Insects Planet

Are Fruit Flies Attracted To Light?

We all know that Fruit flies are generally attracted to fresh or rotting fruit, which is why you’ll often find them near trash cans or in the kitchen. But, Are fruit flies actually attracted to light?

The short answer is YES! Fruit flies are attracted to light, however, Fruit flies have a much higher visible light spectrum than your average fly and can only see wavelengths between 670 and 675 NM.

In fact, there was a recent study at the University of Miami, and they found that “Drosophila” fruit flies are attracted to green and red light. Both are known to have a high wavelength.

Surprisingly though, they found that fruit flies are not interested in blue lights! This is because the wavelengths are between 450 and 495 nanometers and therefore it’s not visible to fruit flies.

Are Fruit Flies Attracted To UV Light?

As we know, UV light is highly effective at attracting flies, but, with fruit flies, this is not the case. Like with blue lights, mentioned above, the wavelength of UV lights is just too low for fruit flies to see.

The wavelength of UV light is between 100-400 nm. This means that fruit flies are unable to see these lights and as a result, they are not attracted to them

Why Fruit Flies Are Not Attracted To UV Light:

  • UV Light Has A Much Shorter Wavelength
  • Their Visible Light Spectrum Is Much Higher

So, while UV lights do attract some flies, it’s not effective for attracting fruit flies! Because of this, things like UV traps or zappers will not work on these types of flies.

However, if you’re looking for a more natural way to get rid of fruit flies, you can try using fly traps that give off an odor, like apple cider vinegar or lemons.

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Are Fruit Flies Attracted To Yellow Light?

Yellow light is another color that is not effective at attracting fruit flies. This is because, like blue and UV light, the wavelength of yellow light is just too low for these types of flies to see.

The wavelength of yellow light ranges from 580-595 nm. And, as we know, fruit flies can only see wavelengths between 670 and 675 nm. This means that they are not able to see yellow lights!

If you notice a fly buzzing around your lights at home, it’s likely not a fruit fly. These types of flies are attracted to different colors of light than fruit flies.

Are Fruit Flies Attracted To LED Lights?

Nowadays, LED lights are becoming increasingly popular because they’re more energy-efficient than traditional lightbulbs. But are fruit flies attracted to them?

The answer is yes! Just like other types of light, fruit flies are attracted to LED lights, but again, this depends on the wavelength of the LED light.

LED lights are generally classified into three wavelengths, Ultraviolet, Visible, and Infrared.

Type Of LED LIGHTSWavelengths
Ultraviolet 365nm to 405nm
Visible 275nm to 950nm
Infrared 850nm to 940nm

As before, fruit flies are typically attracted to a wavelength of 670 and 675 nm. This means that if you have an LED light with a wavelength in this range, it’s likely that fruit flies will be attracted to it.

Take note: If you’re looking for a way to stop fruit flies from coming into your home, it’s important to make sure that all the LED lights in your house have a wavelength lower than 670 nm.

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What Lights Do Fruit Flies Avoid?

While fruit flies are attracted to some colors of light, they avoid others. For example, blue, UV, and yellow light are two colors that these types of flies cannot see.

But, if they can’t see certain types of light how can the fly avoid it? Well, fruit flies are able to avoid light by detecting changes in the intensity of light using specialized cells in their eyes.

These cells, called photoreceptors, send signals to the fly’s brain that tell it when there is a change in light intensity.

When the brain detects that the light is getting brighter, it triggers a reflex that causes the fly to move away from the light. 

Types Of Light Fruit Flies Avoid:

  • Blue Light
  • Yellow Light
  • UV Light

Are Fruit Flies Attracted To Light Traps?

Light traps are a common method for getting rid of flies. But, do they actually work on fruit flies? The answer is NO! Light traps are not effective against fruit flies because these types of flies are not attracted to light.

Unfortunately, these types of traps don’t have to correct wavelength to attract the fruit fly. So, even though the trap may catch other types of flies, it will not be effective against fruit flies.

The best way to get rid of fruit flies is to remove their food source. This means emptying out garbage cans regularly, keeping the kitchen clean, and washing fruits and vegetables as soon as you bring them into the house.

Alternative To Light Traps

During the summer months, these tiny pests can seem to appear out of nowhere and quickly multiply. While fruit flies are attracted to all sorts of fruits and vegetables, they’re also attracted to fermenting liquids like beer, wine, and cider which you can use as traps.

To make a trap, start by adding about an inch of the liquid to a small bowl. Naturally, the fruit flies will be attracted to the scent of the fermented liquid and crawl into the bowl where some will get stuck in the liquid.

If you don’t have any fermenting liquids on hand, you can also use a mixture of sugar, water, and dish soap as bait. Just mix together equal parts sugar and water then add a drop or two of dish soap to break the surface tension so the fruit flies will sink when they land on it.

Once you’ve made your trap, set it out in an area where you’ve seen fruit flies and wait for them to take the bait. Check the traps daily and empty them as needed.


So, if you’re wondering “Are fruit flies attracted to light?” the answer is yes! But, they are only attracted to certain colors of light. And, unfortunately for us, yellow and blue light is not among those colors.

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