Why Do Fruit Flies Fly Close to Your Face And up Your Nose?

Oops, looks like you should have thrown that overripe banana out yesterday… or the day before. Now your kitchen is swarming with fruit flies, buzzing all around the fruit bowl, the sink, and you!

Why do fruit flies fly close to your face? Sometimes they even seem to want to fly up your nose!

The answer is simple: Fruit flies crave moisture, and your nostrils and tear ducts are the perfect sources of this. This moisture attracts them. Additionally, they may be attracted to sweet-smelling perfumes, lotions, and the like.

In this article we’ll discuss fruit fly infestation in more detail, and will explain how to get rid of your infestation before the little annoying buggers start swarming your face.

Why Do Fruit Flies Fly Close To Your Face?

Fruit flies are after two things: moisture and something sweet! Often found hovering around the fruit in your fruit bowl or your garbage can, these flying pests feed on the sugars that are usually found in and around ripe or rotting fruits. 

They will even lay their eggs on and in the rotting fruit to ensure their young have plenty of food.

Fruit flies are after two things: moisture and something sweet.

Why, then, do they often hover around a person’s face and try to go in their nose or eyes? It’s such a weird phenomenon!

If you use sweet-scented lotions, perfumes, and other body products that have a sweet smell, chances are that the fruit flies are mistaking you for sweet fruit. This is the same phenomenon that leads fruit flies to swarm bathroom mirrors: residue from sweet-smelling hairspray, makeup, etc.

A lesser-known fact is that all fruit flies have receptors that attract them to the carbon dioxide that humans exhale, as well as the moisture in our nostrils and tear ducts. 

Eradicating fruit flies is half the battle, and preventing them from infesting your home is the best way to go!

Thankfully, the tips in this article are great for preventing any infestations, so read on for more. 

How to Identify the Flying Pests in Your Home

Not all tiny flying insects are fruit flies! And depending on where your bugs are found, the little critters could be fungus gnats, mayflies, etc.

Gnats are a catch-all term, and fruit flies are gnats. Fruit flies are commonly confused with fungus gnats, which are also gnats, but these bugs go after plant soil as opposed to fruit. Drain flies, also confused with fruit flies, love to set up shop in drains. Confusingly, fruit flies do as well!

Not all tiny flying insects are fruit flies!

Knowing the major differences between these bugs is important and can help you choose the best solution to not only treat the infestation problem but prevent any future infestations too.

We have come up with a quick way to identify if your infestation is that of fruit flies or fungus gnats.

Remember the following for quick, easy identification of flying bugs:

1. Fruit flies

Found around the fruit bowl and garbage can. Tan to black in color. They resemble a small house fly.

2. Fungus gnats

Fungus gnats are found on and around plants. They’re gray to black in color. Fungus Gnats resemble a small mosquito. 

3. Drain flies

These tiny bugs look more like tiny moths than the other bugs. They live in drains, feeding on waste organic matter in the plumbing traps.

Prevention Tips to Keep Your Home Fruit Fly-Free

There are a great many tips and tricks you can try to prevent any fruit flies from infesting your home, fruit bowl, garbage can, and most importantly, your nostrils. 

Here are a few (okay, many) of our best tips that you should try out today:

  • Clean and rinse all fruit before you put them in the fruit bowl. Also, take note of any fruit with bruises or soft marks, and use those in a fruit salad or smoothie as quickly as possible. 
  • Keep an eye on your fruit bowl, garbage can, and house plants for any signs of flying insects. For plants, invest in an indoor-safe natural pesticide to get rid of gnats quickly and effectively. If you are battling a fruit fly infestation, make a DIY fruit fly trap with some vinegar and water to trap the pests. 
  • Storing fruit in the fridge rather than in a fruit bowl on your kitchen counter is a great way to prevent a fruit fly infestation.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect your garbage can as often as possible to prevent any rotten fruit juices from leaking out into your bin and attracting fruit flies and other creepy crawlies. 
  • Remove rotten fruit from the bowl and wrap it in a plastic bag before you dispose of it, or even better, dispose of it directly outside.
  • Make your own natural pesticide by mixing equal parts of water and vinegar and adding a tablespoon of dish soap to the solution. Spray over plants and pots regularly to keep gnats and flies at bay. 
  • Kill any larvae before they grow. This might mean that you repot your plants, but it is possibly the only effective means of completely eradicating larvae. 
  • Sticky traps are great for trapping fruit flies and gnats. You can purchase these at any store or make your own using cardboard, a stick, and some petroleum jelly. Add some honey or sugar to the jelly to sweeten the deal and attract the bugs to your trap. 

If all of the above tips still do not eradicate or prevent a fruit fly infestation in your home or indoor plants, it might be time to call an exterminator to fumigate your home.

When all else fails, we suggest you bring in the big guns. 

Look for an exterminator that comes highly recommended, or ask your friends and family for details of an extermination company they have used in the past. 


Fruit flies and other flying insects like gnats are a pest, and when they fly around your face and try to get into your nose, you know you have an infestation that needs to be dealt with quickly, effectively, and hopefully permanently. 

Identifying the pest is the first and most important step, as it always helps to know what you are dealing with before trying to get rid of it. Using the tips we have outlined above, you, too, can keep your home (and nose) fruit fly and gnat-free.

Good luck!