How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies Fast October 5, 2016

You go to the market every Sunday to get your weekly dose of fresh produce. After a day or two, once the produce starts ripening, you come back home to find a few dozen fruit flies hovering in the kitchen. These annoying little insects feed on ripening and rotting food items, and thrive in moist and damp places, for example, the garbage bins (1). To get rid of these pesky flies, you need to firstly locate the rotting food item that has attracted them to your house and then, dispose that item. Check every nook and corner thoroughly. Then, use one of many effective methods listed here to trap the fruit flies and get rid of them for good.

Fruit Flies Fast

Image: Shutterstock

How To Trap Fruit Flies

Here are the seven best methods to catch fruit flies.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar Fly Trap
  2. Clove Apple Method
  3. Orange Juice Method
  4. Fruit Fly Cone Trap
  5. Red Wine Method
  6. Homemade Fruit Fly Spray

Catching Fruit Flies Using Simple Homemade Methods

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Fly Trap

 Apple Cider Vinegar Fly Trap

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 drops of dishwashing liquid
  • A piece of ripe fruit
  • A glass jar
  • A funnel

What You Have To Do

  1. Lightly heat the vinegar and pour it into the jar. To this, add a drop or two of the dishwashing liquid.
  2. Put the piece of ripened fruit in the jar and place the funnel on the jar’s mouth. You can use a rolled up piece of paper in case you do not have a funnel. Tape this funnel in place.
  3. Place this set-up on the kitchen counter or wherever the fruit flies are present in high number.

How Often Do You Need To Do This

Keep the jar out for a couple of hours. If needed, repeat the next day.

Why This Works

The fruit flies cannot resist the smell of fermentation, and since apple cider vinegar is fermented liquid, they will get drawn to it (2). The ripe fruit will act as an added attraction for the flies. The dishwashing liquid will reduce the surface tension of the vinegar so that the flies can drown in the liquid (3). The funnel will confuse the flies on their way out of the jar, and they won’t be able to escape. This is one of the best fruit fly traps.

Back To TOC

2. Clove Apple Method

Clove Apple Method

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • An apple
  • 20-25 cloves

What You Have To Do

  1. Prick the apple all over with the cloves.
  2. Place this apple on the kitchen counter, dining table, or even the picnic table.
  3. Leave it out for the day.

How Often Do You Need To Do This

Repeat this for a day or two based on your requirement.

Why This Works

The smell of cloves will act as a fly repellent (4).

Back To TOC

3. Orange Juice Method

Orange Juice Method

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • A glass jar
  • Plastic wrap
  • Toothpick

What You Have To Do

  1. Dilute the orange juice with water and pour it into the jar.
  2. Cover the jar with the plastic wrap and poke holes that are big enough for the fruit fly to go through.
  3. Leave the jar out for a couple of hours.

How Often Do You Need To Do This

Repeat this the next day if there are still any flies left in the house.

Why This Works

Orange juice, when left out at room temperature, starts to ferment, and this smell attracts the fruit flies. They can easily enter the jar through the holes but cannot escape. This is a good method to catch fruit flies.

Back To TOC

4. Fruit Fly Cone Trap

Fruit Fly Cone Trap

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • A scrap piece of paper
  • Cellophane tape
  • A glass jar
  • A small piece of banana

What You Have To Do

  1. Place the piece of banana in the jar.
  2. Make a cone out of the piece of paper. Insert it into the jar so that the narrow end of the cone is atleast halfway down.
  3. Hold the paper cone in place with tape.
  4. Leave this set-up overnight.

How Often Do You Need To Do This

You can leave the fruit fly cone trap for a few days as well.

Why This Works

The smell of the rotting banana attracts the fruit flies,  and the paper cone traps them inside the jar.

Back To TOC

5. Red Wine Method

Red Wine Method

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • Leftover red wine
  • Thin nozzle bottle

What You Have To Do

  1. Leave the wine out in the bottle in your kitchen or dining room.
  2. Once the fruit flies are trapped inside, cover the mouth of the bottle and freeze the flies to death.

How Often Do You Need To Do This

Repeat this in different rooms in the house till all the fruit flies are captured.

Why This Works

The fermented red wine gives out a fragrant odor and attracts fruit flies. Once trapped in the bottle, the flies can be easily gotten rid of.

Back To TOC

6. Homemade Fruit Fly Spray

Homemade-Fruit-Fly-Spray

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil
  • 2 ounces of hot water
  • Spray bottle

What You Have To Do

  1. Add the essential oil to the hot water and pour this carefully into the spray bottle. Shake well.
  2. Spray this mixture onto windowsills, doorways, and even directly on the fruit flies when you see any.

How Often Do You Need To Do This

Spray on all entryways to the house every day for a few days.

Why This Works

Lemongrass oil is not effective in killing the fruit flies, but it will definitely keep them at bay (5). It will also leave a refreshing smell in the house.

Back To TOC

Few Facts About Fruit Flies

  1. Fruit flies are commonly seen on unrefrigerated produce.
  2. They are also called as vinegar flies because of their attraction towards the odor of fermented food items.
  3. They have a really short lifespan of eight to 10 days and reproduce quickly.
  4. The female flies lay about 500 eggs at one time, usually inside the peel of a rotting fruit in sink drains and garbage bins. They can also lay eggs on rotting food present on sponges.
  5. They build up in large populations and are a home menace.

Tips To Avoid Fruit Flies

  • All openings in the house to the outside must be properly covered with protective meshing.
  • Proper storage of unrefrigerated foods is essential. Use mesh covers to avoid fruit fly contamination.
  • Equipment and surfaces around food should be thoroughly cleaned.
  • All garbage bins should be covered properly.
rid of fruit flies fast

Image: Shutterstock

  • Garbage should be properly sealed and disposed of. It should also be thrown out frequently so that rotting food items are not present in the house for too long.
  • Fruit flies usually breed in the drains around the house. To get rid of the problem from the root, pour half a cup of vinegar mixed with half a cup of hot water down the drain. Also, keep the area around the drain clean and dry.

Do Fruit Flies Bite Or Sting?

These annoying little pests may cause havoc in your household, but they definitely do not bite. A fruit fly does not have the mouthparts to bite humans and feed on blood. They eat their rotten food diet with the help of a sucker-like mouth. They do not have any teeth or pointed mouthparts to penetrate the human skin (6).

Fruit Flies

Image: Shutterstock

However, some people have reported to develop red spots on their skin when exposed to fruit flies. It is normal to doubt the ability of these flies to bite humans in such situations. But, what actually happens here is an allergic reaction of the human skin. Fruit flies live around rotten and decaying matter, and are exposed to harmful bacteria that can be present in these areas. The red spots seen on the skin of few people is due to the bacteria. These bacteria can also cause diarrhea and dysentery (7). So it is extremely important to keep the garbage covered and dispose it frequently.

What Do Fruit Flies Like To Eat?

Fruit flies feed on rotting and decaying food items, especially decomposing fruit. The list is almost endless, with examples including apples, apricots, grapes, lemon, nectarines, guava, mango, tomato, tangerine, plums, etc. They also feed on vegetables and fermenting liquids like beer and vinegar (8).

Fruit flies are annoying house pests that can cause serious health issues because of their contaminated breeding areas. Use these tried and tested methods to keep your home healthy and clean.

Have you tried any of our methods in the past? Do let us know in the comments below.

The following two tabs change content below.
Profile photo of Kushneet Kukreja

Latest posts by Kushneet Kukreja (see all)

Profile photo of Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja