How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies

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The best way to get rid of fruit flies in your home is a combination of these homemade fruit fly traps and cleaning their favorite breeding areas.

Fruit fly crawling on a piece of pineapple in homemade trapPin

There’s a myth that fruit flies live and die in 24 hours. Their life cycle is much longer, and some species live for several months. A female fruit fly can lay 100 eggs per day during that time. No wonder it’s so difficult to get rid of fruit flies once you’ve got them. Difficult, but not impossible. Though it does take consistency and effort, you can get a fruit fly infestation under control and keep them away for good.

Homemade Fruit Fly Traps

If you want to use a DIY fruit fly trap, you’ll need to clean it daily and keep it in place for a week or two. To make homemade fruit fly traps more powerful, add a chunk of banana, pineapple, or other strongly-scented fruit. Or, for a “set it and forget it” approach, try a commercial fruit fly trap instead.

Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

A shallow bowl of apple cider vinegar left on the kitchen counter attracts fruit flies with its scent. Cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap (or a lid) in which you’ve poked a few small holes with a toothpick. This method gets rid of fruit flies by luring them in and then trapping them. Change the vinegar daily.

Red Wine Fruit Fly Trap

A bottle with an inch or so of red wine or beer makes an excellent trap for fruit flies. Stick a kitchen funnel or roll a piece of paper to form one and insert the narrow end into the bottle. Tape it in place if needed. Fruit flies will go down the funnel but won’t be able to get out of it, so they’ll drown. Change daily.

Soapy Water Fruit Fly Trap

Fill a bowl of water halfway, add a drop of liquid dish soap and place it under a light at night. (The light over your stove is perfect for this.) The reflection of the light will lure any fruit flies in your home, as well as gnats and mosquitoes. The dish soap creates a surface tension that gets rid of fruit flies by drowning them. Change the water daily.

Drain Fly Trap

Some fruit flies hide in sink drains, and so do gnats, but it’s not convenient to place a trap in these. Instead, pour a 50-50 mixture of hot water and white vinegar down the drain to kill drain flies and any eggs they’ve laid. Do this daily for two weeks.

How to Keep Fruit Flies Away

Once you’ve done the work to get rid of fruit flies in your home, keep them from coming back with these preventative measures.

1. Keep Your Counters Clean

Fruit flies will feast on spilled wine, cookie crumbs, and juice- just about anything sweet. Clean your counters at least once a day so they don’t turn into a snack bar for the pests. Try this homemade natural all-purpose cleaner. Adding peppermint essential oil to it will help deter other household pests.

2. Wash Fruit Right Away

Fruit flies piggyback their way into our homes on bananas and melons more than any other fruits. Use a fruit and vegetable wash to clean produce if you’re keeping it on your counter or in a fruit bowl.

3. Cover Fruit Bowls

A fruit bowl on the counter is a great way to encourage your family to eat healthy snacks. However, if left uncovered, it turns into a breeding ground for fruit flies. If you plan to keep fruit on the counter, cover it with a cake dome, an overturned bowl, or plastic wrap to keep fruit flies from it. The same goes for onions — they’re full of sugars — so either refrigerate them or keep them in a closed container.

4. Deal with Odors Immediately

If it stinks, it attracts fruit flies. Clean your drains, garbage disposal, litter boxes, and dirty toilets regularly. For help locating potential sources of odors, check out this list of 48 places in your home that can stink.

5. Repeat For Two Weeks

With hundreds or even thousands of new fruit flies hatching every day, you’ll need to be diligent for a couple of weeks about using these homemade fruit fly traps, depriving them of food, and keeping them from favorite breeding places. After you’ve eliminated fruit flies in your home, stay on top of the steps to keep their breeding areas clean, and you’ll be rid of them for good.

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  1. Hi so a few days ago I bought bananas, a few fruit flies where around it and I thought nothing of it.. because I’ve never had them before. Then more an more came annoying me and my bf in the room the kitchen living room everywhere. So yesterday I doused the house in essential oils / lavender. And put ACV in bowls w dish soap in every room. Cleaned every drain with bleach/ hot water/ and all types of disinfects lol. But still there’s a few I see through out the day. I am mostly vegan and I need fruit . I wanted to go get some today but I’m scared one might hatch more. When is it safe to buy fruit again? And how should I go about it? It’s been a few days. Please help me thank you!

  2. A couple years ago, I did try apple cider vinegar with a couple drops of dawn in an uncovered bowl. It did not work.
    I then had about 8 oz of apple cider vinegar left in the original bottle. I out 3 drops of dawn in there and shook it up. Then, put plastic wrap tightly over the top of the bottle and used a toothpick to make about 5 small holes. They disappeared so fast, I have been doing that ever since.

    You must change it out a few times during your infestation though or the dead flies will soak up all the liquid and eventually live flies lay eggs on the the dead and the new flies have a food source (eww) and eventually , being strong, figure a way out of the holes.

    Don’t leave any food out. They will eat onions, potatoes, any remaining food of any kind on dirty dishes. Do the dishes right away. Keep your kitchen can clean. Has to be washed once a week. Can put essential oil in the bottom of it, the ones listed above. Rinse recycling or take it right outside, especially beer or pop cans. Clean pet’s wet food dishes right away.

    Goodd luck!