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Dave Jepson, AlamyDave Jepson, Alamy

How could such tiny creatures be such a big nuisance? Here are a few sweet solutions for warding off these summertime pests.

It takes a lot to rattle me. But fruit flies in my kitchen can make me start swatting around like a mad woman, cursing those little flying insects. Fruit flies are attracted to food -- mainly rotting food, fruit and sweets. And they're not just annoying; they also spread germs. Ick.

Minor Fruit Fly Problem
If the fruit flies have not completely taken over and you want a simple solution, try one of the following. I've tested each of these fruit fly tricks with some success:

-- In a bowl, mix 1" of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap. Place the dish in the affected area over night. The flies will be attracted to the strong smell of the apple cider vinegar and will become trapped by the dish soap.

-- If fruit flies are feeding on something in your drain, try vinegar ice cubes. Simply freeze vinegar in ice cube trays (you might want to dilute the vinegar a bit with water to make sure it freezes), and drop the cubes down your garbage disposal.

-- In a bowl, pour 1 inch of red wine. Cover it with plastic wrap, and secure the plastic with an elastic band. Poke a few holes in the plastic so the flies can get in.

Major Fruit Fly Infestation
The last family of fruit flies that invaded my kitchen were particularly taunting. I tried all my usual solutions, but couldn't get rid of them. Then I discovered the mother of all fruit fly traps.

Before you can lure fruit flies into the trap, you'll want to make sure you clean away all other food sources (besides the one you're using to lure them). Empty the garbage (you should do this every day), put away all food in tightly sealed containers or the fridge, get rid of soiled dish cloths, and wash your counters, sink and dirty dishes.

Now you're ready to build the fruit fly trap. Here's how:

rotten bananaGetty Images

What you'll need:

-- Fruit, nearly rotten is best.
-- 250 ml. pop bottle
-- A piece of paper
-- Tape


1. Place the rotten fruit in the bottle.
Squish it in -- the nastier the better. Use bananas, rotten berries, chunks of apple, a splash of red wine; the options are endless!)
2. Roll the paper into a funnel shape. Trim it if necessary and tape it together.
3. Put the funnel in the bottle. Seal the rim with tape.

The fruit flies will be tempted by the rotting fruit, fly in, and not be able to get out. It will take a few days to get every last one, but in time, it will completely rid you of the fruit fly infestation. Some people add a touch of dish soap so the flies die quickly; others let them finish their life cycle purging on the rotten fruit; still others choose to release them down the road. The important part is getting them out of your kitchen.

What's your method of choice for warding off fruit flies?

  • Mojack

    Right now at the present moment, I have about 30 fruit flies at the bottom of a wine glass that was filled half way with Chardonnay and sitting on our kitchen counter. I have tried different wines (except red) and they love Chardonnay but won't go near Riesiling. I discovered the Chardonnay trick by accident a few years ago when I was having a dinner party and several us found some fruit flys in our Chardonnay which had been sitting on the table after dinner. Ever since then whenever we have fruit flies I get a wine glass out (other glasses don't seem to work) fill it half way with Chardonnay, and let those suckers go to town with the wine and eventually drown. It works wonders!!!!

  • Zhenya

    I knew there was a reason why I bought a bottle of Two-Buck-Chuck wine...

  • Michael

    I use what Billy the Exterminator would!

  • Chris

    put a little vinegar on a plate - one that is kinda tapered then leave it under a light at night- i use the vent light over the stove the next morning it is covered with the dead little critters

  • Brena

    I used to work at a produce dept. for a large grocery store merchant. We constantly battled fruit flies. Unable to rinse the fruit of the eggs,or chemically treat, we looked for food safe remedies. The day the fruit came in we loaded up the crates and headed for the deep freezer. We left the fruit in the freezer (-30*) for 5 minutes. No harm to the fruit, but the eggs were killed, and little to no problems with new hatchings of fruit flies. I'd suggest when you bring home your fruit - try putting it in the freezer for 5 minutes and then rinse it off. Further note : always wash your fruit and vegies before consuming - everything is so dirty from shipment.

  • chris

    get rid of all fruit then turn up the a.c or keep the heat turned down low in the winter., They don't survive too long in the cold.

  • Hannah

    I use a method similar to that of the pop bottle...but much simpler. All you need is a large mason jar...a coffee filter....and rotting/smelly fruit. Just cut a small triangle into the bottom of the coffee filter then place it in the top of the mason jar (part of the coffee filter should be left out of the jar to wrap over the lip of the jar). take the outter rim of the jar's lid, and screw it back on top of the coffee filter and WAH LAH!...the flies begin to collect in less that 5 mins and cannot escape back through the small funnel-like hole...making it easy to collect the lil buggers!

  • wayne

    i asked a friend of mine if he had killed a million flies he said he didn't know i asked have u killed two he said yeah then i said u have killed a million then

  • Lisa

    They love sourdough bread starter; I put 1 tbs of starter (or an over-ripe banana) inside a large white bowl, which is laying on its side. I can easily see the gathered fruit flies against the white bowl, so can more easily catch them with the hose of my vacuume cleaner. They can't escape through the tilted bowl. With a severe infestation, it takes a couple of episodes with the vaccume (some always scatter when the hose gets near), but it is a quick fix. I plan to try the trap when next needed; thanks!

  • Mea

    I tried the vinegar trick over and over and although I killed thousands they just kept coming. I didn't even have any fruit or vegetables out but they would come in the den and fly around too. the only thing that stopped them was winter coming. I don't know why - it was warm inside - but as soon as it got cold outside they were gone!

  • TIM



  • Pat

    Why waste a 1/2 glass of wine? Just put a small amount in a saucer. They're tiny critters and a shallow saucer creates a huge area relative to their size. The trap solutions listed above don't need more that 1/4 inch of wine AT MOST. I add a small amount of dish soap to break the surface tension and ensure their demise - and I mean a very, very small amount. A drop is PLENTY. The little buggers are causing us enough grief - let's not waste 1/2 glasses of wine or tablespoons of soap unnecessarily. I haven't tried white wine but red wine works fine for me.

  • Deb Kamrath

    To get rid of fruit flies pour bleach into your kitchen sink drains before you go to bed. If you have them really bad do the bathrooms too. By morning you will have no fruit flies.

  • Bobby

    Mint ,fruit flies do notlike the smell of mint. (it is an old produce trick )

  • tja

    I recently tried the wine/ applecider vinigar/soap trick. All the flies jus sat on the rim of the glass getting high off the fumes. Filling the glass or bowl right up to the top works a little better because it;s easier for them to fall in...............still it did not work all that well

  • Sheila

    They lay eggs on the rotting debris inside your drain and under the rubber gasket in your sink. Running ice cubes through the disposal then putting gut up lemons will get rid of them. Once a week you should pour in a little bleach to keep it cleared

  • John Heffley

    My son and I make a game out of it. We walk around with a wet/dry vac and suck them up when we see them. Must be all those video games we played or we have a strange sense of humor. It takes us a few days but it sure was fun.

  • john

    My preference for etting rid of the fruit flys works quick and effective you take a shotgun and shoot the lil beggers

  • eric

    The bottle trick worked for me but I used beer instead,you wouldnt believe the amount that I trapped,it was amazing.

  • scott

    I have tried many things to get rid of these things and the wine and vinegar does work though what I have come to notice working the best is just to get a few old glasses and put in a good amount of sugar then take some dish liquid and put in about a good tablespoon of that then fill with water to about 3/4 full. Then place those glasses in the areas which are bad.
    Each day I will see around 10 fruit flies in each glass.If you do this for a few days they should be gone. also if you have a washing machine close by to your kitchen that is an area to place one as well...they are always in the area of dampness=washingmachines.


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