

5. Use a drain cleaning product containing active enzymes per label to clean ALL drains. (Draincare is an ok choice, do not forget wetbar, guest bath etc.)

6. Clean the condensate pan beneath the fridge. .

7. Keep windows closed and sealed well if there are any window a/c units.

8. You may be able to purchase a few liquid filled traps to thin out the adults. They typically contain a vinegar type solution.

Hope this helps. Fruit flies are a pain. Most people just throw the fruit away and think it will go away, but they move to other breeding areas.
Good Luck!

Answered 4 years ago by Don's Pest Control


I agree with Don, he gave an excellent answer! The key to eliminating fruit flies is finding and eliminating the breeding sites ,which is decaying organic debris.

I must also respectfully disagree with labour's suggestion about the cider vinegar and soap as a way of controling them. This will no doubt catch alot of flies, the problem is the reproductive rate of fruit flies is so quick that this will never get rid of all of them. A female fruit fly can lay 500 eggs at a time and once they hatch the newly minted fly can start reproducing more flies within 12 hours. As a pest control professional for over 30 years I can tell you the only way to eliminate the problem is to find and eliminate the breeding sites.

The only thing I would add to Don's response is you may save money in the long run hiring a professional to help you identifiy fruit fly breeding sites

Doug Longfellow

NaturZone Pest Control



Answered 4 years ago by dlongfellow


I've used vinegar with good results, but I didn't have a cornucopia of fruit outside my door OR in my kitchen. Don's answer was quite thorough and I have no doubt it would work. However, many of us are not motivated to go to such great lengths unless we are driven to madness by the continuing problem. You may have to stay with your parents for a couple of days to get it all done!

I was concerned about the recommendation of Draincare. Is it safe for the environment? So I googled it: Sounds good to me and it appears to be sold at big-box stores, although I'm sure there are other "safe" products available.

I would start out with the quickest solution (keep the fruit in the fridge; empty and clean the garbage can; clean all surfaces, then wipe them again with diluted vinegar; "treat" the drain in the kitchen sink), see if it solves the problem, and take it from there.

Please let us know what happens!

Answered 4 years ago by Oleron


I realize it's a bit of a quibble, but the question was for getting rid of them, not preventing them. The best approach is to do BOTH, but the immediate concern, according to the query, was to be rid of them. I do al LOT of canning and freezing and sometimes have a problem with fruit flies. Vinegar and soapy water works.

Answered 4 years ago by Labour of Love


Buy a lizard!

Answered 4 years ago by wmadix


It sounds silly but remove the source and cover food. You can use a fruit fly trap or lightly fog to control adults. Make sure garbage cans are cleaed out.

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_9164266

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