Anyone who has ever left a few bananas sitting out or forgotten to change their garbage knows all too well the problem with fruit flies.
It seems that once they’ve invaded your kitchen, you can’t get rid of them.
You can scrub, clean, remove tempting fruit and spray the garbage can with disinfectants, but they always come back. You can’t help but cringe just looking at them.
We have always had problems with fruit flies, with one of the main reasons being that we live in an apartment and by law – must recycle.
Because of where we live, we have to keep our recycling containers inside until they can be disposed of once a week. If the recyclables aren’t cleaned well enough after being used, they make a perfect breeding ground for fruit flies.
They love bits of rotting food remnants and seem to thrive in even the smallest amount.
When fruit flies move in, they just don’t want to leave and will lay eggs in and on anything they can find – fruits & vegetables left on the counter, sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles & cans, garbage bags, and even mops and rags.
Editor’s Comment: I have tried this method of getting rid of fruit flies, and it really works! At this very moment I have a mason jar sitting on my kitchen counter trapping fruit flies left and right.
Fun Facts About Fruit Flies
– Can lay up to 500 eggs at a time
– Their entire lifecycle is complete in about a week
– While considered mainly a pest, they have the potential to contaminate food with dangerous bacteria
We all know that removing the food, getting rid of the garbage & cleaning up plays a big role, but we also know what it’s like to move a piece of fruit and have a swarm of fruit flies fill the air only to escape your attempts at killing them.
Where are they gonna go? Obviously the ones flying around can’t be easily captured or killed, so they’ll linger about until they find some other place to lay eggs and the whole cycle starts again.
Reader’s comment: My sister-in-law and I tried 20 different suggestions. The best 3 we found all involved dish soap (that’s what’ll do the killing instead of trapping). Along with the dish soap the 3 different things we used were beer (they love it), wine (they love that better!) and some ruby red grapefruit juice. Bananas and beer REALLY attracted them, but it wasn’t until we used the dish soap that it killed them. Good luck!…Lynda
How to Prepare a Fruit Fly Trap
In all my attempts, I found the best way to capture and remove the ones that escape is to create a simple trap using a jar, plastic wrap and a piece of food. Here’s how it works:
1. Get a small jar you don’t plan on using again ( like a baby food jar or something similar ) and wash it out well. Make sure it is not a jar with a funky smell such as a used pickle jar or anything that use to have strong spices. You want a clean, odorless jar.
2. Take a chunk of banana and place inside the jar. This is why you want a clean, odorless jar – so that the banana smell won’t be overpowered by other not-so-tempting smells. Banana seems to work the best, but you can experiment.
3. Fit a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the jar, making sure that it fits tight and well sealed around the edges. Then take a pen or pencil and poke 4 to 5 holes in the plastic, just big enough for a fruit fly to fit into. Once a fruit fly crawls in, it can’t get out. You would think they would just fly back out through the holes, but they won’t!
Reader’s comment: White vinegar in a container with plastic wrap over it, like in the banana tip, not only traps the fruit flies but, shall we say, euthanizes them! You don’t need to worry about maggots or the little buggers crawling out, or doing anything else for that matter!
A friend of mine passed this tip on to me when I had reached the end of my rope after battling fruit flies for two weeks. Quite prolific little pests!! Act quickly as they WILL search out other water sources in your home.
We had them not only in the kitchen but they migrated to the bathrooms as well…all three of them on floors above and below the kitchen! To the readers; good luck! To the creators of this site; thank you for the opportunity to learn and share!…Kari
4. Place the jar in an area where you have seen the most fruit flies. Depending on the amount of fruit flies you have, you can expect to start seeing the jar fill up within just a few hours. After 24 hours, you will discover just how bad your fruit fly problem is!
This simple, inexpensive & safe method works perfectly and if you don’t want the jar on public display, you can always slip it behind the garbage can, in the cupboard or even under the sink (Just don’t forget about it!).
You will want to empty the jar every 3-4 days before any eggs have a chance to hatch. While adult fruit flies can’t easily escape through the holes, their maggots can very easily, and besides that – they are disgusting to see crawling around in the jar. You don’t want to see these things crawling on your counter!
Cleaning out the jar shouldn’t be a problem. If you have a kind heart, you can choose to let them go outside.
Personally, I spray the little buggers with bug spray, wash out the jar and start the whole process over again if I think there are still some fruit flies left to capture.
For bad fruit fly problems, you will want to use this method for a good two weeks to make sure you’ve captured the majority of fruit flies.
You might even want to use a few jars in different places. Before long, your kitchen will be back to normal.
Article written by Carole Nickerson.
Reader’s comment: “I was recently visiting my sister for a week and couldn’t help notice the swarms of fruit flies in their house. It just happened that for dinner one evening, we had fresh cucumbers in vinegar. Call us lazy but we left the dish of vinegar out on the counter overnight.
The next morning it was black with fruit flies!!! Whenever we approached, a cloud of them would lift off. I put my thinking cap on and came up with a simple but very effective trap involving a mason jar, a funnel shaped coffee filter, some tape and some white vinegar (haven’t tried malt or cider yet).
I put about 1 inch of vinegar in the jar, put the coffee cone filter into the top and sealed it with tape around the edges. Then I carefully poked 2 or three small holes with a pen in the bottom of the cone and the “trap” was complete.
Very effective…and the beauty of this one is that there’s no smell escaping it. They go into the trap and eventually drown as it’s a “one way street” in.”…Shelley
Reader’s comment: “I work in a fruit fly research lab at UCLA. We set traps for escapees with vinegar, wine, or beer, using funnels on to of glass bottles.
Each evening, we swap out the bottles and put them into the FREEZER. Freezing the flies kills them. No harsh chemicals, and no worries of them finding their way back to your kitchen!”…Linda
Reader’s comment: “The best thing that I have found to to with fruit flies is this little thing involving red wine vinegar, white wine, beer, and dish soap. It smells horrible but it works perfectly. I have killed over 400 fruit flies with this.
First in a clean glass add in everything I listed above. If you don’t have red wine vinegar anything with the word “vinegar” will work good. Wait about two days. Then BAM over 100 fruit flies are in the glass. Leave the glass there for about a week then change glasses.
Don’t worry about health safety…give it a good wash in the dishwasher 3 or 4 times and it will be good. You don’t need a funnel for this one it kills INSTANTLY!! Also put a separate glass of apple cider out that kills but no funnel necessary!! Thank you so much for creating this site!!”…Ashleigh
Reader’s comment: “Similar to other suggestions, I read about this tip and it is working. I fill a small glass with apple cider vinegar and two drops of dish soap. This serves to create a surface that they cannot fly from.
They drown and some sink–some don’t. I have even put one in a cabinet above where we usually kept the fruit (now in the frig) and found them inside the cabinet.
Ugh! I have been doing this for about five days and am finding less but still some everyday. Not sure how long it will take but I will keep the glasses out forever if I need to. This method does not need a funnel or tape or a bottle. They just land and drop. Good luck.”…Rosemary
Reader’s comment: “All of these tips are great and work…most having the same concept: vinegar, wine, and beer.
However, I experimented with all of the ingredients in different bowls around the kitchen and found some worked better than others but didn’t alleviate the problem completely.
Reader’s comment: “I experimented with all of the ingredients in these traps in different bowls throughout my kitchen, and came to find out balsamic vinegar is THE KEY! That smell to them is a magnet.
Try it with the funnel method, but in the bottom pour balsamic vinegar with a piece of skinless fruit (skinned piece of peach or banana), and watch how fast they swarm to it.
We’ve tried everything from scrubbing the drains and sinks with bleach to spraying Lysol all over the place and this really works”…Celanie
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