The Easiest Way to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

how to get rid of fruit flies

I didn’t use to have a problem with fruit flies, or maybe I just didn’t notice them until a few years ago.  Or maybe it’s just because I get more fruit from farmers markets that I seem to always have fruit on the counter.  But possibly, it’s just all the tropical fruits coming into season at the store: bananas, watermelons, mangos, etc.

Regardless: fruit flies are so annoying.

Fortunately, I have a very simple way to get rid of them.  Most of the ways you can find on the internet are too complicated.  All you need are simple items that you probably already have on hand at home: a bowl, a piece of fruit, juice or wine, plastic wrap, and a skewer or toothpick.

I think I first found this trick via Cheeseslave, but since using it I have found that if I don’t have a bottle if wine open, it’s easier to just use juice and the fruit flies like it just fine!

  1. Take a glass bowl and put a piece of ripe fruit in it.
  2. Pour about a 1/2 cup to a cup of either wine or juice over the fruit.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and pull very tight so the surface is completely flat.
  4. Poke little holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick or wooden skewer.

Tips:  Make sure you use a glass bowl so the plastic wrap can stick really well to the bowl and pulled taut.  For the fruit, use a pear or a banana or a piece of melon; something with a lot of sugar that the fruit flies loooove.

The flies will not be able to resist the sweet smell and when they climb into the little holes they won’t be able to figure out how to escape.

After you collect several fruit flies, which usually takes a day or so, you can take the bowl out to your large trash can* and just dump the bowl into it and take it back inside to fill it again with a little juice and fruit again for the remaining fruit flies.  Good luck!

*Amended to add: or to the compost heap outside!  That’s a much better place, but I admit I don’t compost currently.

I have used a banana and pears with wine, and bananas with pineapple juice (I had some on hand from making Pina Coladas from my cocktail book!)  Works like a charm every time!

Other Tips to Get Rid of Fruit Flies:

  1. Put all your fruit in the fridge.  If you have room, this is one of the best ways to remove fruit fly breeding grounds.
  2. Make sure all your dishes are rinsed and put in the dishwasher.  Even if your dishes are rinsed, if they are in the sink they can attract fruit flies to hide and proliferate.
  3. Wipe down your kitchen counters, and the shelves in your pantry.  You never know where those fruit flies might be hiding, so go on a hunt to being them out of hiding.
  4. Smack ’em!  Fruit flies aren’t fast, so grab a fly swatter and get the ones you can, or just clap your hands and try to catch them.
  5. Make sure your trash cans and recycling cans are completely covered so the fruit flies cannot hang out there.
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  1. I use banana and red wine vinegar :o)

  2. Ahhh, this is so much easier than the method I use! I’m wondering about tip number 5, though. Way to leave us hanging! 😀

  3. Katherine says:

    ACV works equally well to attract the buggers…

  4. I would amend to take the bowl full of fruit flies to your composter or chickens or vermicomposter – way to good to go in trash.

  5. Katherine says:

    They also can’t resist kombucha. We batch brew and have used the dregs at the bottom. 🙂

  6. Rebecca says:

    If you don’t want to actually kill the flies its just a easy to leave out the liquid and just use fruit. They can’t seem to find their way back out of the holes, so you can just take them outside and open the plastic and watch them fly away. And you can reuse the fruit that way.

  7. A bowl of apple cider vinegar and some honey work wonders. A lot easier than dealing with plastic wrap!!! 🙂

    • You know, I’ve tried that way and it doesn’t work as well. Plus, my kids knock things over so I’m pretty glad to mess with plastic wrap!

  8. Aaah! I spent all morning researching this. I just planted a lot of herbs in pots and they are on my window sills in the kitchen. Fruit flies just appeared out of nowhere and seem to be in the dirt. I read that filling a jar 3/4 full with water and a tbsp of ACV helps, but I haven’t had any luck so far. I’ll be sure to try your method!! I also read that spraying/adding Neem to the soil helps. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I use a bottle or jar with juice or wine in the bottom, and tape a narrow funnel made from red or yellow paper (they seem to love those colors) to the opening. I’ve even gotten fancy and drawn lines & spirals to draw them down to the opening. I skip the fruit because it just makes an island they can hang out on, and they don’t die as quick. I’ve even used “pretty” jars in my cafe so that it looks less like a strange bottle full of dead bugs.

    Then I scrub out all the sinks and run scalding soapy hot water (and bleach, sorry) down the drains, and enact a “no standing water” rule for the sink & counter areas. between that and a flytrap jar by every sink they don’t stand a chance.

  10. Last year or the year before I had a horrible infestation of fruit flies… I tried every single trick in the book & nothing was helping me to any degree..

    A light bulb finally went off & I got my Dyson and took the wand and sucked every one of those little devils up.. repeatedly.. It got rid of most of them. It took a few days for me to get all the hatchlings, but I finally after weeks got rid of them in a couple days.. Each time I sucked up a bunch, I’d take the canister outside & dump it in my trashcan.. No more fruit flies for me!

  11. This one’s a keeper — and I am definitely passing it on. I hate to say this, but I’m almost looking forward to the annual fruit fly infestation so that I can try this.

    What am I SAYING?

  12. Gloria Little says:

    I accidently discovered this last summer. I had a bottle of homemade wine from a few years ago, and the plastic top was stressed and broke. The fruit flies loved the homemade wine-turned-to-vinegar, went in, and couldn’t get back out again. 🙂

  13. Colleen says:

    I just realized that fruit flies have shown up in my container garden outside where we have strawberries growing. I don’t know if they were in the soil and it took them a couple of weeks to hatch, or where they came from. My question is, should I try to get rid of them? Will they harm the plants, or the berries?


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