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We Finally Got Rid of Fruit Flies In Our Home and Camper, Here’s How

We Finally Got Rid of Fruit Flies In Our Home and Camper, Here’s How

It’s not uncommon for fruit flies to make their way into your home, but can you get rid of fruit flies? It’s not impossible! Take a deep breath and read on to learn how to banish these unwanted guests. Let’s catch the latest buzz on how to shoo away these annoying pests.

What Are Fruit Flies and Should I Be Worried?

These little guys are not like common house flies. They’re smaller, lighter-colored, and often more aggravating. They’re so small that some people call them gnats. They’re also a light brown or yellowish color and have red eyes. 

Up Close Fruit Fly

Fruit flies buzz, but they don’t bite. They’re annoying but aren’t truly dangerous, though they can contaminate food with bacteria in large quantities. 

5 Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Once and for All

Fruit flies have some natural predators like ants, spiders, and even frogs, but you probably don’t want them around, either. To get rid of these flies, the best thing is to remove what attracts them in the first place. We’ll walk you through five things you can do to eliminate these bothersome bugs.

Little girl washing dishes in RV.
Clean countertops and dishes thoroughly in your RV to not attract fruit flies.

1. Clean Surfaces

Don’t be messy. Clean your countertops, stovetops, and other surfaces and eliminate any residue that might attract the flies. Scrub with a household cleaner or with dish soap mixed with water and vinegar. Most importantly, make this a regular part of your routine.

2. Throw Out Old Food

As we mentioned previously, fruit flies only stick around if there’s something to entice them, and it’s usually food scraps. They’re especially drawn to spoiled and rotten fruit, but they’ll nose around just about anything that’s decomposing. That may include last night’s four-star dinner or this morning’s scrumptious brunch. Empty your trash as often as possible, too.

3. Clean Drains

Your sink drain is another problem area. It collects bacteria, grime, and food residue that fruit flies just love. The best thing you can do for a dirty drain is to keep it clear of residue. 

Once it’s clean, pour bleach down it as an added layer of prevention. You could also try boiling a medium-sized pot of water twice a week and pour it down the drain. Another option is to combine a half-cup of salt, a half-cup of baking soda, and a half-cup of vinegar. Pour it in the drain at night and follow it up with boiling water the following day.

Product shot of apple cider vinegar and apples.
Apple cider vinegar can be used to lure fruit flies into a trap.

4. Use DIY Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

This method to get rid of fruit flies uses apple cider vinegar and is one of the most effective. Pour it into a small dish or bowl and put a small drop of soap in the vinegar and cover it in plastic wrap. Then, poke a few holes in the plastic. The flies, attracted to the sweet-smelling vinegar, can enter the holes but can’t get out. The drop of soap breaks the surface tension and the flies get trapped in the vinegar when they try and land on it.

Fruit Flies Caught in Vinegar

(This will work only if there’s not something else nearby that’s not more enticing, such as overripe fruit.)

5. Use Insecticides

Of course, you can always call in the heavy artillery. There are lots of insecticides on the market, but some of them may have dangerous side effects. We don’t recommend using them unless every other method has failed–especially if you have pets or young children in your midst. Research those on your own, and if you feel comfortable with a particular product, go for it.

Pro Tip: Bugs outside can be just as annoying as bugs inside your RV. If you’re going camping try out one of these 5 Best Screen Tents for Camping Bug-Free.

How I keep BUGS out of my RV

How Do Fruit Flies Get in Your Home and RV?

There are a few different ways you can wind up with a full-on fruit fly infestation. Most often, they’ll fly in through an open door or window when they smell decomposing food.

They may also arrive with any fresh produce you get from the garden or market because they lay their eggs on fruit, especially when it’s overripe. They hatch into larvae that are like tiny worms. You may not notice them because they tend to camouflage themselves by taking on the color of the fruit. This is one reason why you should always thoroughly wash your produce before eating it! 

Will Fruit Flies Go Away on Their Own?

As long as you feed them, they’re not going anywhere, and they’ll just breed more. A fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs in her lifetime, and the eggs hatch within a day or two. Because these insects reproduce so much, you can end up supporting several generations if you don’t clean up your act.

Fruit Fly
Fruit flies multiply quickly so get rid of them as soon as possible! They will only go away when the food source goes away.

How to Prevent Fruit Flies from Getting in Your Home and RV

You won’t have to work so hard to get rid of fruit flies if you can keep them outside in the first place. You may not realize that you’re essentially asking them to come inside and make themselves comfortable by leaving food out. 

We want to help you get rid of fruit flies for good. Here are three things you can do to help prevent them from invading your space.

Tighten Screens and Close Doors

In the warmer months, it’s tempting to open the doors and windows to let in fresh air. Unfortunately, you’re also inviting fruit flies into your space. To keep them out, keep your doors shut and secure your screens. Patch any holes in your screens as well. 

Pro Tip: Keep fruit flies out by following these steps on How to Clean, Care for, and Replace Your RV Window Screens.

Window screen with a hole in it.
Repair any holes in your screen to help keep fruit flies and other insects out.

Don’t Keep Produce on Counters

If you routinely place fresh fruits and vegetables on your countertops, it’s time to break that habit. From the moment you set your fruits on the counter, it starts to decompose and becomes so inviting for fruit flies that you’re just asking for trouble. 

To keep the bugs at bay, it’s better to put produce in the fridge, if possible. Another option is storing them in an airtight container. Most importantly, throw out any rotting fruits and vegetables. 

Clean Your Fruits and Vegetables

When you bring fresh produce into your home or RV, wash each item thoroughly. Clean the produce again before you consume it. 

It takes a few minutes, but it’s certainly worth it. Pay close attention to avoid tiny fruit fly eggs or larvae lurking on produce skins. If the fruit or vegetable is past its prime, don’t bring it inside at all.

8 Sure Ways To Permanently Get Rid Of Fruit Flies

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies Doesn’t Have to Be Hard 

Hopefully, you know how to get rid of fruit flies now that you know more about what attracts them. It’s not difficult to keep them away if you make these efforts as part of your everyday routine. Don’t put out a welcome mat for them, and keep those pesky fruit flies outside, where they belong. 

Do you have any tried and true tricks for getting rid of fruit flies? Drop your tips below!

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Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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Jerry Chandler

Thursday 7th of October 2021

In addition to the methods you mentioned about getting rid of fruit flies an electronic indoor flying insect killer works real well. Two that we have are the Katchy flying insect trap and the Aspectek flying insect killer. Both can be purchased on Amazon.

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 13th of October 2021

Awesome tip!

Dale Jag

Thursday 7th of October 2021

I used to have a lot of fruit flies in my home. I also had a lot of house plants, which they loved. I started puting down Cedar Mulch in the plants and noticed in a few days, most, if not all the fruit flies were gone. Small, LED bug lights work great too. But the grid on them must be very close together to zap these little buggers!!!

Mortons on the Move

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

The cedar mulch is a great tip. Thanks for sharing!