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ripe fruit bowl

What Causes Fruit Flies In The House

Do you ever find fruit flies in your home and wonder if they came from nowhere? Perhaps you are under the impression they simply materialised by magic from inside rotting fruit? You’re not alone in thinking those things. Due to a persistent old wives’ tale, that’s what many people have historically believed.

Of course, there is no evidence to support the theory that fruit flies are the result of some kind of spontaneous generation.

So, you might wonder, exactly what causes fruit flies in the house?

What Causes Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies have incredible olfactory systems. They can sniff out rotting fruit from some miles away. Rather than coming from inside the fruit to the outside world, they come into the house as your fruit starts to age past the ripe stage. Now, don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that gone off fruit in your fridge will attract them. Their sense of smell isn’t that good!

what causes fruit flies in the house

Basically, any past-its-best fruit – or veg for that matter – you have on your worktops in the kitchen are all the invitation fruit flies need.

When Doors and Windows are Closed

But what about if you’re sitting indoors, thinking you are protected? Your windows and doors were closed and you still managed to get fruit flies. What causes fruit flies in that situation? Well, as you’ve probably noticed, fruit flies are not particularly big. It’s one of the many qualities that makes them so annoying. This is also how they gain access to your home. Even when you’ve been careful to keep your doors and windows closed.

rotting fruit in london house

They can fly in through the smallest of gaps and holes in your building. Window screens are also generally no match for fruit flies.

Fruit Flies Go Mad for Rotting Fruit

Fruit doesn’t have to go too overripe before it starts attracting fruit flies. As the fruit ferments and produces alcohol, fruit flies catch the scent and seek it out. Once they find it, they start eating it. And while doing so, they lay many hundreds of eggs at a time. These hatch into new larvae within hours.

You’ll have seen this in action if you have ever gone away for a few days leaving a full fruit bowl in your kitchen. No doubt you have come home to a fruit fly infestation.

It’s not just the fruit or veg you already have in your home that naturally goes off and attracts them. If the fruit you pick up from the supermarket has already began rotting at the shop, it may already have fruit flies.


Sally has been writing on the subject of pest control for 4 years. She always carries out extensive and in depth research and always tries to bring you the most up to date, interesting topics.

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