Battling a swarm of fruit flies in your kitchen or bathroom? How annoying! We know it feels like a war you can't win but we promise that you can, actually, get control of fruit flies more easily than you think. In just minutes you can quickly rid your home of fruit flies by making this simple, homemade trap from ingredients you already have in your cupboard.
- Apple cider vinegar
- Dish soap
- A jar or small bowl
Although vinegar is the main ingredient, and it is considered safe for consumption, liquid dish soap is not. Keep this solution out of the reach of children.
Click Play to Learn How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Pour around a cup of apple cider vinegar into a jar or small bowl. (It doesn't have to be exact.)
Add a couple of drops of dish soap to the jar. (Do not mix.)
Place the trap in the area where you've seen the fruit flies, and wait for it to do its job. Soon, the container will be filled with drowned fruit flies. Rinse and repeat.
Why This Works
Vinegar is a natural, versatile, environmentally-friendly kitchen product. In addition to its cooking uses, it is an inexpensive ingredient in many cleaning DIYs. Plus, unlike many commercial products, vinegar does not emit harmful, harsh fumes. It really just makes things smell like a salad!
Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of the cider vinegar and will attempt to land on its surface. However, they're in for a big surprise—since the dish soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, the fruit flies fall in and drown. Say goodbye to that annoying swarm.
If you don't have any vinegar on hand, you can also trap fruit flies by placing a piece of overripe fruit in an open plastic bag. Wait for the fruit flies to congregate on the fruit, then carefully seal the bag, trapping them inside.
How to Prevent Future Infestations
If you'd like to try more than making a trap, here are some good solutions:
- Often infestations occur when you bring home infected fruit from the grocery store or produce stand. If you notice fruit flies when you're shopping, skip any produce that they're near. You can bet there are plenty of fruit fly eggs on that produce just waiting to hatch in your kitchen. When you consider that a single fruit fly can lay 500 eggs, that's a pretty compelling reason to go home without the bananas that you planned to buy.
- When you do buy fruit, rinse off those that are washable once you get home: apples, stone fruit, bananas, citrus fruits, etc., to dislodge fruit fly larvae. Plain water works, but you can also use one of those fruit and vegetable washes found in the produce department of your supermarket.
- Be diligent about eating fruits and vegetables before they become overripe or go bad. Fruit flies like to lay their eggs on ripe or fermented produce. Even better, store them in the refrigerator.
- Wash down your kitchen: Those fruit flies also land and lay eggs on your countertops—even in your sink. In fact, be sure there is no food waste leftover in your drain or garbage disposal.
- Take your trash out regularly. Recyclables, too: Small amounts of juice or wine left at the bottom of bottles are enough to catch the attention of a fruit fly. If you can't remember the last time you scrubbed out your kitchen trash can and recycling bins—now might be the time.
- Be sure to periodically throw your reusable shopping bags into the washer as well before the fruit flies remind you that you're overdue.
Potter, Michael F. Fruit Flies. University of Kentucky College of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service.