Tips for getting rid of those pesky fruit flies as posted from the ThriftyFun community. Post your own solutions here.
Put a dish with some basil in it next to your fruit bowl or just sprinkle some basil on the fruit. Fruit flies don't like basil.
Any bugs that suck on a plant can also be controlled by watering the plant itself with soapy water. The soap doesn't bother the plant, but the bugs hate it, and go way. In the old days, Granny would throw out the dishwater under the plants. No problem.
Alternatively, I just sprinkle the detergent on the soil around the plant before watering. Easy enough. If you're going to use the soda-bottle trap, why not dig a hole and sink it to ground level? Tell those fruit flies, "Let me introduce you to my little friend."
By the Oracle
These are really pesky aren't they? I take a small bowl and pour vinegar and just a drop of liquid dish soap into it. This attracts the gnats (fruit flies) and they can't get out because of the soap.
Another trick is to take a jar, glass (or whatever) and put a piece of banana in it, cover the top with plastic wrap, stretching it and holding it with a rubber band. Poke holes in the top with a toothpick. They can get in, but they can't get out. After a few days this gets really gross looking, but I have found it works. Good luck.
Here's one way to reduce fruit flies indoors: take a narrow-necked bottle, such as a plastic soda bottle. Put a piece of banana peel inside. Leave it sit, or lie on its side, overnight. In the morning, close it with the lid, and if you are quick, you will have trapped many of the nasty beasties. You can dispose of the bottle, or kill the critters and reuse it.
There is also that old standby, fly paper. You can get this in grocery and discount stores, four to six rolls for $1. I'm a miser, so I hang flypaper from the knobs of the ceiling vents, and save the tacks. It just so happens that I have ceiling vents in the most convenient places to trap flies -- over the sinks, and near light sources. Just be sure you don't get your hair stuck to the fly paper. I did that once, and it wasn't fun.
By Rose B, mother of three, in NC
Make a fruit fly trap. I use an empty juice (plastic) bottle or a gallon jug will work, too. Place inside things that will attract the fruit flies: Fruit peelings, small pieces of fruit, fruit juice, etc. It doesn't have to be a large amount of stuff. Then, make a paper "funnel" with a very small opening at the bottom and a rather large one at the top. Stick the small opening into the jug, and tape it in place securely, making sure the opening inside the jug doesn't get very big. Then set the jug out on your counter near where you've seen the fruit flies. They will be attracted to the smell, get inside and will be trapped when they try to get back out.
Sometimes this takes time to eliminate them, but it really does work. Just make sure that hole inside the jug is not large enough for them to find and get back through easily. When the flies are all caught, carefully shove the paper funnel down into the jug, and cap it off. Dispose of jug.
By Susan from Waverly, NY
I just stumbled across this site and I'm liking it. I am very thrifty here. I've made the fly traps mentioned above, I'd think a 2 liter bottle is a bit big, but I guess you can cut the bottle down to reduce the height.
The way I did it, before I learned of the upside-down soda bottle neck thing, was to cut off a circular corner of a plastic baggy, snip off the corner to make a hole and rubber-band it to the mouth of a wide-mouth glass jar with some banana peels or other strong-smelling fruit trimmings and a splash of wine in the bottom. I actually think this worked better because the hole was smaller - just large enough for the flies to crawl in.
You can use spoiled milk to catch those nasty black houseflies.
Because I have pets, I don't use anything toxic. So I put something like a piece of fruit (one that is overripe is best) in the Microwave. Leave it alone for a couple of hours with the door open. You guessed it, all the fruit flies will gather inside of the microwave and then you shut the door (fast) and "zap" them. Seriously, it works.
My boyfriend and I had a swarm of fruit flies in about every room of our house. We took a couple Tupperware containers, put in some vinegar (enough for the smell to be strong enough for them to be attracted to it), some dish washing soap (helps the flies to sink and die), and some water. Mix and place numerous Tupperware over the house. Let it sit for a few days. You will gradually see results, I promise.
I've tried the microwave thing and the pop bottle, and what I've found so far to be the best thing is this:
Take a pop bottle, cut off the top (where it's straight not curved) and don't forget to remove the cap. Fill the pop bottle with an inch or two of apple cider vinegar. Then take the top that you cut off, turn it upside down and stick it in the remaining pop bottle. Tape around the edges so nothing can escape. Put it in the most infested area and wait. The flies go in, but can't get out and eventually drown.
I have had just a swarm of them in my house. My daughter says that spraying just plain old alcohol around (just as you would insecticide) will kill them. I'm trying that and it does seem to have helped. I've also been keeping the drains in the sinks, bathtub covered as much as possible and that, too has helped. I don't have too many of the flies left in the kitchen or rest of the house. There is also a product to treat drain flies that you can get at a professional exterminators store that also helps.
By a Reader
First of all, Fruit flies and drain flies are the same. Second, if your using alcohol to try and control the problem you might like to read this:
"And once they're established in your house, they can sustain themselves on an impressive range of nutrients. They can live on the slime inside a sink drain. They can flourish on a sour mop. They'll eat damp flour or food fermenting quietly in a crack in the floor. They've even proven capable of existing on a diet of alcohol fumes, their bodies deploying a special chemical that converts the alcohol to nourishment before it can poison them."
I used Vicks Vapor Rub and put it at my door frames, window sills and anywhere else I saw the flies. They don't like the smell.
by E. Kane
I have had a battle with fruit flies this past week. Let me tell you, I swatted them, sprayed them with Windex, and then put baking soda in every drain in the house and followed up with vinegar. This will foam up and kill the varmints plus clean your drains. I then stopped up the drains for a day to avoid any new bugs who may have hatched.
I feel like a one woman swat team.
I have used this and it works. Take a very small jar like the ones that pimientos or mushrooms come in and punch several small holes in the lid. Pour a small amount of orange juice in it and cap it tightly. As they smell the orange juice, they go in and can't get out. Kind of gross but it works. At the end of the fruit fly battle just discard it. (08/27/2007)
At this time of year especially you have to be more aggressive with cleaning. Any overfilled trash cans will attract more flies so putting a fresh bag in more often helps. Vacuuming and mopping your floor with 1/2 cup of vinegar in the water is another idea. Spray counter tops and appliances regular as anything will attract them. I use a clean dish towel to cover my fruit bowl all the time. (08/28/2007)
I simply put about 1/4 inch of wine in a glass with a drop of liquid dish soap (doesn't have to be expensive wine). The wine attracts the gnats/fruit flies, they go in and drown. (08/29/2007)
A great, thrifty way to rid your house of fruit flies. Take an empty bread or produce bag, and place some fruit scraps in the bag. Leave the bag open on your table or counter. The fruit flies will fly into the bag and hang onto the fruit. Just pick up the bag, close it, and toss. Repeat as needed. Works every time. (08/31/2007)
I put a cup of water with a slice of apple in it over night on the kitchen floor and when I woke up there was at least 50 fruit flies in and on it. I sprayed one quick spray of Raid. Boom. Gone. (09/17/2007)
I finally figured it out. I tried the jar with plastic over it and that worked okay but this works better. Take a paper soup bowl. Place slices of banana in it. Get the stick fly paper. Unroll the fly paper and drape it around the bowl with the banana in it. This works great for me and I replace it every third day. Hope it works for you. (10/23/2007)
I have tried many of the above hints but have yet to eliminate the flies. I have a Plexiglass salt shaker on my kitchen counter and it draws as many fruit flies as the other traps I have placed around. I have no idea why salt draws them. They get in, but can't get out and soon die. If you can't see through your salt shaker, be careful before you use it. (07/12/2008)
I read this somewhere and it works pretty good get your hot blow drier and suck them in through the back fan part the hot burns them up on the way through. sound really graphic but it works well and fun way to pay back the little pests. Kids love to do this. (07/28/2008)
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