How Do You Deal With Fruit Flies?

Written by: Lars Nyman

How Do You Deal With Fruit Flies?

Fruit Flies

Are you having trouble keeping the pesky fruit fly population down in your garden? Fruit flies are tiny, but mighty, creatures that can become an overwhelming nuisance both outdoors and indoors. And with the warmer weather, it's the perfect time for them to multiply. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to keep their numbers in check. In this article, we'll reveal the best methods for dealing with fruit flies in your garden.

Cheatsheet: Dealing with Fruit Flies


  • Keep fruits covered 🍎
  • Store ripening fruits in the fridge 🌡️


  • Make DIY fruit fly traps 🪰
  • Clean up spills and rotting produce ASAP 🧽
  • Empty and wash garbage bins regularly 🗑️

Interesting Stats

  • Each female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs in her 30-day lifespan 🥚
  • Fruit flies are attracted to acetic acid, which is found in vinegar 🍾
  • A single fruit fly can multiply to over 500 flies in just one week 😱

Health & Nutrition

  • Fruit flies can spread bacteria, posing a risk to your health 🦠
  • Preventing fruit fly infestation helps preserve food and reduce waste 🌱


  • By effectively dealing with fruit flies, you can enjoy homegrown produce without pesky nuisances 🏡🌿
Fruit Flies

If there's one thing I've become an accidental expert on in my many years as a gardener, it's fruit flies. Fruit flies can take the joy out of your beautiful homegrown harvest in a flash, but thankfully, there are proven methods to tackle these pesky invaders.

Understand the Enemy with Fruit Flies

Firstly, let me clear up a common misconception. Remember, not all small, flying insects are fruit flies. Proper identification is key! Fruit flies are tiny, about 1/8 inch long, and typically have red eyes. Most importantly, they have a particular fondness for damaged, overripe, or rotting fruit, which is where they like to lay their eggs.

Prevention: Your First Line of Defense Against Fruit Flies

As with all garden bugs, preventing an infestation is always better than trying to fight an established one. Keeping a clean, tidy garden can greatly reduce your chances of attracting fruit flies. Avoid leaving ripened fruit and vegetables—particularly those that are damaged—on your plants any longer than necessary.

From my personal experience, a well-maintained compost pile is your garden's best friend, but a poorly maintained one can be a fruit fly breeding ground.

Trapping Fruit Flies

If preventive measures fail and your garden becomes a haven for these bothersome bugs, trapping them is a good next step. One of the most effective DIY traps I've used is a bowl filled with an attractant (fruit fly food), covered with plastic wrap that is punctured with small holes. Fruit flies can get in, but they have a hard time getting out.

Homemade Fruit Fly Trap Recipe

  1. Fill a bowl with apple cider vinegar (a favorite treat of theirs), a few drops of dish soap (this breaks the surface tension of the vinegar so the flies can't just sit atop), and a piece of ripe fruit.
  2. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
  3. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap.
  4. Wait. The fruit flies will be drawn in, but will find themselves stuck.

Introducing Natural Predators

In my garden, I also like to harness the power of Mother Nature! Predatory insects are remarkably effective at controlling fruit fly populations. If fruit flies are a consistent nuisance in your garden, consider introducing some of their natural enemies such as spiders, parasitic wasps, or mites.

My gardening journey has taught me that dealing with fruit flies (or any pests, for that matter) requires persistence, adaptability and a touch of creativity. With these strategies up your sleeve, you'll be well equipped to reclaim your garden from these tiny trespassers. Remember, consistency is key; the battle against fruit flies may be ongoing, but it is definitely winnable.


How to get rid of fruit flies?

Eliminate **fruit flies** by using **apple cider vinegar** traps or **sugar and dish soap** traps.

What attracts fruit flies?

**Ripened fruits**, **rotting vegetables**, and **fermenting substances** are **main attractants** for fruit flies.

How long do fruit flies live?

**Fruit flies** have a **lifespan** of about **8-10 days** on average.

What should I do to prevent fruit flies?

**Store fruits** in a **sealed container** and **clean** any spills or **ripe produce** to prevent **fruit fly infestation**.

Can fruit flies cause any harm?

No, **fruit flies** are **not harmful** to humans, but they are **annoying and unsightly**.

All in all, fruit flies can be a nuisance, but by using a combination of prevention and treatment methods, you can have success in controlling them. Taking the extra time to do a bit of dedicated preventative gardening maintenance and build a strategy for tackling the fruit flies is always time well-spent.

Want to know more about Fruit Flies? Check out these posts:

Further reading:

Your perfect garden awaits!

Launch your garden