Vinegar and Dish Soap Not Working for Gnats?

I have gnats or fruit flies. I got rid of most of them, but the apple cider vinegar and dish soap is not working any more. Now they are mostly staying on the ceiling in the kitchen . I keep putting down fly paper, then I slide a broom near them and they fly into the paper. What are your tips?



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By Sandy O (Guest Post)
October 24, 20081 found this helpful

I use a small dish with some white wine in it. Cover with a piece of saran wrap and poke 4-6 pencil size holes in the wrap.

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By Jess (Guest Post)
October 25, 20080 found this helpful

What is the source of the gnats? They have to be living somewhere in your house if they keep multiplying. Do you keep fruit sitting out? I used to have a potted plant where they had laid eggs and they just multiplied like crazy. I didn't want to get rid of the plant. I tried the apple cider vinegar thing and it did nothing. I talked to an employee at a plant nursery and she said that fly paper is the only non-toxic way to get rid of them besides throwing out the plant.

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October 27, 20080 found this helpful

Fruit flies can also reproduce in pop cans or drink boxes, such as in a recycle bin, or even in a dirty garbage can, if there was juice spilled in there. I think that you must try to figure out where they are coming from and get rid of their habitat.


It is not particularly helpful to spray for them, as they reproduce so fast. Even toxic sprays only kill the ones that are flying about, and in a day or so, you get a whole new generation of them.

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October 27, 20082 found this helpful

I found an easy way to kill em, a good spray bottle with water and a dash of liquid soap. squirt them and they can't fly and they die, also works on flies. Barb

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May 31, 20190 found this helpful

Thats very crafty!! I must try this! Ive also thought a good ole can of V05 Hairspray would do the trick too. Make their wings sticky and they cant fly either. Havent tried that yet but I think I will and your method as well! Thanks for the advice

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August 13, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you thank you thank you for this! The only thing that worked at the end was the hairspray method and then vacuum cleaning them up.

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By Sherry N (Guest Post)
October 27, 20083 found this helpful

I just went though the worst infestation that you could imagine. I read everything and cleaned everything. They still came everyday. I learned that they lay eggs in your drains from where I work. In a hotel from the pest tech. You cannot get rid of them with Drano. It does not work. You need to pull your drain pipes under each sink and scrub them with a brush. Once you get rid of the eggs, keep on with the vinegar and dish soap recipe. It does work.


It does take time. But you will eventually see a lot less in time.

I am down to maybe one or two every other day compared to many flying in my face every day. Cleaning you drains is the key. That is where they lay their eggs and if you do a little research on the net, you will see why you cannot kill the eggs with Drano. I have been battling them for 2 years and I am finally getting some peace. And we do not even buy fresh fruits or veggies. We work too much to cook. Hope this helps. It sure did me. Sherry

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October 27, 20080 found this helpful

I found the best thing! Boil a big pot of water. Sprinkle a box of baking soda. 1/2 on each side...into the drains. Pour about a cup of white vinegar down each side. It will bubble up and get foamy.


When this stops, pour hot water down each side. I have had to do this once a week for a more gnats! After the first treatment, I only had a few left, and I wanted to make sure they were gone. That's why I did it 3 more times!

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By Kinga (Guest Post)
October 29, 20080 found this helpful

Put a piece of banana in a dish. Place in a baggie and seal. Make a couple of small holes ( tip of a needle and stretch it a bit so they can find their way in) in the top of the baggie. Good luck. Works for me. They get in but cannot find their way out.

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July 19, 20170 found this helpful

Great advice here, but people are confusing the two similar but very different flies: Note that fruit flies have red eyes. These you usually can trap using the bottle/vinegar/soap trick. Phorid flies are much more difficult as they are not drawn to the sweetness, and I swear the fly much faster than fruit flies.


From what I'm discovering the Phorid flies breed in damp places on organic material. Drains are perfect for this and is where you will notice them to start with. My son alerted me that his drain had flies a month back. Wish I had listened as now they are all over the house. Time to get on the gear and clean all the drains.

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March 18, 20190 found this helpful

Thanks for this. I've been trying to get rid of these dies in my plants for ages. I couldn't figure out what kind of flies they were because they clearly weren't fruit flies since all those other traps weren't working!

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May 17, 20190 found this helpful

Easily solved, get a mason jar and make a paper cone funnel with a small hole. Put juice in the mason jar or wine or anything with sugar and out the cone inside the jar.


Tape around sealing the cone in the jar. Enjoy catching any flying insect, bees and hornets included. They fly in for the sweets and cant fly out.

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August 20, 20191 found this helpful

Not working sister. Had mine out for a week and not a single gnat in it.

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July 28, 20180 found this helpful

Solution(primary towards bottom): I've tried almost everything, once I thought they were almost gone, they come right back. It's a few different species of gnats and flies I'm dealing with. Majority stay on ceiling and walls and edges of things. They leave a hell of a mess to clean up after a while where they "rest". I'm getting ready to repaint my ceilings.

This is a collection of things to do at the same time.

  • I started with a large indoor bug zapper, it still works, but barely. They all have seem to evolved after generations to avoid it.
  • If you get pads or strips, they have to be sticky like honey, not tape, only gets really tiny ones if not honey like.
  • The "tricks" of poking holes in clear wrap and using some fruit and/or solution does not work. I've tried vinegar, bleach, lemons, left over food; different combinations. Now the only purpose the "method" serves, is catching 1% of the total population, so this method stopped working long ago.
  • Be ANAL about keeping all food and cans covered, thrown away, washed out, at least in the kitchen when done. Trashcan, unless its an air tight lid, put it on the landing or garage. Keep sink clean, nothing even residue on the steel. You pour something out in sink, SPRAY IT CLEAN RIGHT AFTER.
  • I've tried solution spray bottle, but maybe the mixture was off. Didn't work. I've also tried wiping areas with solutions, also didn't work.
  • What they apparently love, is cat food in cans that you open. Second to that is lemons, could maybe trap them some how, haven't tried. But canned cat food is miles more attractive to them.
  • Make sure your fridge seals are air tight, press extra hard when closing.
  • If they are in the trash as a go to, quickly trap/wrap, move to garage, repeat in an hour.
  • BEST SOLUTION: LIGHT! They all for the most part are attracted to light (when agitated). I do this mostly at night. I basically use a broom or a large object. I sway or shake it a few far right, then left (kept vertical). When they try to go one way, I switch sides. I use what is like a half circle or cone(imagine holding the bottom of a bowl to your chest), cornering them into the direction I want. Sometimes I rock it back and forth about 15-30°. Sometimes I also just instead micro shake the broom, or both at the same time. I go from the furthest room from garage, sealing off the other rooms they can go into. The furthest room is dark, start from the back, and have the hallway light on with doors closed except the room i'm getting them out of, and I do this with all rooms only with 1 door open at a time to push them into the hallway. Rinse and repeat. Larger rooms are much harder to control them. I can get drenched in sweat within an hour; i'm not unfit. Wise to have at least 2 or more people. Once I get them to the kitchen (sealing it off with sliding door), I work from the back of the kitchen with the lights off. Make sure once sway with broom on walls and cabinets, you also get under upper cabinets over counters. I have a landing between my kitchen and garage. So the light in the landing is on with door open between kitchen and landing. Be sure to swipe quick behind doors you want them to go through, they hide quick in the back. You can try cutting some clear tarp and hanging it taped over lapping doors you open/close repeatedly. Maybe a bit of cardboard at the top between the wall and the door, taped to the door, and clear tarp(cut), hanging off of that, so when you open the door, you can have a way to prevent them going behind the door. You have to work fast if you want the most in one lap. Once I get a hundred +/- into the landing area. I carefully keep cornering them into the landing, then immediately shut the door. Then I turn the light on the landing off, open the door to the garage where I have a bright light that is PLACED LOW, about 3 feet from the door inside the garage to the house, and a bit angled so they can see it better in the direction I want them to go. Rinse, and repeat. THIS TAKES TON OF WORK AND PRACTICE TO GET IT RIGHT, kind of becomes and art (order out of chaos).
  • You can try using painting tarp that you get in large rolls or a sheet to close off rooms/entrances that don't have doors. Duct tape doesn't stick for long with bed sheets though, for long term stay, tacks or nails. I have plaster walls(thicker), so screws or nails not tacks I would have to use. I also have a large cardboard box that's about the same size of the door ways.
  • For clean up of walls, cabinets, edges of things(few options): I have variable speed drills. USE LOW SPEED, it will fling everywhere if not. I also have lots of different types of Velcro pads and brush heads of different hardness, good for cleaning toilets and showers 10-50x faster. I have a right angle drill adapter to make higher up on walls easier. Spray water bottle and folded mild wet paper towel. You will go through A LOT if you don't use gloves and rinse unfolded in sink with sprayer (warm water). If you wring it too hard, you will get less uses before tearing more off the roll. You can use micro-fabric pads, like Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, but don't use on wood with clear coat/shine, it will remove the finish after 2nd+ pass. Don't use anything but water in spray bottle. Vinegar mixture maybe on walls, but wipe off quick. As I mistakenly forgot was in the spray bottle; removed the finish/coating on wood, long drips are worse. Unless refinished, it's permanent streaks.
  • Or call pest control. I can manage them, but I can't fully get rid of them.

This started I think when my basement flooded a while back. They could be in the drain, but I don't think so. The small elongated flies are on the ceilings(mainly), walls(higher up more so), cabinets(like walls) and edges of things (higher up always), the gnats are (when they get the opportunity), in bags, cans, sink. They like to lay brown cocoons on plates and stuff in the sink. The gnats, most of them have stripes in the back.

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January 30, 20191 found this helpful

Don't use Acv but use white distilled vinegar they prefer acv so why would we use Acv to get rid of them other than trapping them. Pour either bleach, porixide, wdv or the baking soda and hot water method down the pipes every night until there are no more flies. Keep all areas clean of food such as counters, tables and floors and if you have kids then yeah Keep food and drinks put away at all times. Afterwards always add wdv to your dishwater or dishwasher, and always take the trash out before going to bed.

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August 20, 20190 found this helpful

Ive got three traps out now for a week. No gnat in any of them and one is white vinegar. It doesent work

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