Get Rid of Fruit Flies With This Step-by-Step Guide

Lauren David
Written by Lauren David
Updated November 19, 2021
Daughter and mom cut up apples for pie
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Make fruit flies a pest of the past

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If you’ve walked into your kitchen to find tiny, pesky fruit flies flying around, then you know it’s time to clean out your fruit bowl. 

Fruit flies are attracted to overripe, rotting, or decaying fruits and vegetables, but they can also be attracted to spills or residue on your counters, drains, sinks, garbage disposal, or in the recycling bin. But with plenty of patience, some deep cleaning, and creating easy fruit fly traps, you’ll be able to get the situation under control.

1. Remove All Overripe Fruit or Vegetables

Figure out what fruit, vegetables, or residues are attracting the hovering fruit flies. Once you’ve found the cause of your woes, eliminate their food source by throwing them out, stat.

2. Scrub Down All Surfaces

Clean kitchen counters
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Wipe down the countertops and all other surfaces to get rid of any pooling liquid, old spills, or sticky residue. You should also sanitize trash cans, recycle bins, and compost bins. Don’t forget to scrub the sink and clean your garbage disposal—these could have residue that’s attracting the flies as well.

3. Create a Natural Trap

Apple cider vinegar makes the perfect fruit fly trap because the insects are drawn to its fruity, sweet scent. Pour the vinegar into a small bowl or glass and cover the top with plastic wrap. Secure the plastic wrap with a rubber band and poke several small holes into it (using a pen or pencil works well).

The holes give the flies a way to follow that irresistible scent, but make it difficult for them to exit the bowl.

4. Mix Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish Soap

Another easy method is to combine apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap in a small bowl. The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and go straight to take a drink. But when they land on the golden liquid, the soap causes them to sink and drown. Place this DIY fruit fly trap in several areas of the kitchen and watch it work its magic.

5. Use Wine or Beer

If you have a near-finished bottle of wine or a few sips left of your beer, leave the bottle uncovered where the flies are hovering. Fruit flies will be drawn to the yummy-smelling fermented beverage. But once inside the bottle, they’ll struggle to fly back thanks to the narrow bottleneck, keeping them trapped inside.

6. Buy a Fruit Fly Trap

If you’ve tried a DIY fruit fly trap and it’s not acting fast enough, you may want to opt for a store-bought trap. There are several different options available, including sprays or sticky traps.

No matter which method you choose, patience and diligence are key. Fruit fly traps are effective, but it can take several days to a week before all the flies are gone.

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