There’s nothing yuckier than a cloud of fruit flies in your face. This DIY fruit fly trap will clear out your kitchen in no time at all and it’s super easy. Oh, and it’s all-natural too. Bye bye, fruit flies!
What’s worse than fruit flies? Well, mosquitoes are definitely worse but I made some citronella candles (and some more citronella candles) and all-natural bug spray to keep them away. Oh, and yellow jackets are also a pain but I made a recycled bottle wasp trap for those.
Now it’s time to stick it to those icky fruit flies with another all-natural and simple solution. This fruit fly trap just takes a few minutes to make and it sends fruit flies, um, flying.
Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?
While getting rid of fruit flies can be easy, wouldn’t you rather not have them in the first place? I swear it seems as if they appear out of nowhere. One minute you have some new bananas, the next day, fruit fly city.
So where do fruit flies really come from? When you take a trip to the grocery store, you might be bringing some of the little buggers with you. They like ripe and rotting produce. However, they can also easily slip into your house from the outdoors through open windows and even squeeze their little bodies through screens.
Attracted to human food, they know the best places to find it…the kitchen! Their antennas can smell their favourite scents from over a mile away. Any sweet or overripe scents will attract them.
You may also notice that they like to linger around drains, dirty dishes, mop buckets, and trash cans. Basically, any place you don’t want to hang out in, fruit flies will adore.
A female can lay up to 500 eggs in one season, with some hatching in just 24 hours. They can continue to breed when they are only a couple of days old. That’s how they quickly go from one to hundreds! Eeeewwww. And yes, this means that they will lay eggs in your house that turn into baby flies. These are not fun pets at all.
What’s the Difference Between a Fruit Fly and a Gnat?
They may look the same, and they may both annoy you equally, but they are in fact two very different types of flies.
Black and grey in colour, gnats tend to be slightly smaller. They don’t like to hang around kitchens and instead choose to live in soil and around houseplants.
A fruit fly will be red or brown in colour. They will cling to the kitchen and other places with strong, sweet smells.
If you suspect that your problem may actually be gnats, read this guide here on how to get rid of them. The method below on how to get rid of fruit flies only applies to them and will not work on gnats.
What Do Fruit Flies Hate?
Fruit flies HATE the idea of anything clean. This means clean surfaces, nothing left on the counter, and washed produce tucked away in the fridge.
This means your first task in the battle against fruit flies is to get rid of anything they may like. Toss out any bad produce, whether that’s in the fridge or on the counter. Take out the garbage and make sure all sinks in the house are spick and span.
Essentially, give your house a good scrub once you’ve spotted a fruit fly so others don’t feel like settling in. Larvae also need the same overripe fruit and sticky surfaces to feast on in order to grow big and strong. So don’t let them get that far!
To avoid getting fruit flies in the first place, keep things as tidy as possible. Always clean up any spills right after they happen. And so you don’t bring them home from the grocery store, always wash the produce as soon as your home to eliminate any eggs that caught a free ride home.
Fruit flies are also attracted to heat. You may notice a greater fruit fly problem in the fall as they come inside seeking warmth and the fruit they can no longer find outside.
What is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of Fruit Flies?
If you’ve got an infestation on your hands, the best thing you can do is act quickly. Since the females lay so many eggs at once, fruit flies become a severe problem in a matter of hours.
Some people may be tempted to pour bleach down the drain to rid themselves of fruit flies. While this may get rid of some larvae, the eggs will persist, and you will still have a fruit fly problem. So let’s not do that.
While there are fruit fly products you can buy to get rid of them, they’re an unnecessary purchase. You will have the ingredients already on hand to trap the flies efficiently and effectively with a homemade fruit fly trap. Making one yourself also avoids bringing any more unnecessary chemicals into the house.
You want to place your fruit fly trap right near their hub spot. If they are hanging out by where the fruit bowl used to be, set it there. For those that prefer the sink, set it on the countertop next to it. This will quickly attract the fruit flies into your trap, eliminating them quicker.
What is the Best Homemade Fruit Fly Trap?
There are lots of homemade fruit fly trap recipes out there. Some will work better than others, but they all have two things: the liquid to attract them and the container to trap them in.
For the liquid, you will want to use something very sweet, just like the overripe fruits they enjoy so much. Typically, juice, wine, apple cider vinegar, or even beer have been known to lure them into the fruit fly trap. For my recipe, I typically go with juice as I always have it handy. The fruit flies don’t deserve any of my good wine!
The next trick is to add a little dish soap. The dish soap helps to reduce the surface tension of the fruit juice. This way, the flies have a harder time sitting on top of the liquid. Instead, they are submerged immediately.
Fruit Fly Trap DIY
Now that you’ve got the low down on fruit flies and know how to prevent them, you’ve got to get rid of the ones you have! This fruit fly trap takes only a couple of minutes to make and will have your unwanted guests out of the house in no time.
- Small glass bowl
- Wine, juice, or apple cider vinegar
- Natural dish soap
- Plastic wrap
- Bamboo skewer (or toothpick)
- Fill a small glass bowl with some wine or a little juice and a piece of the fruit that the flies are so in love with. Bananas, apples, watermelon, oranges…just about anything you have in the fridge! Using plain syrup as your main attraction will not work. Fruit flies are looking for some yummy rotting fruit so they can lay their eggs in it, so use rotting fruit to lure them into your trap.
- Put a few drops of dish soap in the liquid. Mix it in well.
- Cover tightly with a piece of plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it with the bamboo skewer. If necessary, use a rubber band to help secure the plastic wrap. Make sure the holes are big enough that fruit flies can find their way into their demise da da dum. On the other hand, don’t make too many so that the fruit flies can easily escape their trap.
- Remove all temptation from the area (ie: move the offending fruit) and place the trap in its spot. Clean out when full and start again if the problem persists after a day or two. It usually takes me only one fruit fly trap full to get rid of them as I don’t let it get too out of hand.
A Note on Critters
Even though I’m giddy about killing fruit flies, warding off mosquitoes, and trapping wasps, I do love insects as a whole. I know their value to the garden and earth and respect their world.
If you want to see the good side of creepy crawlers: learn more about beneficial insects for the garden, build your own bug hotel, plant a pollinator garden, a bee garden, or a butterfly garden. Yay for bugs! Just not on me. Or my fruit.
More Posts to Help Deter Pests:
- Bug Off, Naturally: Terracotta Citronella Candles
- 1-Minute DIY Natural Bug Spray (it Really Works!)
- Insect Bite Roll-On Recipe
- Prevent and Get Rid of Annoying Fungus Gnats
Fruit Fly Trap DIY
- Pour your juice or wine into your glass container. A couple of centimeters of liquid is all you need.
- Mix in a couple of drops of dish soap.
- Secure plastic wrap over the top of the container. Make sure it is tight. A rubber band may help keep the plastic wrap in place.
- Using a bamboo skewer, poke some holes in the plastic wrap. Make sure the holes are big enough for the fruit flies to get through but don't make too many.
- Clean the area so only the trap will tempt the fruit flies. Replace every 1-2 days as needed.