Top 5 Tips to Eliminate Fruit Flies


Do you enjoy fruit, but hate the little flies that seem to accompany you home from the farmer’s market? They buzz around your fruit bowl, and your beer bottles, generally causing a nuisance. But, if you don’t take care of them you may see their numbers multiple in a matter of days.

You don’t have to take their invasion lying down. There are a few things you can do using products you may already have at home. Take back your kitchen and your life by trying these 5 tips today.

Why Are They in My Kitchen?

Fruit flies seem to appear as if by magic, don’t they? One day you are fly-free, and the next morning they are flying aerials around your fruit bowl. It’s not magic, though. They did come from somewhere, and the truth may be a little gross for you.

You see, there are a couple of ways they may gain entry into your home. The first way is by sneaking through windows via cracks and broken screens. The second way, however, is a bit unnerving: they come into your home by hitchhiking on fruits and veggies you buy at the market.

But you love those outdoor markets, right? And they are a great way to grab some fresh produce, but unfortunately the fruit flies think so, too. They lay their larvae on produce, especially fruit, and people like you take them home. In a matter of days, they go from eggs to adults, munching on that fragrant produce you love.

If you already have them in your kitchen there are a few ways to get rid of them. Check out these top 5 tips below:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

If your infestation is relatively small, you may want to try this one. First, grab a disposable cup, or cut the top two-thirds off of a plastic soda bottle. Pour about an inch or two of undiluted apple cider vinegar in the bottom of the cup.

Next, cover the top of the cup with plastic wrap. Make sure to secure it tightly with a rubber band, or tape, so that the flies can’t wiggle out of any cracks.

Lastly, poke small holes into the top of the plastic wrap. Make sure that the holes are small enough for the tiny flies to get in, but not big enough for them to wriggle back out. Try using a fork or the tip of a small knife.

Why it Works:

Fruit flies can’t resist the smell of apple cider vinegar. If you make the holes the right size, they will be able to get into the cup, but not back out.

2. Vinegar Trap: Alternate Soap Version

Are your flies stubborn? Maybe they are onto your plastic wrap trick? This is an alternate version of the previous trap.

Add two or three drops of dish soap to your bowl of vinegar. Leave it uncovered this time. Don’t worry, those little flies still won’t be able to escape. The soap changes the liquid’s surface tension and causes the flies to sink to the bottom of the bowl.

Just remember to use a small bowl that you don’t mind tossing, otherwise you may be dealing with nasty clean-up later.

Why It Works:

Similar to the plain apple cider vinegar trap, this one also attracts fruit flies. They can’t resist the smell. But rather than trapping them under a plastic wrap cover, they get caught in the liquid with lowered surface tension and drop to the bottom of the bowl.

3. Fruit and a Paper Cone

Next, if you want an organic option this one may be for you. Try putting a piece of overripe fruit and a little vinegar in the bottom of a jar. You can use an old mason jar, or anything similar lying around the kitchen.

Next, roll a piece of paper into a funnel, placing the narrow end into the jar. It’s more effective if you adjust the paper cone so that the jar is sealed.

Lastly, when it’s time to refresh the trap, or your flies are gone, you can toss the fruit and paper into a compost heap. It’s an environmentally-friendly alternative to using plastic wrap.

Why It Works:

Fruit flies are drawn to the smell of fruit and vinegar. When they swoop in for a quick snack, they won’t be able to find their way back out.

4. Sugar, Milk, and Pepper Brew

Want a different environmentally-friendly alternative? You can try this old fruit fly remedy. First, combine approximately 1 pint of milk, 4 ounces of raw sugar, and 2 ounces of black pepper. Boil it for about 10 minutes. Afterward, pour the mixture into a shallow dish and watch the flies flock to your brew.

Why It Works:

Like the other traps, this one attracts flies because of the scent. Unfortunately, they also can’t climb out of the mixture and drown quickly after investigating it.

5. Red Wine Bottle Trap

Finally, this last trap is an easy one if you’re a wine drinker. Simply keep a nearly empty wine bottle around, uncorked. No, you don’t need to waste your good red on these flies. You just need a few drops at the bottom to attract the flies.

Why It Works:

Aside from the fruit flies being winos, they love the smell of fruit. That includes fermented ones, too. They make their way into the bottle and can’t find their way back out. Don’t try it with white wine, though. Their tastes run a little darker.


There are a few ways you can prevent fruit flies in your home. Check out these tips to minimize infestations:

  • Keep your sink clean and clear of juice or produce scrapings
  • Toss out the garbage regularly
  • Toss empty beer and wine containers in the recycling bin, immediately
  • Eat fresh fruit quickly, don’t leave them sitting out or in the fruit bowl too long

Wrap Up

Fruit flies are a fact of life, but there are a few things that you can do to prevent or take care of them as they pop up. You may have everything you need in your kitchen right now. Take back your living space from these tiny invaders and try out a tip that works best for you.