What can I do about these frickin fruit flies?

Well, I think they are fruit flies, anyway–tiny flying bugs that seem attracted to fruit. I noticed them after buying a bunch of bananas. What can I do to get rid of them? They are driving me nuts, but I would prefer not to use chemical sprays.

It got so bad in our flat last year (we left out a glass with the dregs of orange juice in over a weekend) that I ended up setting traps for them :dubious:
A bit of mushy banana or juice in the bottom of a plastic bag inside a cereal box or tall narrow glass and leave it out for a few hours - they should get lured inside and you can just close the box or slip a cover over the container and trap a whole load - then bin the lot.

And sadly you’ll just have to keep hiding your fruit away until they’ve gone.

Not much.

Fruit flies like a banana.

Bag your bananas. Just an ordinary clear plastic bag will do. Bag everything that is in the open and smells sweet.

'S just the way it is in the summer.

Ugh. My seven year old brother dropped a half-eaten banana in the toilet once just minutes before our family left on a weeklong vacation and we returned to a house completely infested with fruit flies for weeks. After a lot of guesswork, chemical sprays, citranella candles and flyswatters we finally got rid of them.

Get rid of absolutely all dark, damp surfaces they may be breeding or feeding off moisture inside and outside your home. No wet mop heads, no garbage bags, no rain-soaked rugs near the entrance, no wet sneakers, no puddles near the entrances. Triple check for residue on the bottom of trashcans. Keep your house dry, dry, dry.

Do not feed the fruit flies under any circumstances. No fruit, no open containers of juice, soda or water of any kind. If you have deposit cans of soda lying around, rinse 'em out. No empty cans of vegetables or tomato-based products. No peach pits or watermelon seeds lying around outside or in the bottom of the trash can. Eat out and don’t produce any kind of garbage. If you have kids, make sure they didn’t do something DUMB like have a rotten peach in a lunch box under their bed.

They may be breeding in the soil of your indoor watered plants: if so, move 'em outside to the garage or something. Move the garbage cans as far from your doors as possible. Keep your house locked up tight. I don’t even trust screens on doors and windows: new fertile adults can sneak in that way.

The life cycle of fruit flies is around 10 days. The only “quick” non-chemical solution that I know to work is to crank up the A/C 14-20 hours per day and freeze 'em out over a weeklong period.

but time flies like an arrow.

Thanks, everybody. I don’t think they are bad enough (yet!) that I have to quarantine the houseplants. I will bag all the fruit and maybe try trapping the little buggers.

I’ve heard setting out dishes of vinegar works.

I don’t know, but it’s cheap and couldn’t hurt (and you’re house will smell like a deli!) :slight_smile:

Anecdote: When I was in college, I had the a-typical bachelor pad. I lived alone and often hosted some fun times. Anyway - I rarely cleaned under the sink…I rarely even went under there for anything. I went on an outward bound adventure on July 1st and returned on the 20th…Collectively I had not opened the cabinet under the sink for nearly 3 months.

I had started to see fruit flies one day and decided I’d find their source and rid the appartment of them. I opened the cabinet door under the sink and there in front of me, to my shock and horror was a pulsating bag of Idaho potatos, sitting half submerged in a pond scummy platter of ooze. I grabbed the platter and a black cloud of hundred of thousands of fruit flies puffed out of the bag and into my face.

I ran outside and threw the bag on the front lawn just as a couple friends were arriving. we opened the bag and watched as this swarm of fruit flies buzzed around. I went into the bathroom, grabbed my girlfriends hairspray and as lighter and we had some good ol’fashion college fun with the huge cloud of fruit flies. It was weeks before we cleared them from the house. There were so many I could identify the hatchlings to the adults! Yuck!

I thought the eggs came in on bananas. Which, BTW are pollinated by bats.

How about getting some of the wingless fruit flies raised as fish food? The normal fruit flies will breed with them and may pass the trait along to their progeny.

It’s possible that they’re not fruit flies - check that your drains are running clear, for starters. Some flies will repeatedly lay & hatch in the detritus of a semi-blocked drain (that took my parents and I about three months to figure out, two years ago)

Yes. I saw a fruit fly yesterday, so I bleached out all my drains today. I got drain flies last year, and it turned me into an Evil Genocidal Tyrant. I chuckled as I poured boiling water and bleach down drains.

I’ll do it again tomorrow just to be sure. I hate flies.

Not a cure for your current winged guests, but for the future: My grandmother swears that putting your nanners in a large cup of water & into the fridge will keep the bugs away and help the fruit last longer.

I personally haven’t tried it. I rarely buy bananas.

Keeps the eggs from hatching, I’ll warrant.


By the way- this method does turn the skin brown, but the fruit inside shows no sign of deterioration.


I can’t stand buggy food. Especially maggoty rotting things. EeeeEEuuuuUUEEUGGGhhhh.

Once, as a kid, I saw a bunch of fruit flies having an orgy on a peach in our backyard. I think it traumatized me somewhat.

Here’s a trap no one has mentioned yet. Put a little wine or vinegar in the bottom of a glass, then put a funnel in the top. They are drawn in by the scent and can’t find their way out.

I want to do the funnel trap thing just for the coolness factor!