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How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies

They’re back. And now I’m an expert at exterminating them.

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about how we had a fruit fly problem and how we got rid of the problem. The fruit flies always seem to appear in late summer and hang around until late fall. And they love to dive bomb at people’s faces.

Before learning about the solution, I would grab them out of the air. But fruit flies are pretty adept at dodging giant hands. So I started clapping them to death. That worked most of the time, but they would win by sheer numbers. It was like some freaky insect zombie movie. Kill one and it attracts even more. I’d even keep a couple of cans of Raid about the house and spray them, but that got Mrs. WhiteCoat upset.Water Strider Walking on Water Surface Tension

A couple of years ago, a neighbor suggesting putting out a glass of apple cider vinegar. Apparently, fruit flies are drawn to the aroma since it smells like fermenting fruit … which happens to be a fruit fly delicacy. They dive bomb the glass then can’t get out and drown. He also suggested putting a few drops of soap in the vinegar to break the surface tension so that the fruit flies couldn’t float on the top of the water like these water strider insects.

Fruit Fly Vinegar TrapSo we set up a vinegar trap. Put a half inch of vinegar into a glass, add a couple drops of soap, and put it near the garbage can or the sink.
Putting the glass in the microwave for 15 seconds will get more aroma out of the vinegar and attract more flies. Your home will be noticeably less fruit fly laden in no time.

We’ve seen some of the fruit flies coming out of the garbage disposal, so one of the things we did to help prevent the fruit flies from coming around was to first throw some baking soda down the drain then run hot water and the disposal, then throw a bowl of ice cubes down the drain and run the disposal again.

If this post has helped you out or if you have any other suggestions, please leave a comment in the comment section to let me know.

Fruit Fly Close up

6 comments

  1. We’ve never had a problem with fruit flies but right now yellow jackets are finding their way to the inside window over the kitchen sink. Son is about to spray the nest under the eve but I am concerned they’ve chewed their way in although I don’t see where. I cleaned out 13 bees between the window and screen. I kept it closed all week. Then I’ve been swatting them dead on the inside window …which seems to draw more toward the outside window. How do they know? Anyway …I really don’t want to spend the money on an exterminator and hope the bee spray works.

    Years ago …before Frontline, etc., was available and before Dyson vacuum cleaners ..fleas were an issue if I didn’t use the flea bomb. But I stopped using that after our first son was born. The dip scared me. Ever give a cat a bath? And the directions on the dip said don’t inhale, don’t allow it to touch your skin or clothing – wash immediately if it does. I was so afraid of the stuff and loathed giving said cat a bath. Anyway …it helped to put a low sided dish of soapy water under the nightlight. It was amazing to see how many fleas went to the light …not knowing they really were headed to the light. I guess the soap made escape too slippery.

    Glad you resolved your fruit fly problem. :)

  2. Just did the vinegar traps last week and it worked like a charm. A few modifications though: after microwaving the vinegar to warm it, I put a drop of dish soap to break the surface tension of the vinegar so the little fuckers will drown instead of skate on top of the vinegar. Additionally, I put a piece of Saran Wrap over the ramekin and using a toothpick, I poke several holes in the film. If you want to get really fancy, after poking the holes invert the plastic wrap so the poked holes funnel ‘down’, making it harder for the flies to escape. Use a pony-tail holder or rubber band to secure the Saran Wrap. Wait about 3 days and their dead, bloated carcasses will be left behind.

  3. About 10 years ago when I worked at a restaurant, we put a bucket of ice in each drain every night to help keep the fruit flies at bay. If the fruit flies are coming out of the sink, and if you have an ice maker, you might want to try dumping all your available ice into the sink each night before bed.

  4. We had a bag of birdseed that had spilled on the sun porch last fall and went unnoticed – until thousands of little moths – infested the house. Used the sticky traps and caught several hundred. Also fried them with that stupid dollar store battery charged tennis racquet thingie.

    For my fruit flies, I like the look of my Glass Pear from Gardener’s Supply – no one even knows what its doing as it sits on a shelf over the sink.

  5. Yeah, we live in the Southwest and have been having a big problem this year with bugs and I guess they are fruit flies by looking at them. This is a handy trick, we will have to give it a try! thanks

  6. Thanks for all the tips. I use cider vinegar in a jar, no soap because it’s all scented wrong, but I use the plastic wrap on top, and I put it somewhere near light or at least where background is white, which seems to attract them.

    Seal all food trash or remove it from the home every night.

    For the garbage disposal, you’re going to too much trouble. Household BLEACH is death to fruit flies. Just dump a little in there. Don’t have any standing water or anything wet unless you bleach it. Dump a little bleach down the drains each evening before you retire. Bleach can be corrosive, so don’t go overboard, a little will be all you need.

    When ice melts, it’s water. Not a good thing where fruit flies are concerned. Bleach works 100%.

    I gotta look for that glass pear for the vinegar. Sounds a lot more attractive than my jar with the plastic wrap.

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