How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Fast

Updated on May 4, 2016
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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 in to 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.

DIY Fly Traps

fruit flies
fruit flies | Source

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:

  1. Peel a banana (and enjoy the fruit), then place the peel in a plastic bag.
  2. 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.
  3. Place the plastic bag close to (or in) a fruit bowl that has been invaded by flies. Leave it around for a day.
  4. 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.

  1. Check every room of the house for rotten fruits and never leave food or fruits on the kitchen counter.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Always wash the dishes after eating. Never ever make the mistake of leaving them overnight in the sink.
  5. If you make your own compost, keep it separate from your living quarters. Compost = fruit flies.

fruit fly trap
fruit fly trap | Source

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.

  1. Put 1-2 inches of vinegar in the glass or cup.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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)

Homemade Trap

Did You Know...

Fruit flies are beneficial and have been used in agriculture (as biological control pests), in the study of biology, and in testing evolutionary or ecological theories?

Recognize Any of These?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Oriental fruit fly.Melon fruit flyGuava fruit fly.Carribean fruit fly.Peach fruit fly.White striped fruit fly.Diptera: Tephritidae fruit fly.Malaysian fruit fly.Oriental fruit fly laying eggs on a papaya.
Oriental fruit fly.
Oriental fruit fly. | Source
Melon fruit fly
Melon fruit fly
Guava fruit fly.
Guava fruit fly.
Carribean fruit fly.
Carribean fruit fly.
Peach fruit fly.
Peach fruit fly.
White striped fruit fly.
White striped fruit fly.
Diptera: Tephritidae fruit fly.
Diptera: Tephritidae fruit fly.
Malaysian fruit fly.
Malaysian fruit fly.
Oriental fruit fly laying eggs on a papaya.
Oriental fruit fly laying eggs on a papaya.

Have You Ever Been Plagued By Fruit Flies?

See results

Did You Know...

Fruit flies have been sent into space? They are genetically similar to humans, so NASA sends them into space in order to learn more about the effects of space travel on health and immunity.

Questions & Answers

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      • Gloriousconfusion profile image

        Diana Grant 18 months ago from United Kingdom

        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

      • rking96 profile image

        Rick King 2 years ago from Charleston, SC

        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.

      • Snowsprite profile image

        Fay 2 years ago from Cornwall, UK

        Get advice thanks. I have a lot of trouble with them as grow my own and usually have something around.

      • profile image

        anonymous 4 years ago

        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.

      • profile image

        anonymous 4 years ago

        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 profile image

        JeffGilbert 5 years ago

        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!!

      • profile image

        ellies lm 5 years ago

        Thanks for your research on this matter. Making a fruit flap trap tonight.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I'm so glad I found this lens. Those fruit flies are sure little pests to have around, friendly though...lol. :)

      • TonyPayne profile image

        Tony Payne 5 years ago from Southampton, UK

        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.

      • kislanyk profile image
        Author

        Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

        @jenjenjenga: LOL. That works too!

      • profile image

        jenjenjenga 5 years ago

        I just swat them!

      • mariaamoroso profile image

        irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

        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

      • TaraWojt profile image

        Tara Wojtaszek 5 years ago

        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 profile image

        nicks44 5 years ago

        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 :))

      • profile image

        BarbaraSellers 5 years ago

        What wonderful ideas! I never knew how to get rid of fruit flies before. Thanks for sharing these wonderful solutions!

      • Magda2012 profile image

        Magda2012 5 years ago

        smart idea to trap the fruit flies using banana peels...

      • mel-kav profile image

        mel-kav 5 years ago

        Going to buy some bananas right now! Thanks!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Fruit flies are pretty annoying

      • Diana Wenzel profile image

        Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

        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 profile image

        Cdoimne 5 years ago

        These are great tips. I'll be sure to try them next time my home is infested with these little things. Great lens!

      • favored profile image

        Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

        You touched on something that's basically universal. I'll try this. Nice making the front page!

      • profile image

        purpleslug 5 years ago

        I don't have them right now, but thanks for the great info for when I do = )

      • profile image

        JoshK47 5 years ago

        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 profile image

        microfarmproject 5 years ago

        LOL this lens explains why I had an infestation in my homemade red wine vinegar. Thanks for the tips!

      • profile image

        britt44 5 years ago

        Amazing tips! Much better than many of the store bought remedies which either smell or look disgusting!

      • profile image

        SteveKaye 5 years ago

        Now, this helps. I'll save my next banana peel. Thank you for publishing this lens.

      • rawwwwwws lm profile image

        rawwwwwws lm 5 years ago

        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!

      • profile image

        ddalgleish 5 years ago

        Good tips, thanks. We've tried apple cider vinegar, but not in a bottle, so I'll be testing that method next.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        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.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        great lens, i use a funnel and a mason jar with apple/cider vinegar works great. never thought of the plastic bagbanana good idea.

      • neosurk profile image

        Roberto Eldrum 5 years ago

        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 profile image

        Im Horse Crazy 5 years ago

        Lots of helpful fruitflies info here! Thanks!

      • profile image

        rodricorod 5 years ago

        Great information! Just what I needed.

      • kislanyk profile image
        Author

        Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

        @MarcStorm LM: Interesting...mirrors. Never knew that one! Guess we're always learning! Thanks for the tip!

      • intermarks profile image

        intermarks 5 years ago

        This is really good tips. I like the idea using a banana peel in the plastic bottle. It is cheap and effective.

      • Lynda Makara profile image

        Lynda Makara 5 years ago from California

        Good tips. Those things are so annoying.

      • Karli McClane profile image

        Psycho Free Zone 5 years ago from USA

        Every summer we are plagued by these things! I'll have to try making one of these traps.

      • profile image

        Childbirth_Educator 5 years ago

        Thanks for this. I barely want to bring fruit in the house this time of year because of fruit flies.

      • peggygallyot profile image

        peggygallyot 5 years ago

        This is so great as they can be a big nuisance .

      • MarcStorm LM profile image

        MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

        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!!!

      • LiteraryMind profile image

        Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

        This is wonderful -- no pesticides. I will keep this in mind.

      • lkamom profile image

        Heather McGlaughlin 5 years ago from Marryland

        Great lens, thanks for the tips on getting rid of fruit flies. Those little buggers are so annoying especially in the fall for me.

      • profile image

        BarbaraCasey 5 years ago

        Ick! I hadn't thought about the laying-of-eggs-on-the-decaying-fruit situation. Thanks for the tips.

      • Brandi Bush profile image

        Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

        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! :)

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I live in France and have an old fly trapper from glass. Blessed!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        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! :)

      • HealthfulMD profile image

        Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

        Excellent. I'll be checking this one out the next time we've got fruit flies.

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        Great ideas for trapping fruit flies.

      • Mary Crowther profile image

        Mary Crowther 5 years ago from Havre de Grace

        Great lens and congrats on the Purple Star!

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