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Fruit Flies and How to Control Them

You've likely landed on this page, because fruit flies have landed in your home. Fruit flies are a common pest indoors. They are also common outdoors, where they are less of a nuisance.

Fruit flies appear in the great numbers in the summer and fall, when ripe and sometimes overripe fruits and vegetables are plentiful in kitchen fruit bowls.


Fruit Fly Identification

Fruit flies are 1/8 inch long. Their body color is yellow or tan. They have bright red eyes.

Fruit flies are most noticeable in and around fruits, tomatoes and other vegetables left in the kitchen. They are also found in drains, and especially garbage cans that do not have a tight lid.

Other flies and gnats are found around houseplants, and are sometimes mistaken for fruit flies. If your houseplant has dead and decaying leaves or branches, fruit flies may be resident.


Life Cycle

After emerging from the eggs, the larva stage lasts 5-6 days. The adult fruit fly stage lasts for 10 days. Near the end of this period, the female lays eggs into decaying organic matter, starting the next cycle.


How to Control

The larva of the fruit fly can only survive in decaying organic matter.

  • The first step is to remove the things they are looking for:

  • Remove fruits and vegetables from counters and tables. Wrap securely in plastic bags, or put them in the refrigerator.

  • Use garbage cans with tight lids. Empty garbage frequently.

  • Keep drains clean

You can also make an easy homemade trap, or buy one from the store. See below for how to make your own fruit fly trap


Homemade Organic Fruit Fly Trap

You can save money by making your own homemade fruit fly trap. It's a cinch.

  1. Take a small bowl and put a few ounces of apple cider vinegar in it.

  2. Put a few drops of liquid dish detergent in the cider vinegar.

  3. Leave the bowl on a counter where the flies are present.

  4. Dispose of liquid and put fresh ingredients in every few days.


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