How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Kitchen

Knowing how to get rid of fruit flies is necessary for good health and sanitation. Those flitting spots darting around your kitchen and fruit bowl are mooching off of you and using your food as a nursery.

Step 1 - Identifying Fruit Flies

A fruit fly is a much smaller version of the household fly but just as annoying. It measures about 1/8 inches long with wings. The fruit fly’s coloring is a tan upper body and black lower section. Fruit flies are identified by their red eyes. The pests are a year round problem but they are more persistent in the late summer and fall.

Step 2 - Favorite Hangouts of the Fruit Fly

You will find fruit flies wherever there is perishable food. Fruit flies are found in homes, supermarkets, restaurants, dumpsters and warehouses. They can easily hitchhike their way into your home. Always check produce and leave overripe and damaged items at the store or garden market. Any fruits and vegetables with cracks and spots can harbor fruit fly larvae. Eating fruit fly larvae is not recommended since it can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.

Step 3 - Why Fruit Flies like the Kitchen

The kitchen is appealing to fruit flies because that’s where we keep and store our fruits and vegetables. When the fruits and vegetables start to decay it begins a fermenting process. Yeast and alcohol are produced during fermentation and these two things are what fruit flies find appetizing. A fruit fly will also use the rotting surface of fruits and vegetables to breed. The female fruit fly can lay up 500 eggs in her lifetime. Miniscule larvae hatch from an egg surviving on the decaying surface of a fruit or vegetable. After a few days the larvae enter a pupa stage and then emerge as an adult fruit fly. The life cycle is completed in eight to ten days.

Step 4 - Clean and Discard to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

To get rid of fruit flies in your kitchen remove anything that’s rotting or moist. Tomatoes, melons, bananas and grapes all need to be closely monitored for ripeness. Regularly, inspect your potatoes and onions for rotting and discard. Immediately, clean up beverage spills and frequently check under appliances for any residue from accidents. Just a small amount of sticky moist liquid can attract a fruit fly. Think slimy when eliminating potential things that fruit flies will use for breeding. Damp mops, sponges or wash cloths are acceptable places for fruit flies to lay their eggs. Wash out trash containers and wipe away any stuck on food spots.  

Step 5 - Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Once you have thoroughly cleaned and thrown away all decomposing fruits and vegetables, you need to get rid of the fruit flies. A homemade trap will catch the adult fruit flies. Take a jar and fill it with a couple tablespoons of cider vinegar. Shape a piece of paper into a funnel and place it in the jar. Leave the jar out on the kitchen countertop and wait for the adult flies to fall into the trap. Dispose of the fruit flies outside.