It is crucial to eliminate fruit flies’ breeding grounds and overripe or rotting fruits to eliminate fruit flies in the kitchen naturally.
Traps, such as apple cider vinegar traps, also play a significant role in the natural treatment of fruit flies.
This article will provide a step-by-step guide to getting rid of fruit flies in the kitchen without using chemicals.
You’ll also find the proven hacks to prevent these nuisance flies from returning.
Keep reading to eliminate the fruit fly problem in the kitchen once and for all.
This article contains affiliate links, which may earn us a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Causes Of Fruit Flies In The Kitchen
Fruit flies thrive on undisposed food waste, slimy sink drains, and overripe fruits left in the kitchen.
Dampness under the kitchen sink and in appliances attracts small flies like fruit flies and fungus gnats.
Fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables can also contain fruit fly larvae, which mature into adult fruit flies, causing fruit flies in the home.
The presence of factors that draw fruit flies can cause these gnats to enter the kitchen by flying in through the open kitchen windows and the cracks on the windowsills.
Once inside, these flies will lay their eggs in the drains, food wastes, and inside appliances, such as dishwashers.
A female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs in their breeding grounds.
Under room temperature and humidity, these eggs can hatch in one day, producing fruit fly larvae, also known as maggots.
These maggots mature into adult fruit flies in 4-5 days and become adult fruit flies, leading to a sudden appearance of fruit flies in the kitchen.
Natural Methods To Eliminate Fruit Flies
Eliminating fruit flies, naturally, is an easy task.
But there’s a catch.
As you’re not using pesticides, you’ll need to use these methods often, at least twice a week, till you stop noticing fruit fly activity inside the kitchen.
Here’s how to do it.
Fix Leaky Pipes To Eliminate Moisture
Fruit flies are moisture bugs that thrive in damp areas.
Water leaks from the kitchen drains, faucets, and other plumbing systems create moist zones in the kitchen, attracting the fruit flies.
Fix those leaky pipes to keep the moisture levels in the kitchen low.
Clean The Kitchen
Dispose of food wastes in the kitchen garbage disposals. Do not let food waste accumulate in the kitchen.
These wastes draw fruit flies and other kitchen bugs such as ants and roaches.
Clean your kitchen thoroughly with soapy water and remove any food or beverage stains from the kitchen sinks, countertops, appliances, and storage.
Following a regular kitchen cleaning schedule goes a long way in keeping flies and bugs away from the kitchen.
Clean The Sink Drains
Many homeowners skip the process of cleaning the kitchen drains.
It’s a big mistake!
Fruit flies and many other small flies in the kitchen, such as drain flies, phorid flies, and fungus gnats, lay their eggs, the gunk blocking these drains.
So, clean the drains with a drain cleaner.
You can also create your drain cleaner with ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup salt, and 1 cup vinegar.
Mix them all together. And pour them into the drains.
Close the drain holes with a drain cover and let the mixture sit inside the drains for a couple of hours. It’ll kill flies, their eggs, and larvae in the drains.
It also breaks down the scum and slime, choking the drains.
Follow it up by pouring hot water inside the drains to flush out the dead fruit flies, their eggs, larvae, and the waste blocking the drain.
Homemade Dish Soap And Apple Cider Vinegar Trap
Take a shallow pan or bowl and fill it half with apple cider vinegar. Add two tablespoons of dish soap and mix them well.
Cover the bowl or pan with a plastic wrap and affix the wrap with a rubber band.
Poke a few holes in the wrap. You’ve your homemade fruit fly trap ready.
Keep the trap where you’ve noticed intense fruit fly activity.
Depending on the severity of the infestation, you should make multiple traps.
The fruity smell of apple cider vinegar draws fruit flies.
They get stuck and drown in the mixture because of the stickiness of the dish soap when they sneak inside the trap through the holes in the plastic wrap.
For best results, keep the trap for 24 hours. And dispose of the mixture with dead fruit flies the following day.
You can also use ripe fruits like bananas and oranges instead of apple cider vinegar.
You can also use yellow sticky traps that are readily available and keep them in the areas where you’ve noticed fruit flies.
Repeat The Above Steps
One of the drawbacks of DIY natural pest removal is that one treatment is insufficient.
You’ll need to repeat the process at least twice a week till you stop noticing fruit fly activity.
However, prevention methods are integral to eliminating fruit flies in the kitchen.
The following section covers them.
Preventing Fruit Flies In The Kitchen
Seal Cracks On The Windows
The tiny crevices on the windowsills are hidden entry points for fruit flies and kitchen bugs like ants and roaches.
Caulk the gaps with a quality sealant, preferably silicone-based or polyurethane-based sealants.
Eliminate Decaying Organic Matter Outdoors
Rotting debris such as leaf litter, food waste in yard garbage disposals, and decaying organic waste in compost bins and recycle bins are breeding grounds for fruit flies.
Other flies, such as fungus gnats and house flies, also lay eggs in them.
So, ensure your outdoor area has no decaying waste problem. Otherwise, fruit flies breed in those areas and fly inside the house.
Use Natural Repellents Like Peppermint Oil
Fruit flies and many other insects hate the peppermint smell.
You can use peppermint oil spray in the kitchen, especially around the windows, the sink, the counters, and the appliances to keep fruit flies away.
Wash Fruits And Keep Them In The Refrigerator
Do not keep fruits and vegetables in the open. Wash them and keep them inside the refrigerator.
It’ll prevent the odor of ripe fruits from drawing fruit flies.
Always dispose of the overripe or rotting fruits and vegetables quickly.
Clean The Kitchen Appliances
Appliances such as dishwashers and coffee makers have wet food waste in them.
These wastes attract fruit flies and other pests, such as ants.
Regularly cleaning these appliances, especially with white vinegar, eliminates the hidden breeding grounds of fruit flies that many people ignore.
Fruit flies can also sneak inside the fridge if it’s dirty.
So, clean the refrigerator, especially the pan underneath the refrigerator that holds water, to prevent these nuisance flies.
Treat Areas Like Bathroom
Areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms, with much water usage, are naturally damp.
Fruit flies also lay eggs in the bathroom shower drains and in the drains of bathroom fixtures such as sinks and bathtubs.
So, clean the bathroom, keep it dry by fixing leaky pipes and removing standing water, and use the drainage cleaning methods I mentioned earlier.
Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Keeping the kitchen clean is the final and most important way to prevent fruit flies.
A dirty kitchen with unwashed dishes, food waste in the trash cans, food and beverage stains in the kitchen sink, storage, and counters always attracts fruit flies and many other tiny bugs.
Keep Moisture Levels Low
I talked about fixing leaky pipes in the kitchen to eliminate fruit flies. Well, it’s also essential to keep fruit flies away.
Keeping the moisture levels low by fixing water leakages also prevents the formation of molds and fungi that many tiny bugs in the kitchen, such as booklice, eat.
Ensure your kitchen has proper ventilation to reduce dampness because of condensation.
If you live in a humid environment, installing a dehumidifier will help keep the moisture levels down.
Remove molds and mildew with a mold cleaner to eliminate the food sources of mold-eating bugs.
Hiring Professional Pest Control For Severe Infestation
Severe fruit fly infestation can be difficult to eliminate by DIY ways. Fruit flies keep returning if their sources remain active.
Hiring a professional pest controller is necessary if there’s a bad fruit fly infestation in your kitchen.
So, if your repeated efforts are not giving you the results, then you might want to leave it in the hands of a professional to eliminate the hidden sources of fruit flies on your property.
Small Flies In The Kitchen, Not Fruit Flies
Fruit flies aren’t the only kitchen flies. Many other flies also share the same breeding grounds in the kitchen.
These tiny flies drain flies, phorid flies, and fungus gnats.
They all will lay their eggs in the kitchen drains and food waste.
From the kitchen, these flies can spread into the rest of the house, such as the bedroom and living room, which are not damp and have no food waste.
You can eliminate these flies with the same methods I laid out.
However, fungus gnats also lay eggs in the soil beds of potted plants indoors.
Treating the potting soil with Epsom salt or hydrogen peroxide eliminates the fungus gnat’s eggs and their larvae.