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Fruit Flies in My House

Even if you don't have a big bowl of fruit sitting out in your kitchen, fruit flies can still thrive. Here's what you can do to get rid of them.

A fruit fly on a leaf

Photo: James Niland (Wikimedia Commons)

Fruit flies belong to a large family of flies scientists call, "Drosophilidae."

Contrary to popular belief, you needn’t have fruit in your house to have fruit flies. All you need is fermenting organic matter that remains wet or moist.

Most likely, that’s going to mean drains — sinks, showers, etc. In particular, fruit flies tend to breed in slow-moving or seldom-used drains in which a layer of slime has built up. Other good fly breeding spots in your house might include wet areas under dripping pipes, garbage containers, and discarded bottles and cans.

The key to getting rid of them is finding their breeding spot. One way to do this is to temporarily cover your drains with plastic, taping it down firmly. If the flies are breeding in that drain, the adults will accumulate underneath the plastic within a day or two. Once you find the source, you should try cleaning the drain with a stiff brush.

You might also try slowly pouring boiling water along with a cleaning solution down the drain. Even if you don’t find the source though, you can take solace in knowing that eventually the flies will disappear on their own. You need only be patient.

Read More:

  • Thomas Hunt Morgan: The Fruit Fly Scientist (Nature)
  • Drosophilidae (Wikipedia)
  • WardMalcom

    Firefighters said no one was hurt when the fire broke out Sunday afternoon. They said it's not clear how the flames started, but they don't think a space heater is to blame.

  • WardMalcom

    I once had a tenant in my house and a couple of days after he arrived I noticed a lot of fruit flies in my house. I blamed him for this invasion thinking he might have brought them in his moving boxes. But now, after reading this article I realize I couldn't be more wrong about it. Guess I have to apologize for falsely accusing him.

  • CesarCrash

    The insect in the picture is a “true fruit fly”, a Bactrocera in the family Tephritidae.
    Drosophilidae is “more correct”(?) to be called vinegar flies.

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