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.

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies, Fruit Fly on Apple
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Video: How to Make a Fruit Fly Trap Video

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

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Tip: Pretty Vase as a Fruit Fly Trap

By Sutle 2

Small vase and bowl of bananas on kitchen counterI 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.

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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Tip: Fruit Fly Trap

By brenda 1

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

  • 1/4 cup of vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of apple juice
  • 3 drops of clear dishwashing soap
They flies will be attracted to the 'ripening apple scent' dive in and the soap washes the wax coating off their bodies and they drown. A favorite thing for my kids to do is to count how many we catch EVERY DAY. This is a fail safe natural and VERY simple method to rid your house of them. Good luck!

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Tip: Winning the War Against Fruit Flies

By Mary LaCaze 28 81

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.

We tried covering all the sink drains to keep them from water, we took out the garbage regularly and quickly removed any fruit or vegetable peelings. By the way, we did determine that there was a spoiling sweet potato among some in a bag, and that seemed to be what was attracting them!

Soon, we decided that our particular fruit flies were multiplying instead of decreasing. As usual, my solution was to spend hours looking all over the web for what else might be tried.

Something that seemed particularly plausible was that though they are hard to catch, swat, or eradicate in any other non-chemical way, they are no match for a vacuum cleaner wand! I left the vacuum in the kitchen for about a week.

Several times a day my husband would hear me "vacuuming the air" around the kitchen. I'd go to make coffee and first vacuum every fruit fly I could see. He'd ask for a snack, and hear the vacuum going for a few seconds first.

I'd say I was going to cook dinner, but spend the first few seconds chasing fruit flies. Yes, he teased me a lot about that. But it was amazing how I'd clear the kitchen of all visible fruit flies, then come back in half an hour, and there were half a dozen more flying around the sink!

However, with patience and those few seconds of work many times a day, they slowly and steadily went away for good. Of course, you're on your own in explaining it when people come over for coffee, and see you suddenly start vacuuming the air, the ceiling, the sink's edge, the coffee maker, etc.

By Mary from Mountain Pine, AR

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Tip: Use Vinegar For Fruit Flies

By Anastasia 7

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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Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

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

By Laura

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Best Answers

By MStroup 1 3 Flag

February 1, 2012

Place a small jar with apple cider vinegar and 2-3 drops of dish detergent in it and place where fruit flies appear. Use about 1/4 vinegar. The flies are drawn to the vinegar and the soap keeps them from flying out. Works every time.

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By Linda L. 83 330 Flag

February 2, 2012

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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By Frugal Sunnie 11 1,695 Flag

February 4, 2012

If you still have them after trying everything, it means they are breeding in or very near your house because something is providing them the environment they need to reproduce.

You'll need to watch for where they are swarming from, and figure out what you are inadvertently providing them that encourages breeding. It could be something as simple as a fruit tree growing near an entry avenue into your home-the door opens and they swarm in. There are so many ways those little beggers can get in, and so many ways they can adapt to an environment!

They could be hatching in a plastic bag; they could be colonising in a dark corner of your pantry; they could be breeding from a smear on a jam jar at the bottom of the cabinet...

And of course there is always the chance they aren't fruit flys, but water gnats or something else. Good luck whatever it is, these are hard to get rid of sometimes.

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Question: Small Flies Are Driving Us Crazy

By Giri 1

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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Most Recent Answer

By John Kozlowski 2 Flag

March 23, 2011

While the window is open these flies are so small that they can get through the screen. I watched them do it. so I'm changing out my screens to a smaller mesh.

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Question: Best Way to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

By George F 1

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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Best Answer

By Julie 99 Flag

May 14, 2011

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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Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

By Ruth Carelli 6 2

How do you get rid of fruit flies?

By Ruth

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Best Answer

By Jill 4 738 Flag

July 7, 2011

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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Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

By Montana Jewel Therapy 13 5

There is still snow, and lots of it, on the ground here in Montana, but we are already having problems with what I call little fruit flies. I happened to see a lot of them flying around my sink where a part of an orange had been tossed yesterday.

We have a greenhouse attached to our house with a connecting door for easy access. I am sure that is the main cause of the problem, but we had not ever had these little flies until last summer. It was absolutely horrible. We had guests for dinner one evening and before we knew it, anybody drinking wine had flies in their wine glasses.

Please does anyone have a solution for this? I know to keep fruit covered and to have a covered trash can, but what else? Thanks so much.

By Montana Jewel Therapy

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Most Recent Answer

By Mistie 21 40 Flag

March 21, 2011

We had a huge problem I was able to get rid of 90% in one night and the rest the next night by doing this. Apple cider vinegar and dish soap. You don't have to use the bag and all of that. Set as many containers around as you like jars glasses whatever and put about 2" of apple cider vinegar in them, then 3-4 drops of dish soap. When they go in to get the cider they get trapped in the dish soap, and can't get out. I haven't had a problem since using this tip. Goodluck!

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Article: Ridding Your Kitchen of Fruit Flies

By EllenB 793 1

Photo of a fruit fly.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. The first step to getting rid of fruit flies is to remove the things they need to survive:
  • Keep kitchen and pantry surfaces clean and free of food crumbs of beverage spills.

  • Consume perishable fruits and vegetables quickly. If you can't consume them, keep them covered or refrigerate them until you can.

  • Check the fruits and vegetables you keep in storage (like apples and potatoes) regularly and spoilage.

  • Cut away and discard cracked or damaged portions of fruits and vegetables - they can easily become infested with unseen eggs or larvae.

  • Dispose of your garbage properly. If your garbage can doesn't have a tight-fitting lid, place fruit and vegetable scraps in plastic bags before tossing them in the trash. Disinfect regularly with beach water.

  • Clean drains and garbage disposals regularly. Mix a solution of 1/8 of cup of bleach or household ammonia in a half gallon of tap water. Pour this into your drain and let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes before rinsing with water.

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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Tip: Juice For Getting Rid Of Fruit Flies

By Sheila Hendricks 2 66

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. They will crawl through the holes to get at the juice but cannot escape. When there are no flies left flying around, just pour the contents down the drain. It really works!

By Sheila May from Bronx, NY

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Question: Fruit Flies

By Ruth Carelli 6 2

How do you get rid of fruit flies?

By Ruth C

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Best Answer

By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

July 14, 2012

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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Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

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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Best Answer

By Sandi/Poor But Proud 466 2,132 Flag

June 9, 2012

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.


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Tip: Use Red Wine To Attract Fruit Flies

By Oscar Myer 1

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.

I used a small container (dipping-sauce bowl, or espresso cup), and poured in some wine (enough that they can drown). I then put the plastic wrap over the top, poked a few holes, and put it where they were flying about. By the next morning, there were a good 30+ in these containers (whereas the fruit and red wine vinegar traps had 5 or so).

It took a good three days of new traps, but over 95% were gone.

Thanks for the tips. Hope this feedback is helpful.

By Oscar from Canada

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Question: Fruit Fly Control

By Helen Fritzie 1

I am just curious if anyone has heard of a homemade fly paper type remedy for fruit flies? We have these in our office at work and would like something natural to use, as we have people in our office 24/7. Thanks for any response.

By HelenF. from Pensacola, FL

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Best Answer

By Fran 10 19 Flag

September 7, 2009

I tried everything and found the most natural remedy to be about 1/4-1/3 cup apple cider vinegar with a few drops of cooking oil in a glass. Keep this near fresh fruit (or wherever the flies are) and they will dive into the mixture and drown. It works better than anything else.


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Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

By taylorstarr 2

We had our house professionally treated for pests. They sprayed our yard, but not inside the house. We are told this is the way it's done now. These fruit flies are driving me crazy. I have told our pest control service that we are having trouble with these pests - we have tried everything for months. How can we rid ourselves of these pests?

By Norma

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Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

February 14, 2015

Fruit flies can also breed in places like recycle bins with pop cans or juice boxes. You might have a spill in the bottom of a garbage can that is providing a breeding spot. Fruit flies are best dealt with by getting rid of their breeding locations. They also come in on fresh fruit, and I've found oranges to be one of the worst sources.

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Tip: Pam to Eradicate Fruit Flies

By dot 1

This is so simple. I had all of these fruit flies in the kitchen from fresh peaches. I tried the vinegar method and the plastic wrap to no avail, and needed an immediate remedy. Then I thought about the oil spill and 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. You do have a little oil to wipe up but they are gone immediately. You can use a paper towel to wipe them and the oil up. Either use water and put them down the sink drain or put the towel in a small sandwich bag, seal it up and put them in the trash. Works wonderfully and so quickly!

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    Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies Permanently

    We have millions of fruit flies that seem to love our wash room. I spray them with deoderizer and we have killed millions of them, but the next day or even 2 hours after there are just as many. Any solution?

    By Coral

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Debbie (BearMN) 3 Flag

    September 25, 2012

    Good to know about the drains. Thanks. We did not have return of the fruit flies after using the other procedure. Maybe we got them in time before laying of eggs. Or, more likely, they are two different kinds of flies.

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    Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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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    Best Answer

    By Connie24 1 3 Flag

    July 13, 2012

    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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    Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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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    Best Answer

    By Rita Horne 6 25 Flag

    November 18, 2011

    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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    Question: Fruit Flies Attracted to Bread

    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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    Best Answer

    By Deanj 917 Flag

    October 17, 2011

    Put a dish of vinegar next to the fruit and bread. They will be attracted to the vinegar.

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    Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    By JUNE 1

    This morning I got up and opened my fridge. There were many half dead fruit flies in there. I must throw out all the food that may have been open. I even find dead ones in the freezer. I have so many; I kill them daily. I use cider vinegar and dish soap, but they are everywhere in my small apartment. I noticed at the supermarket they were all over, too, in my face at the checkout as well. The checker said they drive her crazy. I never had this problem before. I need help.

    By June

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    Best Answer

    By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

    August 17, 2011

    Fruit flies are attracted to rotting fruit and sugary things like recycle cans from pop or juice boxes. You must eliminate the places that they are hatching from. Some also seem to live in house plants sometimes. They have a very short life span, and so attempting to kill them is a futile effort. You must clean up anything, fruit bowls, garbage, compost buckets, anything where they might be breeding.

    Fruit flies are not like ordinary house flies. I don't think you have to worry about germs being spread, it is the nuisance factor with the little devils.

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    Tip: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    By Michelle Angie 1 2

    This sounds crazy, but last time I had a fruit fly infestation, I killed a good many of them by cleaning the outside of my fridge! It is stainless steel and I used cleaner made for stainless steel 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.

    By Michelle from OH

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    Question: Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

    By Dianne 1

    I have had a problem the past 2 years with flies in the house that look like fruit flies or May flies. It begins in September and continues til maybe November. How do I get rid of them and what are they? I thought they might be coming from the soil in my houseplants. Please help, they're driving me crazy!

    Hardiness Zone: 5b

    By Dianne from Salem, NH

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    Most Recent Answer

    By valorie 2 Flag

    April 4, 2011

    I take a small glass pour about half the glass with apple cider vinegar and a squirt of dawn dish washing liquid (I use the fruit smelling ones) then take a piece of tin foil cover the glass and poke several holes in the glass set them out everywhere the gnats are seen, they get in and can't get out it is awesome! Really works.

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    Tip: Spray Scraps With Oil To Stop Fruit Flies

    By Sewingal 1

    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. I didn't want to use a pesticide in the kitchen, especially around the dishes and appliances. So, I put my thinking cap on and this is what I came up with:

    First, if you don't already have one, buy a spray bottle at the local dollar store. Fill it with any kind of edible oil (olive, canola, or vegetable). After you are done juicing or cooking, put any scraps of food that are left in a store shopping bag, then leave the kitchen for a few minutes. Try to put any other food away before you leave, so the fruit flies will go to the bag and not the other food item. Put the spray bottle where you can get it easily without disturbing the bag of scraps.

    After a few minutes have gone by, sneak into the kitchen, grab your bottle of oil and start spraying the scrap bag for all your worth. The heavy oil will prevent the little buggers from flying away and the edible oil wont hurt anything in your kitchen. Then just tie up the bag and toss in garbage. You may have to do this several times to get them all but, eventually, you will be fruit fly free. (Say that 3 times fast!)

    By Sewingal from Tarpon Springs, FL

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    Tip: Use Wine To Drown Fruit Flies

    By Nancy McGuire 6 11

    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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    Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    By beho 1 2

    Squirrels got into the space between my apartment and the one upstairs. They hid their winter nuts in the space and after a couple of months I now have more fruit flies than I can kill daily. The complex is preparing to clean the space, but I need help getting rid of the flies in my apartment. Help. Please.

    By beho from Mobile, AL

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    Best Answer

    By gramaeieio 4 Flag

    December 29, 2011

    First, shoot the squirrels.

    Then, make a fruit fly trap:

    Pour an inch or two of vinegar into a cup. add a drop or two of dish soap.

    Cover the cup with saran or similar. Poke a bunch of holes in the saran, and set near where the fruit flies congregate.

    They smell the vinegar, climb in, and when they come in contact with the vinegar get sucked down into it because of the effect the dish soap has on the surface tension of the vinegar.

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    Question: Inundated With Fruit Flies

    I have been inundated lately with these pesky flies. Not only are they in my kitchen but are now all over my house. They seem to be attracted to my bathroom and bedroom mirrors. I have no food in these rooms and can't figure out where they are coming from. Help please.

    By Joanne D.

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    Best Answer

    By joan 7 141 Flag

    November 12, 2011

    Fruit flies are drawn to anything acidic, even lemon scented dish detergent. If you keep glass cleaner in the bathroom that is likely the attraction. Using a small jam jar or baby food jar I'll almost fill it with vinegar water along with a drop of dish detergent and float a small slice of lemon or orange and dunk it under then allow it to float. This attracts the flies that will try to land on the slice of fruit, but the detergent prevents them from leaving as they rely on surface tension.

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    Tip: Method For Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    By George Purdy 1

    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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    Question: Fruit Flies Galore

    By rums 1

    I do not have any over-ripe fruit or garbage around. I'm very clean, yet I have so many fruit flies. I put a cup of sweet wine on the table and there will be as many as 24 a day in the cup.

    Now I am wondering how they can continually keep popping up in the kitchen? Is there a greater problem with them this year? I hear bed-bugs are a problem also. I'm 79 years old and never have experienced anything like this.

    Is there a scientific answer to this? I do not have food for them to be attracted to on the counters, etc. However, I keep that wine cup.


    By aca

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    Best Answer

    By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

    September 9, 2011

    I don't have much faith in the wine trap - I think you just get inebriated fruit flies! They only live a few days anyway. Fruit flies can live & breed in recycle pop cans or juice boxes, or also in the dirt of house plants. You don't have to have anything particularly dirty to breed them once they get a foothold. They usually come into the house on fruit.

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    Question: Fruit Flies by Compost Pail

    I have a small compost pail in the house for scraps and I want to know how to keep the pests out of it. I have put the cider trap next to it. I do empty it (the pail) on a regular basis, but still plagued by them. Is there anything else I can do to get rid of them, other than put it outside?

    By E.

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

    Most Recent Answer

    By Melody H. 2 9 Flag

    June 28, 2014

    To rid our kitchen of fruit flies, I shopped at thrift stores until I found a plastic pitcher with a tightly fitting lid. The one I found is made by a famous company that makes plastic kitchenware with a lid that fits the inside the pitcher rim when you push the button on top of the flexible lid. It fits so well that there's no smell for you or the fruit flies, and they can't enter the pitcher to reproduce. It's also easy to empty and clean and can be bleached occasionally.

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    Question: Do Fruit Flies Bite?

    Do fruit flies bite?

    By Pat

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    Most Recent Answer

    By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

    July 10, 2013

    No. They are merely a nuisance.

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    Tip: Vinegar For Fruit Fly Pest Control

    By Louise 2

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

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    Question: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    I have fruit flies in the house, but they seem to be found the most in the living room. I do not keep fruit on the counter in my kitchen and I have made sure my drains are clean. I am sure that the fruit flies have something to do with some new plants that my husband put in the living room since we have never had them in the living room before. Is there anyway to keep them from coming back once I get rid of them?

    By Alissa

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    Best Answer

    By Robyn Fed 394 1,240 Flag

    December 27, 2011

    This is a variation on the Fruit Fly Motel.

    Make a fruit fly flytrap by putting a small amount of a banana in a shallow dish, cover it with a plastic wrap, stretching and holding it with a rubber band. Pierce some holes on the cover. Attracted to the smell of the fruit the flies will crawl in and would not be able to escape.

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    Question: Fruit Flies in the Kitchen

    I need an easy way to kill off fruit flies in my kitchen. Thanks.

    By Ron

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    Best Answer

    By Mintexas 11 Flag

    January 4, 2012

    I've personally found that the best solution is to put banana peels or other fragrant fruit peels in a plastic bread bag and prop it open a bit so that they can go in. Leave it overnight, and in the morning, snap the bag up and put the tie on it and toss it in the trash. Sometimes I have to do it a couple times to get them all, but they will always gravitate to it. It could be a bottle or jar that you could slap a lid on as well.

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    Question: Flying Insects in Refrigerator After Power Outage

    My refrigerator was off for several days and food spoiled. Now there are these tiny flying insects in the refrigerator that I cannot get rid of. Help!

    By Betty

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

    Most Recent Answer

    By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

    September 9, 2011

    If you have insects inside, they must be reproducing in there. Hopefully, these are just fruit flies that have found some spilled juice or something like that. Clean the fridge thoroughly. You may have to remove panels or fan covers or things like that, if the spill have gone inside the fridge. I would swab it down with dilute bleach.

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    Tip: Wash Fruit to Prevent Fruit Flies

    By brendamex 2 2

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

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    Tip: Fruit Fly Deterrent

    By ANNE 2

    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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    Tip: Attract Fruit Flies With Fruit

    By kerre reese 6 6

    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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    Archive: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

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    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.

    By Ann


    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

    Fruit Fly Trap

    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.

    By Connie

    Banana Peel Trap

    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

    More Trap Advice

    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

    My Experience With Traps

    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.

    By Panels

    Zap Them

    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.

    By Dorie

    Tupperware Traps

    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.

    By Jeannine

    This Worked For Me

    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.

    By Sam


    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

    Warning About Alcohol

    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."

    By Allison

    Vick's Vapor Rub

    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

    Fruit Fly Battle

    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.

    By Janie


    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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)

    By jazzbird719

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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)

    By Pattie

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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)

    By Anonymous

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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)

    By Kady

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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)

    By KIM

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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)

    By Terry

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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)

    By Marie

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    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)

    By Janice

    Archive: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    How do you get rid of fruit flies in the house?

    By trdishman from Monticello, KY


    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    In a jar with the lid removed, pour a small amount of fruit juice in it and leave it on your counter/table. The fruit flies will be attracted to the juice, and drown. I would check for the source of the flies (decaying fruit) and get rid of it also.

    Good Luck.

    Hedera (06/02/2009)

    By hedera

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    I should have said a narrow mouthed jar, or even a soda/water bottle. (06/02/2009)

    By hedera

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    A sure way to get rid of fruit flies that always works for me. Take a cup or old jar, etc. Put a piece of fruit or veggie in it. Take a piece of plastic wrap and secure it with an elastic. Then take a fork and poke holes in the plastic wrap a couple of time. The fruit flies will go in and they can't get back out as the inside of the plastic wrap is rough. Replace every 2 to three days. Discard in a plastic bag tied shut. As the fruit flies will lay larva if left out too long. (06/20/2009)

    By Charline

    <img src="/images/feedback_image.lasso?id=32829104" width="400" height="300" alt="RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies">

    Archive: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    I'd like to know how to get rid of fruit flies in the kitchen. The grandkids left unfinished fruit on the counter.

    By groovygranny from Toronto, ON, Canada


    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    They will settle and nest in just about anything damp; potted plants, too. I use Raid and spray where they are living. Then I spend a few days getting and killing the ones still flying around. I use my hands, it gives me a good feeling to kill the suckers that drive me crazy. (07/24/2009)

    By C T

    Archive: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    I have had fruit flies for several months, but no fruit has stood out since June. I tried half empty beer cans, killed many, but didn't seem to make a dent, they must multiply ten fold at night. My neighbor is using Windex, but my problem is much more intense. I am currently using fly strips and beer, but no relief, although I kill a lot. How can I get rid of all of them?

    By kkymv121 from Southern WA


    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    Use apple cider or white vinegar (1/4-1/2 cup), a little sugar (like 1-2 teaspoons), and just one drop of dish soap, then mix in small bowl. Watch them come, drink, and fall in! Cheap, safe and non-toxic. (09/05/2009)

    By Runswithdoxies

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    Definitely vinegar and dish soap. Use apple cider vinegar (no need to add sugar) - a couple of ounces in a small glass such as a jelly jar/juice glass or even a shot glass, and add just 1-2 drops of any dish liquid. The dead fruit flies will accumulate on the bottom. Just dump and refill as needed. I place them near any fruit or veggies that sit out, and near my trash can.

    This will work; however you need to find the source of your fruit flies. If you don't have fruit or veggies sitting out - look for another source. It could be infested soil from plants, possibly bird seed, trash, a compost bin? There has to be something that is bringing them into your house. Another thing - if you buy bananas, wash them off (in their skins) when you get them home. They can have fruit fly eggs on them from the field. Good luck. (09/05/2009)

    By RDLaure

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    This is just my experience with fruit flies from nowhere. I store potatoes in a bin under the sink and sometimes a potato spoiled or something spoiled that I didn't know about, and the flies multiplied. When I finally tracked it down, the bottom of the bin was covered with eggs and larvae. I scrubbed and rinsed with bleach (including the shelf under the sink) and the flies disappeared. Check around your kitchen any place that may have had damp produce/not only fruit. (09/10/2009)

    By tennesue

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    The best way is to clean your house. It's hard for us right now, since we're bringing in the harvest and vegetables are in multiple stages of process for winter, but cleaning your house gets everything bad out that they were eating. The cleaner the house, the less flies. They act like regular flies--they're only attracted to smell of something they can eat. Go through your pantry, clean up your house, and it should be better. (09/10/2009)

    By Davidicdancer

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    We used to get this problem a lot at a restaurant I worked at, and no matter how much we stripped and cleaned the kitchen they would come back. Then I read somewhere about using fresh Basil to repel fruit flies, I clipped some from my plant at home and hung it from the shelves above my work space. Amazingly it worked and I wasn't being bothered anymore. So I brought in some plants and placed them around the kitchen work areas, and sure enough we had less and less fruit flies and within a week or so there were none left. (09/12/2009)

    By Thenicholas3

    Archive: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    I need to know how to get rid of fruit flies.

    By Judi


    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    I had them before and I read about pouring bleach down your drains and letting it sit for a while before letting any water run down the drain. It got rid of my fruit flies before. (10/27/2009)

    By nb27

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    I finally broke down and bought some fly paper. I also set out small cups of vinegar, as they are attracted to it. After a day or two, just dump it down the drain, dead bugs and all. (10/29/2009)

    By Coll3

    Archive: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    How can I get rid of gnats/fruit flies in my house?

    By Rosa from Las Vegas, NV


    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    Hide all of your fruit and vegetables that you don't keep in the fridge in cabinets (where, if you keep them all the time, they will stay fresh longer). Take out the garbage and recycling frequently and rinse food debris from objects before placing into either. Then fly paper it up. If you have any plants in the kitchen or kitchen area, move them to a different room. Line your kitchen drain with a tiny amount of bleach or less toxic vinegar.

    Now you've removed all their food sources and you'll have to wait until the adults die or get caught on the paper. These animals probably came into your house not through an open window, but on, say, a bunch of bananas you recently purchased. The adults hide out or the eggs hatch once you've brought it into your home and Drosophila melanogaster hatches within 12-15 hours after an egg is laid. It takes only a week for that larva to become a breeding adult and the cycle starts over. That is why they are difficult to get rid of, but by no means impossible. Good luck! (05/23/2010)

    By wishsparkle

    Archive: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    Since we keep a small compost container on the counter and it attracts fruit flies when they are in season, I was wondering about the cider vinegar/dish soap combo. Would it work to put these in the compost container to kill or trap the flies?

    By Anne-Marie from Taos, NM


    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    Yes, I found it to be very helpful to put apple cider vinegar in a bowl covered with plastic wrap. It draws them right to it then they drown themselves. I bought raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar from Whole Foods market. It works way better than white vinegar! (08/11/2010)

    By dstill

    Archive: Catching Fruit Flies

    Fruit flies can be caught or trapped in an old jar with 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar and 2 drops of dish detergent mixed. They are attracted to this and you can throw them out.

    By Mary from Lawrence, KS


    RE: Catching Fruit Flies

    Thanks! It was great (10/27/2007)

    By elo

    Archive: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    We have fruit flies (I think) all over the house. How do I get rid of them without using ugly fly paper?

    Archive: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    I have fruit flies in my house and they are not leaving, but getting worse. How can I get rid of them?

    By Patty


    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    You need to find the source of the pesky things. They obviously have found a bountiful breeding spot (egg home). Once you locate the source you can deal with the extermination process. (10/26/2010)

    By Suntydt

    RE: Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

    Vinegar Soap Mixture for Gnats This helped us greatly. Hope it helps you. (10/28/2010)

    By Poor But Proud

    Home and Garden Pest Control FliesDecember 12, 2011
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