Does Incense Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

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Fruit flies. Ugh. Tiny, annoying, and everywhere! We’ve all had infestations from time to time. And there are many different suggested methods to help get rid of these pesky flies. We’ve heard of using traps, rotten fruit, harsh chemicals, or apple cider vinegar but most of these methods are messy and smelly. 

There is one method that’s proven to be highly effective, and this is to try using incense burning. Does incense get rid of fruit flies? Let’s find out, but first, where do fruit flies come from, and how can we best manage them?

Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

Sometimes it seems that fruit flies come out of nowhere and multiply so quickly! Fruit flies are attracted to strong odors such as fermented fruit or moldy drains in the home.

They are typically more prominent in the summer months but can be an issue all year round. 

Once the fruit flies have been attracted by the source, they lay their eggs on literally everything. They can lay up to 500 eggs at a time!

The lifespan of a fruit fly is a little less than two weeks. So with the continuous laying of eggs, this problem could continue for quite some time. 

Does Incense Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

Many of us have seen the use of citronella or eucalyptus candles to get rid of mosquitoes at a campfire or outdoor setting. The reason the citronella candles are so effective is due to the strong smell and smoke that they produce.

Burning these candles and tiki torches is very common as they have proven to actually work! 

Burning incense is a similar method to the citronella candle, due to the smell and the smoke that it emits. An incense stick is created using wood, resin, and oils.

And when it is burned incense produces a strong aromatic smell and some smoke.

We recommend lighting an incense stick close to the source of the fruit flies and allow it to burn for about one hour. 

Fruit flies are typically attracted to over-ripened fruit or any items with a strong order such as cat litter or mold.  Once the fruit flies have been attracted to this scent, it becomes difficult to get rid of them as they typically multiply very quickly. 

The reason that incense is an effective way to get rid of fruit flies is due to the strong odor that the smoke produces.

By using good quality incense, the strong smells will overpower the scent of the ripened fruit or other source of attraction.

Does incense get rid of fruit flies? It can attract them, and there are a few reasons why it may be an efficient killer as well.

Another reason the incense is highly effective is due to the amount of smoke that is released into the air will essentially suffocate the fruit flies.

Their small lungs cannot handle the amount of smoke, and this will essentially get rid of them.  

After burning incense in your home a few times, hopefully, you’ll notice far fewer flies around.

It is important to keep in mind that the fruit flies will lay their eggs on the source of the odor.  Most commonly this is the over-ripened or fermented fruit. 

You need to get rid of that!

Considering the fruit flies can live for up to one week on the fruit, there may be a risk of a secondary outbreak when the larvae hatch. 


Some people are sensitive to the smell produced from burning incense and they may choose to opt for alternatives.


Fruit Fly Chemical

Some of these chemicals can be used on surfaces and in the air however, there are risks associated with these. These chemicals can be harmful to children or pets in the home.

Fruit Fly Traps

Fruit Fly Trap

Another method we see used commonly is to set fly traps. You can purchase pre-made traps, or make your own.

Some people place rotten fruit or apple cider vinegar into a trap that will attract the fruit flies to the area. The fruit flies will go into the trap and will not be able to get out.

The fruit flies usually die or drown in the trap.  

This method is effective however, the downside is the mess and additional odor that these traps can produce. After the trap has been used it is a bit of a messy cleanup to empty the trash out and clean out the rotten food or vinegar. 


If you are struggling with an annoying fruit fly infestation, try burning incense in the area. After looking at the alternative methods and ways to get rid of fruit flies, burning an incense stick proves to be the simplest and least messy method out there.

Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the aromatic benefits of burning incense! 

This ancient ritual of incense burning is beneficial for relaxation, meditation, and health reasons.  Considering it does produce some smoke, we recommend only burning your incense for no more than one hour, and take care of where you’re burning the incense and if children or pets may be around. 

Don’t forget to keep your fruit from over-ripening, or try to keep it in an enclosed container. Keep your drains and sinks odor-free by cleaning them daily to avoid any source of attraction for more fruit flies.

Keep your cat litter fresh and tidy with regular maintenance and or try an enclosed casing. After getting rid of any fruit flies, keep the area clean by wiping it down, or removing any overripe fruit.

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