How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies


Those buzzing, pesky, little fruit flies are the last things you want to find in front of your face — especially when you’re cooking dinner or sitting down to breakfast. And for such little pests, they sure prove a tough challenge to get rid of once they arrive.

Fruit flies reproduce at a rate that can only be described as astonishing: According to Orkin, a pest control company, female fruit flies lay hundreds of eggs in a very short time, commonly on moist foods like overripe fruit and vegetables. Then, within 24 to 30 hours, those eggs hatch into larvae, or maggots, that feed on the food source on which they were laid. Within about a week those larvae become sexually active and not more than two days later, start the cycle over again — leaving you with way too many fruit flies to stomach.

Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to get rid of fruit flies indoors fast — maybe not instantly, but certainly in one day or overnight — using fruit fly traps that you can DIY at home. All it takes to stop these irksome insects in their tracks is some strategic cleaning and a few household supplies.

First of all, what causes fruit flies in the house?

According to the experts at Orkin, fruit flies are attracted to ripe, rotting or decayed fruit and produce, as well as fermented goods like beer, liquor and wine, but they can also inhabit trash cans and garbage disposals if sufficient food is present — which is why you might struggle with fruit flies in the kitchen sink.

And, unfortunately, considering their reproductive prowess, this means those two tiny fruit flies will quickly multiply into a critter problem that can feel almost impossible to control.

To cut off fruit flies from their food source and prevent them from entering your home, take these preventive measures to avoid getting fruit flies.

  • Throw out overripe produce
  • Store fruits and veggies in the fridge
  • Wash produce as soon as you get home to remove any potential eggs or larvae
  • Take out the garbage regularly
  • Clean up spills ASAP, especially fruit juice or alcohol

    How to get rid of fruit flies using a DIY fruit fly trap

    A fruit fly trap is a very effective solution — and one that can be assembled in as few as five minutes. These DIY traps can also be tailored to suit what you already have on hand, eliminating the need for a hasty trip to the grocery or hardware store.

    First, you may want to double-check that your pests in question aren’t drain flies, which lurk around drains or garbage disposals, or fungus gnats, which prefer overwatered houseplants. For those critters, you’ll want to check out our guide for how to get rid of gnats.

    Fruit flies usually appear light or dark brown in color with red eyes. If you’re sure you’ve identified the critters correctly, then try one of these effective remedies to get rid of fruit flies in your kitchen.

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    1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Plastic Wrap

    Drink, Liquid, Yellow, Orange juice, Juice, Orange drink, Orange soft drink, Glass, Liqueur, Whiskey sour,

    Danielle Daly

    For this DIY fruit fly trap, apple cider vinegar is more effective than white vinegar, since it’s a touch sweeter. They can’t resist the scent of vinegar, and they won’t be able to exit once they’re inside! For an even better chance at success, make several of these traps and place them around your kitchen. Here’s how to do it:

    1. Pour a little apple cider vinegar into a glass.
    2. Cover the opening with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.
    3. Poke a few small holes for the fruit flies to enter.

      1. 2. A paper cone, vinegar and old fruit

        Aqua, Turquoise, Liquid, Drinkware,

        Danielle Daly

        The smell of rotting produce will help entice the fruit flies into the mixture, but the cone part of this fruit fly trap makes it difficult for them to get out. Do it yourself:

        1. Place a little vinegar and a chunk of very ripe fruit in a jar.
        2. Roll some paper into a cone and stick it into the jar, placing the narrow opening down. (You can recycle or compost the homemade funnel afterwards.)

          1. 3. Vinegar and dish soap

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            Danielle Daly

            If you find your fruit flies impervious to your plastic wrap or paper cone traps, try adding three drops of dish soap to a bowl of vinegar and leave it uncovered. The soap cuts the surface tension of the vinegar so the flies will sink and drown.

            4. Old wine or beer

            Like vinegar, fruit flies love the smell of wine. Try leaving out an open bottle with a little leftover liquid — the skinny neck will keep the flies trapped. The Old Farmer’s Almanac also recommends using stale beer to attract fruit flies to a DIY trap. Add a couple of drops of dish soap to either for surer success.

            5. Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch

            Flypunch Fruit Fly Trap

            Aunt Fannie’s


            The chemists in Good Housekeeping Institute were excited to see this product cross their desks, especially senior chemist Sabina Wizemann, who found that it worked better in her home than other DIY remedies she’s tried.

            The mixture uses the active ingredients sodium lauryl sulfate (a surfactant used in soaps) and malic acid (found in fruit) and comes in a stand-up jar. All you have to do is open the top, set it on your counter and “watch the cycle of life unfold.”

            Can I just use bleach kill fruit flies?

            If you notice fruit flies in your drain, you might be looking for an instant fix — like pouring bleach down the drain. But experts say this isn’t the most effective solution. Doing so might kill some larvae, but it will not kill enough of the eggs or larvae to eliminate the problem. That’s because bleach passes down the drain too quickly to do a thorough job. You’re better off using one of the traps above!

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