Why Are Fruit Flies Attracted To Me? [7 Possible Reasons]

Fruit flies can be one of the most annoying and pesky insects to deal with at home. Their small size allows them to sneak through the tiniest of cracks and crevices, infesting your kitchen and buzzing around your fruit bowl. You may have noticed that fruit flies seem particularly attracted to you, constantly landing on your food, clothes, or even your skin. But why do fruit flies keep following you around?

Here are 7 possible reasons fruit flies may be attracted to you:

1. Your Scent

Fruit flies are very sensitive to smells and scents, especially ones similar to rotting fruit. They have an excellent sense of smell that allows them to hone in on ripened fruit from remarkable distances. This is because they need to locate sugary, fermenting fruit to feed on and lay their eggs.

Unfortunately, the natural aroma of your skin or perfume may mimic the fruity odors fruit flies crave. Things like body lotions, deodorant, laundry detergent, shampoo, and soap can contain fragrant compounds that fruit flies find irresistible. If you smell fruity, floral, or sweet, chances are fruit flies will gravitin towards you.

2. Your Breath

Similarly, the smell of your breath may entice nearby fruit flies. If you’ve recently eaten something fruit-based or sugary, like an apple, berries, or even honey, the lingering scent around your mouth can be like an open invitation. Fruit flies hone in on the exhaled carbon dioxide and fruity odors.

This is especially true if you have leftover bits of food stuck in your teeth. Be sure to brush and floss thoroughly after eating sweet or acidic foods. Pay attention to your oral hygiene to remove any remaining traces that could lure flies.

3. Your Diet

Fruit flies need to consume sugars and carbohydrates from ripe, fermenting produce as their main nutrient source. If your diet contains a lot of fresh fruits, fruit juices, soft drinks, baked goods, candy, syrups or other sugar-rich foods, your body’s natural aromas and secretions reflect that.

When you sweat or expel fluids, traces of the sugars and acids you ingest get excreted through skin and moisture. Fruit flies can detect the sweetness on you, making those who eat a lot of sugary foods especially appealing.

4. Opened Cans & Bottles

Do you often have open soda cans, juice bottles, and other beverage containers sitting around your home? Open containers allow volatile compounds to escape into the air. The fly is instantly drawn to the sweet, fruity scent.

When you drink from an open can or bottle, some liquid will inevitably drip down the sides or rim and onto your mouth and hands. Even just a tiny drop of sugary soda or juice is enough to pull in fruit flies from all around. They will swarm your drink and land on you to reach the tantalizing residue.

5. Trash & Food Scraps

Carelessly discarded food waste, crumbs, and trash are fruit fly magnets. Food scraps in trash bins or compost piles give off strong chemical signals that fruit flies can’t resist. If you’ve recently handled peels, cores, skins, or other kitchen waste, the smell stays on your hands even after washing up.

Likewise, when you toss things in the trash or take out the garbage, those odors stick to you and follow you around. Fruit flies may identify you as the source and continue landing on you in search of food.

6. Skin Moisture & Sweat

Fruit flies need moisture to survive, so they are drawn to damp surfaces for hydration. A body fresh from the shower, sweaty from exercise, or covered in suntan lotion all provide the hydration fruit flies crave. Your perspiration gives off a signature aroma, while moisture beads on your skin call out to thirsty flies.

If you sweat a lot or often have clammy hands, feet, underarms, or other areas, be aware that fruit flies can and will land on your bare skin for access to that moisture. Keep sweaty areas clean and dry to discourage this.

7. Fermented Food Odors

In additional to sweetness, fruit flies use their sense of smell to seek out fermenting foods. Yeasts and bacteria release very distinct odors during the fermentation process. This is why fruit flies infest cider vinegar, kombucha, kefir, pickles, alcohol, and other probiotic foods. If you handle or consume fermented foods regularly, those signature scents will stick to you.

Your microbiome, or gut bacteria, also release gaseous byproducts that disperse through flatulence and sweat. The natural fermentation occurring in your digestive system gives off a recognizable smell fruit flies pick up on. Consumption of fermented foods contributes even more.


Fruit flies are drawn to sugary, fermenting produce because that is their natural food source. If you exude fruity, sweet, moist, or fermented smells in any capacity, fruit flies will respond and investigate you as a potential feeding site or breeding ground.

Pay attention to fragrant foods, beverages, cosmetics, and body odors that could make you seem like an ideal fruit fly attractant. Keep clean, brush teeth, wash hands, launder clothes, and avoidexcess sugar to make yourself less appealing to these pesky flies. With some diligence about your scent, you can stop wondering “why do fruit flies keep following me?” and finally declare victory over these annoying insects.

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