How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

A close up image of tiny fruit flies feasting on an orange peel

It’s inevitable; with fresh produce and warmer weather come fruit flies. These pesky little creatures seem to appear out of nowhere and can quickly overtake your kitchen. Just when you’ve swatted one away, two more appear in its place. Don’t let these little pests ruin the sanctity of your home. Use the following tips to put an end to fruit flies once and for all.

Make Sure They’re Actually Fruit Flies

A close up of a orange and brown fruit fly sitting on a green leaf rubbing it's front legs together

Before you start all of these steps, check to make sure your home invaders are actually fruit flies. Another common pest is the fungus gnat, which lives in the soil of your houseplants. You can tell the difference because fruit flies are brown or reddish-orange, while fungus gnats are black or gray.

Clean Out Your Kitchen

A young woman throwing out her kitchen trash into a blue receptical

First things first, it’s time to do a deep clean. Fruit flies can lay 500 eggs in a single batch, meaning you need to get rid of as many eggs as possible to stop the spread. Give your kitchen a good wipe down, especially in places where you may have spilled alcohol or fruit juice. This includes your sink drains, as flies love to feast on all the leftover food particles from your last meal.

Finally, take the garbage out regularly so flies don’t have the chance to repopulate.

Hide Your Produce

A bowl filled with freshly picked oranges

Fruit flies feed on decaying, rotting, or ripe produce, so if you keep produce in a fruit bowl or store your veggies in the pantry, you could be hosting an all-you-can-eat buffet. Instead, keep your produce in the refrigerator so flies can’t get to it. You’ll also want to wash your produce when you bring it home to get rid of any lingering larvae.

Create a Fruit Fly Trap

a small white bowl filled with apple cider vingear, creating a trap for fruit flies

Once you’ve taken away all possible food sources, it’s time to kill the fruit flies for good. You can make a few different DIY traps depending on the ingredients you have on hand.

  • Apple cider vinegar trap: One of the most popular DIY fruit fly traps is apple cider vinegar in a glass. Just pour a little in a glass, then cover it with a layer of plastic wrap, securing it with a rubber band. Poke a few holes in the top so flies can get in. Don’t worry, they won’t be able to get out. Flies love the smell of vinegar, so they’ll happily fly in for a drink to their doom.
  • Vinegar and dish soap trap: Flies not smart enough to make it through the plastic wrap holes? No worries! This trap doesn’t use any. Instead, just pour some vinegar into a bowl, then add three drops of dish soap. Once the flies land on the vinegar for a sip, the dish soap reduces the surface tension of the liquid, causing them to sink and never resurface.
  • Beer or wine trap: Have some old beer or wine that’s been sitting in the fridge for a while? Put it to good use by turning it into a fly trap. After cracking the bottle, pour some out and set it on the table. The flies will dive into the bottle, but the narrow neck should prevent them from getting out.
  • Paper cone trap: A clever twist on the typical plastic wrap trap is to use a paper cone instead. Fill a jar with a small amount of vinegar and a piece of ripe fruit, then place the narrow side of the rolled paper into the jar. As the fruit rots, the flies will go crazy, and the paper cone effectively traps them inside.

Buy a Fruit Fly Trap

A reusable clear fruit fly trap filled with fruit flies sitting on a kitchen counter

Of course, if you don’t feel like DIYing your own fruit fly trap, you can also buy a Rescue Reusable Fruit Fly Trap. These traps are usually made of plastic and feature a liquid lure that draws flies inside a chamber they can’t escape. They’re reusable, and all you have to do is refill them with new liquid when they’re empty.

Obviously, these are easier to set up than the DIY traps, so they’re an especially good option for deep infestations.

Enjoy a Fly-Free Kitchen

A modern kitchen that has wooden accents and subway tile backsplash

With these tips, you’ll find you can get rid of your fruit flies in just a few days. The most important thing is to stay dedicated, as fruit flies will feast and lay eggs on whatever they can. Keep your kitchen clean, put away produce, and use either a homemade or store-bought fruit fly trap, and your home should be safe from these pesky invaders.