Kill adult fruit flies quickly using a pyrethrin-based insecticide spray. The spray requires direct contact with the flying insects and does not eliminate eggs or larva. Long-term control requires a multistep process that targets the flies at different stages of their life cycles.
An adult fruit fly lays up to 500 eggs at once near ripening fruit or decaying organic material. The entire life cycle of the fruit fly is eight to 10 days, so their numbers increase rapidly. Other breeding grounds include garbage cans, recycle bins, sink drains, sponges and damp mops. Moving fruit, potatoes and onions to the refrigerator helps to minimize the attractive breeding grounds for the adults.
When fruit flies are a problem, it is essential for the home occupant to empty garbage cans and recycle bins regularly. These receptacles must be cleaned when emptying them to ensure there are no food particles or soda spills left there. A bio-gel drain cleaner helps to remove the organic material that attracts egg-laying adult flies to the drain.
Traps are also useful in controlling fruit flies. It is possible to build a homemade trap using a jar and taping a piece of paper in a cone shape at the opening. Apple cider vinegar or a small piece of banana are effective baits for the trap.