There’s nothing more annoying than sitting down to enjoy a glass of wine or beer and being bombarded by tiny flying insects. And no one likes going to grab an apple from the fruit bowl only to stir up a swarm of annoying little flies.
Often confused for gnats, fruit flies are more than just a nuisance pest. They can transmit harmful bacteria to whatever surface they land on, which is especially problematic considering fruit flies are so attracted to produce and fermented beverages and foods.
But what exactly are fruit flies, what attracts them to your home in the first place, and what are the best fly trap products on the market you can use to help control these annoying flying insects?
Let’s find out.
What Are Fruit Flies?
Fruit flies are a small species of fly that feed on rotting fruit and other fermented and decaying matter.
Fruit flies are a fly species of the order drosophila melanogaster. Because they are so small, fruit flies are often mistaken for gnats. Adult fruit flies grow up to be about three to four millimeters long and, upon closer inspection, these insects resemble other common fly species.
There are six common types of fruit flies that you may encounter depending on where you live, including:
- Citrus Fruit Flies
- Mexican Fruit Flies
- Western Cherry Fruit Flies
- Mediterranean Fruit Flies
- Olive Fruit Flies
- Caribbean Fruit Flies
Although a fruit fly’s complete life cycle is only about 25 days, an infestation can still be overwhelming due to the prolific rate at which fruit flies reproduce.
A female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at a time and often chooses dark, moist areas where food sources are abundant so her young can feed and grow. Worse, fruit fly eggs only take about 24 to 30 hours to hatch after being laid, which often makes fruit fly infestations seem to appear out of nowhere.
And while fruit flies are most active during the summer months, they can be problematic all year round when they get inside your home.
But what has attracted fruit flies to your home and garden? Most importantly, how do you get rid of fruit flies using a fly trap?
Keep reading to find out.
What Attracts Fruit Flies To Your Home Or Property?
Rotting fruit and alcohol are some attractants for fruit flies.
Considering their name, it should come as no surprise that fruit flies are attracted to fruit. But they are also attracted to so much more, making them general pests in all kinds of American households and properties.
Fruit flies are especially attracted to tomatoes, grapes, melons, bananas, and squash. Alcohol is another favorite for fruit flies, and alcohol can come from a number of sources including all types of overripe fruit, rotting vegetables, vegetation and crops.
Fruit flies are also attracted to moist drains, beverages, vinegar, beer, wine, liquor, moist mops, mop buckets, trash cans, and even garbage disposals.
But you don’t only have to worry about annoying fruit flies inside your home. Many fruit fly infestations begin outside, where there is an abundance of moisture, lush gardens, water sources and fruit trees.
And where there is one fruit fly, there are hundreds more to come. This is why it’s so important to stay vigilant, know the signs of a fruit fly infestation, and invest in fruit fly control products including finding the best fly trap you can find.
Signs Of A Fruit Fly Infestation
The most common sign of a fruit fly infestation is seeing adult fruit flies.
Determining a fruit fly infestation is simple once you know what to look for. The most obvious sign of a fruit fly problem in or around your home is going to be the visible sightings of mature fruit flies hovering around fruit bowls, fruit trees, gardens, garbage cans, drains, garbage disposals, or other areas that are attractive to them.
You may also notice signs of pupae, but may accidentally mistaken these pupae for roach droppings or rodent droppings. These small, dark pupae typically crawl out of the material in which they hatched and seek a dry area where they can pupate and mature. The easiest way to determine if you are dealing with fruit fly pupae is to inspect them closely and look for two “horns” on one end.
Once you have determined that you do indeed have a fruit fly infestation, it’s time to get to work on finding a remedy. While there are a number of control methods you can use to help control and eradicate a fruit fly infestation in and around your home, we are going to talk specifically about finding the best fruit fly trap products that work for catching and controlling fruit flies both inside and outside your home.
Let’s begin by taking a look at some fruit fly traps for your garden.
Best Fruit Fly Traps For Your Yard And Garden
Sticky traps are ideal for hanging in trees and placing around your garden to trap unwanted fruit flies.
When it comes to an outdoor fruit fly problem, the good news is that these insects are typically only active during warmer months. That said, they can still be quite problematic and their numbers can get especially overwhelming if not kept under control.
Since fruit flies are attracted to so many different types of food sources, you may need to invest in several control methods for keeping fruit flies at bay including natural repellents, insecticides, home remedies, and the best fly trap for fruit flies you can find.
If you’re not sure where to begin looking for the best fruit fly trap for your yard or garden, don’t worry. We have listed a few of our favorites for you to consider below.
Gideal Flying Insect Sticky Traps
First on our list of best fly trap products for your yard and garden are these sticky traps made by Gideal. The order includes 20 sticky traps that are ideal for placing in and around your yard and garden.
These are some of the best fruit fly trap options for those with potted plants or vegetable gardens because you can simply press them into the soil and let them work. Best of all, the traps are made with eco-friendly material that won’t harm your plants or the environment and they are safe to use around children and pets.
BestTrap Yellow Sticky Trap
Another sticky fruit fly trap we like for outdoor use is the above trap made by BestTrap. This product is double sided and designed to be hung on tree branches, making it ideal for those of you with fruit trees.
Of course, the flexible ties on this fly trap make it easy for you to hang them anywhere you see fit or notice fruit fly activity. You can even use this fruit fly trap in garages, garden sheds, gardens, and around garbage cans.
Stingmon 12 Pack Fruit Fly Trap
This fruit fly trap is listed in outdoor products, but you can use it for both inside and outside to control and kill pests like fruit flies and gnats. It uses non-toxic ingredients that lure fruit flies without leaving an odor and traps them on the sticky surface.
These fly trap stickies are ideal for potted plants inside the home or for pressing into the soil of your garden or yard. They are people and pet safe and eco-friendly as well.
Trappify Sticky Fruit Fly Trap
While we have listed this fly trap for garden and yard use, you can use it indoors as well, especially if you have potted plants or fruit bowls. This trap uses eco-friendly glue to catch white flies, fungus gnats, fruit flies and even mosquitoes.
What we like most about these fly traps is that you can either press them into soil via their built in stakes or you can hang them on trees or other surfaces using the included ties.
Best Fruit Fly Traps For Your Home
Indoor traps will help keep flies away from fruit bowls, garbage cans and more.
If you have fruit flies outside, you likely have them inside as well. The best way to deal with fruit flies in your home is to use a number of remedies together including the use of repellents, preventatives, cleaning products and fruit fly traps.
Some of our favorite fruit fly traps you can use inside your home are listed below.
Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch
Depending on your fruit fly problem, you can order this trap in different orders that include packs of one, two, three, or twelve.
This product is safe to use in areas where food is often prepared or handled and is also people and pet friendly. It is specifically designed to help control fruit flies in the kitchen and requires no mixing or set up. All you need to do to use this fruit fly trap is open it and leave it to lure and kill pesky fruit flies.
Green Way FRuit Fly Trap
Another of our favorite fly trap products you can use inside your home is made by Green Way and uses non-toxic ingredients to attract and trap fruit flies. The order includes two small bottles that don’t require any set up aside from you removing the cap.
This product is safe to use around children and pets and doesn’t use harsh chemicals or insecticides to kill and control fruit flies. In order to make this fruit fly trap effective, experts recommend removing the cap and placing it anywhere you have seen or noticed fruit fly activity, including near fruit bowls, garbage cans, and sink drains.
TERRO Fruit Fly Trap
These fruit fly trap products by TERRO are made to not only work quickly and effectively, but to also blend in with your fruit in the kitchen. The traps look like red apples and have openings to lure fruit flies inside. There is also a clear window on one side so you can check on the bait level or keep an eye on when it is time to clean out and replace.
That said, this fruit fly trap uses a baited solution that lures fruit flies using a combination of water and sodium lauryl sulphate. It works most effectively when placed near breeding sights or in areas you have noticed adult fruit fly activity. Furthermore, this fruit fly trap is most effective for catching and killing adult fruit flies.
FLASHVIN Fruit Fly Trap Zapper
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If you’re looking for a fruit fly trap that is intelligent, flashy, and efficient, we recommend taking a look at this fly trap by FLASHVIN.
This is an electric fruit fly zapper that is non-toxic, safe to use indoors, and people, children, and pet friendly. Best of all, it helps control a number of indoor pests like fruit flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and other flying insects.
Eon Luxe Indoor Fruit Fly Trap
Last on our list of indoor fruit fly traps is an intelligent insect trap that uses UV light to lure flying insects like fruit flies and trap them with a hidden sticky glue trap inside. It does not zap bugs or use any odors to attract them, making it ideal, quiet, and attractive for use inside your home.
In order for this trap to be most effective, experts recommend using it in areas you notice fruit fly activity including your kitchen, near trash cans, and near drains or garbage disposals. This fly trap also works to kill gnats and smaller mosquitoes. That said, it won’t work for larger insects like house flies or bees.
Along With Using A Fruit Fly Trap Indoors, We Also Recommend Using A Fruit Fly Drain Killer
Because fruit flies are often attracted to drains and garbage disposals, you may find that no matter how many traps you use to kill fruit flies, they keep returning. This could be because you have eggs that are continuously hatching in your drains.
To kill fruit flies at the source, we recommend using a fruit fly drain killer like the one listed above by Natural Armor. This product is safe, easy to use, and kills not only fruit flies but also pesky drain flies.
Best Fruit Fly Trap – Home Remedies
You can use wine bottles with a bit of left over wine to make your own traps at home.
Because fruit flies are attracted to fruits, alcohol, and other fermented and decaying ingredients and household items, it may come as no surprise that making your own fly trap at home is simple.
Let’s take a look at some easy DIY fruit fly traps you can make at home.
Vinegar and Dish Soap Fruit Fly Trap
- 1 Cup of Apple Cider Vinegar
- Three Drops of Dish Soap
- A Dish Or Bowl
Add one cup of apple cider vinegar to a dish or jar and add three to four drops of dish soap, mixing the solution carefully. Leave the dish or jar anywhere you have noticed fruit fly activity to lure and trap these insects. Remove and remake the solution as needed.
If you need more ideas on how to make your own apple cider vinegar and dish soap fly trap, you can check out this video giving further instructions.
Overripe Peach Or Banana Fruit Fly Trap
- 1/2 An Overripe Peach or Banana
- 1 Plastic Bag
Take a slice of overripe fruit like a peach or banana and place it in a plastic ziplock bag. Leave the bag open and put it in an area where you notice lots of fruit flies congregating. When you see that the fruit has been invaded with flies, seal the bag and toss it.
Wine or Beer Bottle Fruit Fly Trap
- 1 glass bottle of nearly empty wine or beer
This is perhaps one of the easiest fly trap DIY projects you can do at home. Simply take a nearly empty bottle of wine or beer (glass bottles with slim necks are ideal to make it more difficult for fruit flies to escape) and leave it on your kitchen counter near your fruit bowl. The alcohol will attract fruit flies into the bottle and they won’t be able to find their way out again.
Paper Cone Fruit Fly Trap
- 1/2 An Overripe Peach or Banana
- 1 Piece of Paper
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 cup or jar
Put a few slices of ripe fruit in the cup or jar and pour a bottle cap full of vinegar over the fruit. Then roll some paper into a cone and place it in the bottle with the smallest part of the funnel facing downwards. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and ripe fruit and will fly into the cone. They will then be unable to find their way back out again.
Tips On Preventing Fruit Flies From Bugging You In The Future
Remove rotting fruit and plants in your yard and garden to keep fruit flies at bay.
While fruit fly traps can be effective in helping to control a fruit fly infestation in and outside of your home, we should note that using fly traps is not a long-term solution. Along with using fly traps to help give relief to the number of fruit flies you are dealing with, we also suggest using other methods of pest control including natural repellents, cleaning solutions, and the home remedies listed above.
It is also important to use preventive measures in order to help keep a fruit fly problem from reoccurring once you have figured out how to get rid of them.
Prevent Fruit Flies In The Garden:
- Keep Your Garden Clean and Tidy
Since fruit flies are attracted to moist, rotting organic materials and fermented food sources, the best way to keep them from infiltrating your garden is to practice routine yard maintenance and keep gardens and yards tidy, landscaped, and free of debris.
- Keep Outside Garbage Bins Sealed
Remember, fruit flies are highly attracted to garbage and rotting foods. To deter them from hanging around your yard, keep garbage bins sealed and stored away until it is time for trash day.
- Remove Ripe Fruit From Trees As Soon As Possible
If you are lucky enough to have fruit trees on your property, you can help reduce the amount of fruit flies and other pests by removing any fallen fruit and picking ripe fruit as soon as possible. The more you do this, the less you will be dealing with fruit flies, fleas, gnats, and other pests.
- Don’t Leave Garden Vegetables Out To Rot
Along with keeping fruit trees free of overripe and rotting fruit, we also suggest you maintain vegetable gardens. Pick vegetables as they grow and don’t leave them to get overripe in your garden.
- Rake Dead Leaves And Remove Dead Or Decaying Plant Material
Raking, mowing your lawn, and clearing out debris like rotting wood piles and dead plant life will also help reduce the amount of fruit flies you see around your yard. Furthermore, this will help reduce other pest problems around your property including spiders, snakes, earwigs, roaches, and rodents.
Prevent Fruit Flies In The Home:
- Remove Overripe Fruits
Just as with garden maintenance, don’t let fruit get too ripe in your fruit bowl. When purchasing produce at the grocery store, buy it ripe if you plan to eat it that day. Other ways of keeping fruit fresh and reducing fruit flies may involve refrigerating your fruits and vegetables as opposed to leaving them out on the counter.
- Keep Perishable Foods Refrigerated
Along with refrigerating fruits and vegetables, we also suggest keeping any perishable foods sealed, stored, or refrigerated whenever they are not being used.
- Do Not Leave Alcohol Or Liquor Bottles Open On Counters
Don’t leave liquor bottles open on your counter. The scent of alcohol is highly attractive to fruit flies.
- Clean and Sanitize Surfaces Often
Practice routine home cleaning. Clean and sanitize countertops and tables often using quality cleaning supplies. You can also sweep, vacuum, and take out the trash often to help reduce fruit fly activity.
- Keep Indoor Garbage Bins Sealed
Along with using a fly trap and other fruit fly control remedies, try and invest in an indoor garbage bin with a lid to help keep fruit flies from flying around and being attracted to the decaying foods, fruits and vegetables you have tossed.
- Keep Drains And Garbage Disposals Unclogged And Clean
Last but not least, remember that fruit flies are also attracted to clogged drains and garbage disposals. You can help prevent them from laying eggs in your drains by keeping your drains free of clogs and buildup and by routinely using a natural drain cleaning solution.
We hope this article has been a helpful guide on how to manage fruit flies using the best fruit fly trap. We also hope you were able to find a trap that works best for your home and needs. Do you have any other ideas for DIY fly trap methods? We would love to hear from you! Leave us your thoughts 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.