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How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Easy homemade DIY and store-bought solutions that will get rid of fruit flies as quickly as possible because why deal with them if you don’t have to?

If you’ve been overrun with pesky fruit flies lately you are not alone.

I have been buying more fresh fruit as there is so much in season right now but along with the delicious bounty comes a plethora of unwanted and annoying fruit flies.

Fortunately, you don’t have to accept an infestation as something you just have to deal with but instead, you can take some simple and inexpensive steps to get rid of them.

These are the fruit fly traps I use and they WORK!

Fruit Fly Jar Trap for Home Kitchens, Decorative, Effective, Kid and Pet Friendly (White)
$17.99

A beautiful way to get rid of fruit flies in your home. Fruit flies are lured in through the small hole in the top and can't find their way out. 

Check it out!
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09/23/2021 12:16 am GMT

How to Prevent Fruit Flies

First, let’s talk about how to prevent fruit flies.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Benjamin Franklin

Fruit flies are attracted to ripe or rotting fruit as well as fermented items such as wine, beer, and other liquor.

In order to stop a problem before it starts and to get rid of fruit flies before they become a problem, you can take the simple steps below.

  • Wash fresh produce as soon as you bring it into your home with a good quality scrubber and produce washing product. Fresh produce, whether from the store, the farmer’s market, or from your own garden can harbor the eggs or larvae of fruit flies. When fruit is overripe or starts to rot it attracts fruit flies and as they eat the fermenting fruit they can potentially lay hundreds of eggs that hatch within hours.
  • Throw out overripe and rotting produce. It’s better to avoid the problem altogether.
  • Keep fresh fruits and veggies in the refrigerator. Add a simple carbon packet to the crisper drawer to extend the freshness of your produce even longer.
  • Take out the trash often. I find that when I cut up fresh pineapple or have fruit peels in the trash that acts as a magnet for the fruit flies so the best rule of thumb is to take out the trash, or, use a smaller container for peels and either throw that bag away or use the contents for a compost pile. Even my favorite trash can can’t stop the buggers from congregating and being a nuisance.

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies with a DIY Trap

I regularly use two different traps to get rid of fruit flies in my own home.

You’ll need Apple Cider Vinegar and some dishwashing detergent.  I succumbed to the Dawn rage and bought some at Sam’s Club a few weeks ago so that’s what I used.  

Add approximately 3/4 of an inch of apple cider vinegar to a container.  I used one that I could throw away when I was done with it.  The container itself is not very large.

Recently, (02/25/2021) I found a great antique reproduction fruit fly trap to use instead of the funky homemade containers. It works great and looks cute, too, on my kitchen countertop or on my farmhouse buffet.

Squirt in some dish washing liquid and stir it up!

Within seconds of putting the concoction down on my countertop there were already 3 fruit flies ready to take the plunge.

 Within 24 hours I had amassed quite a collection of no-longer-pesky fruit flies.  

 

If you try this I would like to know your results or if you have another way to get rid of fruit flies I would love to hear what you do.  

Reader Comments and Suggestions: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Cheryl on October 6, 2012

This is a method I’ve used for years. I have little specialty cups that I bought with covers on with holes. Then you cover the inside part with tinfoil after pouring in the vinegar (has to be cider vinegar), poke holes in that. They fly in and as another said, don’t check out! I just use the Cider vinegar and it has always worked, but the mixture is good too! You could use any container and cover with tin foil and then poke the holes in with a toothpick. For the person who wondered about plant flies, just plain soap water attracts that type. They fly in to drink and drown doing it. It seemed like a few always hung around though, so for the real tough ones I have bought some sticky strips called: Safer brand Houseplant sticky stakes. They are bright yellow and attract all kinds of bugs (the label says whiteflies, Fungus gnats & etc.) The sticky stakes took care of the rest of the fungus gnats that came in the bagged soil I bought (I finally narrowed it down to that). I thought the fungus gnats were fruit flies, but were not, as they appear to be similar, but if you get a magnifying glass they have stripes on their body. I did an online search and found that info out and that’s also where I bought them. I will use the strips again if I ever have the pests appear, as they supposedly lay many eggs and reproduce quickly. I’ve had no problem since poking them in the affected plants! Good Luck

This post was originally published in 2012 but has been updated with new photos and additional information in 2020.

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Jo Moseley

Saturday 7th of June 2014

Fruit flies lay their eggs in kitchen drains and those suckers hatch overnight! I also use the dawn & AC vinegar. I also pour baking soda down the drain and then pour white vinegar immediately after the baking soda. Put the sink plug in and leave it plugged over night. The next morning let the HOT water run to clear the drain. Do the other side of the sink...if you have a double sink, the next night. Also do the bathroom sink and bathtub, as well.

Mary Beth

Saturday 7th of June 2014

Thanks for the tips, Jo!

Paula

Tuesday 10th of September 2013

I have always used red wine vinager in a small water bottle the little 8oz ones. But always have cider vinager on hand too so this is good to know, I haven't added dish soap and wonder what the dish soap contributes to attracting them? And now that the fruit flies are starting to reappear I will be trying this version too!

Mary Beth

Tuesday 10th of September 2013

Hi Paula ~ My understanding is that the soap keeps them stuck in the potion :)

Reaven Johnson

Monday 9th of September 2013

I am currently trying this but the fruitflies wont go in the mixture! They just stay on the lip

Mary Beth

Monday 9th of September 2013

If it's not working for you, Reaven, try using a container with a smaller opening like a glass pop bottle or empty ketchup bottle ~ something where they can get in but not out. My friend Carolyn made this one recently, which is different than mine, and it might work for you ~ https://www.carolynshomework.com/2013/08/etceteras-homemade-fruit-fly-trap.html

Let me know if either of those options does the trick for you.

Phyllis

Tuesday 23rd of July 2013

I use a similar, but cheaper method. I take a plastic container, like the one you use. I put in a squirt of dishwashing detergent, and then fill it up almost to the top with water. Then I add just a splash of cider vinegar to attract them. Trust me, it doesn't take much vinegar to attract them. I have watched them land on the soap bubbles and never move again.

Mary Beth

Tuesday 23rd of July 2013

Thanks for sharing your method, Phyllis, and thanks for stopping by.

Lauren

Thursday 20th of June 2013

Just made the mixture! While there are TONS on the sides of the container, none are going in? :( How do I make these annoying little suckers take the plunge? lol!

Mary Beth

Thursday 20th of June 2013

Oh, Lauren {you're comment made me laugh} but maybe you could try the funnel approach ~ put the liquid in a container with a smaller opening ~ perhaps like an empty water bottle, and see if that does the trick. I think some fruit flies are smarter than others. Mine were obviously in the non-smart bunch. Let me know if that works.