Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

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

October 2, 20100 found this helpful


I read that using cider vinegar (brown) works great. I put about 1/4 cup, in a plastic container with 1 Tablespoon of sugar and a little dish soap (1-2 drops). You don't even have to mix. I put a lid or plastic wrap over the top and poke a small hole. They will come and don't seem to find their way out. I freshen it every 1 1/2-2 weeks! Hope it works! AnniePat

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October 12, 20100 found this helpful

If they are breeding in your house plants, which might be happening, I don't think the cider vinegar thing is going to work. I did use this trick, using red wine, and the drunken sots died, but the teetotaller flies were still cruising around the kitchen. It doesn't work as well as some say it does.

You could try repotting the house plants in fresh soil. Do you have them outside in the summer, and then they have these gnats when you bring them back in?

I would spray them with an insecticide soap or Raid.

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April 4, 20110 found this helpful

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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October 2, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

We now have little fruit flies/gnats and they're driving me crazy.

By Jennie from Tempe


Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats


Try this. Peel your fruit or veggies that you are going to use and let peelings fall into a plastic grocery bag or empty jar like mayo or pickle. Lift the edges up so after about an hour or two you can quickly close the bag tying it shut trapping the flies and take it to the trash. Or quickly place lid on so they can't escape. As for the gnats leave a small amount of water or vinegar sitting out that has a drop or two of dish liquid in it. They land and drown. (08/21/2010)

By grannygirl

Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

I dipped the rim of a custard cup in Borax after making it wet with cider vinegar and then filled the custard cup about 1/2 full with cider vinegar with a drop or two of dish soap.

By cherylaha

Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

Find out where the fruit flies are breeding. It may be on your fresh fruit, but it could also be in empty recycle pop or juice cans, a spill of juice or pop someplace that you haven't noticed. Get rid of these places. The life cycle of fruit flies is only about 3 days, so when you have an infestation, you have to get rid of their breeding spots as well, or you just get a whole new generation of them. (08/23/2010)

By louel53

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August 17, 2010 Flag
0 found this helpful

I have a problem with gnats. They attack my fruit that I leave out on the counter. We like our fruit warm.

By Bob from Beaumont, CA


Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

I think I would be inclined to keep the bulk of your fruit in the refrigerator; putting out what you would like to eat that day in a sealed container. (You would not want to keep all the fruit in a sealed container or you'll have a mold garden in no time flat.) You might try a good deep bowl, with a fabric "lid" held on with a rubber band. That would allow some air circulation without allowing the buggies in. (06/24/2010)

By Jilson

Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

I agree that fruit at room temp tastes the best. I wash it right away which I think washes the little gnat eggs off. After that I put a cloth dish towel over the bowl. Air can still get in, but it seems to keep the gnats away if there are any left. (06/26/2010)

By Ann

Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

I have found that a great way to get rid of fruit flies and gnats is to put a small dish (I usually use a ramekin dish) and fill with 3-6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and about 3 drops of dish detergent. The apple cider vinegar smell draws them to the dish, the soap kills them. You may have to fill and empty the dish a lot in the first few days, especially if you have a large number of pests, but it works. Good luck! (06/26/2010)

By Heather P

Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

Remember in a sealed container the gasses the fruit gives off helps to ripen it quicker. Fruit for best eating needs to be refrigerated. At the grocery store they are kept cooler for that reason too. Notice the temp at the store? One of my sons is a grocery store manager, frozen foods, and also part time meat cutter. Chilled atmosphere keeps your your produce at the best selling conditions. It cost more to have open cases for items, something many are trying to remedy. But that is very expensive as well. (06/27/2010)

By T&T Grandma

Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

Hey everyone, I found a proven method to get rid of gnats, once and for all.

  1. Pour ammonia down every one of your drains, and immediately put the stoppers in them, leave them in overnight. Make sure you don't run any water down those drains after you have put in the ammonia. Gnats lay their eggs in the drains of your sinks and tubs.

  2. Make sure you don't leave any trash out over night. Take out all garbage every night. Ladies: if you have bathroom trash with any feminine products disposed in there, you "must" take out the trash daily. It's a great idea to buy a garbage can with a lid. Also, if you have garbage in the can, pour a little ammonia over the garbage, this helps. They hate that smell.

  3. Do not leave wet towels laying around. They love wetness of any kind. Also, it's a good idea to cover your wet dishes drying in the drain board with a dry bath towel. Remember: Standing water is a no, no!

  4. Once you have done these things, go to Home Depot and by a product called EcoSmart flying insect spray. It is safe for kids and pets and uses organic products like peppermint and cinnamon oil. It smells good and it kills the gnats.

**Now, if you have a gnat problem that is really bad, once you have gone through steps 1-4, I suggest using a fogger to kill all the gnats still flying around. This is a good way to kill them quickly. Please be safe when doing this and follow instructions on the fogger to a T.

Hope this helps, it worked for me!!


By Cecegirl

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June 24, 2010 Flag
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Fruit flies and summer gnats can be a problem for me with the amount of garden produce and orchard harvest I have each year.

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