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Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

Category Insects
A cloud of gnats over a grassy field near sunset.
This is a guide about fruit flies and summer gnats. There are a number of ways to reduce the invasion of gnats and fruit flies.


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December 12, 20113 found this helpful

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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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.

By 1 found this helpful
October 2, 2010

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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October 2, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer


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 2, 20100 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, 20100 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, 20100 found this helpful

Fruit flies and summer gnats can be a problem for me with the amount of garden produce and orchard harvest I have each year. However, I discovered a solution to these pests several years ago using household ingredients.

Mix 2 tablespoons sugar, one-half cup vinegar and then add 1 teaspoon dish soap. Pour this mixture into custard cups (one recipe per custard cup) and be careful you don't create soap suds as you move it. Leave the cup and its contents unmolested in the areas you are plagued with these pests.

Over the next 24 to 48 hours, you will be surprised at how many of them have been drawn to the mixture and then drowned in it. It doesn't work instantly, but it does work so have patience.

As the tomato season progresses, I may have up to 2 dozen tomatoes "finishing ripening" in my kitchen, but the fruit flies are not a problem thanks to this handy concoction.

By Ronsan from southwest MO


Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

May I add to this? I too have problems with these as I'm also a gardener. I just don't have luck unless I use a cover so I rubberband some plastic wrap on the top and poke a small hole in the middle. Don't put holes near the edges as that's where they will find their way out. If the mixture is still good and the gnats are escaping, I'll poke more holes in the plastic, then add a second piece of plastic wrap with a hole in the middle. Still works. Another fun thing I do is take different types of fruit and add it in 3 plastic cups to see which one attracts more flies.
One more thing. Since these bugs are attracted to light, keep a nightlight on near the mixture so they are more willing to head over there. (05/19/2006)

By Kim

Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

I tried the vinegar/sugar/dish soap combo before I left for work. I put it in a cappuccino cup in the kitchen and in my bathroom. When I came home it was crazy how many of those little gnats were in the cups. Worked great. Thanks so much! (10/18/2007)

By traceys

Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

I buy a few of those funnel shaped paper cups. Cut a tiny hole in the point or bottom. I put any piece of fruit in a coffee mug, set the funnel cup on top. The flies go into the tiny hole and cannot get out. I keep this near my apples and bananas on the counter. No fruit flies! (10/24/2007)

By margeth

Fruit Flies and Summer Gnats

Get a small saucer and pool a small amount of Merlot in it. Get the vacuum cleaner out and hook up the hose with the crevice attachment. About every 30 minutes or so go look at the saucer. There will probably be 20 or so gnats around. Turn on the vacuum and slowly mover the crevice attachment closer to them. They will just sit there hoping you don't see them and poof! they will be sucked into the vacuum. Do this until you see no more. Repeat once a week until the season is over. Remember to move slowly or they will fly away. Hope this helps. (07/16/2008)

By Tom

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