Easy Kitchen Tips – How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

I don’t know what is going on in YOUR kitchen, but around here it’s fruit fly city.  Seriously, how do the fruit flies even get into the house?  Does anyone know?  Do they hitch a ride on the back of the berry wagon or what?

Well anyway, there was a lady at the grocery store buying fly traps the other day {ewwww} and the cashier was telling her about how she uses apple cider vinegar to get rid of the fruit fly infestation at her house every summer.  So I listened {but didn’t say a word because fly trap lady was a little on the odd side} and then when I got home, I ran to the pantry and pulled out one of my free bottles of apple cider vinegar.

Holy Crap!  It works!

  • Step 1 – Place 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar in a cup.
  • Step 2 – Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Step 3 – Poke entrance hole into the top of the plastic wrap.
  • Step 4 – Wait {a few hours, days, until they are gone}.
  • Step 5 – Voila!  No more fruit flies!

Have YOU ever had a problem with fruit flies?  How did you get rid of them?

C’mon, we’ve all had them.  It’s okay.  We won’t tell your neighbors your house is riddled with bugs.

Too cool for vinegar and plastic wrap?

Check out these $20 fly lures on Amazon.com.  The neighbors will never know!



Related posts:

  • Like on FaceBook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Want to get more of this awesome goodness? Sign up here for the newsletter!


  1. Cynthia says

    I could have used this tip about three days ago! When I went into Albies on Tuesday for the chicken breast I was walking down an aisle to get to checkout and I saw the fruit fly traps. Well feeling like I had money to burn on other crap, I bought one. Ya it works but lets see, I must have 10 bottles of apple cider on hand!

    I also did a little research on fruit flies and found out they have a great sense of smell, DUH!, and they either come in with your fruit or through the smallest crack around a door or through your screens.

    FYI – alcohol works too, the drinking kind not the slapping on your skin kind.

    • Janet says

      After researching “fruit fly traps” on the Internet last night, I tried the new method I had not tried before: Apple Cider Vinegar, 3 drops of liquid dish detergent, and a jar. I was about out of vinegar so I only had enough vinegar to make 1/2 inch deep in the jar, I added the 3 drops of dish detergent that “breaks the surface tension” (that means the flies sink to the bottom and not float).

      I was totally amazed at how well this worked. No cover of plastic or funnel needed. The flies loved the vinegar. Success!

  2. Lucky L says

    Balsamic vinegar works great too. I usually cut my holes a little smaller (looks like the top of a salt shaker) so there is no escape!

  3. says

    we actually added a little dish soap to ours – and make sure the holes you poke are large enough for them to crawl into – the first time we did it, the holes were too small and the flies just sat on the top, hanging out!

  4. says

    once again you have perfect timing! i was just getting online to see if i could find a way to get rid of these pesky little flies inside my house. totally going to give it a try! fingercrossed-cause these little suckers are making me crazy! 😉

  5. Elizabeth F says

    If I end up with fruit flies I don not bother with the wrap, just put cider vinegar and a bit of dish detergent in a small bowl, like a 4oz Pyrex custard cup works great. Put it right behind the fruit bowl.

    We seldom have fruit flies, so not much of a problem. We even have out compost container by the sink (the “dirty side”) and it is open. I find leaving it open leads to less smells, less ookiess …I layer with shredded newspaper.

    Sometimes just to check to see it a fruit fly infestation is brewing I take the fruit bowl and slide it backwards against the wall, tapping it lightly. The startled fruit flies fly up and I smack them one after the other. Otherwise you will normally not notice them as they are content to settle in.

  6. Helen in Meridian says

    Hope this works because we have them too. Funny, they seem to be breeding in my ice maker. Each time I get ice, there are 3 on the ice and water in the glass. They seem to stay there, and I was too embarassed to ask for help. Do I need a clear jar or does it matter?

  7. Megan says

    Tried something like this, but my husband was bothered by the smell. So I’ve been doing this (http://www.theidearoom.net/2009/09/fruit-fly-trap.html), which works wonderfully!!

    Take a jar, and put a chunk of fresh fruit in the bottom. (I’ve been using banana.) Roll a piece of paper like a cone and put it in the jar, like a funnel. tape the paper cone to the jar. Fruit flies fly down to the fruit, and cant’s get back up.

    I change mine out every few days, keeping the fruit fresh. I stick the old jar in the freezer to kill the flies, before cleaning it out.

    Also, Here’s a good one for those ants that have been all over recently… (http://www.food.com/recipe/get-rid-of-ants-ants-ants-203233)

  8. Connie says

    Also, pour bleach down your drains at night after you’re all done running water for the day. They lay eggs in moist areas. The beach will prevent them from multiplying in your house!

  9. KimH says

    I’ve been having a fruit fly bloom the last 3 or 4 days… driving me batty.

    I use my handy dandy Dyson. I grab the wand, and place it about 1 inch from where they’re resting and sucked up they get…

    I doubt they can get out again, but Im not taking any chances. Outside into the garbage they go.

    I also put a damp dishcloth over the sink faucet and when I woke up, they were still sleeping, so I put a plastic bag over them fast and took them outside to fly free.
    That kept a whole slew of them out of my Dyson today. 😉

  10. says

    this is the neatest idea yet. i seldom have them in the house but i get these pesty little nats in my plants on the porch. yuck! i use dishsoap/water to spray on the leaves but they just find somewhere else to travel to.
    trying this soon.

  11. Kristin says

    These pesky critters breed in your drain pipes. While the vinegar and dish soap work to get the ones flying around, the eggs for the next batch are just waiting to hatch in your pipes. Pouring boiling water down both sides of the drain 3 times a week for about three weeks will get rid of the problem for the season. Just remember to always use your drain covers when either side of the sink is not in use.

  12. Sherry Lee says

    I take an empty 2 liter pop bottle and cut it in half. Flip the top of the bottle over and insert it into the bottom half of the bottle. Tape around the two. Pour apple cider vinegar inside along with a piece of fruit. Fruit flies can crawl in but can’t crawl back out. Works every time for me. Their eggs are on fruit you buy at the store like bananas or apples. For me this time around it was oranges. They hatch once you bring them home. That’s how we get them.

  13. Audrey says

    I think the fruit flies at our house are too smart for this. I tried it a while back, but using a paper funnel in a cup, as I’d seen on TV. They just sat on top of the funnel.

  14. Laurie Cortez says

    would this work for normal flies as well? I hate flies they are all over everything.Thank you.

  15. Marilyn Jaimes says

    I use a cup of pickle juice and just leave it on the counter I couldn’t believe how many were in the cup the next day!

    • says

      I love this idea because the pickle juice would otherwise be tossed. I will have to try this.

      I have been using the vinegar traps with a bit of liquid dish soap for some time now and it works really well. The dish soap breaks the surface tension of the water, insuring a drowned fruit fly.

      If you keep mass quantities of fruit, these little guys are unavoidable.

  16. Barb says

    I put a wine glass on the counter with a small bit of wine in it. Put plastic over the top with a few holes. I catch a lot of them. Each morning I have a bunch to eliminate.

  17. Susan says

    Thanks Mavis! I’ve lived in my condo for over 15 years and have never had fruit flies. This summer I went to band camp for a week and a friend was feeding my cats. Accidentally, a peach got left in my fruit bowl over my kitchen sink and it rotted. Did my friend notice???? I guess not. When I came home I was washing my hands, looked up and there was a huge swarm! I couldn’t believe it. It took about 3 weeks to get rid of the little buggers and they drove me crazy. Now I know what to do.

  18. Jessica says

    That’s a very good tip to have on hand. But I must confess that my true enemies are regular flies. I have dogs and no matter how many times a day I clean thoroughly the area (at least three), the nasty flies are always around. It’s not like we are infested, but I really hate the critters, so even one or two bother me a lot. Could anyone suggest something to get rid of regular flies, other than the bag full of water hanging on the window (not working) or the lemon and cloves (not working either), please?

    • Cecily says

      You can make your own chemical free fly strips. Combine 1/2 a cup corn syrup and 2 tablespoons each brown and white sugar in a glass pie plate. Zap in the microwave for 1 minute and stir. Tear a paper bag into strips, punch a hole at the top of each strip and tie on a 6 inch piece of twine. Soak the strips in the sugar mixture overnight (don’t soak the end of the twine). Take the strips out of the mixture and lay on a drying/cooling rack. Allow to dry until fully. Hang where flies are a problem.

  19. Randi says

    Female fruit flies are virgins for the first 8 hours of life. So if you vacuum them up or smash them, do it every 6-8 hours to abolish them. My kids are very good at this.

  20. Bobbi says

    I do this only I just add about 1/2 Teaspoon Dawn dish liquid stir and set the container on the kitchen window sill above the kitchen sink and don’t bother with the plastic. All of them are usually gone in 2 days. I think the Dawn acts like a glue once they touch it.

  21. christy says

    those of us that have a worm bin in the house (for vermicompost) have occasional fruit fly swarms too. we are told the flies hatch out from eggs present on the fruit’s peels…bananas seem to bring them along. along with the vinegar traps, i have a battery-run (wire mesh tennis racquet looking thing) electric fly swatter…which i love. it works on both fruit and house flies. the trick is to slowly move toward the fly and, with a flick of your wrist, sneak up on the critter. they only fly away if you swat fast, not slowly. this is much quieter than holding up a vacuum nozzle, and much more convenient. the swatters are sold cheaply at a discount hardware store (harbor freight). i have bought many as gifts…it is my favorite gadget.

  22. says

    I was wondering if you have any tips for getting rid of ants… we have done EVERYTHING we can think of and nothing seems to get rid of the ones coming in since it started warming up!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *