If you've ever walked into your kitchen and accidentally inhaled a swarm of tiny flies that were buzzing around your fruit bowl, then you know just how annoying fruit flies can be - especially during the summer and fall. Fruit flies are attracted to ripe fruit (and garbage, drains, or other moist or dirty areas) - and they're so tiny that they can easily find their way into your house in spite of your best efforts to keep them out.
Since the best fruit is available in the summer and fall, skipping it would be a total bummer. But with our tips for how to get rid of fruit flies, you can enjoy your favorite fruits when they're in season without constantly being swarmed by these annoying pests.
Get Rid of Fruit Flies With Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of your top soldiers in the battle against fruit flies, particularly if you're seeking natural solutions. Fruit flies are attracted to it, so it's the perfect bait for a fruit fly trap.
- Mason jar/bowl/cup
- Apple cider vinegar
- Old fruit, cut into pieces
- Plastic wrap or coffee filters
- Rubber band
- Pour a cup or two of apple cider vinegar into the jar, bowl, or cup.
- Add a few cut-up pieces of fruit.
- Put the coffee filter over the top of it.
- Secure it with the rubber band.
- Use the toothpick to poke holes in the top.
- Leave it on the counter and wait.
If you don't have any coffee filters, you can use plastic wrap. But the coffee filters let the aroma of that rotten apple cider out better.
All the ingredients are food safe, so you can put this directly on your counters. If you don't want to have to stare at it (it's not super attractive), use a squat jar or bowl and put it behind your fruit bowl.
Add a little dish soap to your homemade fly trap, and you can skip the plastic wrap/coffee filters. Dish soap breaks the surface tension of the liquid, so fruit flies drown.
- Add a generous amount of dish soap to the mason jar.
- Add a cup or two of apple cider vinegar.
- Microwave the mixture for about a minute, so the vinegar really smells.
- Whisk the dish soap and vinegar together.
- Set it on the counter.
Make an Upcycled Fruit Fly Trap
Reduce food waste and reuse an old wine or beer bottle to create this super eco-friendly fruit fly trap.
- Beer or wine bottle with some wine or beer left in it
- Rotten fruit, cut up
- Grab a few beer or wine bottles with a bit of beer or wine still left in the bottom.
- Pop the chunks of fruit in the bottles.
- Swish it around.
- Leave it out where you have fruit flies.
- Replace as needed.
Put Rotten Fruit to Work
Don't let that old fruit go completely to waste. While you might not want to eat it, it doesn't mean fruit flies won't flock to it. Use it to your advantage as a way to attract and rid yourself of these pests.
- Rotten fruit, chopped
- Plastic wrap
- Put rotten fruit in the bowl
- Cover the bowl in plastic wrap.
- Secure it tightly around the bowl.
- Poke holes in the top with the toothpick.
- Set it where you have the fruit fly infestation.
- Replace as needed.
Create a Fruit Fly Trap With Milk & Sugar
You've heard the phrase "You get more flies with honey than vinegar," but how about milk and sugar? The milk and sugar will attract the flies, and adding some dish soap will break the surface tension and cause the fruit flies to drown. The caveat with this is you'll need to change it frequently so your house doesn't smell like sour milk, but it's an effective trap that'll do in a pinch.
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- Dish soap
- Plastic wrap
- In a bowl, add the milk and sugar.
- Microwave the bowl for a minute or two until the sugar dissolves into the milk.
- Add 3-4 squirts of dish soap and whisk.
- Seal plastic wrap over the top.
- Poke holes with the toothpick.
- Wait for success.
Spray the Fruit Flies Away
Not big on waiting? If the fruit flies are congested in one area (maybe over your drain or around the fruit bowl), knock most of them out with a quick spritz of isopropyl alcohol. You'll want to back it up with another trap, but it's a great way to knock out a bunch of the pesky bugs quickly. Don't spray around kids or pets and clean any fruit the alcohol lands on.
Rid Your Drain of Fruit Flies
If the swarm is around your sink, the flies are probably in your drain. Fortunately, it's easy to take care of.
- ½ cup salt
- ½ cup baking soda
- 1 cup vinegar
- Pot of boiling water
- Mix the salt, baking soda, and vinegar.
- Pour it down the drain and leave it overnight.
- In the morning, pour a pan of boiling water down the drain.
Commercial Products for Getting Rid of Fruit Flies
If you aren't successful with home remedies, it might be time to fork out the cash for a few commercial options.
- Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch Fruit Fly Trap - You just open the lid and allow the mixture to attract the flies.
- Green Gobbler Fruit Fly Killer - Designed for drain flies, you just pour it down and let it go to work.
- Flyminator - Fruit Fly Trap - It's a stylish option that attracts flies in without any fuss or mess, so you don't have to stare at bowls full of dead flies on your counter.
- Zevo Instant Action Spray - A pet-safe instant killing spray to get rid of them now.
Keep Fruit Flies Away
Once you've eliminated the pests, keep them gone with these quick tips.
- Clean all the surfaces in your home to make sure they're free of food particles.
- Don't leave food particles in the sink or drain.
- Wash fruit thoroughly when bringing it home.
- Dispose of fruit that's gotten too ripe or rotten.
- Keep a well-fitting lid on garbage, ideally keeping it outside.
- Flush drains at least once a week.
- Keep your fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator rather than the counter.
Get Rid of Fruit Flies
No matter how much you love animals, chances are you don't want to share your home with fruit flies. While they don't pose any immediate danger to humans, they can contribute to the spread bacteria and can even transfer bacteria from dirty surfaces to clean ones. It's best to rid your home of them so nobody gets sick. Fortunately, with our helpful tips to get rid of fruit flies, you don't need to put up with these pests even a minute longer.