how to eliminate fruit flies from your fridge for good4 min read

Finding your refrigerator infiltrated by a mass of tiny fruit flies is never a fun experience. If left untreated, fruit flies can lay eggs somewhere in your fridge and keep coming back. So, how do you get rid of fruit flies in your fridge?

Get rid of fruit flies in your fridge by setting up apple cider vinegar traps. Put apple cider vinegar in a bottle, then rub dish soap inside the neck and around the mouth of the bottle. Thoroughly clean the fridge to destroy any eggs and wash fruit and veg before placing them in the fridge.

Whilst getting rid of pesky fruit flies is fairly straightforward, if not done correctly fruit flies will continue to return. Let’s get into the details so that you can clear your fridge of flies for good.

Why Are There Fruit Flies in the Fridge? 

Fruit flies, as their name implies, typically feed on overripe fruit. However, they may also consume other spoiled foods or meats. If you brought any of these foods into your fridge, it’s possible that that’s where the flies originated.

The flies tend to congregate in the warmest part of the refrigerator, so you may find a lot of dead flies around the door.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies 

You can get rid of fruit flies in your home with some simple techniques which I’ll explain below, but remember: an lb of treatment is worth an ounce of prevention.

If you buy less of the foods that attract fruit flies and eat them faster, or store them in airtight containers when you can, you can try and sidestep this issue before it comes to this “management” phase.

When growing up, my kitchen ALWAYS seemed to have fruit flies. Here are some tips I learned straight from my Mom:

  • Set up an apple cider vinegar trap to attract and kill fruit flies.
  • You could be mistaking drain flies for fruit flies. Ensure your drains are bleached and cleared, and don’t leave trash lying around.
  • Make sure your fridge door gasket hasn’t failed as this could be letting fruit flies enter your fridge.
  • If fruit flies keep returning, it’s possible they have laid eggs somewhere in your fridge. Thoroughly clean it and tape/plug any small holes they could hide in.
  • Many fruit fly eggs are bought home from the store on fruit and veg. Ensure you wash fresh produce before storing it in the fridge and consider spraying it with alcohol.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar Traps

Fruit flies love overripe fruit, and apple cider vinegar (on Amazon) emanates the smell of fermenting fruit, making it the perfect lure for fruit flies.

Apple Cider Vinegar Fly Trap

To set up the trap:

  1. Clean your refrigerator thoroughly and dispose of any food that’s not in an airtight container. Sniff and squeeze fruits and vegetables gently to find out if they’re still in good condition. Throw out any that don’t appear consumable.
  1. Using an all-purpose cleaner and a damp rag, scrub off patches of sticky food residue in your refrigerator.
  1. Rinse an empty glass bottle and fill it with apple cider vinegar until it’s about ⅛ full. Rub dish soap inside the neck and around the mouth of the bottle. The sweet vinegar will attract the flies into the bottle, and the sticky dish soap will trap them.
  1. Place the bottle inside your fridge to catch any flies that you didn’t find while you were cleaning. If your infestation is extreme, you can put a few more bottles around your kitchen (such as on top of your fridge or on the countertop).
  1. Every few days, rinse the bottles and refill them with new cider vinegar and dish soap until you notice the infestation has ended.

Clean the Drains and Garbage Disposal

Since fruit flies thrive in warm, moist locations, that’s where the tiny bugs lay eggs. You can eliminate some of the eggs by pouring baking soda and vinegar down the drain and garbage disposal.

Rinse the drain and garbage disposal with freshly-boiled water to get rid of any remaining eggs. Do this frequently until you notice that the fruit fly infestation is over.

Tips for Cleaning Out Your Fly-Infested Fridge

Thoroughly cleaning your fridge is the best way to remove any pests that might have set up camp in there. Even if you set up an apple cider vinegar trap, fruit flies may come back again since they lay eggs. Eggs can be laid in tiny little holes you wouldn’t even think of, so let’s talk about some helpful tips on how to do it right:

Remove All the Food

Taking out all the food in your fridge is a good way to pinpoint the source of the infestation and dispose of any items that might be attracting flies.

Remove all your food items one by one, checking the expiration date on the labels. As for organic food like fruits and veggies, make sure you remove the spoiled items and thoroughly clean the rest.

It’s also wise to remove everything in the freezer as well. 

Remove the Refrigerator Shelves and Drawers and Clean the Walls 

Unplug your fridge from the power source to commence the defrosting process, which makes it easier to clean the inner walls of the fridge. Defrosting also benefits the fridge; after years of running, ice builds up, making the fridge less efficient at keeping the temperatures low.

With the defrosting process underway, the ice should be much easier to scrape off. Remove the drawers and shelves and put them aside.

Use a scraper (on Amazon) to remove the remaining ice on the walls. Have a bucket and a sponge ready to mop the water dripping from the walls.

If there are any drain traps or extra covers for light fittings, take them off and spray the entire fridge with a spray cleaner that has bleach.

Note: If during this exercise you find holes that are good possibilities for breeding grounds, plug them with tape to prevent eggs from being laid.

Clean the Drawers and Shelves

Once the inside of your fridge is sparkling clean, you can clean the drawers and shelves that you set aside. Often, they’re made from glass or plastic, so you can simply wash them in the sink with dishwashing liquid and a sponge.

Dry them afterward with a clean towel to remove the water stains, then put them back in the fridge.

Turn On the Refrigerator and Return Your Food

You shouldn’t see any bugs if you’ve removed all spoiled food and thoroughly cleaned the area. Plug in the refrigerator and put your good food back inside. Do the same for your freezer.

If you have previously frozen meat and it defrosted, discard it. Eating meat that has been frozen multiple times isn’t recommended.

Avoid using pesticides in the fridge, as they can harm you and your family.

Prevention Methods 

The only surefire way to keep bugs out of your fridge is to wash any organic food thoroughly before putting it in. This will help to eliminate any unwanted visitors. Spraying alcohol on your fruit will also eradicate the unhatched.

Cleaning the inside of your fridge with water will get rid of any hidden bugs or insects that may be present. Doing so will ensure you store food in a clean, pest-free environment.

While keeping the temperature of your fridge at a cool setting may help deter any bugs, it’s not guaranteed to kill them off.

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Hi, I'm Ed, and I run BuildFanatic! I enjoy providing the best possible information on a range of home improvement topics.

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