DeBlog: How Do Fruit Flies Get In My House?

Written By: Kate Raddatz

Lately I’ve been dealing with some uninvited houseguests in my apartment — fruit flies. It seems like they’re everywhere right now. That got me wondering, where do fruit flies come from?

“They’re actually more common in the fall but you can find them any time of the year,” said University of Minnesota entomologist Jeff Hahn.

Fruit flies use their excellent sense of smell to lead them to the rotting fruit inside our homes.

“They can come in from outside or be brought in grocery bags with our produce,” he said. “They lay eggs on the skin of fruit so suddenly the apples on your kitchen counter may host a new generation of fruit flies.”

Turns out, fruit flies aren’t just attracted to fruit.

“All that they really care about is that it’s a fermenting, damp material, so besides fruits and vegetables they can also get in the residue of soft drinks or other wet food material,” he said.

Adult fruit flies have a quick life span but reproduce quickly, which is why they can stick around for a while.

“They go from egg to adult in as quickly as a week, but they can reproduce faster than you can get rid of them,” he said.

While these pests are annoying, they’re harmless for the most part.

“They could potentially transmit a disease if they walked on something contaminated on your counter but practically speaking, there are no medical issues with them,” he said.

The easiest way to get rid of or prevent fruit flies invading your home is to get rid of any ripening produce. There aren’t any chemicals to kill these pests.

“You need to find the food source where they’re laying the eggs,” he said. “Once that’s eliminated they’ll go away on their own.”

  • fitswell

    lso if someone has a bad banana in there shorts that will do it to

  • Cheryl

    Here is an excellent trap for fruit flies. Put a 1/4 or 1/2 cup of white wine in a glass. Put one or two drops of dishwashing detergent. this will break the surface tension. When the flies go in for a fruity drink, they drown. I have trapped about 50 fruit flies with this in the past two weeks.

    • Karen

      why does it have to be white wine?

  • Jamie

    If you thoroughly wash your fruit as soon as you bring it home from the store, especially fruit you don’t refrigerate, like bananas, you’ll drastically reduce the number of fruit flies that develop.

  • Paul

    I have two bottles one for oil and one for vinegar, The kind at restaurants with the small metal cap with a small tapered opening at the top. I was surprised to find dozens of fruit flies had “pickled” themselves in the white vinegar bottle.It was actually an interesting and unintended happening. I was using sticky fly paper before that time with marginal sucess.

  • Mnmarilyn

    I use Vinegar in a pint jar with holes in the lid .or fly traps you hang from the ceiling

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