How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies

August 9, 2013 | By | Comments (30)

Bug net

Noticed fruit flies buzzing around your kitchen counters? Here’s how to get them to buzz off:

First shut the doors and windows to let outdoor flies know that the buffet is closed. (Don’t rely on screens; fruit flies can fit through the holes.) Next, spritz the areas where you’ve seen them, including the bottoms of trash cans and cracks in the floorboards, with all-purpose cleaner, then wipe with a paper towel. This will rid your home of decaying organic matter, which is what attracts flies and is where they breed. And next time you put out food, stick an oscillating fan near the dishes to discourage flies from landing. Finally, adhere to a stringent cleaning routine. Scrub trash cans weekly, take out the garbage often, and mop the floor and wipe down the counter every night.

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  1. Lori

    A bowl of apple cider vinegar with a drop of dish detergent works wonders!

    August 9, 2013 at 7:45 pm
  2. Becca

    Fruit flies breed in drains, so try pouring half a cup of bleach down your kitchen drains once a week.

    August 10, 2013 at 7:25 am
  3. christinapertz1

    Apple cider vinegar inside a jar. Make a cone shape from paper and stick it inside without touching the liquid and sealing off the rim of the jar. They can get in but not out! Rids you of them in a few days. Its worked for a major infestation.

    August 10, 2013 at 11:42 am
  4. Linda

    Tablespoon apple cider vinegar with a drop of Dawn dish soap in a jar. Fill with tap water so that you have a good foam on the top. The fruit flies will get trapped in the foam. I got rid of many flies overnight this way.

    August 10, 2013 at 11:52 am
  5. boomdava

    Reblogged this on boomdava and commented:
    So many fruit flies near my organic bananas!

    August 10, 2013 at 9:15 pm
  6. Sally

    Fruit fly eggs are usually brought into your home on the ends of bananas. When you get your bananas home, put them in the sink and rinse them at the ends and where they are attached at the top. You will never see one again

    August 12, 2013 at 1:45 pm
  7. Jill

    The article wasn’t helpful (cleaning, really??), but the comments are. I also use apple cider vinegar in a wide-mouthed glass, put dish soap down the inside rim and run water over it to make foam. Fruit flies are attracted to the vinegar smell and get caught in the bubbles.

    August 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm
  8. Ashley

    I agree, the article wasn’t very helpful, but thank you to all the knowledgeable commenters!

    August 12, 2013 at 6:01 pm
  9. Ellie

    I’m with everyone– i really didn’t need this article to tell me to clean my house to get rid of fruit flies! Hello! The comments were very helpful though. Thank you. Will try the vinegar. My cat’s food attracts them like crazy (she is a nibbler throughout the day).

    August 15, 2013 at 11:49 am
  10. K

    Why is it the woman in the picture appears to be topless? Is that necessary for an article about fruit flies???

    August 15, 2013 at 11:54 am
  11. Margaret

    You’re right Jill and Ashley – article not helpful at all but comments are. You can also put a peach pit (or another piece of fruit) inside in a small cup, cover with plastic wrap, bind the top rim (just below) with a rubber band and poke a small hole (gently press pencil) in the top of plastic wrap. They make their way in to find the fruit, never make it out. I thought I only had about five or six, when I woke up the next morning there were at least 20 in there.

    August 15, 2013 at 11:58 am
  12. Ali

    You want me to mop my floor every night? Not happening.

    August 15, 2013 at 12:06 pm
  13. B

    FRUIT FLY TRAP. Take a small container (I used a 3 oz cup) and put some cut up bananas or any other fruits that are attracting the flies, inside. Tightly cover the container with plastic wrap. Use something pointy (skewer or chopstick) to poke a small hole in the middle of the plastic wrap. Place this near your fruit. After a few hours you will notice you have trapped most if not all of the flies.

    August 15, 2013 at 12:08 pm
  14. Ronifae

    Whenever I bring fresh fruit into the house, I soak them in a solution of vinegar/water for about 20 minutes. That gets rid of any fruit flies/eggs but it also kills any mold so your fruit stays fresh longer. The vinegar will evaporate and not leave any lingering flavor to the food.

    August 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm
  15. B

    Just saw Margaret’s post. Sorry to be redundant, but it really works.

    August 15, 2013 at 12:11 pm
  16. Ruth

    Agreed – this article is the slowest way to get rid of fruit flies. The best is in comment one: bowl of apple cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap!

    August 15, 2013 at 12:36 pm
  17. Ruth

    Also, I’m just going to quickly add that you don’t actually need to foam the dish soap at all, like several commenters have said. That seems logical, but the reason dish soap + vinegar works is because the flies are attracted to the vinegar, and typically they can land on the surface tension of the liquid and feed on the vinegar without drowning. However, the dish soap kills the surface tension so they fall in and drown. Foam is not necessary!

    August 15, 2013 at 12:38 pm
  18. Thelma

    I use half apple cider vinegar and water in a ball jar,cover with plastic wrap,secure wrap if needed, poke holes in plastic with a toothpick. They can get in but not out. Works great!

    August 15, 2013 at 12:40 pm
  19. suprfinesunshine

    I leave a few tablespoons of wine in the bottom of a wine bottle and leave it out overnight. All the fruit flies are floating in it by the morning.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm
  20. Star Bricker

    I worked in the produce department for years. A “professional” fruit fly trap was a closed plastic cube with a hole in the top…and had nothing but vinegar scent on the inside. It’s really the only way…trap the little suckers. I keep a custard cup with vinegar, water and a drop of soap in it all summer long. Apple cider vinegar seems to work best. Fruit flies come in on just about every single piece or pack of produce you bring home. The worst were grapes, grape tomato boxes, and bags of potatoes.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:50 pm
  21. Terri H

    It is not how clean the house is, or how dirty it is, when you keep fresh fruit out in the open, or in the garbage can they will come, all we ever did was keep the fruit in the fridge until we wanted to eat it, let it sit for a bit and have at it. I have found that most fruit can be stored in the fridge for a little while, at least if it is not eaten before that. :) Even leaving a empty banana peel will attract flies, just make sure you take the garbage out each night.

    August 15, 2013 at 3:52 pm
  22. Terry H.

    Article not helpful. Great comments. I’ve done the apple cider vinegar treatment severla times over the years and it works. Yes, keeping kitchen and floors clean is important (duh?) but once the fruit flies emerge, it’s hard to get rid of them except for the vinegar trick. Usually takes a couple of days for the trap to get of them all, but does works.

    August 15, 2013 at 7:07 pm
  23. Janine Bowen

    I have experimented with a variety of methods as I am being driven berserker at my office which adjoins a potato-chip distribution center.

    THE BEST METHOD – SIMPLE BUT WORKS…heat a small amount of apple cider vinegar until just warm and pour a small amount in the bottom of a disposable cup (I used styrofoam). Unroll one of those disgustingly sticky fly tapes and place in a random, crumpled configuration above the vinegar. Laugh fiendishly as the first fly sticks even before you place the cup in a location where the most flies are occurring. I placed 10 of these in my office and it was the only thing that didn’t rely on their actually entering a small hole or diving into the vinegar. If they manage to get down to the vinegar they usually don’t get back out, but use two tapes for a larger cup.

    I created this after trying everything, including a small computer fan turned upside down above vinegar in a tupperware that was topped by an electrically charged fly swatter. That worked, but this is cheaper (no batteries required :-)

    August 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm
  24. Judy H.

    I clean my kitchen counters thoroughly everyday and the floor once a week. I do not have a kitchen trash receptacle inside my kitchen, it is in the adjoining butler’s pantry. I don’t thing cleanliness is the problem; the fruit flies, especially in the summer are the problem. I’m glad you wrote this totally useless article because I’ve gotten SO many great tips from the comments, I see there are many solutions to the problem. Commenters: Thank you so very much!!

    August 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm
  25. Ankit Zadi

    We have a severe problem of fruit flies at home. I also tried screening, but it didn’t worked for me, they are so minute that they can go though the screen. :(
    Thanks for sharing the oscillating fan method, will try it and will share the results.

    August 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm
  26. sams

    I read about this remedy: put a cup of apple cider vinegar and a squirt I’d liquid dishwashing soap in a bowl. Flies will visit the vinegar. The soap somehow keeps them in there, where they drown. It’s simple, cheap, and quite effective.

    September 23, 2013 at 12:51 am
  27. sams

    I read about this remedy: put a cup of apple cider vinegar and a squirt I’d liquid dishwashing soap in a bowl. Flies will visit the vinegar. The soap somehow keeps them in there, where they drown. It’s simple, cheap, and quite effective.
    This actually works. My glass is full of and my fruit is not. Thanks.

    September 23, 2013 at 12:51 am
  28. rebecca40

    I have been battling fruit flies for months. I suspected they originally came in on bananas so I stopped buying bananas. Too late, I guess, because they are still here.. We hardly ever leave food lying around so now I’m wondering if they are around because of the cat’s food dish. However, she likes to eat a lot throughout the day so I can’t take her dish away. (How do I get around this hurdle??)The vinegar in the little trap worked for the majority of flies but there are always a few wicked ones that won’t go in the trap. I am going to try to freeze them to death today by opening all the windows. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what else to try. :(

    January 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm
  29. Get rid of fruit flies

    Some great tips and your right about having a strict cleaning routine. Others to add would be using potted herbs like mint, basil and lavender. The odours given off by these herbs repel fruit flies.

    You could also use some food grade DE to get rid of fruit flies.

    May 19, 2014 at 4:27 am
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