Fruit flies in your fridge: How to get rid of them

If you find your fruits are being taken over by those pesky little flies, it might be because they have found the conditions in your fridge perfect for them to thrive. These tiny insects feed on rotting fruit and in so doing, leave behind a nasty smell, as well as excreting yellow pats of marking fluid which makes things even worse. Cleaning them out can be done with water and soap.

If you’ve ever found yourself with a bowl of rotten strawberries or bananas in the bottom of your fridge, you’ll know exactly how annoying these pests can be. In this article, we will take a look at some of the reasons why they like to hang around in our fridge and what you can do to stop them from coming back.


The smell of rotting food is irresistible to fruit flies

The main reason that these flies love to make themselves at home in our fridges is because of the smell of rotting food. Flies are attracted to the smell of rotting food. For fruit flies, the smell of rotting fruit is irresistible and they will find their way into your house from neighboring properties, as well as from your own compost and compost bins.

Those who compost their food probably already know that fruit flies have a special affinity with rotting bananas and apples. What you might not know, though, is that they also have a taste for lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, onions and even beer.

If you don’t know where the rotted fruit is located, you might have to look under your fridge and open up every drawer of the fridge. It might be hidden under another item in your fridge. They will keep coming back if you don’t remove the original culprit.

How do you know if your fridge has fruit flies?

Fruit flies are quite easy to spot. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing for sure whether your fridge has fruit flies until they have built up a significant population. If you are lucky, they will just be rotting the food at the bottom of your fridge. However, if they have been there long enough, they will have laid their eggs and built little cocoons and fridges full of baby fruit flies.

If you want to be sure about where the flies are coming from in your fridge, one option is to buy a glue trap and place it at the back of the fridge. The flies will probably end up on the trap instead of your food. There are also traps that you can buy to detect the presence of flies. These typically use a combination of light and pheromones to attract the flies and then trap them.

Fruit flies are quite harmless in general but they should be removed anyway as they can spoil the food in your fridge. Luckily it is quite easy to get them removed.

Cleaning up and disinfecting your fridges

Start by filling a bucket with soapy water and wear gloves. Now the real work can start!

If you do find that your fridge has been invaded by fruit flies, you’ll need to get it cleaned up. First of all, you’ll need to remove the mess of rotting food. If you’ve got a lot of rotten produce in there, the best thing to do is just throw it out. Don’t let it sit there and fester, because that just smells worse.

Next, you’ll need to disinfect your fridge. What you choose to use will depend on whether you have discovered a small or large problem. If it is just a couple of rotten apples causing a bad smell and some pheromone markings, you’ll probably be able to get rid of the problem with hot, soapy water. However, if you have a large infestation, you may need to disinfect your fridge with a specialized cleaning product. 

You can create a fruit fly trap with a glass, apple vinegar, and some foil. This keeps the fruit flies trapped and you can remove them. Basil can also keep them away.

How do fruit flies get in your fridge?

As we have already discussed, the main way that fruit flies get into your fridge is by taking advantage of the smell of rotting food. However, there are a few other ways in which they can get in as well. You may find that there is a small gap near the door of your fridge that is letting the flies in.

Fruit flies can live in your drains or come from outside.

If so, you can plug up that gap with something like a cork or add a new seal. Alternatively, if you have a top-opening fridge, you may find that the flies are getting in through the gap where the door meets the top. Again, you can plug this up with cork if necessary.

If you have a bottom-opening fridge, the only way for fruit flies to get in would be if you have a crack or gap where the bottom of the fridge meets the ground. If you have a top-opening fridge, use a cork to plug up any gaps that you find. If you have a bottom-opening fridge, look to see if you have a crack or gap that the fruit flies can get through.


There are many reasons why you might find that there are fruit flies in your fridge. The most obvious is rotting food, but there are a couple of other ways that they can get in as well. Get to know these ways and you can be sure that the flies will be kept out of your fridge. Keep things clean and tidy, and always make sure that you have a lid on your bowl of fruit when you have finished eating.

This will prevent any flies from getting in and laying eggs in your fruit bowl or on your fruit. If you keep a clean, tidy fridge that doesn’t smell of rotting food, you should be able to keep the flies out and keep your food fresh for longer.

Luckily cleaning them out is quite straightforward. You can also regularly check your fridge to see if fruits are left in it. Make sure to throw it away when it is starting to rot. 

We have discussed how to deal with slugs here.