3 Ingenious Fruit Fly Traps You Haven't Already Tried

Ewww! 8

fruit flyWe had a fruit fly invasion this week at the office. And it was maddening. One Stir staffer spent the day with a squirt bottle of soapy water, shooting it every time anything flew near her. No doubt about it, those little bugs are annoying. How do you get rid of them -- without setting off a toxic bomb of bug spray everywhere?

There's that trick of putting vinegar or something sweet in a jar and covering it with punctured plastic wrap, but that didn't do the trick for me last time I got an invasion. So I'm looking for other non-toxic, DIY fruit fly traps. 

Soda Bottle Trap

  1. Take an empty, two-liter soda bottle and cut off the top third.
  2. Fill the bottle with a 1/4 inch of juice, wine, tequila, or apple cider, and squirt in a little liquid soap. The liquid soap is supposed to create surface tension so the fruit flies don't just hang out on the surface of the juice, but actually drown in it.
  3. Invert the top of the soda bottle upside-down and set that in the bottle. 
  4. Seal the two parts together with duct tape.
  5. Enjoy as your fruit flies fly in and fail to escape.

Alternatively, you can curl a piece of paper into a funnel and insert that, point down, instead of the inverted bottle top.


Fruit flies can't handle the smoke. Rather than set your kitchen on fire (in a fury, we understand...) light some incense -- a handful of sticks, maybe more than you'd ordinarily use at once.

Milk and Sugar

1. Combine 1 pint of milk, 1/4 pound of sugar, and 2 ounces ground pepper in a saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Pour liquid into small, shallow bowls in affected areas. Collect bowls after fruit flies fall in and drown.

Destroy Breeding Grounds

Once you've killed off the fruit flies you could see, clean areas where they were breeding with bleach (your fruit bowl, for instance). Fruit flies often breed inside drains and garbage disposals, so pour some bleach down the sink as well.

How do you kill off fruit flies?


Image via John Tann/Flickr





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nonmember avatar Anner

I put some red wine vinegar in a shallow dish, cover it with saran wrap, poke a few holes in the plastic with a toothpick and leave on the counter in a corner for a few days. The flies go in through the holes but can't get out and end up drowning in the vinegar. Then just toss, wash dish and repeat if they are still in season.

nonmember avatar ECC

set out a shot of rum in a glass. They dive right in, get drunk and drowned happy.

danie... danielleapril

Ill be trying one of these, fruit flies have been a nightmare in my house the past month. My basement flooded and turned into a fly breeding heaven, its awful

flowe... flowerfunleah

Fruit flies have invaded my pantry!! Turns out it was the potatoes on the floor we had forgotten about (ugh!) so I might just try the incense stick to see if I can lure them to the bottom of the pantry where a tasty little apple cider vinegar death awaits them.

nonmember avatar Gretta

Canadians swear by suburbanturmoil.com as the absolute fruit fly guru.

nonmember avatar angell23

Pour 1/2 cup of bleach down every drain in your house. Don't run water for 3-6 hours after. Works every time, because fruit flies breed in the drains. This little secret was given to me by a pest control guy.

dekumama dekumama

The saran wrap trick works best for me when we get a bunch. Burning a big candle next to me while I eat or sip coffee/tea also helps keep them from dive bombing my drinks.

nonmember avatar fluff

srsly, this is the lamest advice ever. do you just google search and post?

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