- Hide menu

Dealing with Fruit Flies

LoadingFavoriteAdd to favorites

Why Fruit Flies Arrive

Fruit flies will not show up unless there’s rotting, decaying, or open food in your house for them to eat.  Does the tomato you have sitting on the counter have a small bruise?  That part of it has gone bad, and it can attract fruit flies.

I once had to dig through an entire bushel basket of pears to find one that was slightly bruised way at the bottom.  It was a small black spot, but it attracted a whole swarm of fruit flies.

But their not only attracted to food… drains, trash cans, garbage disposals, empty bottles, cans, trash bags, cleaning rags and mops can also lure them in. Fruit flies would love to call your kitchen their “home, sweet home.” They don’t need an invitation.

Interesting, possibly disturbing facts

Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time. All they need is a nice moist surface. When the eggs hatch, the babies find their way to their “food source” and lap up the bacteria and yeast so they can grow big and strong. Why? just so they can produce hundreds more like themselves.

Many people think that the fruit flies come from within the fruit because you often don’t see them until you are home and have the produce unpacked. Sometimes, it might even be a few days before their presence is made known.  This is because larva has been deposited on the produces skin surface, they are then brought to your home and eventually hatch.  This is yet another reason to wash your produce.

Do you brew homemade Kombucha?

If you are brewing your own kombucha, it is vital to keep a breathable lid on the vessel. Cheesecloth is not a good option because fruit flies are so tiny that they can enter through even the smallest of crevices even right through the screen on your windows. That is why I cap my brewing vessel with a non-bleached coffee filter, secure it with a rubber band, and keep a fruit fly catcher nearby. This wasn’t always the case. I never saw fruit flies near my kombucha until… I SAW fruit flies IN my brewing vessel! Whaaa? How did they get there?!  Now, some people, wash their SCOBY off and continue on with life. I, on the other hand, tossed my batch and started over. I just don’t like taking such risks.

There are many different methods on how to handle fruit flies, so if you already have a tried and true method, then stick with it. The most important takeaway here is knowing that there is a way to prevent and deal with them.



  1. Gently stir all the ingredients together in a glass container.
  2. Put this out on a counter near where the flies are, and soon they’ll be floating on the surface.
    • If you have a lot of fruit flies in the house, create several of these and place them around areas that are attracting them.
    • Pour the solution down the drain when it gets full of fruit flies and start the process again.
    • In the meantime, keep trash areas clean, disinfect the counters, or any other place where sticky hands may leave a residue.
    • Wash any fruits that may be kept on the counter, or transfer them to the fridge.
    • If you are brewing kombucha, make sure that you don’t have any sugary tea solution on the outside of the container.

12 thoughts on “Dealing with Fruit Flies

  1. MAC says:

    I’m trying out your recipe and maybe an hour after I set it out with balsamic vinegar (did not have white), 5 fruit flies had drowned and the rest are fluttering around. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

  2. Bonnie says:

    I use a small shallow dish, add about 3 tablespoons cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap. The reason this works, so I’m told, is that the soap breaks down the surface of the vinegar so that when the fly crawls down for a taste, it sort of gets sucked right into it. I change out the batch daily. Works great!

    • amie-sue says:

      Awesome Bonnie, thank you for sharing. I have been dealing with fruit flies a tad lately. Pesky little buggers! Have a great day.

  3. Lyn :] says:

    Good Morning Amie Sue,

    I will try your recipe for getting rid of fruit flies on an on going base next summer. But I found the fastest way to get rid of them.

    Do step 1 like you said. Then get a 32 oz. jar (we use an Adams Peanut Butter jar), put some of the bruised fruit in this jar (about 2 slices). Keep the lid close by, and 5 minutes later you will have approx. 5 to 10 fruit flies in the jar. Slap on the lid and fill up the kitchen sink with as hot of water as you can stand. Put jar under the water and unscrew. Repeat and in a little while NO fruit flies!! :] Lyn

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Lyn,

      Yesterday we attended our local Harvest Fest, which was amazing I might add. :) We spent the whole day there without even realizing it till we got in the car. haha Anyway, I was talking to one of the fruit growers who was batting fruit flies away as we were talking. I went to share my recipe with her on how to deal with them. I then got a 30 minute “lecture” (not a negative lecture) but I guess of a sharing of her experience of many many methods that she does. I felt sort of silly even mentioning mine to her after getting the ear full. lol

      What ever method a person uses… as long as it works…YIPPY-SKIPPY! hehe Thanks for sharing yours as well. :) I hope that you and Gene are having a great weekend. Blessings and hugs, amie sue

      • Lyn :] says:

        Ooooops! Didn’t mean to add to your lecture time :] – Now that you have your phd. :] in this, you will be ” fruit fly free” (say that 20 times fast :] )next summer!!! Have a very nice weekend ( say howdy to Bob ). Hugs and blessings back to you too, Lyn :]

        • amie-sue says:

          Ohh no you didn’t add to my lecture time. hehe It’s all good! Amie Sue Oldfather, FF PHD… nice initials? lol

          You too have a wonderful day. Heading to town. amie sue hugs

  4. Victoria says:

    Thanks for the tip- I was wondering what to do about these little pesky flies….seems like they can sprout up on demand once the fruit and veggies are set out …especially during the warmer weather. :)

  5. Veronica says:

    Oh no!! I found a stupid fruit fly in my dormant Kombucha, walking around right on top of my Scoby. Since I bought bananas I have noticed a few around the resting Kombucha jars (read: I planned to start new batches earlier this week but never got to it. ;) ) but I have never seen any inside the jars. Reading your notes I should just throw it away, I guess.

    Makes me a little sad but I have another larger jar I can use for my new batch. It is just that I had planned to use the smaller one to try to make chamomile kombucha. *sigh*

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh, those darn fruit flies! Pesky little things. I am glad that they only invaded your testing SCOBY. Soon enough your main SCOBY will make a baby so you can play with that one. I have read where some people just pluck the fly out and move forward… me, on the other hand don’t like to mess with bugs like that when they get in my culturing foods. Do you ever make the fruit fly solution? During high season I keep a bowl of that next to my culturing foods. Have a great weekend, blessings… amie sue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *