6 Ways to Instantly Get Rid of Fruit Flies & Gnats at Home

Fruit Fly & Gnat Remedies

A quick summary of getting rid of gnats and fruit flies.

Most Effective Gnat & Fruit Fly Traps

Grab one of the following fruit fly traps and killers if you need an immediate solution to your fruit fly and gnat problems. They are affordable and easy-to-use.

BEAPCO Fruit Fly Trap
This fruit fly trap uses a non-toxic solution to lure gnats to their doom. Place the traps near the gnat-infested area and wait till they are filled with dead flies.

Each trap can be used for up to 30 days and can be thrown straight into the trash can. We recommend setting up multiple traps at once to maximize the coverage area of the fruit fly traps.

Disposable Gnat & Fruit Fly Attractant
This disposable and non-toxic liquid attractant will quickly trap and eliminate the fruit flies and gnats that linger in your kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas of the household that are prone to pests. All you have to do is to twist off the cap to activate this fruit fly trap.

Fruit Fly Drain Treatment
This drain treatment product is what you need if you feel like the source of the fruit flies and gnats are the drains in the kitchen and bathroom. The active ingredient of this gel is citronella, a natural bug repellent.

Home Remedies for Killing Fruit Flies and Gnats

The following infographic highlights the home remedies you can easily apply at home to get rid of gnats and fruit flies overnight.

How to Get Rid of Gnats and Fruit Flies

1. Set Up a Fruit Fly Trap

The easiest and most convenient way to get rid of fruit flies and gnat is by purchasing a fruit fly trap, such as this disposable fruit fly trap. You just need to open the trap lid and place the trap next to the fly-infested area. You should see plenty of dead flies the next day.

2. Create a DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

Create your own fruit fly trap with vinegar, an ingredient that most households should already have in their kitchen. You’ll need a container, apple cider vinegar, sugar, dish soap, and water.

First, mix two tablespoons of vinegar, one tablespoon of sugar, a few drops of dish soap, and half a cup of warm water into a container and mix until the sugar starts to dissolve.

Next, place the vinegar solution-filled container next to the areas where the fruit flies and gnats are frequently seen, such as the kitchen sink.

The scent of vinegar and sugar will attract the flies into the container. When the fruit flies make contact with the vinegar solution, they won’t be able to escape due to the dish soap. Make sure to place several of these traps. One gnat trap won’t be enough.

3. Drown the Flies with a Candle Trap Setup

This fruit fly trap only requires a candle. When it gets dark, place a candle on a tray or bowl filled with water then set the tray next to the fly-infested area. Next, turn off the light so that the only light source in the room is the candle (close the curtains to block outside sources of light).

This homemade trap will kill the gnats in two ways. First, any fruit flies that get close to the candle flame will get theirs wings burnt and fall to their death. Second, some flies may avoid the actual flame and instead go for the reflection in the water. They won’t be able to escape once they land in the water (adding a few squirts of dish soap will make it near-impossible).

4. Create a Trap Using Stale Wine

Have any stale wine left over that you aren’t going to drink? Put it to good use by converting it into a homemade gnat trap. It’s very similar to the apple cider vinegar trap.

First, pour some wine into a container then place the container next to the problem area. The goal of this remedy is to use the scent of the wine to attract the fruit flies into the container. The flies will immediately drown once they make contact with the liquid surface. Adding some dish soap will also help with this trap. You can also use a wine bottle as a container.

Beer and any other type of beverages that rely on fermentation will work just as well. You may have greater success with beverages that have more of a fruity aromatic scent.

5. Attract the Flies with Rotten Fruits

Fruit flies love rotten fruits due to the smell of fermentation. Place a piece of rotten fruit into a container or bowl then cover the container with a plastic wrap. Poke a few tiny holes into the plastic wrap. The gnats will fly in and get trapped inside the container.

6. Use a Sticky Fly Trap

Sticky fly traps, such as the yellow sticky trap, works really well for people who are dealing with serious fruit fly infestations. Place several of these traps around your kitchen and bathroom. There’s no way for the flies to escape once they land on the sticky surface.

These traps may also help you eliminate other common household pests like fungus gnats, pantry and clothes moths, and white flies.

What Kind of Spray will Kill Fruit Flies?

In addition to the above homemade traps, you can also use a spray to repel fruit flies. According to graduate students at UNC, fruit flies don’t have a “nose” to smell with. Instead, they rely on their antennae to detect the odor in the air.

One method of creating your own homemade fruit fly spray is to mix two cups of water and a few drops of essential oil (e.g. rosemary, peppermint, lemongrass). Mix well before you apply the spray on the fly-infested areas.

Pet owners should take extra safety precautions with essential oils. They are made of natural ingredients but some types of essential oils can be toxic to cats and dogs.

Where do Fruit Flies and Gnats Come From?

You need to know where the fruit flies and gnats are coming from in order to be able to eliminate them quickly. There are two common ways.

From Fruits and Vegetables

You aren’t going to like the sound of this but some fruit flies and gnats may come from the food we consume. These flies primarily live on plant-based materials. The adult flies will lay hundreds of eggs on unripe fruits so that the larvae can use them as their primary source of nutrition by the time the fruits start to rot.

Facts Fruit Flies Gnats

From Outside

Some adult flies may have entered your home by flying through the windows and doors. If your house is spotlessly clean then you may want to check the outdoor surroundings to see if there’s anything that may be attracting a large swarm of fruit flies such as open garbage bags.

How to Prevent Fruit Flies and Gnats

The most effective form of pest control is prevention. Find out what caused the fruit flies to appear in the first place then eliminate the source. Here are some ways to prevent fruit flies from appearing in the future.

Clean Up Dirty Dishes

Make sure there aren’t any dirty dishes lying around in the sink. Get in the habit of cleaning the dishes as soon as you are done with your meal.

Make sure any food leftovers are discarded in a tightly-sealed trash can. The fruit flies will start to appear if you leave the food waste in the kitchen for too long.

Cover the Trash bags

Make sure the lid of the trash can is tightly sealed. Don’t attract more gnats to your home by letting the trash odor spread to the outdoor surroundings. This will cause other pests, such as ants and roaches, to also make an appearance.

Get Rid of Damp Areas

Fruit flies also thrive in damp and moist areas. Examine the kitchen and bathroom for potential pipe and faucet leaks. You should also check the indoor drains in the bathroom and reduce the dampness and humidity by using a dehumidifier.

Change Poor-quality Potted Soil

Some types of flies, such as the fungus gnat, may appear from poor-quality potted soil. Check the container plants to see if that’s where the flies are originating from. If so, replace the soil with something that’s higher-quality.

Other Common Fruit Fly & Gnat Questions

The more you know about your enemy, which in this case is the annoying gnat, the better equipped you will be in handling these pest infestations moving forward. Here are some common questions that people have around these flying household insects.

How Long Do Fruit Flies Live?

Fruit flies don’t have too long of a lifespan. Their entire life cycle from egg to adult fly can only take about a week. This is why an infestation like this has to be handled as soon as possible, because as we mentioned earlier, these flies can also reproduce very quickly.

Will Fruit Flies Go Away on Their Own?

In some ways, yes. If you follow the fruit fly prevention steps that we outline above, you will end up making your home an environment that’s not favorable for the flies to live in. Most importantly, taking out the trash regularly is an effective way for the flies to disappear on their own.

At What Temperature do Gnats Die?

Species like gnats and fruit flies don’t survive well in cold temperatures. The optimal environment temperature is somewhere between the 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit range.

Sam at Organic Lesson

is the Founder of Organic Lesson. He started this site to share tips on using natural remedies at home when such options are available.