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How to get rid of fruit flies in your home

Tell fruit flies to buzz off with our ultimate guide! Learn where fruit flies come from and, more importantly, how to get rid of them.


fruit flies on a yellow fruit

Key steps to dealing with fruit flies:

  1. Make your own fly traps to capture any fruit flies that enter your home.

  2. Keep a secure lid on the bin - fruit flies are drawn to the smell.

  3. Avoid leaving food and damp items in the open as this is another thing fruit flies love.

  4. Having a regular kitchen cleaning schedule that includes cleaning kitchen surfaces and areas regularly to remove crumbs and deter fruit flies.

Are you wondering how to get rid of fruit flies in the house? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. These winged critters get into kitchens all the time and are pretty annoying house guests, if we're honest. Get them to pack their bags with these tips on how to catch fruit flies and how to prevent them from coming into your home in the first place.

You're less likely to get fruit flies in the house if it's clean. Wipe surfaces regularly with an all-purpose, anti-germ spray like Handy Andy Multipurpose Cleaner.

You're less likely to get fruit flies in the house if it's clean. Wipe surfaces regularly with an all-purpose, anti-germ spray like Handy Andy Power Cream Active Shield Kitchen Spray.

How to get rid of fruit flies: traps

Often the best way to get rid of fruit flies is with a home-made trap. There are lots of different fruit fly remedies that use a common household product to attract the flies and trap them in a container - here are our favourites:

Catching fruit flies with apple cider vinegar or stale wine

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  1. Put apple cider vinegar or stale wine in an open jar.

  2. Fold a piece of kitchen towel into a funnel and place it in the neck of the jar.

  3. Fruit flies will be attracted to the liquid but unable to get out of the jar.

  4. Leave the jar in areas prone to fruit flies and empty outside regularly.

Female fruit flies can lay up to 600 eggs each! Deal with the problem as soon as you can otherwise you could have a fruit fly infestation on your hands!

Catching fruit flies with adhesive tape

  1. Cut greaseproof paper into long strips and punch a hole at the one end to thread some thin rope through.

  2. Mix together 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of honey, and 2 tablespoons of water on a low heat until the sugar dissolves.

  3. Soak the paper in this mixture and allow to dry thoroughly.

  4. Hang the fly paper up in your home - doorways and windows are good places to target.

  5. Remove or replace the fly paper once all the flies in your home have been caught or it gets full.

Catching fruit flies with plants

  1. Try using a carnivorous plant, like the Venus fly trap, to help you get rid of fruit flies around the home.

  2. Alternatively, use plants with scents that fruit flies dislike around your home to keep them at bay.

  3. Plants with strong scents are best for this - basil, peppermint, lavender and lemongrass are all good fruit fly deterrents.

How to prevent fruit flies from returning

Once you've managed to get rid of fruit flies in the house, you need to know how to prevent them from returning. The easiest way to do this is with thorough cleaning. Try these tips to prevent fruit flies invading your house (again):

  • Wipe down your kitchen surfaces with a dirt-busting cleaner like Handy Andy. Read our article on kitchen cleaning and tidying for more tips.

  • Don’t store any food openly. Always ensure it's in a sealed container or packet.

  • Get rid of rotting or mouldy food as soon as possible. If putting it in your bin, make sure you empty it regularly and close the lid firmly.

  • Don’t leave dirty dishes out. Follow our advice on washing dishes by hand to make the process quick and easy.

  • Wash fruit and vegetables before you store them.

  • Avoid standing pools of water – for example, in the sink.

  • Keep the temperature cool, especially in the kitchen.

  • Don’t leave damp cloths lying around - the damp smell can attract flies.

  • Clean out your drains regularly as debris can get stuck here and attract flies. Try our methods for unblocking drains to help.

Where do fruit flies come from?

You may know how to get rid of fruit flies and stop them coming back but do you know what causes fruit flies in the first place? Fruit flies are attracted to our homes by certain chemicals, or scents, that are released. These include the smell of decomposing food as well as sugar. Leaving food crumbs on counters, overfilling your bin, and even leaving damp laundry lying around can all bring fruit flies to your door.

Originally published