Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

You just bought some bananas or other fresh fruit at the market recently. Now you are seeing tiny spots before your eyes. Your kitchen is enveloped in a haze of tiny flying bugs. You probably have fruit flies. This is a guide about getting rid of fruit flies.
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13 found this helpful
August 19, 2011 Flag

I choose a pretty small vase that I can leave on the counter. Place a piece of banana or apple inside the vase, and wrap the top with plastic wrap. Poke a couple of small holes in the top, and leave beside the fruit basket. The flies will be drawn to the fruit in the vase - they'll walk right in through the holes, but they won't walk out.
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After you have caught numerous flies, you can hold the container under the tap, and put water through the holes. Turn the vase upside down and the flies will drown. You can then take off the plastic, clean, and redo. Good Luck.

By Sutle from North Vancouver, British Columbia

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3 found this helpful
March 13, 2011 Flag

Few things are more irritating than swarms of fruit flies hovering over the produce in your kitchen or pantry. Although primarily a nuisance, these tiny flies also have the potential to contaminate food with bacteria. Here are some quick, easy, and environmentally friendly tips for ridding your pantry and your produce of these unwelcome little pests.

Avoid Attracting Them

Fruit flies are attracted to all types of ripened fruits and vegetables. Not only do they feed on them, they also lay their eggs in them - up to 500 eggs in a lifetime (which from egg to adult lasts about 7 days). Although they prefer ripened fruits and vegetables, feeding and breeding can also take place in any type of moist, fermenting material. That includes things like sink drains, garbage disposals, empty beverage cans and wine bottles, and even damp mops heads, kitchen sponges, and dish rags.
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The first step to getting rid of fruit flies is to remove the things they need to survive:

So How Did They Get In?

At times it may seem like a fruit fly magically appears the minute you set your wine glass down. So how do they get into your house in the first place? Most infestations in the home originate from one of two places: from previously infested fruits or vegetables brought home from the store, or from rips and tears in window and door screens.

Steer clear of over ripened or bruised fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. Keep windows and doors in good repair and fitted with 16 (count) mesh screens to help prevent adult fruit flies from getting in from the outdoors.

An Easy Fruit Fly Trap

After removing all potential sources for feeding and breeding, use this trap to take care of any remaining adult flies.
  1. Fill one or more small jars with 1 inch of beer, wine, or Apple Cider Vinegar (not white vinegar). This fermenting liquid is your "bait".

  2. Place a plastic sandwich bag over the mouth of the jar, so that one corner reaches down into the jar just above the "bait" (you're creating a funnel).

  3. Poke a small, 1/8 inch hole in the corner of the bag with the tip of a pencil.

  4. Secure the bag around the rim of the jar with a rubber band.

  5. Place the jars around your kitchen or near your problem plants. Since you've already taken away their food supply and breeding grounds, the fruit flies will be searching for more. The "bait" will attract the fruit flies to the traps. They'll enter through the hole in the bottom of the funnel, and not be able to get out.

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6 found this helpful
August 16, 2010 Flag

I have a great way to get rid of flies, Apple cider vinegar. Put about a cup in a glass jar, set it in the corner of the area where you have flies, and right before your very eyes the flies will be gone with the wind.

Source: Windy William Show

By stasia from Berkeley, CA

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2 found this helpful
October 5, 2006 Flag

Fruit Flies! This will rid your house of them for good. I use it constantly.

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3 found this helpful
October 2, 2011 Flag

I tried the fruit in a pretty vase and the red-wine vinegar traps that you so graciously shared. Thank you. Although they attracted a few, the hands-down winner was using actual red wine.

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June 21, 2007 Flag

If you are plagued by those pesky little fruit flies and do not want to use chemical sprays in your kitchen, try this. Pour grape juice or red wine in a small container - about 1/3 full, cover the top with plastic wrap and punch holes in it large enough for the flies to enter.

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1 found this helpful
August 26, 2014 Flag

Wash all fruit thoroughly before storing, especially bananas! Your fruit fly problem will be quickly remedied.

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10 found this helpful
August 9, 2011 Flag

Fruit flies invaded our home recently. We tried everything imaginable short of spraying chemicals. We put out a variety of concoctions such as apple cider vinegar, juice, etc. as traps to catch and drown them.

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October 8, 2007 Flag

I found a great way to get rid of fruit flies. Just put a glass of wine on the counter overnight. In the morning it will be full of dead fruit flies. You may never have them again.

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4 found this helpful
September 6, 2013 Flag

I took my can of Pam spray and sprayed it where the flies were. Immediately they were downed. You can even get them in mid-air easily too.

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August 10, 2011 Flag

I killed a good many fruit flies by cleaning the outside of my fridge! It is stainless steel and I used a cleaner that is is oily. When I woke in the morning, little flies were all stuck to the fridge door. I just had to wipe it down and they were gone.

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4 found this helpful
August 10, 2010 Flag

I have begun to buy a lot of produce, since I started juicing a month ago. I began to notice more and more of those little fruit flies hanging around. You know the ones I'm talking about - they hover all around you, but are impossible to get rid of.

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2 found this helpful
September 6, 2011 Flag

We combined several methods we read about on this site and added some of our own. Modifying a suggestion by an anonymous contributor, we prepared three traps.

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1 found this helpful
April 9, 2012 Flag

To get rid of fruit flies, put out a saucer of vinegar and see bodies pile up.

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0 found this helpful
September 12, 2011 Flag

The best way to keep the fruit flies away is to get some mint leaves. Put them in the fruit basket along with the fruits. The fruit flies don't like mint.

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1 found this helpful
August 9, 2011 Flag

The best success I've had getting rid of fruit flies is to take a small bit of over ripe fruit, smoosh it in a small bowl, cover it with water, and leave beside your sink over night.

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Videos

23 found this helpful
December 20, 2011 Flag

This homemade video shows you how to make a simple but effective fruit fly trap.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

2 found this helpful
February 1, 2012 Flag

We have tried everything to get rid of fruit flies. Any more ideas?

By Laura

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February 2, 20120 found this helpful
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The above works fine but cover the jar with plastic wrap and poke a small hole. I just stuck it with my fingernail or a pencil. Bugs go in and are too stupid to get out.

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2 found this helpful
May 11, 2011 Flag

What's the best way of getting rid of fruit flies? We use those sticky strips and we make sure to rinse out bottles and dishes containing sweets. Any suggestions?

By George F.

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May 14, 20111 found this helpful
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Put your vinegar/soap solution in a narrow mouth bottle, like a soda bottle. You might want to drop an apple core or some banana peel in there, too. Then place a funnel in the top of the jar. The flies will enter through the funnel and eventually drown in the solution. Until they do, they will be trapped in the jar because they can't figure out how to get out the spout of the funnel since it isn't the highest point.

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0 found this helpful
July 11, 2012 Flag

How do you get rid of fruit flies?

By Ruth C

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July 14, 20120 found this helpful
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Fruit flies only have a life cycle of a couple of days. The trick in getting rid of them is to make sure you are not hatching out fresh ones all the time. Check garbage, recycle cans (they love to breed in the dregs of pop and juice cans), house plants, overripe fruit, etc. and get rid of all spots where they might be reproducing. I have tried the various traps, but I don't think they are very effective. If there is no where for the flies to reproduce, they will die out quickly.

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0 found this helpful
July 7, 2011 Flag

How do you get rid of fruit flies?

By Ruth

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July 7, 20110 found this helpful
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You will have to eliminate their food source in your home (such as overripe or rotting fruit, unrinsed fruit cans, or even fruit you've left out to ripen). Once you are sure they have nowhere else to feed, you can set small dishes of cider vinegar with just a drop of dish soap in them on the counter. The fruit flies will land on the vinegar to feed, but the soap will have broken the surface tension and they will fall in and drown. It's kind of gross, you'll end up with little dishes of vinegar with lots of dead fruit flies; but after a few days they'll be gone. Refresh the dishes every day or two. You can run it down the drain, or flush it.

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0 found this helpful
June 8, 2012 Flag

I keep getting little fruit flies coming in through my windows. I have tried taping the screens. I have taped the cracks around the windows. I find their bodies on the outside of my screens. I don't know what attracts them. How do I get rid of something when I don't know why they're there?

By Karen

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This will help in the interim. Fill up a cup or plastic glass with some apple cider vinegar and then drop in a couple drops of dish washing liquid to break the surface adhesion. They will dive in and drown.

It works every time. The other advice is good, too. If you don't have a disposal, or the things you have can't go down there, put the things in a plastic bag and toss.

Here are a sample photo I posted to help.

PBP

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2 found this helpful
July 6, 2010 Flag

We are facing a problem with small flies increasing daily in all the rooms. I am not sure if these files are the same as the flies sitting on my bananas. It is becoming a big problem. Is there any method to get rid of these flies, any insecticide, or any other less harmful product as this is in the house?

By Giri from Bangalore

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March 23, 20110 found this helpful

I used an old plastic dish one of those glad storage things taped fly paper around upper edge cause that's where they land, then hang a fly paper partway down into the dish, also dipped the fly paper in the solution of wine, apple vinegar, and apple juice that I put in dish, talk about a fly magnet. Best to use the whole fly paper strip wrapped around dish the small size disposable Glad one. just add solution as needed. They don't stand a chance. Put in window cause light also draws them in along with the smell, the wine smell seems the most potent, apple cider works well too.

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0 found this helpful
October 16, 2011 Flag

I have fruit flies in my house, but for some reason they like to attack bread as well as the fruit. Does anyone know why this is?

By Maggie M.

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October 17, 20110 found this helpful
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Put a dish of vinegar next to the fruit and bread. They will be attracted to the vinegar.

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0 found this helpful
July 11, 2012 Flag

I am having a fruit fly infestation. I don't have fruits or veggies on the countertops. I have no clue where they came from. Can they come inside on pets or humans?

By D.C.C from Slidell, LA

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July 13, 20120 found this helpful
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I agree... they come in through the screens, they are awful! I got rid of mine by placing a clear bug strip on a window that gets the last light of the day. They will always head in that direction in the evening - and they find the sticky tab and stick leaving me alone. They only need about 2 or 3 days to reproduce... so taking the trash out often helps. I get them in my garage all the time and just hang a pest strip near the garage light... nabs them quickly as they are attracted to light and with no spraying pesticides. I have done this for years and I am basically gnat and fruit fly free!

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November 17, 2011 Flag

How do you get rid of fruit flies? I tried apple cider vinegar. I caught a huge amount of them, but there are 10 stragglers left. Perhaps they are the smarter, more evolved fruit flies.

By Joy

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November 18, 20110 found this helpful
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Put some ripe or over-ripe fruit in the microwave and leave the door open for a few hours. When all the fruit flies are in the microwave, close the door and zap them for about 30 seconds.

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