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Getting Rid of Fruit Flies

By Edited Oct 27, 2013 1 1

Fruit flies are easy to end up with. Sometimes they seem to appear from no where with no reason and then they multiply and before you know it you have a problem. Getting rid of them can often seem a pain and sometimes you think you get rid of them only to find more of them. This is sometimes frustrating, but you can get rid of them!

Block Entrance and Don't Entice Them Closer.
You should make sure all your windows have screens. Check the screens for wholes. Use a screen door on all your doors. Make sure the door is shut and never left open. It is also a good idea to avoid bringing them close to your home. If you have a compost pile keep it several feet away from the house. Don't use manure near the house as fertilizer. Try and keep anything that might bring them close, far away from your home.

Whether your house is a disaster or fairly clean it is a good idea to go out and search for dirty areas where they may be feeding and moist areas where they may be breeding. These can be all over the house, but are often in the kitchen and bathrooms.

  • Get rid of all the trash. Often fruit flies find a wide range of food options in the trash and they can even find enough moisture in there to breed.
  • Clean the trash cans. The trash can can be full of spills and left over foods that happen to get in there. Clean it out with one cup of vinegar and hot water. This will get rid of food messes and also any eggs that might happen to be in there.Make sure you clean all the trash cans all over the house.
  • Get rid of any over ripe fruit and stash other fruit in the fridge. While the fridge isn't idea for your fruit, it will keep your fruit flies from having it for breakfast.
  • Clean the drains. Pour one cup of baking soda and two cups of vinegar into each of your drains. This should include the sinks, tubs, and showers in the bathrooms as well as the kitchen sink. This will get rid of anything that might be multiplying down there.
  • Wipe up any spills on the counters, the stove, and the floors. You may even want to check under the stove and refrigerator to make sure that they don't have a food source under there.
  • Clean any and all dirty dishes all over the house. Make sure you get all the dishes and all the foods that might be around the house.
  • Get rid of any flowers that you have in the area. Cut flowers can provide enough of a food source for fruit flies to continue to multiply and the water can make it easy to breed there as well. Get rid of flowers till you get rid of the problem.
  • Launder your dish rags. Don't leave them laying in the sink where they easily become a breeding ground. Instead make sure they are freshly laundered and hung up so they can dry after every use.
  • Do your laundry. Getting your clothes clean can also keep them from breeding in damp laundry or munching on food that may be on your clothing.

Double Check Your Foods.
Make sure you don't have open foods laying around. Put your fruit in the fridge as well as all your condiment bottles. Check all the areas where there might be a food source for them. Your best bet is to eliminate these sources or put them in the fridge so that you can work on getting rid of the problem.

Trapping Them.
The best way to get rid of them is to trap them. There are a lot of different types of traps that you can make for effectively attacking your current population. Choose one that works best or easiest for you.
  1. Pop bottle trap- To make a pop bottle trap take a plastic pop bottle and cut the lid of at the label. Put a little enticing liquid in the bottom of the pop bottle. This could be some left over pop, juice, wine, or balsamic vinegar. Open the cap on the cut off portion of the pop bottle. Flip it so that it forms a cone that leads into the bottle. Tape it using masking tape or duct tape. The flies will be drawn to the fluid and will get trapped into the bottle. After a night of catching flies toss the bottle in the outdoor garbage bin. You don't want to wait longer then over night because they will eventually start to escape.
  2. Bowl trap or glass trap- Place enticing fluid into the bottom of a bowl or glass. Cover it tightly with a piece of plastic wrap. Make sure that it is completely smooth with no wrinkles. Attach it tightly with a rubber band (a hair tie also works if you don't have a rubber band). Poke holes in it with a pen or tooth pick. The flies will go into and get trapped. You can then dump them out (make sure you kill them with water) or take them outside to get rid of them. While it is a lot less likely that they will escape from this trap it is possible if they are left there too long.
  3. Ziploc bag trap- Put a piece of peeled fruit into a Ziploc bag. Close it about half way. Set it on the counter over night. Early in the morning carefully finish zipping the bag and throw it away.
  4. Wine and Soap trap- Place a little wine in a bowl and set it on the counter. Add a drop or two of dish soap. The wine will attract the fruit flies and the soap breaks the surface tension so that the fruit flies will drown.
  5. Oven trap- Place a piece of peeled fruit on the center of a cookie sheet. Stick the cookie sheet in the oven and leave the door open over night. Early in the morning shut the door and turn the oven on.

Each of these traps are effective in catching the fruit flies. You then need to determine where to get rid of them for effective eradication. You will need to do these traps every night for three or four days to make sure that you got all of the flies. If fruit flies appear after this period continue to work on getting rid of them and make sure you look for locations where they may be eating and breeding.

Fruit flies are never fun and they are even annoying. To get rid of them clean up the locations where they might be eating and breeding. Then trap the ones you are dealing with now and get rid of them. You can get rid of the pesky little critters!



Mar 11, 2015 4:18pm
Having gone through this problem myself once, this was an excellent article. We used the soda pop bottle method, but I didn't think about cutting off the top portion and turning it over for a funnel. That might have worked quicker. I was amazed at how well it worked. I filled the bottom with white vinegar and water, because that's what we had. They were gone within a week.
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