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How to get rid of fruit flies: Part-3

This article explains how we can get rid of fruit flies using sprays which can be bought commercially or else prepared by ourselves. Preventive measures described will always keep home, free from fruit flies and their eggs infesting our kitchen.


Fruit flies feed and breed in places which are suitable for them. They are attracted to sweet, organic odour and thus they mainly make decomposing overripe produce as their favourite spot. Fruits and vegetables which we do not refrigerate, our garbage and composting bins which are a collection of overripe produce, our kitchen where leftovers are scattered here and there, our drainage system which is not getting flushed with adequate water pressure all become their favourite spots. In order to get rid of them, we need to know their breeding spots. Once we determine where their breeding and feeding spots are, we need to take measures to control their population. Many commercially available products are available as aerosols which can be sprayed directly over fruit flies or over their breeding areas to check their population. Also, we can prepare such sprays by ourselves. Once their number gets decreased and all the eggs which they laid are thrown away, we need to follow certain precautionary measures to prevent these little buggers from once again invading our pantry, spoiling our food and annoying us in any way.

Getting rid of fruit flies with sprays

Make use of pyrethrin spray. It is commercially available in the market. It comes as an aerosol and is mainly an insecticide which when sprayed over fruit flies kills them instantly. However, eggs of fruit flies cannot be destroyed by spraying it. It should be handled carefully, especially when sprayed in the kitchen. Make sure to follow the instructions. Do not spray over food preparation surfaces or over foods.

Instead of buying pyrethrin spray, we can also make sprays which are equally effective in getting rid of fruit flies. Not only they can easily be prepared, but are also far less toxic or dangerous when compared with store purchased insecticide or pesticide. Spray bottles are easily available. Fill it with 70% of rubbing alcohol. Spray it directly on fruit flies. Within a few minutes, they fall to the ground and die. We can even prepare homemade spray with 91% alcohol, but it will cost us more. However, it is much powerful and that is why it immediately kills fruit flies, saturates eggs and is a very powerful disinfectant. Since it is stronger than 70% alcohol, follow precautionary measures like wear gloves, open windows, and switch on ventilating fans.

Purchase a bottle of lemongrass essential oil. Add at least 10 drops of this oil to a spray bottle along with 2 cups of hot water. Shake well. Spray it all over problematic areas, directly on fruit flies, on windowsills, doorways, kitchen cabinets etc. It is very environmentally friendly as it does not liberate any toxic fumes and leaves a nice refreshing aroma.

Sometimes infestation of fruit flies become so strong that even after repeated use of sprays, their number does not decrease. We should then opt for pest control measure. Just make a call to pest Control Company who will make sure to get rid of all fruit flies and their eggs by spraying residual insecticide.

Getting rid of fruit flies from drains

Getting rid of fruit flies and their eggs from drains seem quite a complicating task. Even after repeatedly draining warm water and liquid detergent soaps, fruit fly problem does not get solved then there is a need to treat drains with gels. These gels are formulated not only to get rid of fruit flies but also completely destroy their eggs. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and use it regularly unless the problem completely gets solved. Pour bleach mixed with water into the drains. We can also make use of ammonia. However, pour bleach and ammonia separately, otherwise, it will result in the creation of toxic fumes.

Preventive measures

  • Do not purchase overripe fruits or vegetables. Always buy fresh ones. If they are ripe then consume them within a day or two and do not let them overripe.

  • Never purchase infected produce. If fruit flies are already wandering over such produce then skip that produce stand or grocery shop and purchase from somewhere else. Fruit flies may not come home with such fruits and vegetables, but their eggs definitely will become uninvited guests in our homes.

  • Before storing any produce, make sure to clean them properly under running water and dry them.

  • Store produce in a refrigerator. Produce which cannot be kept in refrigerator should be stored in a cool and dry place.

  • Make sure to clean any spillage under the refrigerator and always check and clean the room and containers which are used to store produce.

  • Any overripe produce should be discarded immediately. If it cannot be consumed then there is no point in letting it stand in our kitchen or refrigerator for a few more hours or days.

  • Trash should regularly be taken out. Do not let it sit in garbage bins or trash cans for days together.

  • Take composting bins to composting pile regularly.

  • Wash garbage bins and composting bins thoroughly by scrubbing them enough with warm water and disinfectant solution. Do not leave traces of any waste material sitting in them either on the base or else on their side walls.

  • Keep the lid of garbage and composting bins tightly closed. If trash bags are used then keep their mouth tied.

  • Even if a small amount of juice or any sweet, organic substance which gets spilled out in the kitchen or dining table is present then wipe the spillage then and there itself. Do not let it stand for hours together.

  • Keep kitchen and dining area clean. All the cracks, crevices should be cleaned properly along with cabinets, equipment's and kitchen drains. Regularly pour warm water and bleach over drains.

  • Do not let dirty dishes lying around in the kitchen sink for hours together. Make sure to clean dirty dishes after every meal. If not possible then at least rinse them under running water and later clean them at the end of the day.

  • If there are any fruit trees present in the garden or on the ground nearby home then make sure to clean all the fallen, overripe fruits from underneath the tree. If a slightly sweet herb or any such plant is planted in the pot then regularly change the soil of that pot.

  • If there are any fruit trees in the garden area or nearby then make sure that windows and doors are protected with screens. This will prevent entry of fruit flies inside home.

  • If fruits are ripe then pick them immediately from the tree. Do not let them rot over their or let them fall and rot on the ground. Not only will it create mess but will attract number of fruit flies.

  • Exclusion bags are available. Just slip them over the fruiting branches of the tree. These bags allow sunlight to pass through them, sufficient air to circulate through them and also prevent fruit flies from spoiling fruits.

  • Organic fruit fly sprays are also available. They are not toxic and thus can be safely sprayed over growing fruits. These sprays will keep fruit flies away from fruits and fruit trees. Since they are organic in nature, they need to be sprayed on daily basis.

  • Make use of oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass etc. They may be pleasing to us but not so appealing to fruit flies. Add them to the spray bottle along with some water. Mix properly and then spray over all those areas which are susceptible to trauma of fruit flies.

  • If there are chances that fruit flies may enter our pantries again then make sure to use traps, especially in fruit fly season. Keep it in those areas where we often keep our freshly cut produce. Make sure to replace the contents of the container daily.


Getting rid of fruit flies is not a very difficult task. However, if their numbers become quite large enough which usually can be seen in fruit fly season then getting rid of them becomes very difficult. There are many methods to get rid of them. Amongst all of them the easiest is to use aerosol sprays either commercially bought or else the one which we can prepare ourselves. Both of them are equally effective. Spray them directly on fruit flies and in all those areas which are susceptible and problematic. Once fruit flies have been completely removed from our homes, we need to take preventive measures to prevent their reentry into our homes. Instead of going through all the pain of getting rid of them, it is always better to prevent their entry in our homes. Get rid of all the overripe produce, especially overripe fruits and all those spillages which let out a sweet aroma. Red wine, beer, fruits, sweet vegetables, apple cider vinegar, sweet sauces, jams, jellies all can lure fruit flies quickly towards them. Keep windows, doors protected with screens and keep kitchen and dining area neat and clean. All these precautionary measures which adopted will prevent reentry of fruit flies in our homes and even in our garden areas. Know more tips and methods to get rid of fruit flies from our cooking and dining area by going through, How to get rid of fruit flies: Part-1 and Part-2.

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Author: Natarajan27 Dec 2017 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

We should accept that we cannot get rid of them completely but we can at least reduce the density. Children often spill drops of juice from fresh fruits like mango, pomegranate, custard-apple, melons etc and discard small bits before just leaving the skin around the dining table or the wash bin. We should just clean this up and discard the leftovers quickly rather than leaving them around to attract flies. Once kids understand this, they can be taught to dispose of correctly.
For fruits like banana, sapota, plums and grapes that attract fruit flies, we find the modern baskets with a retractile dome made of fine nylon net cloth very useful, this at least keeps the flies out of direct contact, even though they can be flying around. These can be bought in many malls or supermarket for Rs 200-Rs 250.00

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