Does peppermint oil repel fruit flies?

Dave Campbell

With the hotter months, you can find many things to love from hiking, camping, boating, swimming, and more. However, there is one thing that no one loves in the warm months and its fruit flies.

These annoying fruit flies are everywhere when you enjoy some fresh fruit or drink a glass of white or red wine. You sit and relax, and when you look again, the flies are all over your fruit and wine.

You can find many chemicals and traps to get rid of fruit flies at your home or the office. However, all of them have toxic ingredients that can harm you and your family.

On the other hand, you can find some excellent natural remedies in your pantry that are not expensive and works effectively to rid of fruit flies.

Here are some of the home methods we have tested to get rid of the annoying fly, and we hope it helps you.

Natural Insect Deterrent for Fruit Flies

Using a natural fruit fly deterrent is safe for you, your pets, and the family. One of the best ways to rid the fly is by using essential oils. No one wants a pesky fly bothering you while enjoying some wine with your meal.

You can use peppermint oil to repel fleas, mice, ants, and the fly. However, does peppermint oil keep flies away? Furthermore, how do you repel fruit flies? According to a study done by the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in 2016, using the oil works effectively as a fruit fly repellent.

The researchers used wicks of the oil with fruit juice to attract the fly. They found a couple of the insect contacted to the wick, but the oil repelled the fruit flies for up to six days in the treatment.

On the other hand, the treatment using the essential oil such as mint repels houseflies, cockroaches, and mosquitoes. Not only does the peppermint essential oil repel it kills fruit flies, but also it needs to encounter the oil.

Moreover, mint is a natural herb used in cooking, beverages, and offers medicinal purposes. Nevertheless, does mint keep fruit flies away? Yes, it does, as it is an inexpensive herb to use fresh or dried to get rid of fruit flies. Not only does it prevent fruit flies, but it also helps against other pests.

You can place crushed mint leaves in a bowl when having a picnic to keep the flies away.

Why is Peppermint Oil Effective?

The menthol smell may be pleasant for humans but is unpleasant for insects, from fruit flies to ants. For the ant, it helps prevent the pheromone trail deterring them from reaching a food supply while it steers the fly away from the horrific smell.

So how do you use the oil in the house as a fly trap?

All you need to do is place a few drops of the essential oil on a burning candle when outdoors. Alternatively, you can use a spray bottle, dilute some drops of the essential oil diluted with water, and use it as a spray.

On the other hand, you can place three drops on a rag and put it in a tin uncovered on a table or where needed to get rid of fruit flies.

You can even place one to four drops of the essential oil on fabric strips and hang it in the house or on the patio. Even using cotton balls soaked in the essential oils helps to keep the fruit fly away. Lastly, you can place some of the essential oil in a burner on the table.

However, when burning the oil, it can lose its strength as it becomes exposed to air and may not deter the fruit fly. Therefore, to use it effectively, you need to keep replenishing candles and fabric when you find the smell diminished.

Also, try not to get the substance in your eyes as it will be painful and if this happens, clean it out with water.

Other Methods to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

While using peppermint or fresh mint leaves to get rid of fruit flies is useful, you may not have the ingredients available in the home. Other homemade techniques work well to repel the fruit fly as well.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Using cider vinegar instead of essential oil is a heaven-sent product for attracting fruit flies. These flies cannot resist staying away from apple cider. You can use a combo of the apple cider and add a dab of grape or other fruit jam you have available in the home.

Place some of the fruit jams in a plate and add some drops of the cider vinegar to it. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and make some holes in it to trap tons of these fruit flies. Yes, we know it is yucky but works effectively as a fly trap to kill flies.

Utilizing the apple cider technique works better than essential oil to eradicate the fruit fly and is the best fly trap available.

Herbs and Other Essential Oils

Here are more essential oils and herbs that help get rid of fruit flies. You can use eucalyptus and basil by placing it in muslin sacks and hang it around the patio, BBQ, or in your home to keep the fruit fly away.

Other herbs that help to get rid of the fruit fly are camphor, lavender, lemongrass, and clove as they do not like the smell.

You can even use it in an essential oil form to dap on cotton balls and wipe areas around the home such as the kitchen, patio table, etc.

On the other hand, these essential oils help make your home smell amazing. You can even dip some tea bags in the different essential oils to hang around the house to keep the fruit fly away.

Burning Incense

Another thing that fruit flies hate is smoke, especially from incense. The smell is unbearable for them when inhaling the smoke, and you will be fruit fly free when enjoying a meal inside or outdoors. Having incense is another excellent method to use compared to essential oils and a fly trap you need to clean yuck!

Lemon Grass and Peppermint Spray for Fruit Flies

While these essential oils do not kill fruit flies, it can repel them. Here is how you can make the spray using any of the two herbs. Take a clean spray bottle with a bowl and place a ½ cup of warm water in the mixing bowl.

Add up to 22 drops of the lemongrass or ten drops of peppermint oil in the mix. You can even mix things up with both the essential oils if you prefer as both work well. You might also be interested in how peppermint can be used to repel spiders – click here to read more.

Pour your solution in the spray bottle and give it a fair shake; use it on the kitchen sink, doorways, and windowsills and is an excellent alternative to hanging a fly trap that looks unhealthy in your living space.

How to Rid Fruit Flies for Good

While using the above essential oils to deter fruit flies, you need to control these insect breeding sites and locate them as soon as possible.

Some common breeding sites are trashcans, bags with vegetables & fruits, damp mops & cleaning rags, or any rotting organic matter.

Further, look at the floor drains and kitchen sink, as these are popular breeding sites. You can wrap the trashcan with cling wrap and leave it overnight.

The adult flies stick to the cling wrap. When you find the source of the infestation, make sure to clean it properly. You can use borax with water and wash the site to keep the area clean and dry.

Even using an alcohol-based spray will kill the flies. Always make sure the drains are clean using boiling water and white vinegar to pour down the drain every third day.

When you find the source of the problem and keep the area clean, it can help to control the situation of fruit flies for good.  Think of it this way, with the cleaning solutions used and spraying essential oils can help keep your place smelling clean.

Dave Campbell

I'm Dave Campbell and the owner of You can read more about me and my background on my About Me page.

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