Fruit flies aren’t only annoying, but they can also spread bacteria to the foods they land on. Attracted primarily to overripe fruits and fermentation like alcohol, wine, beer, and even vinegar, fruit flies are common household pests that can be active all year round inside our homes.
Are you dealing with fruit flies? If so, you may be on the hunt for the best fruit fly spray on the market. That said, since fruit flies typically congregate inside our homes and around our foods, it’s important to use natural fruit fly spray that won’t hurt our family or pets.
Today, we are going to learn more about fruit flies and talk about the best natural fruit fly spray you can use in your home that is totally safe and effective.
What Are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies are small flies attracted to overripe fruit and other food sources.
As their name suggests, fruit flies are a common fly species that is attracted to overripe fruits, rotting vegetables, and other types of fermenting food sources. They are a small fly variation that is often confused for other flying household pests like gnats. However, if you look closely, you’ll be able to recognize a fruit fly as it looks just like a common housefly, only smaller.
There are six common fruit fly species you should be aware of and, depending on your region, that you may encounter. They include the following:
- Citrus Fruit Flies
- Olive Fruit Flies
- Western Cherry Fruit Flies
- Mediterranean Fruit Flies
- Mexican Fruit Flies
- Olive Fruit Flies
- Caribbean Fruit Flies
Like many fly species, fruit flies have very short life cycles that last for only 25 days. However, in that time they can reproduce prolifically and many fruit fly infestations often seem to pop up out of nowhere.
This is because female fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at one time and she will often choose dark, moist places to lay her eggs where food is abundant. After eggs are laid, they often only take around 24 to 30 hours to hatch.
Fruit flies are most active outdoors during the warmer months of summer, but once they infiltrate your home, an infestation can go on all year round if left unchecked. But what attracts fruit flies to your home and how can you use a fruit fly spray to stop them?
Let’s find out.
What Attracts Fruit Flies To Your Home Or Property?
Fruit flies are attracted to overripe fruits and other food sources.
Most fruit fly infestations begin outside, where fruit flies congregate upon being attracted to lush gardens rich in moisture, vegetation, and water sources. If you have fruit trees or are growing other types of vegetation like plants and veggies, you may notice these insects swarming.
Although fruit flies are most active during summer outdoors, once fruit flies infiltrate our homes, they can stick around for the long haul.
Some favorite fruits for a fruit fly to chow down on include:
- And Squash
And the more decayed or rotten, the better. Fruit flies are also attracted to alcohol, vinegar, rotting veggies, crops, and even moist drains, mops, mop buckets, garbage disposals, and trash cans.
Because fruit flies reproduce so rapidly, it’s important to pay attention and be vigilant to keep a fruit fly infestation from getting out of control. It’s also wise to use preventative measures to keep them from entering your home in the first place.
But how do you know you are dealing with a fruit fly infestation as opposed to gnats or other small, flying insects like drain flies in your home? Furthermore, what are some of the best sprays to get rid of fruit flies once and for all?
Keep reading to find out.
Signs Of A Fruit Fly Infestation
You usually know you have fruit flies problem when you see them.
Fruit fly infestations are hard to miss since these annoying insects tend to buzz around whatever attracts them both in and outside of your home.
One of the easiest ways to identify a fruit fly problem is by visibly seeing adult fruit flies. You will commonly see these flies hanging around fruit bowls and open bottles of alcohol like wine and beer. You may also notice them swarming around drains, above your garbage disposal, and around trash cans or mops and mop buckets.
You can further identify a fruit fly infestation by looking for larvae. While you likely won’t find fruit fly eggs, as female fruit flies will often lay them inside drains and other dark, moist spaces, you may see the larvae, who crawl out of these spaces and seek a dry spot to mature.
Fruit fly larvae are sometimes mistaken for rodent droppings, which is alarming in itself, but you can tell the larvae apart from mouse or rat droppings by looking for two little “horns” on one end of the pupae.
Once you have determined you are indeed dealing with fruit flies inside or outside your home, it is time to work on fruit fly removal. Let’s take a closer look at how fruit fly spray works and talk about the best fruit fly spray products you can use.
Best Natural Fruit Fly Spray For Your Yard And Garden
Protecting your fruit trees and gardens with insect spray can help reduce fruit fly infestations.
Natural fruit fly spray typically uses natural ingredients that are safe for people, pets and the environment. Some of the most common ingredients in natural insect sprays include essential oils or permethrin, which is a chemical derived from chrysanthemum plants.
When using any type of natural pest spray for your garden, we suggest you make sure the ingredients are safe to use on plants and vegetation, and that the ingredients won’t harm beneficial insects like butterflies, ladybugs, and honey bees.
Now, let’s take a look at some of our favorite natural sprays you can use for outdoor fruit fly control below.
Wondercide Outdoor Pest Control
One of our favorite fruit fly spray products for outdoors is made by Wondercide. This spray comes in a large container and is ideal for using on garden plants including edible fruits and veggies.
It is safe to use around people and pets and is environmentally friendly as well. This product uses essential oils and other natural ingredients to kill and repel pests like fruit flies, roaches, ants, mosquitoes, spiders and more.
Zevo Instant Action Fruit Fly Spray
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Another product we like for both indoor and outdoor fruit fly protection is by Zevo. This spray is safe to use around people and pets and does not contain any harmful chemicals or ingredients like pyrethroids, imiprothrin, or cypermethrin insecticides.
It works to kill and control fruit flies and other flying pests in your yard when sprayed on contact.
Bonide Orchard Fruit Fly Spray
Bonide Insect Spray concentrate will need to be mixed and added to a spray bottle, but it is an effective natural insecticide you can use for outdoor fruit fly control. It is specifically designed to protect fruits from pests like fruit flies and works using the active ingredient pythren, which again is derived from chrysanthemum flowers.
While this is a natural chemical, it is still an insecticide that should be used with caution around people and pets and should be used only as directed.
Cedarcide Organic Yard Pest Control
Last on our list of natural fruit fly spray for outdoor use is Cedarcide. This product uses cedar oil to control and kill a number of garden and fruit destroying pests like fruit flies naturally. It is safe for people, pets, and the environment and is ideal for gardening and protecting fruit trees.
Another product we like as an outdoor fruit fly spray that also contains cedar oil is by Yardsafe. This product comes premixed in a spray bottle and is ready to use in your yard and garden and works to protect your property from fruit flies, ants, mosquitoes, house flies, and even fleas.
We recommend this fruit fly spray for smaller gardens and for the protection of fruit trees and vegetable gardens.
Best Natural Fruit Fly Spray For Your Home
Many natural sprays contain ingredients like peppermint and essential oils to repel fruit flies.
When fruit flies infiltrate your home, they are typically looking for food, shelter, and a good breeding spot like inside of a clogged drain.
Since these annoying insects are often found in our kitchens congregating around food bowls or open liquor containers, we recommend using natural insect spray products that are safe to use around people and pets and specifically meant for indoor use.
Let’s take a look at some of our favorite fruit fly spray products you can use to protect your home from fruit flies inside.
Wondercide Indoor Pest Spray
This is another Wondercide spray specifically for indoor use that can help to control a number of pests like fruit flies, house flies, ants, roaches, fleas, spiders and more.
This spray uses natural ingredients like lemongrass, cedar oil, peppermint, or rosemary to help kill fruit flies on contact and keep them from returning.
You can spray this repellent anywhere you notice fruit fly activity as it kills eggs, larvae, and adult fruit flies. It is also safe to use around people, pets and the environment, and it will not stain furniture, carpets or bedding.
Ortho Home Defense Essential Oil Fruit Fly Spray
Although this fruit fly spray does contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate as one of its active ingredients, it is still a safe product that primarily uses natural essential oils to kill and manage flying insects inside the home like fruit flies.
This product uses cinnamon oil, castor oil, clove oil and more to help kill fruit flies on contact and keep them from returning. It is also effective on mosquitoes, house flies, and other annoying flying pests.
That said, we recommend you read the directions carefully and use it only as directed.
Mdxconcepts Organic Home Fruit Fly Spray
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Another organic and natural insect spray you can use to protect your home from fruit flies is by Mdxconcepts. This spray uses peppermint oil and is safe for people, pets and the environment.
It is safe to use indoors and in areas where food is prepared and stored like in kitchens and pantries. You can use it outdoors as well if needed, and it helps repel and kill ants, roaches, fruit flies, house flies, spiders and more.
Colton’s Naturals Organic Fruit Fly Spray
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Another fruit fly spray that uses peppermint oil to repel and kill fruit flies indoors is by Colton’s Naturals. This is an organic insect spray that can repel not only fruit flies but also roaches, ants, spiders, and house flies.
It is safe to use around children and pets and ideal for indoor use. Best of all, it is completely safe to use inside kitchens, where fruit flies tend to congregate.
Eco Defense Home Pest Control
Last on our list of natural fruit fly spray products for indoor use is a product made by Eco Defense. This insect spray uses natural ingredients to help kill and repel a number of home invading insects like fruit flies, roaches, spiders, ants, earwigs, stink bugs, silverfish, fleas, and even mites.
You can use this spray both indoors and out and it is safe to use around people, pets and the environment. You can even use it in the kitchen and around fruit bowls, drains, and other places fruit flies are attracted to.
How To Make Your Own Natural Fruit Fly Spray
Peppermint oil is an essential oil that naturally repels fruit flies and other pests.
Like many pests, fruit flies are naturally repelled by a number of essential oils, including:
- Peppermint Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
- Clove Oil
- Lavender Oil
One of the best ways to get rid of fruit flies using an insect spray is to make your own natural insect spray at home using essential oils and other household ingredients you likely already have lying around.
One of our favorite natural flying insect spray recipes you can make yourself is listed below.
Homemade Fruit Fly Spray Recipe
What You’ll Need:
- 2 Ounces Of Hot Water
- 1 Spray Bottle
- 10 Drops of Lemongrass Oil
Blend the lemongrass oil and hot water into a spray bottle and shake it so it’s thoroughly mixed. Then you can spray it around wherever you notice fruit fly activity. This fruit fly spray will kill fruit flies on contact. That said, do not spray this product directly on fruit or other foods.
This cute video below gives a few other tips and tricks you can use at home to keep fruit flies from bugging you.
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Along with using the best fruit fly spray you can get your hands on or making your own spray to control fruit flies, we also recommend taking preventative measures in order to keep fruit flies under control both inside and outside of your home.
Keep reading to learn more.
Tips On Preventing Future Fruit Flies In Your Yard And Home
Seal garbage bins inside and outside to keep fruit flies away.
Fruit flies are annoying and sometimes even dangerous, especially if they carry and spread bacteria that can make you sick.
One of the best ways to control a fruit fly problem is to prevent one from occurring in the first place. Along with using a good insect spray, we also suggest taking some steps to protect your yard and home from these annoying insects.
How To Prevent Fruit Flies In Your Garden:
- Practice Good Landscaping
Garden maintenance and landscaping is an important part of keeping fruit flies and other pests from infiltrating your home. You can help keep fruit flies at bay by removing unneeded or stagnant water sources, removing rotting fruits and vegetables, and picking fruits and veggies that are ripe as soon as possible.
We also suggest keeping your grass cut short, removing weeds, and clearing out any clutter or debris around your home.
- Rake Dead Leaves And Remove Dead Or Decaying Plant Material
Along with landscaping and keeping your yard tidy, we also recommend raking and removing dead leaves and other decaying plant material or vegetation often. Not only will doing this help prevent fruit flies, but it can also reduce your chances of dealing with snakes, lizards, earwigs, rodents, and more.
- Keep Outside Garbage Bins Sealed
Because fruit flies are lured in by rotting fruits and fermented foods, garbage cans can be highly attractive to these insects. You can help prevent fruit flies from swarming outdoor garbage bins by keeping the bins sealed and stored until it is time for trash pickup.
Doing this will also keep other pests away like house flies, rodents, and even raccoons and possums.
How To Prevent Fruit Flies In The Home:
- Toss Out Overripe Fruits From Your Fruit Bowl
Since fruit flies are so attracted to rotting or overripe fruits, one of the best things you can do to avoid attracting them to your home is to remove overripe fruits as soon as possible. You can also protect your fruit from fruit flies by keeping it refrigerated.
- Keep Drains And Garbage Disposals Unclogged And Clean
Like drain flies, fruit flies lay their eggs in slow or clogged drains. You can help reduce your chances of having a fruit fly infestation suddenly pop up by taking care to keep your drains clog free and clean. We also suggest covering drains that are not used often, like drains in guest bathrooms, guest houses, or other rooms that are not frequented every day.
- Do Not Leave Alcohol Or Liquor Bottles Open
Because fruit flies like alcohol so much, try not to leave open bottles of liquor on your counters. Cork that wine and refrigerate open beer to keep fruit flies out of your beverages.
- Clean and Sanitize Surfaces Often
Clean often and use sanitizers and sprays to remove food particles from your counters and other surfaces. This will not only help reduce fruit flies and their larvae, but it will also help reduce the chances of attracting roaches and rodents.
- Keep Indoor Garbage Cans Shut Or Sealed
Just as we recommend you seal your outdoor garbage cans, we also suggest sealing your indoor garbage cans. Try investing in garbage bins with lids that will help keep in odors and reduce fruit flies from congregating.
And remember, fruit flies may be small but they multiply quickly and can live in your house year round. Stopping them at the source is key to a happy home without fruit flies. Along with using home remedies, fruit fly traps, and the best fruit fly spray, we also recommend using other methods like natural drain cleaners and garden pest control to keep these insects at bay.
Do you have any other methods you use to control fruit fly infestations? Share your thoughts with our readers in the comment section below.
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.