Discover 6 Smells That Fruit Flies Absolutely Hate

© nechaevkon/

Written by Stephanie Harper

Published: October 22, 2023

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When you think of fruit flies, you probably think of the pesky insects that mess with all the succulent breakfast treats on your kitchen counter. Fruit flies are beyond aggravating when your main focus is keeping your apples, bananas, and pears in good shape for an extended period of time. One of the most serious issues that comes into play with fruit flies is that they can lay up to 500 eggs at one time! When 500 eggs are being laid at once, it’s likely you’ll about to be faced with a massive fruit fly infestation.

These 6 scents will send those pesky flies buzzing in the other direction!

Fruit flies love laying eggs in garbage disposals, empty bottles, puddled sink drains, and in the crevices of damp sponges or mops. Anywhere fruit flies can get snug, they’ll get down to business causing chaos and trouble. Fortunately, there are a handful of smells you can spritz around your home to prevent fruit flies from getting too comfortable. These are some of the scents to lean on to help your case.



A top fruit fly repellant happens to be lemongrass.


Lemongrass is a great starting point when it comes to scents fruit flies absolutely loathe. Lemongrass is also known as Cochin grass, barbed wire grass, Malabar grass, and silky heads. Scientifically, lemongrass is known as Cymbopogon. Generally, lemongrass can be used as medication. People dealing with achy joints, fevers, common colds, exhaustion, and high blood pressure can benefit from using lemongrass. Digestive tract spasms and vomiting can also be improved with the use of lemongrass. Since it’s known to lower stress, relieve depression, and reduce anxiety, it’s great for mental health as well. As far as the taste goes, lemongrass is a simple blend of lemon and mint. The flavor isn’t super powerful, which means it can easily be added to most recipes. Fruit flies can’t stand lemon grass, so it would behoove you to keep it around your home.


Wooden spoon with cloves on rustic table

Cloves are native to Indonesia and originate from the clove tree. Fruit flies hate them.


Cloves are commonly used for spicing food that needs flavor. It can also be added to store-bought fragrances in conjunction with scents like vanilla or musk. Cloves are used in cosmetic products, soaps, and even toothpaste. There are plenty of uses that can come out of cloves that don’t even touch upon the fact that the smell is a total fruit fly repellent. Cloves originally came from Indonesia, but they are popular all over the globe at this point. Adding them to soup, stew, and different meat dishes is super common. Since there are plenty of reasons to keep this ingredient on deck at home, using cloves to fight back against fruit flies makes all the sense in the world.


Blooming violet lavender plant in garden

The smell of lavender will disgust a fruit fly.

©ivanoel28/iStock via Getty Images

Lavender is one of the most beautiful fragrances of all time. There’s a reason it’s such a popular scent used in different perfumes and colognes. Lavender is even used a laundry detergent scent. The color lavender is also quite soothing as a pale purple that fits into the pastel category. People enjoy wearing pastel shirts and dresses during spring as a reminder of some of the most gorgeous flowers that sprout during that season. Fruit flies are disgusted by the scent of lavender, which means it’s a great idea to spray this scent around your home whenever you get the opportunity.


Composition of fresh basil and kitchen utensils, spices, on the kitchen table.

Having basil in your home will keep fruit flies away.


Basil is a delicious ingredient to use in plenty of tasty recipes. This herb can be successfully planted and harvested in your own backyard – if you’re the type of person who has a green thumb. One of the most common dishes you’ll find basil served on is pizza! When baking a pizza, fresh basil should be added before the pizza enters the oven. Of course, it can always be sprinkled on top afterward as well. Fruit flies will zip off in the opposite direction if they smell basil anywhere in their midst. Your fruit basket will certainly be safe if you’ve got basil sprinkled nearby.


Peppermint essential oil in a small bottle. Selective focus. nature.

Peppermint isn’t a scent fruit flies love to be around.

©Tatevosian Yana/

The fragrance of peppermint is a wonderful reminder of the holiday season. Peppermint candy is both delicious and refreshing at wintertime. Of course, you’re welcome to enjoy peppermint all year long! Candy stores certainly keep it stocked on their shelves. Knowing that peppermint is a scent that fruit flies despise is another motivating factor to keep it on hand and available at all times. You don’t have to wait until the holidays to fill your house with peppermint if it’s a fragrance that brings you joy. It will also bring you peace of mind when it comes to fighting back against pesky fruit flies.



Eucalyptus is soothing to humans, but fruit flies loathe the smell.

© Denisenko

The scent of eucalyptus is known for being incredibly soothing and calming. For this reason, people use eucalyptus inside bedroom humidifiers when they’re trying to get restful sleep at night. Essential oils that smell like eucalyptus are highly respected and adored by loads of deep sleepers. Fruit flies aren’t equally as impressed by the scent of eucalyptus, though. While human beings find peace and pleasure in this wonderfully beneficial scent, fruit flies are totally disgusted. Eucalyptus will effortlessly keep fruit flies repelled from your home and your fruit basket.

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About the Author

Stephanie Harper is a professional writer who graduated from Cal State Northridge with her English degree. She loves writing about animals, travel, and other lifestyle topics.

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