You’re not alone if you’ve ever spent time swatting at tiny flying insects while trying to prepare food. These bugs are fruit flies, and their annoying and elusive behavior is quite annoying. So, what attracts fruit flies, and how do you get rid of them?
The fruit fly is a small insect, similar to a gnat – you often find adult flies hanging out around a trash can, sink drain, or ripe fruit. There are different species of fruit flies. The main types are the Mediterranean fruit fly, Mexican fruit fly, Caribbean fruit fly, and Queensland fruit fly.
While one or two fruit flies don’t seem concerning, they quickly turn into a fruit fly problem since a female fruit fly lays fruit fly eggs in ripened fruit. It’s vital to eliminate this common pest as quickly as possible, and the best way to keep them out of the home is to understand why they are there in the first place.
- What Attracts the Fruit Fly and How to Get Rid of It
What Attracts the Fruit Fly and How to Get Rid of It
Like everything else in nature, the fruit fly plays a role. However, we prefer to keep them away from our living space. Learn what attracts the fruit fly to your home and how to eliminate them to prevent a fruit fly infestation.
What Is a Fruit Fly?
To better understand what attracts fruit flies, it’s helpful to know what these insects are, their habits, and their life cycle. Learn fruit fly basics and why these flying insects are a nuisance in and around the home.
Fruit Fly Insects
Fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) are winged insects about an eighth inch long. They usually have red eyes and are tan in front and black in the rear. Find them in homes, grocery stores, restaurants, and other places where there is food.
The fruit fly lays eggs on the surface of fermenting food, and the larvae feed on this food source as it matures into an adult fruit fly. The entire life cycle of this insect is about one week, and given the opportunity, fruit flies may lay up to 500 eggs.
What Is the Fruit Fly Attracted to Outside?
The best way to prevent a fruit fly from making its way inside the house is to keep it out of the yard. The simplest way is to eliminate their food sources, but what are fruit flies attracted to outside?
Fruit trees and vegetable gardens are the main areas of attraction for fruit flies, especially if there are over-ripened or rotting fruits and veggies on the ground. The garbage can is another area where these insects congregate since they usually contain scraps of fermenting food and empty soda or beer cans.
What Attracts the Fruit Fly Indoors?
What are fruit flies attracted to in the house? Fruit flies are outdoor pests that often find their way indoors when they detect familiar odors. Learn what draws these insects into your home to help you keep these tiny flies at bay.
There are several reasons for fruit flies in the house. They enjoy fermented items like wine, liquor, and beer and congregate around them in the recycling area.
The insects hang out on fresh fruit or ripe fruit in a fruit bowl or rotten fruit in the trashcan and are even drawn to yeast. You may bring them in on garden crops, and they breed in mop buckets, drains, garbage disposals, and other damp, dark areas.
Other sweet scents can repel fruit flies outside. Scents like citronella will get rid of fruit flies outdoors when you’re sitting on the patio or when you have food nearby.
Does Vinegar Draw Fruit Flies?
You may be aware that fruit flies love the smell of overripe fruit as it begins fermenting, and the smell of decomposing food draws them to the trash can or garbage disposal. However, does vinegar attract fruit flies?
Vinegar and the Fruit Fly
The carbon dioxide that ripens fruit and the organic matter that is released draws fruit flies. But gnats are attracted to sour scents like vinegars and fermented foods, which also works for fruit flies. Therefore, apple cider vinegar is the best for luring fruit flies since it has a sweet odor that tricks them into thinking that there is overly ripe fruit in the vicinity.
How to Eliminate Fruit Flies with a Homemade Trap
Does vinegar attract fruit flies? Yes, it does, and it’s the perfect liquid for attracting these insects into a fly trap. Apple cider vinegar will catch fungus gnats and fruit flies to kill these pests in the kitchen.
There are many types of vinegar, from white vinegar to balsamic vinegar, but apple cider is the vinegar of choice for attracting fruit flies since it has a sweet smell. Pour about one cup of apple cider vinegar into a jar or cup and add a squirt of liquid dish soap.
Secure plastic wrap over the mouth of the jar with a rubber band. Poke several holes in the top of the plastic with a toothpick and set the container where you notice fruit fly activity.
Getting Rid of Flies with Natural Bug Spray
It takes patience to eliminate fruit flies with a trap, and sometimes these bugs refuse to cooperate. Discover how to make a spray to kill fruit flies on house plants as soon as you spot them.
Mix the hot water and lemongrass essential oil in a glass spray bottle and shake it well. Always use a glass container when mixing essential oils since the oils break down plastic materials. Keep the bottle handy and spray the fruit flies directly as soon as you spot them.
Ways to Prevent Fruit Flies Around the Home
Though traps, sprays, and other forms of pest control effectively eliminate fruit flies, it’s always better to keep these insects out of the house in the first place. Follow some fruit fly prevention tips to help keep your living space fly-free.
To prevent fruit flies from becoming an outdoor problem, keep the lid on your garbage can, clean up fallen fruit beneath fruit trees, and tidy the veggie garden. Another way to keep this insect out of the yard is to grow fruit fly repelling plants, like peppermint, basil, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, and clove.
To keep fruit flies out of the house, take out the trash each night or right after cutting up fruits and vegetables. Keep your food items in a sealed storage container, clean dishes regularly, and wipe down the counters after meal prepping.
Run a cleaning solution in the garbage disposal to kill a fly egg, fungus gnats, and drain flies, and change your dishcloths and sponges regularly. If you recycle cans and bottles, keep them in a container with a lid.
Like the fungus gnat, one fruit fly quickly turns into many, eventually becoming an infestation. Fortunately, there are ways to eliminate adult fruit flies and keep them out of your home by cleaning the kitchen and using fruit fly traps.
What attracts fruit flies is a common question, and knowing the answer keeps your home pest-free, so why not share our fruit fly attraction and elimination guide with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook?