Pesky to deal with, fruit flies are quite the unpleasant feature of warm weather. While fruit flies can be easily introduced into your home, they’re that much more difficult to get rid of. Some good fruit fly-deterring remedies can come in quite handy when dealing with these little buggers.

Even though the life span of a fruit fly is less than a month (25 days), they can quickly become a menace if not dealt within a timely manner. Fruit flies reach adulthood in eight to 10 days, and a female can lay up to 500 eggs at a time.


These pests may be on the lower end of evolution, but nature has compensated them with their populating prowess. While they prefer to lay their eggs over the fermenting sugars of rotting fruit, they’ll also lay eggs in trash cans, garbage disposals or drains.

Of course, there’s that option of spraying them with a variety of insecticides. You shall be the sole judge in deciding if the health concerns regarding those harmful chemicals are really worth it.

But in fact, you shouldn’t have to resort to harmful chemicals to get rid of these bugs when there are so many simple and inexpensive remedies to banish fruit flies.

Here are five homemade traps to get rid of those pesky fruit flies:


Method 1: Using an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Trap

Things you’ll need:


  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV) – 2 cups
  • Liquid dish soap – 1 tablespoon
  • Glass jar – 2 quart
  • Plastic wrap
  • Toothpick

Step 1. Pour ACV and dish soap into a glass jar

Pour ACv and dish soap in a glass jar

  • Pour 2 cups of apple cider vinegar into a 2 quart glass jar.
  • Mix in 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap.

Fruit flies love rotting, fermented fruits and are attracted by the smell of fermentation. Apple cider vinegar is essentially an overly fermented apple and its smell will lure the flies into the jar. Ultimately, the fruit flies will drown in the vinegar.

The liquid dish soap will prevent the flies from just landing and flying away. It breaks the surface tension, thus making the fruit flies sink when they touch the surface of the vinegar.

Step 2. Cover the mouth of the jar with plastic wrap

cover the mouth of the jar


Stretch plastic wrap over the mouth of the glass jar, covering it entirely.

Step 3. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap

Poke a few holes

  • Using the sharp end of the toothpick, poke a few holes into the tightly stretched plastic wrap. Be sure not to poke too many holes.

When the fruit flies get attracted to the smell of the apple cider vinegar, these holes will allow them to enter the jar, but won’t let them leave. Most flies are attracted and guided by light and smell. Just like they can’t judge the difference between an open or closed window in order to escape, they are unable to escape through the holes they came in.

  • Set up this trap in the area plagued by fruit flies.
  • You may need to give it some time, but ultimately you’ll find the population of the fruit flies drowned in the vinegar.
  • The dead flies then can be disposed of.

While this trap is certainly reusable, you may wish to replace its contents if you need to use it in your kitchen or living room.



Method 2: Using a Fruit Trap

Things you’ll need:


  • Overripe fruit
  • Glass bowl
  • Plastic wrap
  • Scissors
  • Toothpick

Step 1. Place the overripe fruit in a glass bowl

place the overripe fruit in a glass bowl

  • Break or cut up any fruit that’s overripe or past its date and rotting.
  • Put this fruit in the glass bowl.

We’ve used an overripe banana, peeled and sliced, for our fruit fly trap.

Overripe or rotting fruit works much in the same way as apple cider vinegar to attract the fruit flies. The smell of fermenting sugars from the rotting fruit lures the insects in. You can easily use the rotten fruit that attracted the fruit flies in the first place.


Step 2. Cover the glass bowl with plastic wrap

cover the glass bowl with plastic wrap

Stretch some plastic wrap tightly over the mouth of the bowl, and cut off the extra wrap with a pair of scissors.

Step 3. Poke a few holes in the plastic wrap

poke a few holes

  • Randomly poke multiple holes onto the plastic wrap with the toothpick.

This way the fruit flies will find their way in, but are unable to come out. Guided by their sense of smell, the fruit flies will manage to find their way into the bowl of the rotting fruit, but they won’t be able to figure out the escape route.

  • Place this fruit fly trap in the area most frequented by the fruit flies.
  • When it has trapped sufficient flies, you can dispose of them.
  • Popping the bowl into the freezer for about 20 minutes should effectively kill all the fruit flies, after which you can clean out the bowl.


Method 3: Using a Wine Trap

Things you’ll need:


  • Red wine
  • Glass bottle, with a narrow neck
  • Funnel

Fill a bottle with red wine

fill the bottle with red wine

  • Arrange a funnel over a glass bottle with a narrow neck.
  • Pour wine into the bottle through the funnel. Pour in enough wine so that the flies can easily drown in it.

Just like apple cider vinegar, wine attracts the fruit flies with its smell because wine is essentially fermented grapes. You don’t need to be specific about the type of wine. Any cheap variety will do the trick.

The narrow neck of the bottle will prevent the fruit flies from escaping. The slippery glass surface will also give the flies a hard time crawling out. If you’re still worried about them escaping, add a couple drops of liquid dish soap into the wine to make the flies sink on contact.

  • Set this bottle overnight in the area plagued by fruit flies.
  • By morning, you’ll find the buzzing population has moved inside the bottle and drowned in the wine.


Method 4: Using Milk, Sugar and Pepper

Things you’ll need:


  • Raw sugar – 4 tablespoons
  • Ground pepper – 2 tablespoons
  • Milk – 1 cup

Step 1. Combine and simmer the ingredients in a pan

combine and simmer the ingredients

  • Pour 1 cup of milk into a pan.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of ground pepper to the milk.
  • Add in 4 tablespoons of raw sugar as well. You can also use brown sugar for this trap.
  • Place the pan over heat and let the contents simmer for about 10 minutes.

An old and traditional trick to manage a fruit fly menace, this fluid mixture effectively traps and kills the flies. Sugar and milk attract the fruit flies and pepper suffocates them, ultimately drowning them in the liquid.

Step 2. Pour the concoction into a bowl and set it in an area with the pest menace

Pour the concoction

  • Pour the prepared concoction into a bowl.
  • Place this bowl in the area where the fruit fly menace is the worst.

Give this trap some time to work, maybe overnight, to completely get rid of fruit flies in your home.


Method 5: Using a Homemade Fruit Fly Spray

Things you’ll need:


  • Lemongrass essential oil – 20 drops
  • Hot water – ½ cup
  • Spray bottle

Combine hot water and lemongrass oil in a spray bottle

combine hot water and lemongrass oil

  • Pour ½ cup of hot water into the spray bottle.
  • Add about 20 drops of lemongrass essential oil to it.
  • Close the mouth of the spray bottle. Shake the bottle vigorously to mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Lemongrass can be used to effectively ward off bugs, including fruit flies. Lemongrass essential oil doesn’t kill the fruit flies, but it will act as a deterrent and keep these pesky pests away when used regularly.

Usually killing pests, especially insects, is often disgusting in sight as well as smell. Lemongrass keeps the fruit flies at bay and as an added bonus, leaves a pleasant fragrance in its wake.

Use this lemongrass spray as a fruit fly deterrent. Spray it over doors, windowsills and other cracks and crevices that you can think of. You can also spray it directly over the fruit flies that you come across.


Additional Tips

  • You can also heat up the apple cider vinegar before making the fruit fly trap. Heating the vinegar helps spread its smell over a larger area, attracting most of the flies.
  • To make the trap more alluring, you may add a few pieces of overripe or rotting fruit into the apple cider vinegar.
  • To poke the small holes in the plastic wrap, you can also use the tines of a fork or any other prickly object instead of toothpicks.
  • If you don’t have plastic wrap on hand, you can also use a makeshift paper funnel to keep the flies in. Fold a paper into a conical shape and insert it into the mouth of the jar with the narrow end facing down. You can also tape the cone to the mouth of the jar to keep it from dislodging. The flies will go in but won’t be able to come out through the narrow opening.
  • Duly dispose of the overripe produce to discourage the breeding of fruit flies in your house.
  • Keep compost bins and trashcans covered and keep the garbage disposal and drains clean in order to eliminate the breeding places of fruit flies. Also, keep alcoholic beverages covered and don’t overwater your plants.

Summary of How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies:

how to get rid of fruit flies