Let’s talk about essential oils to repel fruit flies, and other easy tips to get rid of gnats.

Many people prefer finding natural ways to get rid of pests instead of using toxic chemicals. Avoiding harsh chemicals is especially preferable in your kitchen, which can be a veritable breeding ground for pesky flies.

A go-to natural repellant is using various essential oils to repel fruit flies.

Lemongrass, citronella, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender are several effective essential oils for getting rid of flies. You can mix your oil of choice with water in a spray bottle or place soaked cotton balls in areas with frequent insect activity.


Other natural solutions include using everyday household items like plastic wrap, apple cider vinegar, or dish soap to set a fruit fly trap.

Nobody wants bothersome bugs flying around their kitchen or anywhere else in their homes.

If you’re ready to say goodbye to harsh chemicals and fruit flies, keep reading for over 15 easy natural remedies.

The Best Essential Oils to Repel Fruit Flies


You can find essential oils easily these days, whether online or in a brick-and-mortar shop.

Even many supermarkets carry the more popular options like eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint.

If you want to mix up an effective essential oil insect repellent, your first step is to decide which oil you want to use. A go-to natural repellant is using various essential oils to repel fruit flies.

Next, depending on your preferred delivery system, you’ll need a spray bottle, glass jar, or some cotton balls. Or you might prefer to use a combination of methods in your bug-battling arsenal.

Here are some of the best essential oils for repelling fruit flies.

Often, the best repellent recipe uses a combination of several of these oils along with water. Interestingly, you’ll notice several oils on the list are also popular herbs for cooking.

As an alternative to oils, you could also put some of these herbs in tea bags or muslin sacks and hang them in your kitchen.


1. Peppermint

Mix a few drops of peppermint oil with some hot water in a spray bottle. Use roughly 5 to 10 drops of oil for each ounce of water. Use it to spray down your counters, sink, and anywhere else you notice lots of fruit fly activity.

2. Lavender

You can also put some drops of lavender in a spray bottle with water to repel fruit flies. But try soaking some cotton balls in lavender oil and placing them around your kitchen in the main fruit fly gathering spots.


3. Eucalyptus

Try burning eucalyptus oil in an oil burner or using an oil diffuser. If you use a burner, place some water in the burner and then a few drops of oil.

You can also dilute eucalyptus with water and lavender or sandalwood to make a pleasant-smelling repellent.

4. Citronella

Citronella is no secret when it comes to repelling bugs; you might even have a citronella candle on your back patio. But you can also use drops of citronella oil to tackle fruit flies.

Use an oil diffuser and try mixing citronella with cedarwood and cinnamon oil.

5. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is a good base oil to make your other bug repellant oil mixtures. For example, you can mix it with some drops of lavender or citronella to create an effective fly deterrent.

6. Lemongrass

Add two ounces of hot water to a spray bottle and mix in 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil. Spray the mixture on fruit flies to kill them.

7. Rosemary

Fruit flies dislike the strong smell of rosemary and many other herbs and oils. You can use rosemary oil or fresh rosemary to keep flies at bay.

Lay a few sprigs over your fruit bowl or soak some cotton balls in rosemary oil; your kitchen will smell fantastic too.

8. Basil

Similar to rosemary, flies dislike the strong smell of basil. Soak some cotton balls in basil oil, chop fresh basil and hang it in sachets throughout your kitchen.

Or, grow fresh basil in an indoor herb garden along with other popular fly deterrents.


9. Clove

Spritz some clove oil near entrances to your kitchen, including sink drains, to keep flies from coming in; they hate the smell.

10. Orange

A lot of insects tend to despise citrus scents, making orange oil a natural choice.

Put a few drops in a spray bottle with water and mist your countertops, windowsill, behind curtains, etc.

11. Tea Tree

Grab your trusty spray bottle and add a few drops of tea tree oil to two cups of water.

You can even throw in a cup of vodka if the mood strikes you.

These last few oils are worth pointing out again since we mention them in some of the above solutions.

12. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a strong scent, and flies don’t like it. You can use cinnamon oil by mixing a couple of drops in two cups of water and using a spray bottle to disperse it.

13. Cedarwood

Cedarwood will also repel bugs like mosquitoes, spiders, ticks, and more. Plus, it has a great smell. Try using it in an oil diffuser.


14. Sandalwood

Mixing sandalwood with other fly-repelling oils and dispersing it around your kitchen can help keep flies away.

It’s best to spray it around the area instead of concentrating it in one place.

15. Geranium

This oil will repel wasps, gnats, ticks, mosquitoes, and other pests. It’s also a handy oil to add to homemade skin creams.


Household Remedies and Natural Solutions to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Here are a few more natural methods to help you rid your kitchen of pesky flies. Also, some valuable tips for a few everyday household products.

Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Fruit flies love apple cider vinegar, so use it to set a trap. Pour some apple cider vinegar into a bowl, about one inch full.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and punch small holes in the plastic. Then, wait for the flies to go for the vinegar, trap themselves, and drown at the bottom.

Use Dish Soap

Instead of plastic wrap, mix dish soap with your apple cider vinegar to trap fruit flies. The vinegar attracts them, but the dish soap makes it impossible for them to fly back out, so they drown on the spot.

You can put the concoction in a glass jar or bowl near your fruit dish or anywhere else fruit flies like to gather.

Trap Fruit Flies with Beer or Wine

Don’t toss that last sip of wine or beer at the bottom of the bottle. Instead, leave the bottle or can on the counter.

The flies love the fermented goodness inside but won’t be able to fly out easily. To add an extra level of effectiveness, place a couple of drops of dish soap in there too.


Mix Up Some Milk and Sugar

This is an older method but could be a handy one if you don’t have vinegar around. Simmer some milk, sugar, and ground pepper to create a fermented fruit fly cocktail.

Use about a cup of milk, a cup of sugar, and ¼ cup of ground pepper, then transfer the mixture to a bowl on your counter.

Create a Cone Trap

No vinegar, milk, or dish soap? No problem. Place a piece of ripe fruit in a glass jar. Then, wrap a piece of white paper into a cone shape and stick the pointy side down into the jar.

The fruit flies can get in to enjoy the fruit, but won’t be able to get back out.

More Tips to Repel Fruit Flies


Of course, you want to do everything you can to keep fruit flies out of your kitchen.

Besides repellents and setting traps, there are some easy habits you can practice to make your kitchen less appealing to fruit flies.

●      Clean your kitchen sink and sink drains regularly. Make it a point to clean your sink every night before bed. Also, don’t leave food scraps and crumbs in your sink or the counters; fruit flies always look for a food source.

●      Keep a lid on your trash can or put it inside a cabinet. Empty your trash as soon as it gets full. Take the garbage out every night. Trash cans are often the culprit we don’t think of.

●      If you have a garbage disposal, clean it regularly. You can use a commercial cleaner. Or you can use a half-cup baking soda followed by one cup of white vinegar. After 10 minutes, turn on the disposal and rinse with running hot water. Alternatively, you can chop up citrus peels and run them through the disposal.

●      Store fresh fruit and veggies in your fridge. (Fruit flies love overripe fruit and will go for it when you leave it out in the open.)

●      If you keep fruit on the counter in a fruit bowl, make sure to wash and cover the fruit.


Shoo, Fly, Don’t Bother Me

Hopefully, with these handy tips, you’ll banish your bothersome fruit fly problem in no time. After all, you deserve to enjoy your kitchen; no pests allowed.

If you don’t have essential oils to repel fruit flies, then try the other easy tips.

Do you have a favorite essential oil? Or, what are your best ways to get rid of these pesky fruit flies? Let us know in the comments below.

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

20 Best Bathroom Drawer Organizers

Benefits and Uses for Oregano Oil

How to Defrost Frozen Fruit

Pantry Shelving Ideas

Our Closet Shelving Systems

Essential Oils to Repel Fruit Flies