7 Quick Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Let’s talk about fruit flies. These pesky gnats are arguably some of the most annoying bugs to ever exist. They come out around ripened fruits or veggies, drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash bags — pretty much any moist areas of fermenting stuff.

So basically, if you have a fruit bowl and the bananas in it are getting a little brown, or your garbage disposal has some food it in from last night’s dinner, you’re probably going to see a few of these buggers floating around like they own the place.

What’s more, fruit flies lay up to 500—yes, you read that right, 500!—eggs at a time while they’re on these surfaces. And then they’re born, and they lay eggs, and it’s one vicious, insanely irritating cycle.

Fruit flies are really small, so they can sneak into your house through any nook and cranny. But, there are still ways to keep them out and rid yourself of them today. Follow these remedies and tips to get rid of fruit flies for good:

  1. Vinegar

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    Specifically, unfiltered apple cider vinegar works best in this case. Just pour a bit of this briny stuff into a glass and then cover the top with plastic wrap and a rubber band. Then poke some holes into the plastic wrap with a pencil. They love the smell of vinegar — sometimes they’re even called “vinegar flies” and they’ll be drawn to your trap and dive right in. Think of it as a little whirlpool of vinegar for your fruit fly frenemies.Note: Try adding some dish soap to this concoction, which makes the surface sticky so they can’t escape as easily.

  2. Sugar and spice and everything…milk

    For this contraption, you’ll need 4 ounces raw sugar, about 2 ounces ground black pepper, and a pint of milk. Mix all of these ingredients together in a saucepan and heat it up on the stove. Pour it into a cup or dish and leave it out. The mixture mimics the aroma and sweetness of ripe fruit, and they’ll drown at the scene.

  3. Lemon

    Cut a lemon into a shape that’s flat on top and on the bottom. Squeeze some juice into a plastic container (one that you have a plastic lid for) and then put the whole lemon slice inside of it. Punch a hole in the plastic lid of the container and watch as the fruit flies get sucked right in, but can’t get back out. Again, they love the acidity. Check out a DIY tutorial on how to make this trap, and what to do with your container after you’ve caught you flies here.

  4. Red wine

    Have a little cabernet left after your steak dinner? Leave out the open bottle with the little bit of wine left in it. Wine is another acidic beverage, so the fruit flies will be drawn towards it — plus the skinny neck of the bottle is a great way to trap them. Bonus: They’ll probably be too drunk to care, so they’ll die happy!

  5. Paper and fruit

    It might sound like an odd combo, but hear us out. Fruit flies love ripe fruit, so grab a piece of fruit that’s ripened—a banana peel or a near-mushy apple—and place it at the bottom of a cup or jar with a little vinegar. Then take a sheet of printer or notebook paper (any kind will do) and roll it into a cone shape and stick the smaller part into the jar, with the wide part open. This is for the fruit flies who might be able to get out of the first trick—with the cone, they’ll come in, but there’s no way out.

  6. Beer and a banana

    Apparently, fruit flies are just loving the alcohol. Place a piece of an almost-rotted banana at the bottom of a jar and then pour some beer on top of it (any beer you have on hand will do). Poke some holes in some plastic wrap and secure it tightly to the jar.

  7. Store-bought fruit fly trap

    If all else fails, search for a fruit fly trap in your local grocery store or online. Fly BarPro or Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch are just some of our favorites.

Do you have any fruit fly problems? Which method are you going to try first to get rid of them?