Getting Rid of Fruit Flies in Your Home
Fruit flies are a big nuisance in every home: in every kitchen, every bathroom—pretty much everywhere you look. They seem to never go away, no matter what you do. If you're looking for quick tips on how to get rid of them fast, you've come to the right place.
Having been plagued by them for quite a while now, I've set out to learn how to get rid of them once and for all. During my research, I found several great methods that actually help. They might not be the most unique ones, but as long as they work, that's the whole point, right?
Here you will find out how to get rid of these buggers. In most cases, all you need are things from your own kitchen or home and a bit of common sense, of course. If you know any other great tips, please share them in the comments below. Good luck!
Why Are They Here?
Fruit flies feed on alcohol. Every fruit that is ripe and begins to ferment produces alcohol, which attracts them faster than you can count to five. This means that every kind of food that ferments when left out in the open is a cause for concern. Also, now you know why these insects are the usual suspects you find around the garbage (or trash) bins that contain food waste!
With a very short life span, they also hatch very fast, usually in just a couple of hours. This is the "secret" for why they seem to appear out of nowhere, fast. Before you know it, you have an infestation in your home!
Where Do They Come From?
Fruit flies like to lay their eggs in a place where their offspring will have easy access to food, so ironically, the fruit and vegetables you bring into your home may be the carriers of the eggs. They may also lay their eggs in a drain, a garbage disposal, garbage bags, in cleaning rags and mops, or inside soiled food containers. In other words, they'll lay eggs wherever they find food and lay up to 500 eggs at a time.
Use Banana Peels
Banana is an old favorite of fruit flies, and you can use this to your advantage. This is how you do it:
- Peel a banana (and enjoy the fruit), then place the peel in a plastic bag.
- Punch a couple of holes through the bag, big enough for the flies to go through but not huge, so they can't get out once inside. A toothpick works best.
- Place the plastic bag close to (or in) a fruit bowl that has been invaded by flies. Leave it around for a day.
- Within 24 hours, most of them will be in the bag, with no way out. Now you can take it out and dispose of it (or let them out, if you're an environmentalist).
Or Use an Empty Water Bottle
Remove the Source
When you notice an infestation in your home, it is a clear sign of a rotting source, be it a fruit or some vegetable (or even some spilled alcohol). If you get rid of the source, they'll disappear by themselves.
- Check every room of the house for rotten fruits and never leave food or fruits on the kitchen counter.
- Take the garbage out fast, especially in the hot summer months. Fruit flies love heat (which creates the rotten fruit in the first place) so make sure that you don't leave the trash inside overnight.
- Never leave alcoholic drinks or fruit beverages unattended for long out in the open. Before you know it, your home will be invaded by the insects.
- Always wash the dishes after eating. Never ever make the mistake of leaving them overnight in the sink.
- If you make your own compost, keep it separate from your living quarters. Compost = fruit flies.
How to Make a Vinegar Trap
While wine works very well, it's a pity to waste it on fruit flies when you could just as well enjoy it yourself. This is why it's better to use vinegar for trapping them, but not just any vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is the best stuff. Here's how to do it:
What you need:
- A cup, glass, or jar
- Some plastic (a bag or some saran wrap)
- Rubber bands
- Apple cider vinegar
How to make it:
The idea is that they'll smell the vinegar and rush to it but then won't be able to get out.
- Put 1–2 inches of vinegar in the glass or cup.
- With a toothpick or the tip of a knife, make some small holes in the plastic bag, just big enough for the insects to enter.
- Next, place the plastic over the mouth of the glass and secure it in place with a rubber band. I've found that a rubber band works beautifully as it really keeps a tight seal.
- Finally, put the glass in the infested area and wait. Soon enough, you will start to see the container getting filled with the flies who can no longer exit.
One last tip: You can make several of these traps to place all over in several strategic locations for faster entrapment. It works quite well, I've done this at home!
Things to Use as Bait
- Apple cider vinegar
- Wine and other alcoholic drinks
- Any fruit (the riper, the better)
Recognize Any of These?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Share Your Tips!
Alice on March 19, 2020:
I cleaned my sink out n gotten rid of stuff accumulated in there n hope the flies r gone soon
Diana Grant from United Kingdom on October 05, 2016:
I've been inundated with fruit flies for a few days. My solution is to put rotting fruit near the back door, then when it is covered in fruit flies, I open the door and wave a cloth round them, and they mostly fly out. Unfortunately they don't all go, so I have to repeat this several times.
Your way sounds much better, and I shall try it - thanks
Rick King from Charleston, SC on December 13, 2015:
We have used the cider vinegar trap and it was very effective!
We also have warmed the vinegar slightly in the microwave to attract the bugs faster.
Fay from Cornwall, UK on October 28, 2015:
Get advice thanks. I have a lot of trouble with them as grow my own and usually have something around.
anonymous on July 17, 2013:
We haven't had a problem with them this year but last year they got in and I could not get rid of them. Tried different traps but you have better ideas here.
anonymous on July 04, 2013:
Just did the apple cider vinegar trap and it has been a half hour and there are so many flies around it! This stuff works!! Bye bye buggies!
JeffGilbert on March 07, 2013:
this is a very cool lens. I've had fruit flies now and then, but there are some creative ways to get rid of fruit flies here I've never heard of. Great lens!!
ellies lm on October 07, 2012:
Thanks for your research on this matter. Making a fruit flap trap tonight.
anonymous on October 04, 2012:
I'm so glad I found this lens. Those fruit flies are sure little pests to have around, friendly though...lol. :)
Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on August 24, 2012:
Excellent advice, I have had problems with fruit flies in the past, and they are so small and annoying. The vinegar traps work with wasps as well, we used to use them down by the beach many years ago when there was a plague of them.
Congratulations on your Purple Star.
Marika (author) from Cyprus on August 13, 2012:
@jenjenjenga: LOL. That works too!
jenjenjenga on August 13, 2012:
I just swat them!
irenemaria from Sweden on August 11, 2012:
When I tried to clap my hands to catch one, my husband said: What are you trying to kill? Sparrows? I clapped so hard and angry hehehe
Tara Wojtaszek on August 06, 2012:
I didn't realize they feed on alcohol. Explains why they are also in my bathroom (putting away the rubbing alcohol....). I'll have to try the banana peel in the bag technique. Thanks!
nicks44 on July 29, 2012:
Nasty little critter I tell ya, still managed to get rid of them somehow! Would have been easier if I had these tips back then :))
BarbaraSellers on July 28, 2012:
What wonderful ideas! I never knew how to get rid of fruit flies before. Thanks for sharing these wonderful solutions!
Magda2012 on July 28, 2012:
smart idea to trap the fruit flies using banana peels...
mel-kav on July 28, 2012:
Going to buy some bananas right now! Thanks!
anonymous on July 28, 2012:
Fruit flies are pretty annoying
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on July 27, 2012:
Well now, the fruit flies no longer stand a chance around my place. Very useful and interesting tips. Thanks for teaching me so much about fruit flies. Appreciated! Congrats on your home page feature and Purple Star!
Cdoimne on July 27, 2012:
These are great tips. I'll be sure to try them next time my home is infested with these little things. Great lens!
Fay Favored from USA on July 27, 2012:
You touched on something that's basically universal. I'll try this. Nice making the front page!
purpleslug on July 26, 2012:
I don't have them right now, but thanks for the great info for when I do = )
JoshK47 on July 26, 2012:
Thankfully, I don't have too much of a problem with that - but if I ever do, I know how to take care of it now! Thanks for sharing! Blessed by a SquidAngel!
microfarmproject on July 25, 2012:
LOL this lens explains why I had an infestation in my homemade red wine vinegar. Thanks for the tips!
britt44 on July 25, 2012:
Amazing tips! Much better than many of the store bought remedies which either smell or look disgusting!
SteveKaye on July 23, 2012:
Now, this helps. I'll save my next banana peel. Thank you for publishing this lens.
rawwwwwws lm on July 23, 2012:
Thank you for creating this lens. I am doing what I must do to remove the fruit flies. They are harmless, but it just a little surprising when you see some little flies on your fruits lol! I appreciate this lens greatly!
ddalgleish on July 23, 2012:
Good tips, thanks. We've tried apple cider vinegar, but not in a bottle, so I'll be testing that method next.
anonymous on July 23, 2012:
My sister used to have a notoriously dirty backpack- she actually grew fruit flies in there- disgusting! Thank you for the tips on how to get rid of them, as I work at a florist where fruit flies are an occasional problem due to the fruit we stock for gift baskets.
anonymous on July 23, 2012:
great lens, i use a funnel and a mason jar with apple/cider vinegar works great. never thought of the plastic bagbanana good idea.
Roberto Eldrum on July 23, 2012:
I used to store all my fruits in the fridge over night and spray the medicines. They used to stop annoying me for a few days. Now that I've known these methods, I will have to experiment with them.
Im Horse Crazy on July 23, 2012:
Lots of helpful fruitflies info here! Thanks!
rodricorod on July 23, 2012:
Great information! Just what I needed.
Marika (author) from Cyprus on July 23, 2012:
@MarcStorm LM: Interesting...mirrors. Never knew that one! Guess we're always learning! Thanks for the tip!
intermarks on July 23, 2012:
This is really good tips. I like the idea using a banana peel in the plastic bottle. It is cheap and effective.
Lynda Makara from California on July 22, 2012:
Good tips. Those things are so annoying.
Karli McClane from USA on July 22, 2012:
Every summer we are plagued by these things! I'll have to try making one of these traps.
Childbirth_Educator on July 22, 2012:
Thanks for this. I barely want to bring fruit in the house this time of year because of fruit flies.
peggygallyot on July 19, 2012:
This is so great as they can be a big nuisance .
MarcStorm LM on July 19, 2012:
Just the article i was looking for! Fruit flies love my humble abode and they need to leave ASAP lol
A couple of things that I've noticed that fruit flies love...Milk, Ice Cream(pretty much any dairy products it seems like), Cans of spaghettios with meatballs(they love the red sauce) .
They also love getting into my rabbit's cages and laying eggs. So in the Summer months I have to be extra diligent when it comes to clean their cages. Fruit flies love moisture, it's best for reproducing. The little bug worms that end up cocooning into fruit flies, they need wet conditions to thrive, if it's too dry they die.
They also love light sources as well, because they love checking out my computer screen, when I'm on here, when the room is dark lol
Strangely enough! They also like mirrors, you'll find them on mirrors a lot, must be the lack of their brains mental functions, they are entranced by themselves? Either that or they always want to look their best when they're being a pest lol
Thank you for these very helpful hints. It's open season on all the bugs that I can, & can't, safely remove from the house. Great article!!!
Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on July 17, 2012:
This is wonderful -- no pesticides. I will keep this in mind.
Heather McGlaughlin from Marryland on July 17, 2012:
Great lens, thanks for the tips on getting rid of fruit flies. Those little buggers are so annoying especially in the fall for me.
BarbaraCasey on July 17, 2012:
Ick! I hadn't thought about the laying-of-eggs-on-the-decaying-fruit situation. Thanks for the tips.
Brandi from Maryland on July 17, 2012:
Excellent! I usually don't have too many issues with fruit flies, unless I leave a pineapple on the counter for more than a couple of days. But I'm definitely going to bookmark this so I can use that "banana in a bag" trick the next time they come around! :)
anonymous on July 17, 2012:
I live in France and have an old fly trapper from glass. Blessed!
anonymous on July 17, 2012:
Wonderful lens! One of my friends is into fruit processing and he was explaining about the immune system of fruit flies being similar to humans and that was a surprise indeed! Gotta give more attention to these flies the next time I see them! :)
Kirsti A. Dyer from Northern California on July 17, 2012:
Excellent. I'll be checking this one out the next time we've got fruit flies.
anonymous on July 16, 2012:
Great ideas for trapping fruit flies.
Mary Crowther from Havre de Grace on July 16, 2012:
Great lens and congrats on the Purple Star!