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How to get rid of fruit flies quickly and easily

The expert-approved solutions to try plus the top-rated products available to buy.

Washing your bananas could help to banish fruit flies from your home. (Getty Images)
Washing your bananas could help to banish fruit flies from your home. (Getty Images)

Fruit flies are one of life's little annoyances - gathering around your fruit bowl, in your wine glass and generally causing a nuisance of themselves.

From trying (and failing) to swat them away from your face, to unsuccessfully trapping them in your hands, getting rid of the little pests is near on impossible.

What causes fruit flies?

The pesky critters can enter your home on your groceries - or just fly through open doors and windows.

They're drawn to anything fermented, whether it's food or even beer, spirits and wine. Plus, they also go crazy for fermenting gunk in drains, mops and bins.

Needless to say, summer is their favourite season because warmer weather causes fruit to decompose more rapidly. Though they'll happily annoy us during the rest of the year, too - the annoying little insects can scent ripe produce from a long way away.

Fruit flies on squeezed lemon slice; see other similar images:
Fruit flies can be a real nuisance, especially in the summer months. (Getty Images)

"Fruit flies can be a real nuisance especially when you cannot find the source of them," says John Stewart, from eco-conscious pest control brand Green Protect. "Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most frequent species found around the home, noticeable for having bright red eyes and are slow cumbersome flyers!"

Simple at-home solutions to try

1. Wash your fruit

Stewart says adult fruit flies like to seek out rotting and fermenting fruit and vegetables, so washing your fruit will definitely help to deter fruit flies from your fruit bowl.

“This applies to all fruit, but in particular bananas and melons," he explains. "By rinsing fruits under cool running water and gently washing with your hands it will remove fruit fly eggs and any pesticides from the surface. Once washed, simply allow fruit to dry on a towel before eating."

2. Store fruit in the fridge

“If you’re cutting up your fruit, make sure to store in the fridge in an airtight container to help prevent fruit flies already in the environment from laying eggs on the surface of the fruits.”

3. Don't leave food residue around

Stewart also recommends thoroughly washing out empty food, beverage containers and any residues in recycling receptacles to prevent the flies feeding on fermenting food.

4. Cover your fruit and keep it in a cool place

“Place fruit in a cool area in a bowl with a cloche cover to further deny fruit flies gaining access to your fruit," he continues.

5. Empty your bins regularly

Another tip Stewart suggests is emptying the recycling bin in the kitchen on a regular basis, and ensuring that external bins are well sealed and placed well away from open windows and doors.

Mixed race mother and daughter are putting paper into a garbage bin at home. They are recycling trash.
Make sure to empty bins regularly. (Getty Images)

6. Make sure your drains aren't blocked

Turning your attention to your drains could be another method for controlling the fruit fly population in your home.

“As food residues tend to get trapped in the overflow pipes, clean the sink drains regularly as this provides a breeding site for fruit flies," he adds.

None of the at-home hacks worked? Try one of these top-rated products

Super Ninja Fruit Fly Killer - 2 Pack | £9.99 from Amazon

The fruit flies are attracted to the scent of this all-natural liquid, which works instantly and lasts around three weeks.

With over 7,000 five-star reviews it's currently Amazon's best-selling Pet Control Trap. Shoppers say it's very effective at capturing the little flies. One customer said that they were losing hope after trying a ton of at-home hacks before the Super Ninja caught "every single one" of the fruit flies in their kitchen within a day.

Zero In Ready-Baited Fruit Fly Trap | £3.95 (Was £5.49) from Amazon

This apple-shaped gadget uses a non-toxic bait solution to attract and eliminate the fruit flies so they don't gather in your fruit bowl, wine, bins, and other areas they love.

If you don't want a unsightly trap, this may be the one for you as it can fit right in with your fruit bowl. Reviewers say it "does the job".

30 Fly Paper Stickers | £3.99 from Amazon

These are clever stickers that attract the flies to a sticky end via their bright yellow colour. The stickers, which last 3 months, are also waterproof and UV resistant and suitable for use in everything from greenhouses, to back gardens. They'll catch fruit flies, woodlice, thrips, whiteflies, midges, and other flying plant insects.

They have 66% five star ratings and shoppers say they're "excellent" and "solved my problem" of fruit flies.

Zero In Fly Papers - 8-Pack | £3.49 (Was £4.92) from Amazon

These are simple sticky strips that trap the flies in powerful glue. You hang the strip in an area where the flies are a nuisance (drawing pins are supplied). They can be used inside or outside, and are poison free.

Shoppers say the fly papers have similar instructions and are "very effective".

Fruit Fly Trap Indoor | £12.99 from Amazon

(Amazon)
(Happy Watch / Amazon)

These Pineapple Fruit Fly Traps use both a bright yellow colour and an attractive odour to lure the annoying little fruit flies, fungal gnats, thrips, midges and other flying insects.

It's non-toxic, waterproof, and reusable, simply replace the sticky paper when it's full of insects. It currently has 84% five-star reviews and shoppers say it's a "fantastic product" and it was "the best decision" to get rid of their fruit flies for good.

Entoend Fruit Fly Trap | £11.99 from Amazon

The bait in these traps features naturally derived ingredients for maximum attractiveness to the bugs, while being safe for you, your pets, and the environment. Just remove the cap and place in the affected area. The non-spill traps are effective for approximately three weeks.

Shoppers say they "definitely recommend" the effective product and that they were small enough to hide discreetly.

Fly-Bye - XL Electric Fly Swatter | £14.99 from Amazon

You'll kill those bugs - flies, wasps and mosquitos with a single zap from the powerful mesh on this swat. This has a USB charger and will only activate when it is switched on. The mesh has a protective layer on both sides so any stray fingers will be safe. The built in light means you can use it day or night (making it perfect for camping).

58% of customers have given it five-stars, saying it is "easy to use" and "works great!"

Buzbug Electric Fly Swatter | £10.99 (was £17.99) from Amazon

Another high-voltage bug-killer, this can instantly zap annoying mosquitoes, bugs, bat, flies, gnats, fruit flies, etc. With three-layer security mesh, you and the family are protected from accidental touch. It has fast USB charging, too.

It has 59% five-star ratings, with shoppers saying it's "sooo satisfying" to use and that it's "worth the money".