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Mission Elimination: Here's How to Kill Fruit Flies

Rujuta Borkar Jun 9, 2019
Though fruit flies look seemingly harmless, they can breed on fruits and other substances, thus contaminating them and leading to health risks. To know more on how to kill fruit flies and get rid of these pesky creatures, read on.
How many of us have experienced this scenario? As you walk in to the kitchen to bite into an apple you are greeted by the most annoying site. There, hovering around the fruit bowl are scores of flies in all their buzzing glory.
Granted, they don't have obvious torture tactics like the mosquito, but ignoring them is not an option because doing so will only lead them to breed into multiples more. Fruit flies, apart from creating a feeling of nuisance, can also lead to contamination of foods―thus producing health risks.
Fruit flies can breed on anything ranging from overripe fruits, wet food articles, uncovered wet trash, moisture-laden surfaces (even a drop of syrup) on the kitchen counter or floor, leaking drains, and wet mops.
All it takes for a fruit fly to start an army is a piece of ripe fruit. At a time, a single female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs, thus making it extremely difficult to curb the problem once it starts. And therefore the only option left for many is to kill them.

Eliminating Breeding Grounds

Before getting to the actual process of killing fruit flies, eliminate all their breeding grounds by making a thorough check of the house for the same. Because even though we might be successful in getting rid of the batch of fruit flies that plague the house at that current moment, they will continue to breed if provided with the required habitat.
It is therefore essential to identify and eliminate these grounds, by adopting methods such as these.
1. Get rid of all decaying fruits and vegetables, or refrigerate them.
2. Discard wet trash regularly.
3. Check for surfaces that have moisture on them and keep them dry (Kitchen counter, sink floor)
3. Eliminate food particles that are stuck in the drain.
4. Check for moisture in home plants and keep shifting them to different locations.
5. Dry wet mops, dish rags, etc thoroughly.
6. Check for other places where moisture might have seeped through, like cracks in floors.

Natural Ways

Even though many of us may be used to taking a newspaper and swatting at the flies, it is not the most convenient of methods. Adopting certain methods can, over time, help get rid of the fly menace forever. Many of us prefer to adopt home remedies to kill fruit flies that do not involve much trouble.

Mixture of Lemon Grass Oil and Water

Take about 8 drops of lemon grass oil and mix it in a liter of water. Then pour this mixture into a spray mechanism bottle. Spraying this on the fruit flies will kill them instantly. Along with that, spray the liquid in and around the identified breeding areas. This will prevent the flies from breeding.

Using a Jar/Bottle for Manual Trapping

Take an empty bottle or jar and place a ripe piece of fruit in it. Over a period of time the flies will have filled the jar. When that happens, shut the jar and release the flies outside. But this is a very cumbersome method and the risk of a large number of flies escaping while shutting the jar is ever present.

Making a Trap

Take a bowl or vessel and fill the bottom of it with some sweet syrup like honey, soda, or a fruity drink. Then cover the bowl with a plastic sheet that is stretched across and secure it tightly by tying a band or string.
Then, make a few holes―only big enough so that the fruit fly can pass through. The smell of the liquid in the bowl attracts the flies, but once they are in the bottle they cannot get out. Empty the contents of the bowl and re-fill it. Continue this process until all the flies are killed.
Alternately, a funnel can be made out of a paper cone and stuck to the mouth of the bowl so that the narrow opening is facing towards the bottom. This will serve the same purpose in trapping the flies as they will be able to go into the bowl but not come out.
Similarly, a soda bottle can be used in which the neck and a small portion below the neck is cut in a round shape. This can then be inverted so that the neck faces the bottom of the bottle wherein the liquid is stored.

Using Vinegar

Vinegar is a very effective ingredient in killing fruit flies naturally. Make a mixture of vinegar and diluted soap liquid in a bowl or jar. But make sure that the jar is odorless or else the already existing odor will overpower the smell of vinegar.
Fruit flies are attracted to this smell and will fly into the jar, and once they do, they will get stuck in it due to the soap water, which breaks the tension and will drown them. Vinegar by itself will not trap the flies.

Ammonia and Oil

Fruit Flies that are mostly found around the drain or sink can be gotten rid of by adopting two simple ingredients―ammonia and vegetable oil.
Putting ammonia in the drain will rid it of all particles and help in killing fruit flies naturally. So also, pouring vegetable oil around the drain opening will coat the flies in oil, thus rendering them incapable of breeding.

Using Chemical Products

Other than the home remedies that are provided here, there are a number of commercial products that can be availed of to kill fruit flies as well. Some of the choices are given here.

Fly Paper

It is probably one of the oldest methods used to kill fruit flies. The paper is made of a very sticky substance to which the fly gets stuck and cannot escape.

Bug Zapper

This product has a tube light fitted into its center with a net mesh around it that has an electric current flowing through it. The fly gets attracted to the light and when it lands on the net, is killed due to the electric current.


There are several sprays that have come up in the market. These sprays have harmful chemical substances that kill the flies instantly. But one has to be sure that the house pets do not come in contact with the same.
Apart from these methods, one can also try burning incense sticks around the house. The smell will put you in a good mood and drive the flies away. But rest assured, adopting these methods is guaranteed to rid you of your problems. Here's hoping you succeed in your waging war against the pesky creatures.