Pest Issues

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in the Bathroom

7th Son Studio /

Fruit flies can become a real menace, once they settle in your home. One day, you may spot a couple, hovering over the fruit bowl on your kitchen counter and next, you see them buzzing everywhere in their hundreds. Even in your bathroom.

Why you get fruit flies in the bathroom and how to get rid of them are questions that have been always bugging folks. No surprise, here. After all, no one keeps fruit or food, for that matter, in their washroom, right? So, if you’re one of those people who is struggling with a fruit fly problem in the bathroom and the rest of your home, this post is for you and everyone else, who is wondering:

  • How fruit flies end up in the bathroom
  • If there are any effective ways to get rid of fruit flies in the bathroom
  • What non-chemical fruit flies killing methods are best applied in the bathroom
  • How to prevent fruit flies from returning or invading your home in the first place
Table of Contents:

How do fruit flies end up in your bathroom and can you get rid of them?

Well, let’s picture this, first. You go one morning in your beautifully designed bathroom with trendy patterned tiles, shiny chrome fittings, inviting bathtub and fluffy clean towels… And you’re “hit” in the face by a swarm of wafting fruit flies. What? How did they appear there overnight?

There’s no real secret to this. Fruit flies love moisture and warmth. They may generally lay their eggs under the skin of overripe fruit but if needs be, the insects will depose them in any dark and moist spot, covered in organic matter, like the drains in your house. And bathroom drains are no exception as to becoming the perfect breeding ground for fruit flies. This includes your shower, bath and sink drains, which may be full of gunk, mixed with “biological material” like dead skin cells and hairs.

And the sudden shock of having a cloud of fruit flies one day in your bathroom also has a simple explanation. An adult fly can lay about 100 eggs a day, which hatch within 72 hours. The next stages of their development into winged adults also don’t take long in the right conditions (often, as little as 5 days to a week). So, no wonder why you can get swarmed by the critters, while in the shower, so unexpectedly.

Still, it is worth mentioning that fruit flies in the bathroom, unlike drain flies, which look very similar to them, often “originate” from another place in your property, usually the kitchen. This means that you can get rid of them from your bathroom completely only if you find afterwards the source of the invasion elsewhere in your home and address it with same “vengeance” straight away.

Now, let’s get down to business and find out the ways of getting rid of fruit flies in the bathroom with stuff, you have knocking about in your house.

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How to kill fruit flies in drains

Extreme heat kills immediately all living creatures. So, to clean out the bathroom drains of fruit flies eggs and larvae, boil some water and pour it down the drains. You can also use white vinegar for the task by diluting it with some water and again, bring the mixture to a boil. This way, you’ll not only kill the young fruit flies down the drains but also remove all grime, limescale and soap scum deposits from the latter. For that matter, the scorching hot liquid will leave no chance for escape to any sewer gnats (drain flies), as well.

As soon as you’re done, go and clean the drains around your whole house – in the kitchen, laundry/utility room, sink in the toilet, etc.

How to get rid of fruit flies with traps

Now, adult fruit flies are a bit more tricky to kill outright, as they have wings and can keep coming in your home from anywhere, attracted by a food source. But you can reduce their number and this way, disrupt their breeding process by making traps to place in a few spots around the bathroom and in the rest of your house.

To make the trap, you’ll need:

  • A small plastic bowl
  • Cling wrap
  • Apple cider vinegar
You can use a glass, a jar or a plastic disposable cup, instead of a bowl. Also, you can replace the apple side vinegar with honey, juice, coke, beer, wine or a piece of soft fleshy fruit (banana, peach, etc.).

Here are the simple steps to follow:

  1. Place your attractant in the dish.
  2. Cover it tightly with the wrap.
  3. Pierce the cling film to make a few small holes (no bigger than 4mm in size).
  4. Be patient and wait.

What happens is that the fruit flies will be immediately attracted by the contents of the bowl or jar and will make their way to the food or liquid through the holes. Once trapped inside, the flying insects won’t be able to get out in the same way they got into the dish. They are just not that clever to figure out their escape.

Placing fruit flies traps in your home and cleaning out the drains are all good measures but they’re half the battle if your property has been infested with the pest insects. To eradicate the problem, you’ll need to find the source of the invasion and eliminate everything that makes the fruit flies want to hang around. This could be a long forgotten rotting piece of fruit at the bottom of a bag, you used during the family picnic last Sunday. Or it could be a sticky spill, you failed to spot for days under the fridge. Basically, inspect your entire property and clean it throughout.

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How to prevent fruit flies from coming back

To stop fruit flies from coming back to your place and from laying eggs in the bathroom and kitchen drains (or in another spot), you should maintain your home in a clean state, as mentioned above.

You should also proof your entire home by considering a few common-sense preventative measures, some of which will help you against other insect issues, as well.

Fruit and veg

As fruit flies can hitch on fruit and some types of vegetables, always wash your garden produce or store-bought fruit. Also, inspect fruit and veg for damage, like small cracks or holes. Fruit flies prefer to lay their eggs under the skin of ripe fruit if given the choice, so their little ones can be protected while feasting and growing into adults.

Fruit bowls

If you’ve had a fruit fly problem in the past, it makes sense if you stop keeping your fruit, exposed in a bowl, on your kitchen counter. Either cover it with another bowl or store your fruit securely.

Food and drink

Always clear up food remnants, half-empty bottles and cans to avoid attracting fruit flies and other hungry insects. Don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight.


You probably don’t need to be reminded that property cleanliness is the key to keeping a number of insects at bay, including fruit flies. The problem comes, when spills remain undetected for days, so inspect under kitchen furniture and anywhere else that an accident like this can happen.

Spray deterrent

Spray surfaces in your kitchen and bathroom with a homemade spray deterrent solution. The mixture is easy to make by adding about 10 drops of essential oil to some hot water to fill a 100ml spray bottle. Lemongrass, lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus or clove oils are all suitable for repelling fruit flies. Note that as a quick solution to a sudden swarm of fruit flies, you can reduce their number and kill a few by spraying them directly with the DIY repellent.


Organic smells attract fruit flies, so ensure that you clean rubbish bins and keep them tightly closed. Clean the litter box regularly and pet utensils, as well. Remove expired food in due time. Clean your drains on a regular basis.


Ventilate high-moisture rooms, like your bathroom, by installing a fan or by opening the window after your shower. This should help deter fruit flies from entering the place, as they prefer warm and damp conditions to lay eggs.

Contact our professional pest controllers to learn how they can help you with dealing with your fruit fly infestation.

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3 years ago

I am very surprised i am the first to comment and this blog has been out for over a year! Thanks for the info, it is spot on.

I didnt think about the drains in my bathroom (we are having gnat/fruit fly problems in our bathroom where our litter box is).

Our litter box gets a tad dirtier faster than we are used to bc we have gone from one adult, and upon his passing..two female kittens!

Although I have noticed the dang flys when the litter box was super dirty it didnt make sense why they were appearing when its been clean. And now I know..our apartment drains and toilets aquire scum/mold (the plug on the sink, and then the toilet bowel) fast and it is black and it is has been an ongoing problem.

I truly wish I would have thought to put boiling water and vinegar down the drains 4 years ago when we first moved in! You freaking rock!!!

The other trap does work for sure (the cup with vinegar..I will say adding dawn dish soap and a tablespoon of sugar helps attract them as well. But for someone who has zero knowledge on any of this info..this blog needs to be #1 on google (maybe it is on the AUS google..just not on USA) 🙂

Thanks for reading my novel if you made it this far. I CANT BELIEVE I WROTE THIS FAMN MUCH ABOUT GNATS AND DIRTY DRAINS DUE TO SCUM, FRUIT AND LITTER BOXES. F***!!!! hahaha

Gratsiela Borisova
Gratsiela Borisova
3 years ago
Reply to  Victoria

Hi, Victoria! Thank you so much for the honest and lighthearted feedback. We’re glad we could help! 😀

1 year ago

Will they live in the ceiling vent in the bathroom?

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