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Pests/Fruit flies


Hello, I am having problems with swarms of fruit flies in my kitchen  and adjoining family room. We have used apple cider vinegar which draws and kills then but they keep coming back I have thoroughly washed and bleached the trash can and sink drains and removed all produce. I am at my wits end!!  Help!


There are two different flies with the common name "fruit fly". The one that occurs in homes and develops in compost pails and vegetable matter is also called the "vinegar fly". The other "fruit fly" (also called the "picture-wing fly") is a pest of tree fruit and is much larger (see for ways to tell the two apart). The only way to effectively control the vinegar flies is to locate the source, some type of over-ripe or rotting vegetable matter. Traps are only good for detecting flies not eliminating them. Since the flies don't live long there must be a source of vegetable matter such as a compost pail in the house. Once you locate the source and dispose of it the flies should go away.

Jack DeAngelis  


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Jack DeAngelis


I can answer questions in any area of entomology (study of insects, spiders, mites, ticks, and other terrestrial arthropods). Contact me about home and garden insects such as aphids and spider mites, insects that bite and sting such as ticks and wasps, and insects that damage homes such as carpenter ants and termites.


20 years as university extension entomologist, now retired; currently publish a website about home and garden insects.


see Fine Gardening magazine

Ph.D. in Entomology (the study of insects)

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