The Rockdale Gardener

Gardening Posts From Rockdale Cooperative Extension

How do you get rid of fruit flies in the home?


photo by Dan Suiter, PhD, UGA Entomologist

Fruit flies may just be one of the worlds most annoying pests. At just an eighth of an inch in size they hover around and just above fruits and vegetables and lay eggs nearby. They can infest the home and be difficult to get rid of.

The most common species of fruit fly has orange eyes but not all fruit flies have orange eyes. They look like tiny houseflies. Often they enter the home on produce such as bananas.

To catch the adults, make a trap using apple cider vinegar and dish soap. Put apple cider vinegar in a cup, add a drop of soap and the flies will come to it and get trapped. This works amazingly well.

There are traps sold as well. Some look like an apple and they work well if you do not want to make your own trap.

Fruit fly adults live 10-18 days.  Once you get rid of whatever decomposing fruit or vegetable matter that brought them into the home you must make sure they haven’t laid eggs on something else such as old potatoes. Look for brown pupal cases the size of a grain of rice where the larvae left the fruit to pupate.  Clean these up and destroy them. Prevent fruit flies from entering the home by avoiding suspect fruits and vegetables and by sealing window and doors.