Fruit Flies & Gnats in Fridge/Freezer (Here’s What to Do)

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Finding any pest in your home can be extremely frustrating, especially if you are finding them where you store your food. 

Finding Gnats and fruit flies in your fridge or freezer is not uncommon. If you have noticed live or dead fruit flies or gnats in your fridge or freezer, do not panic! 

In this article, I’ll explain how they got there, how to deal with them, and how to prevent this from happening again in the future. 

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Why Are Fruit Flies in My Fridge and Freezer?

Fruit flies are found not only on and around fruit, but anywhere there is food that can attract them. With spills, crumbs, and sometimes rotting food, your refrigerator is a prime spot for fruit flies to gravitate towards. 

If fruit flies fly in through the open door or find their way in through a tiny opening elsewhere, they may start to multiply. 

They can also get inside your refrigerator if they are already on produce that you have bought or picked from the garden. 

Fruit flies can lay eggs in your fridge, so if you have noticed a surge in their presence, this could be why. 

While the cold environment of the fridge or freezer is not ideal for fruit flies to thrive, they can survive for up to eight hours. 

Therefore, you will most likely find dead fruit flies in your fridge or freezer, which is unlikely to be the source of the infestation.

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Why Are Gnats In My Fridge and Freezer? 

Gnats are very similar to fruit flies in the sense they are annoying pests who are drawn to crumbs, sugar, and organic materials. They have longer legs than fruit flies and are also bigger. 

Finding gnats in your fridge or freezer is a possibility that can occur. However, they can only survive for a few minutes in the cold temperature.

If you have noticed dead gnats in your freezer or fridge, they likely hitched a ride on produce or crawled in through a small opening or crack in the seal. 

Another possibility is that they were in the fridge and flew or crawled into the freezer through one of the vents. 

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Fridge and Freezer

To get rid of the fruit flies in your refrigerator or freezer, follow these steps:

  1. Remove all items from the fridge
  2. Take out shelves and drawers 
  3. Wipe down the refrigerator and freezer with warm soapy water and give them a wipe with a white vinegar and water solution 
  4. Wash shelves and drawers in the sink with soap, water and also wipe them down with the vinegar solution
  5. Dry all surfaces completely
  6. Wipe down the outside of all food containers thoroughly before restocking
  7. Take any rotting produce or potential food sources that could attract fruit flies and throw them away 
  8. Ensure all restocked items are properly sealed to prevent them from attracting flies
  9. Inspect fridge gaskets to ensure there are no openings for pests to enter. Repair any, if necessary 
  10. Find where else fruit flies are in the house and take steps to eradicate them 

How to Get Rid of Gnats in Fridge and Freezer

While any gnats you find in your freezer or refrigerator will not survive long due to the cold, you can take these steps to get rid of any you may encounter:

  1. Remove all items from the freezer. 
  2. Defrost ice as the moisture from the ice could create a moist environment that attracts the gnats. 
  3. Remove any shelves from the freezer. 
  4. Wipe the entire freezer with warm soapy water and white vinegar and water solution. 
  5. Wash the shelves in the sink with soapy water and also wipe them down with a vinegar solution. 
  6. Dry all surfaces completely. 
  7. Wipe the outside of food containers thoroughly before restocking. 
  8. Inspect the freezer gasket for any cracks where pests can enter and repair or replace it if necessary. 
  9. Find where else gnats are in the house and take steps to eradicate them. 

How to Prevent Fruit Flies and Gnats From Entering the Fridge

To ensure that fruit flies and gnats in the fridge don’t become a common occurrence, take these steps to prevent it from happening again:

  1. Clean your refrigerator regularly with warm, soapy water 
  2. Wash and dry all fruit and produce before putting them in the fridge 
  3. Throw out old food and produce when you notice it is going bad
  4. Seal all food items properly before storing them in the fridge 
  5. Clean up all spills immediately
  6. Ensure the gasket seal is tight and there are no cracks from which fruit flies can crawl into the fridge

How to Prevent Fruit Flies and Gnats From Entering the Freezer

First, ensure all fridge fruit fly and gnats prevention measures have been performed so they can’t get into the freezer from the vents (the steps above)

After that, you can do this by:

  • Defrost and scrape the ice build-up in your freezer regularly. 
  • Clean the freezer regularly with warm, soapy water. 
  • Ensure the gasket seal is tight, and there are no cracks from which fruit gnats can crawl into the freezer.


Why are fruit flies dying in my freezer? 

Since the freezer is too cold for fruit flies to survive, they may get in through a crack, seam, or opening in the gasket or door. 

Once they get in, they will not be able to survive, which is why you are finding dead fruit flies in the freezer. 

Can fruit flies and gnats survive in the freezer? 

Fruit flies and gnats cannot survive in cold conditions and will die almost immediately upon entering a freezer. 

Can fruit fly eggs hatch in the fridge?

While fruit fly eggs can hatch in a fridge under the right conditions (i.e., low enough temperature and a food source), it is not that common. 

Furthermore, if a fruit fly egg does hatch in the fridge, it will most likely die within minutes since it is too cold for them. 

Can gnat eggs hatch in the freezer? 

There is almost a zero percent chance that a gnat would be able to even lay eggs in the freezer before dying. If eggs were on an item you put in the freezer, they would freeze and end their developmental cycle, so they would never hatch. 

Why do I find dead fruit flies in my refrigerator?

Fruit flies are attracted to areas with food, so some may get in if you have your fridge door open. They can also get in if they are on produce or other food items, and you put it in the fridge before washing them. 

Since they are not made to survive cold conditions, they will not survive long, and you will find them dead later. 

Why do I find dead gnats in my freezer? 

Gnats can find their way into the freezer through vents or cracks in the gasket. They can also fly inside if the door is left open. 

However, since they cannot withstand extreme cold, they will die almost immediately. 

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Niels Joensen is the founder and chief editor at Niels is a professional painter who runs his own painting company. When not painting he likes to write about home renovation and appliances.