Do Fruit Flies Go Away in the Winter?

Fruit flies are so very annoying! It seems they come out of nowhere and infest your kitchen, interrupting your cooking process and just being gross.

They’ll happily target rotting fruits and veggies on the counter, set up shop in the drains, or even in the cat food.

When the winter comes, will you get relief? Do fruit flies go away in the winter?

They become dormant in the winter, but they don’t go away. Here is the quick answer:

Keep reading to learn more about how fruit flies live in the winter, and how to deal with an infestation.

Do Fruit Flies Go Away in the Winter?

Sometimes fruit flies will actually go away in the winter.

This largely depends on how cold the winter is in your area.

Regardless, cold temperatures will stunt their growth and directly influence their lifespan.

Studies have shown that the lifespan of fruit flies decreases at 60°F, and they stop developing entirely when the temperature dips below 53°F.

Studies have shown that the lifespan of fruit flies decreases at 60°F, and they stop developing entirely when the temperature falls lower than 53°F.

Adult fruit flies can “overwinter” when conditions become too extreme for them to thrive in. Doing this allows their population to survive extremely low temperatures. They may then reproduce and lay eggs when conditions become more favorable.

Fruit flies find other ways to survive if conditions aren’t too harsh. They get cozy in the nearest trash they can find and preserve heat by staying covered — or they sneak inside your nice warm house through a hole in the screen!

They feed on the organic material they’ve covered themselves with and usually stay there until spring. As a result, it is possible to experience a fruit fly problem in the winter.

Once they are in your home or establishment, you will be hard-pressed to see them leave on their own in the winter. This is because regardless of how cold it is outside, your home or establishment will be warm enough for fruit flies to thrive in, and likely warm enough for them to continue breeding.

Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

Although it seems these pesky little bugs come out of nowhere, that isn’t necessarily true. It only seems that way because of how fast they breed and develop. 

Fruit flies access your home when you bring home their eggs alongside your fruits and vegetables from the grocery store. The eggs are very tiny, so it’s easy to miss them.

They metamorphose into adults in a matter of days, and you have a fruit fly problem in no time.

They can also fly in from outside. Tiny cracks in the screen are all it takes for them to get inside.

Some Foods, Fruits, and Scents that Fruit Flies are Attracted To

Fruit flies are attracted to fermenting fruits and veggies. They also love moist areas and breed in these locations.

Here are some things that will draw fruit flies:

  1. Sugary scents and foods. These attract fruit flies the most. Sugary scents are found in fruits that are rotting and are enough to attract a fruit fly and encourage it to lay its eggs. Fruit flies are also attracted to the sugary scents in baked goods, candy, and discarded candy wrappers.
  2. Bananas. Bananas are found in many homes, often on the counters. Fruit flies love them, too. Although we may not enjoy the scent of bananas when rotting, fruit flies do. The sweet and rotting smell of bananas is more than sufficient to attract a fruit fly. They will lay their eggs in fruit
  3. Yeast scent. Yeast is commonly found in baked goods, malt beverages, soy sauce, cereals, berries, grapes, homebrew beer and wine, and miso. It’s no wonder fruit flies are attracted to these products.
  4. Mangoes. Fruit flies find the scent of mangoes strong and almost irresistible. You can be sure that a fruit fly will always find the mangoes in your home if they aren’t covered.
  5. Carbohydrates in bread. Fruit flies are attracted to white bread, which is typically sweeter. They are attracted to the high amounts of sugar when the bread decays and the fermentation process begins. 

So sugary foods, beer and wine, and white bread. Basically, they love the American diet!

How to Prevent a Fruit Fly Infestation

Fruit flies are teeny tiny insects that can easily turn your home into a breeding ground. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your home is uninhabitable for them:

  • Immediately clean up spills and ensure your countertops are always clean.
  • Thoroughly clean grime off your home appliances, especially your dishwasher.
  • Flush out your sink and drain with a cleaning fluid or boiling water. Don’t use bleach.
  • Keep your sink as clean as possible and dry when not in use.
  • Wash your fruits and vegetables as soon as you bring them home.
  • Ensure your fruits and vegetables are well covered, or put them in the fridge. Note that fruit flies can still survive in the fridge for several hours.
  • Toss all decaying fruits and vegetables outside so as to avoid an infestation in your kitchen trash.
  • Take the trash out regularly, and always keep the lid shut.


If the conditions are not bad, fruit flies will easily survive in winter. They find a comfortable trash pile to wait out the harsh conditions, or they sneak into your warm home. Fruit fly infestations are less common in winter, but still happen all the time.

It’s best to not rely on the temperature, and instead focus on good food storage and cleaning practice.