How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies with Hydrogen Peroxide

Written by Shaunice Lewis
Published: May 13, 2022
Image Credit Alexlky/Shutterstock.com
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Fruit flies are one of the most annoying types of insects to get rid of because of their ability to reproduce very quickly and completely invade your home. Once they’re inside of your home, they have a myriad of places they can hide and reproduce, potentially allowing what started as a small problem to explode into an infestation. What makes matters worse is fruit flies prefer to lay their eggs in places such as your pantry or kitchen sink so that their larvae can have a food source to survive on.

As soon as you notice these pests in your house, you should act immediately to remove them so that they do not grow in numbers. Luckily, there is a safe and natural way to do this with the use of hydrogen peroxide, which we’ll go over below.

Does Hydrogen Peroxide Repel Fruit Flies?

There are many options when it comes to natural remedies for fruit flies and one of them is hydrogen peroxide. It can be used both indoors and outdoors to help rid your home of fruit flies without posing a risk to the safety and health of your family. You can also use hydrogen peroxide in your garden without worrying about it causing harm or damage to your plants and flowers.

Not only does hydrogen peroxide work to repel fruit flies, but it can eliminate them and keep them from coming back if used correctly and consistently.

Extreme close up of a fruit fly's head
One of the reasons that fruit flies are so difficult to get rid of is that they reproduce very quickly.

Tomatito/Shutterstock.com

How to Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Kill Fruit Flies

In order to make a hydrogen peroxide mixture, all you will need is a spray bottle, hydrogen peroxide, and water. What you will need to do is combine one part hydrogen peroxide with three parts water, adding both to the spray bottle. This simple mixture is all you will need to start getting rid of fruit flies in your home and garden. You can use the mixture to spray your garden plants and add it to the soil if you want to prevent the fruit flies from coming back.

The mixture also helps to kill off any eggs that the fruit flies may have laid if you spray or pour it directly onto the soil. Both adult fruit flies and their larvae will die once they come in contact with the spray solution. It’s also great at keeping gnats away from your plants as they also have a hard time surviving the solution.

If you’re dealing with an infestation on your indoor plants, you can make a strong solution of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and four parts water. You can then use this mixture to saturate the soil the next time that you water your plants. Let the soil dry for a few days and the infestation should be taken care of.

Any larvae that were in the soil of your indoor plants will be killed by the hydrogen peroxide as soon as they come in contact with the solution. You can repeat this process for anywhere between 2-4 weeks or until you have gained control of the infestation and are no longer seeing the flies.

Another way you can use the hydrogen peroxide mixture to kill fruit flies is by pouring some of the solution down your drains. This is because fruit flies love to reproduce in drains like the ones in your kitchen sink since it is a damp, humid environment that might have pieces of food particles for them to feed on. Take some of the hydrogen peroxide mixture and pour it into your drains to help clean them.

If you notice that it foams up in your sink, don’t worry, this is normal. What is happening is the hydrogen peroxide begins to react with bacteria that are living in your drain and it causes the mixture to foam up. Because of this, fruit flies are killed as soon as they come in contact with this mixture. It is also able to kill any larvae and eggs that are most likely hidden in your drains.

A bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide
You can use a simple mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and three parts water to kill fruit flies in your home and in your garden.

John Kevin/Shutterstock.com

Is There a Way to Kill Fruit Flies Instantly?

If you find yourself in a pinch and need a way to cut back on the fruit fly population quickly, there is a way that you can kill them instantly. You can boil a pot of water and pour it down your drains. This is one of the quickest and easiest methods to get rid of fruit flies. Make sure that you also pour the boiling water down the shower drains, sink drains, garbage disposals, and even toilets, as these can all be breeding grounds for fruit flies.

Think of any location that tends to be damp, hidden, or has access to food that they eat. These are the types of areas you want to target with either boiling water or the hydrogen peroxide solution. You can also opt to put boiling white vinegar down your drains as well—as this also kills them instantly on contact.

Other Natural Remedies for Fruit Flies

If you don’t happen to have any hydrogen peroxide on hand or you’re just looking for other natural remedies to get rid of them, you can try some of the following alternatives:

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a great and simple natural way to kill fruit flies. All you’ll need for this remedy is some apple cider vinegar, a bowl, and plastic wrap. First, start by filling the dish halfway with apple cider vinegar. Next, take some of the plastic wrap and cover the bowl, making sure that it is placed tightly so that it will not become loose or lift up on the edges.

Afterward, use a toothpick or something of similar size to poke holes into the top of the plastic wrap. This trap works by luring the fruit flies to the bowl by the smell of the apple cider vinegar. They’re attracted to this smell because it mimics the smell of rotting fruit. Once the fruit flies have entered the trap through the small holes, they will be unable to find their way out, thus becoming trapped inside. The flies will then drown in the apple cider vinegar.

Just be sure that you set the trap somewhere where you’ve seen a lot of the fruit flies such as by your kitchen sink. This is to ensure that you’re able to catch as many fruit flies as possible and prevent them from going on to breed in the drains. You can make multiple apple cider vinegar traps and place them in various rooms throughout your home — wherever you’ve seen fruit flies.

Do this daily and check the traps. You should see that a good amount of the fruit flies have been caught. Empty the traps and refill them again until you no longer see the traps catching any fruit flies. This should be a good indicator that most of the fruit flies in your home are gone. You can do this in combination with pouring boiling water down the sink drains as well as using the hydrogen peroxide solution for maximum efficiency.

A hand-labeled bottle of apple cider vinegar next to an apple
Apple cider vinegar, a bowl, and some plastic wrap is all you need to make a deadly fruit fly trap.

focal point/Shutterstock.com

Dish Soap

If you don’t have any apple cider vinegar or can’t find any at your local store, you can try making a trap using dish soap. First, fill a jar halfway with water. Then, add a few drops of liquid dish soap to the water and mix them up to create a foamy dish soap bath. Then, leave the jar somewhere that gets exposed to a lot of light, whether it’s sunlight or artificial lighting.

What will happen is the fruit flies will be attracted to the light and will enter the jar because of the smell of the soap. Once they enter the jar, the fruit flies will drown in the water because they will get stuck on the surface tension of the dish soap and water. This is a simple, easy trick to get rid of fruit flies if you don’t have apple cider vinegar or hydrogen peroxide.

Can Hydrogen Peroxide Kill Any Other Pests?

Fruit flies aren’t the only types of pests that hydrogen peroxide can get rid of. It can also be used on fungus gnats. If you have house plants, chances are you’ve dealt with fungus gnats at some point. As we touched on before, hydrogen peroxide is a great natural remedy for getting rid of gnats and it’s both simple and effective. Fungus gnats are harmless, just like fruit flies, but they can be very bothersome and a pain to get rid of. And just like fruit flies, if left ignored the issue can turn into an infestation in no time.

Fungus gnats do not bite but they can wreak havoc on your houseplants and in your garden. During its life cycle, a female fungus gnat can lay anywhere up to 300 eggs! They lay these eggs on the surface of the soil and their larvae will then graze on the soil’s organic material — this includes the plant’s roots, which could greatly damage or even kill your plant over time.

Thankfully, fungus gnats can be controlled just like fruit flies by hydrogen peroxide. All you need to do is use some of the hydrogen peroxide solution mixture that we mentioned above in your plant’s soil. Again, the mixture should be one part hydrogen peroxide to three parts water for the spray version, and for fungus gnats in the soil, use 3 percent or higher hydrogen peroxide.

Before you begin the treatment, make sure the soil is completely dry. If you notice that the soil begins to bubble, don’t be alarmed—this is a sign that the solution is working. The hydrogen peroxide breaks down into oxygen and water molecules once the fizzing stops. You can repeat this process until you no longer have a fungus gnat infestation, just as you would for the fruit flies.

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About the Author

Freelance writer specializing in natural health and wellness.