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Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

Category 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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By 13 found this helpful
August 19, 2011

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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By 2 found this helpful
October 5, 2006

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

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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June 21, 2007

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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By 10 found this helpful
August 9, 2011

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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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.

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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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By 3 found this helpful
October 2, 2011

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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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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October 8, 2007

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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By 4 found this helpful
September 6, 2013

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

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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By 4 found this helpful
August 10, 2010

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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By 2 found this helpful
September 6, 2011

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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By 1 found this helpful
August 26, 2014

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

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By 1 found this helpful
August 9, 2011

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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August 7, 20111 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a fruit fly trap. Fruit flies can be really annoying. Making a homemade trap can help you get rid of these pests.

Making a Fruit Fly Trap

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July 4, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about vinegar and dish soap fruit fly trap. A simple effective fruit fly trap can be made with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap.

trap next to bananas

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July 3, 20170 found this helpful

Swarms of fruit flies plaguing you in your kitchen are extremely annoying. There are ways to get rid of these tiny pests. This is a guide about ridding your kitchen of fruit flies.

A fruit fly close up.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 12, 2011

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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Videos

December 20, 201124 found this helpful

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.

February 1, 20122 found this helpful

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

By Laura

Answers

February 1, 20121 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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February 2, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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February 4, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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By 2 found this helpful
May 11, 2011

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
Best Answer

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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By 0 found this helpful
July 7, 2011

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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By 0 found this helpful
July 11, 2012

How do you get rid of fruit flies?

By Ruth C

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July 14, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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June 8, 20120 found this helpful

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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June 9, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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October 16, 20110 found this helpful

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
Best Answer

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

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March 20, 2011

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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March 20, 20110 found this helpful

Have you tryed putting a small piece of fruit in a plastic bag and catching all the flies you can. Then taking them out side and releasing them or throwing out the bag. You may have to do this again until all flies are gone.

Maryan

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March 21, 20110 found this helpful

I had a problem with fruit flies after my son left a banana peel in his room I was cleaning the upstairs and poured a half a bottle of beer in the toilet and came into the bathroom to start cleaning and looked in and all of the fruit flies had tried to drink the beer and had drowned! I couldn't believe it! So now I pour some beer in a saucer and place in the area and it has never failed since!

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March 21, 20110 found this helpful

I recently found the following information. The only thing I would like to add is that it is important to wash/rinse any fresh produce that is to be kept out on the counter. Some produce have insect eggs, invisible to us, that may hatch in a home.

After removing all potential sources for feeding and breeding, use this trap to take care of any remaining adult flies.

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".

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 are creating a funnel.

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

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

Place the jars around your kitchen or near your problem plants. Since you have 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 will enter through the hole in the bottom of the funnel, and not be able to get out.

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March 21, 20110 found this helpful

If you think the flies are coming from your greenhouse, you may be dealing with fungus gnats and not fruit flies. They look and act similar, but fruit flies lay their eggs in fruit and fungus gnats lay their eggs in soil. If you see these flies hovering around the tops of pots or around your plants, you will need to treat each plant. Mosquito dunks can be quite effective in killing their larva and won't hurt your plants.

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July 11, 20120 found this helpful

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
Best Answer

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, 20110 found this helpful

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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By 0 found this helpful
August 16, 2011

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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August 17, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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By 0 found this helpful
December 28, 2011

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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December 29, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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November 11, 20110 found this helpful

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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November 12, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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By 0 found this helpful
September 5, 2011

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.

Thanks.

By aca

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September 9, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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December 19, 20110 found this helpful

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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December 27, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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November 19, 20110 found this helpful

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

By Ron

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January 4, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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By 0 found this helpful
February 10, 2015

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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September 22, 20120 found this helpful

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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June 26, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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March 20, 20110 found this helpful

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

By Patty

Answers:

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

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

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October 26, 20100 found this helpful

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

By Jeannie from Hickory, NC

Answers:

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

If they're fruit flies, getting rid of the smell of ripe or rotting food should stop their interest in your property. It'll also get rid of their source of food, so the existing flies will eventually die out. Once I got rid of a box of over-ripe oranges, the fruit flies in my apartment completely disappeared.

You can also spray your walls, doors, etc. with insect repellent, which will either knock them out or force them to leave. The smell is very irritating to them and it's not too bad for humans. Make sure to avoid spraying on certain plastics and woods though.

Or try one of the vinegar traps mentioned on this site. (09/24/2010)

By bryguyf69

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

They love wine and beer! Put a little in a saucer and cover it with plastic wrap. Poke a couple of holes in the wrap and those little buggers will get trapped in there! In the meantime, get rid of the source of your fruit flies. Good Luck! (09/25/2010)

By diddle1999

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

I finally found something that works for us! Essential oils. I use 3 drops each of Cinnamon, Cedarwood, and Citronella in an oil diffuser. That takes care of flies and mosquitoes too! (09/25/2010)

By oldlinda

Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

When I had some fruit flies in my kitchen because of some peaches, I followed a tip that someone else had posted. I put a little cider vinegar in a small ramekin size container near the peaches and I had no further problem with the flies. But of course, the quickest way is to get rid of the reason why the fruit flies are showing up. I realize sometimes that they show up even if the fruit isn't on the way out, so then you use one of these tips. Good Luck. (09/25/2010)

By Indianone

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