Inside: How to actually get rid of fruit flies at the source without using harsh chemicals or leaving a bowl of wine or juice on the counter! Hint: check your drain.
Back for the second post in this simplified cleaning series! In case you missed it, I’m also tackling the challenge of cleaning feather down pillows properly and how to get dog odours out of the couch.
Here’s a question that inevitably comes EVERY summer. How to get rid of those disgusting and always breeding fruit flies??!? UGH.
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So here’s how to ACTUALLY get rid of fruit flies
Today – my friends, I’m here to tell you my super-secret to eliminate fruit flies. It works like a charm and it’s now my go-to solution to fight fruit flies in sink (and so many other places). OXYGEN BLEACH. – Get it here
Update: this is not the same as bleach-bleach. Please do not use regular household bleach for this fruit fly killing remedy.
Use the non-toxic oxygen-based bleach crystals or liquid. I’ve linked to a bunch of options below. Check out this post for how I use Oxy Bleach Powder to clean around the house.
Best Remedies to get rid of fruit flies
Here are the types (they will all work in much the same way):
- Ajax Bleach Cleanser
- Oxygen Base Cleaner
- Stain Solver Oxygen Bleach Cleanser
- Pure Sodium Percarbonate Cleanser
- Spray Fruit Fly Killer
Note sodium percarbonate is the active ingredient in oxy bleach and should be diluted prior to use!
As with any good monster or alien invasion movie, the protagonists fight and fight through the first 2/3rds of the script only to realize the best way to battle the attacking foe is to determine where they are originating.
In the case of most fruit flies – it’s not the fiery depths of the Earth’s core or the far reaches of interplanetary space… but rather – the SINK DRAIN.
Fruit flies are also commonly known as drain flies. For real. They like it in there. Gross, I know. It’s so gross, I have a whole post on how I frequently deep clean our stainless steel sink.
Once they breed, they like to sit on, cling to and revel in any other kitchen surface touched by our hands.
Our hands carry food and sugars and sometimes sticky stuff, you see.
So here’s how you tackle them.
How to kill fruit flies in drain
Fill your sink about 1/3 of the way with hot water from the tap. As it’s filling, add in a cap full of liquid oxygen bleach or a 1/4 scoop of the oxygen bleach crystals.
This stuff is the BEST and is totally safe to use. I seriously can’t live without it.
Then immerse a dish rag into the water. Let that whole shebang sit there for about 10 minutes.
After the 10 or so minutes, use the bleach water-soaked rag to wipe down every surface in the kitchen – knobs, door handles, the fridge, stove handle, the blender, juicer, fruit bowl…
Or even the coffee maker. – Read here how to clean a coffee maker and a Keurig Coffee Machine.
Whatever is touched and potentially ‘fruity’!
Then wipe the sink thoroughly.
After another 10 minutes or so, drain the sink of the bleach water while running hot water at the same time. Thoroughly wipe out the drain and stopper.
Provided you don’t bring more infested bananas into the house, this should cull the herd!
Bonus: this doesn’t waste any wine in a bowl and you don’t have to see fly carcasses everywhere.
So, if you ever wonder “do fruit flies like bleach?” – No, they absolutely hate it!
How to get rid of fruit flies in coffee maker
Have you ever noticed the fruit flies appearing in your coffee maker overnight? These fruit flies are very common. These tiny insects enter your house covertly within eggs and larvae.
These may be already on the skin of fruit you purchase from the grocery store. If you want to prevent fruit flies in a coffee maker, the primary defense is to invest in high quality, organic, and food safe cleaner.
Secondly, you should wash all the fruits and veggies thoroughly when you bring them home.
Fruit flies in the coffee machine can be prevented when you focus on everything that you will bring to your dishes. You should even wipe down your banana with a damp and soapy cloth.
Bananas can be the major source of fruit fly breeding grounds. One great way to get rid of these insects is to bait and trap them.
You can create the fly trap just like a mousetrap.
Creating a fly trap
To get rid of fruit flies around the coffee machine, you can create a fly trap using a cone out of a piece of paper. Insert the cone into a jar with half an inch of fruit juice in it.
The flies get attracted to the sweet sugar in the juice. After flying down in the jar, they are unable to fly back up.
You can even get rid of gnats in the coffee maker by putting water, apple cider, and detergent in bowls around the kitchen.
Other Methods for Getting Rid of Fruit Flies
These are other tried and true methods, that I’ll admit I sometimes use when things get desperate.
1. The red wine solution
Pour a bit of dry wine or fruit juice into a shallow dish. Cover said dish with cellophane and poke holes in the top with a fork.
The flies will get in, drown and die. The downside of this is you’re left with a gross bowl of dead fly carcasses. I only use this method under duress.
But sill, it’s one of the best home remedies to get rid of fruit flies.
2. The fly paper solution
Only once in my life have I had to use this and it was when we’d been on vacation for three weeks and the sink wasn’t 100% clean before we left and we came home to fly city.
It was nasty.
The fly paper hangs from a ceiling or light fixture, attracts the flies and they stick to it.
Then they languish there to die. And at the end, you have this gross sticky paper full of dead flies. – Get fly paper here
3. Use a spray to kill fruit flies
If you want a quick and easy way to get rid of fruit flies without getting your hands too dirty, you should definitely try this spray to kill fruit flies.
It’s one of the best ideas when you’re wondering about how to get rid of fruit flies in the kitchen.
Flying Insect Killer exterminates fruit flies, gnats, and other flying insects as they fly through the mist.
The formula has a pleasant scent and can be used inside and outdoors. – Get it here
4. How to kill fruit flies with vinegar
If you are having trouble getting rid of fruit flies, you must know that these flies hate clean surfaces.
Whenever you spill a drop of fruit juice or anything sweet on the surface kitchen, fruit flies get attracted to it.
You must try keeping the sink drains free of small food particles and vanish all the residue in the drain. Otherwise, these spots can be a permanent destination for the flies.
The significant way to get rid of and kill fruit flies is using apple cider vinegar. Take a bowl and fill it with vinegar.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and use a rubber band to seal the edges. Make tiny holes on the top using a fork.
The fruit flies get attracted to apple cider and get trapped once they enter the bowl.
Another way is to add a drop of dish detergent and mixing it well. The apple cider vinegar attracts the flies and temp them with its sweetness.
At the same time, the top decreases the surface tension of the liquid. This allows you to trap flies in the bowl as they can’t escape after immersing in the water.
Apart from apple cider vinegar, you can also leave a bottle of old beer around your house.
The flies get lured by the smell of it where the narrow neck of the bottle acts as a barrier to the flies. Once they are inside the bottle, they get trapped.
5. How to keep fruit flies away – The Pro Tip
If none of these cut it, you might want to turn it up a notch on your fly trap situation.
Here, The Prairie Homestead explains how to DIY a fly trap. And Fabulessly Frugal has another verion that’s do-it-yourself as well.
Short FAQ on how to get rid of fruit flies
Does bleach kill fruit flies?
Yes but should also try safer methods such as killing Drain flies with vinegar and baking soda.
Does clorox kill fruit flies?
It’s a way to get rid of fruit flies but please do not use regular household bleach as a fruit fly killing remedy.
How to get rid of fruit flies in plants?
Use red wine vinegar as a fruit fly attractant and pour a little bit into a jar. Then cover with some plastic. Wrap. And poke holes in the top. Just wait for the flies to come in.