Fruit flies are bad enough when encountered outside. When they show up in the home, however, it’s out-and-out war. Although few people are as agile with the fly-swatter as they’d like to be, our brains are bigger, so it’s absolutely possible to simply outsmart the average fruit fly. It’s easy enough to learn how to get rid of fruit flies by using simple homemade hacks, but if you’d rather leave the dirty work to someone else, there’s a product for that, too.
Keep fruit flies out of your home
Before we get to that, however, do yourself a favor in the future and prevent fruit flies outright. Try not to leave doors and windows open any longer than necessary, as the little suckers are shockingly fast fliers.
Also, check your home for tiny cracks that could be letting them in and then, consult the apartment maintenance person for help fixing them. And for the love of everything holy, wash your produce thoroughly when you bring it home unless you want tiny hitchhiking eggs to erupt into a whole colony of ravenous fruit flies.
How to get rid of fruit flies
Fruit flies are naturally drawn to the fermented goodness of decomposing produce and garbage. So, it makes sense that the most effective DIY traps involve such materials, most of which are found lying around the average home. Ironically, as much as most people would like to make flies simply go away, you don’t want to focus on fly repellant, so much as a fly attraction.
1. Apple cider vinegar
Experts swear by apple cider vinegar traps as the best way to get rid of fruit flies. White vinegar can also be used in a pinch.
- Simply grab a bowl or glass, then fill it up with apple cider vinegar.
- Cover it up with plastic wrap, then use a rubber band to secure it.
- Make small holes in the top of the plastic wrap and walk away. The fruit flies will sniff out the vinegar, make their way through the holes and then be trapped.
2. Vinegar and dish soap
This homemade fly trap is even easier. All you need is some vinegar, a bowl and a drop of dish soap.
- Fill the bowl with vinegar.
- Add dish soap and mix it up.
The purpose of the dish soap is to change the consistency of the vinegar so that the fly becomes immediately trapped.
3. Beer or wine trap
Another fermented substance that most people have handy is beer or wine.
- Leave a swig at the bottom of your bottle or can.
- Place it on a flat surface near the fruit fly problem.
They won’t be able to resist the fermented goodness the alcohol promises, but will quickly get trapped in the bottle. You can also add a drop or two of dish soap to encourage faster trapping if you want.
4. Milk and sugar mix
This is a trick your great-grandparents probably used.
- Simmer a glass of milk on the stove, along with a quarter-cup of ground pepper and a cup of sugar.
- Pour the mixture into a bowl and place it on the counter. The little buggers are drawn to the sugar fermentation.
5. Ripe fruit trap
This is one of the most effective solutions, especially if you have extra fresh product.
- Put a small amount of vinegar in a jar or cup and add some very ripe fruit or veggies that you have lying around.
- Take a piece of paper and roll it up into a cone.
- Place it in the cup with the wide side up, narrow side down.
- Watch with glee as the rotting produce attracts the flies, which are then trapped, thanks to the cone.
Commercially-available products to get rid of fruit flies
If you don’t want to DIY your fly repellent, consider picking up one of these online products:
- Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch: Made from a special blend of ferment and vinegar, Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch Dive Jar is safe to keep near food and is easy to use. Just pop open the top and watch the flies line up to get in.
- Fruit Fly BarPro: This commercially available product promises to eliminate a host of nasty bugs (including fruit flies) for up to four months using time-released vapors. It also repels newcomers from showing up. Plus, there’s no clean-up necessary (other than to throw it away at the end of its use).
How to get rid of gnats in the house
All that said, don’t get fruit flies confused with gnats. Gnats tend to travel in swarms and can bite, whereas fruit flies are loners. However, they’re attracted to the same rotting foodstuffs. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to learn how to get rid of gnats in a house.
One process is very similar to a fruit fly trap. Mix up some apple cider vinegar, water, dish soap and sugar. Then, leave it in a bowl on the counter and wait. Or, you can mix up some red wine and dish soap. If you notice gnats, which are about half the size of fruit flies, hanging around the sink just pour bleach down the drain.
Forget about fruit flies
Hopefully, you’ve learned how to get rid of fruit flies by using one of these DIY or commercial traps. Now, just keep the doors and windows closed and the produce put away so it doesn’t happen again! But even if it does, next time, you’ll already know how to get rid of fruit flies like a pro.