While common in many homes, fruit flies often represent an irritant to homeowners, especially in the kitchen. Preventing fruit flies from coming into your home may be as simple as cleaning properly each day. Dealing with an ongoing infestation, however, might require more stringent steps, though.
In this article, we instruct you on how to get rid of fruit flies. Method 1 takes you through the steps of making your own fruit fly trap, Method 2 shows you how to make your own fruit fly killing spray, Method 3 discusses using essential oils as a fruit fly deterrent, and Method 4 gives other steps for preventing a fruit fly infestation of your home.
Method 1 of 4: Build a fruit fly trap
- Cider vinegar (3/4 of an inch)
- Small jar
- Small plastic funnel
You can make a simple trap to capture fruit flies easily and then dispose of them. The following section tells you how to make a fruit fly trap.
Step 1: Fill the jar. Pour about 3/4 of an inch of cider vinegar into the small jar.
You can also use some other liquid, such as fruit juice, or even beer or wine. You can use basically anything that can attract the fruit flies as bait.
Step 2: Place the funnel. Place a small plastic funnel into the end of the jar.
Make sure that the funnel is not too small to fit in the mouth of the jar.
You can also roll a piece of paper up to act as a makeshift funnel. You want the top of the makeshift funnel to be wider than the mouth of the jar so that the paper does not fall down into the jar.
Step 3: Tape the funnel. Next, using tape, secure the funnel to the jar.
Make sure to cover any gaps between the jar and the funnel to keep any fruit flies from crawling out.
The type of tape doesn’t matter as long as it secures the funnel properly in place.
Step 4: Replace the cider vinegar. Every few days, remove the funnel and pour out the old vinegar.
Pour fresh cider vinegar into the jar and reattach the funnel. Repeat this step as necessary until the fruit flies are gone.
Method 2 of 4: Make-your-own fruit fly spray
- Fine mist spray bottle
- Paper towers or broom
- Rubbing alcohol (71% or 91%)
- Rubber gloves
You can also make your own fruit fly spray from items around your home that kills fruit flies quickly. The section below details a great formula to make your own fruit fly-killing spray.
Step 1: Use 70% or 91% rubbing alcohol. Fill a fine mist spray bottle with 70% or 91% rubbing alcohol.
You can also use 91% rubbing alcohol to spray on their eggs.
Step 2: Spray on fruit flies. Spray the mixture onto the hovering fruit flies.
Make sure to ventilate any room you use the 91% rubbing alcohol spray in, and make sure to wear rubber gloves to avoid skin contact.
Step 3: Wipe up. After spraying the fruit flies, wipe them up with a paper towel or sweep them up with a broom.
Avoid spraying around or near food or food preparation areas.
In lieu of mixing your own fruit fly spray or building your own trap, you can buy sprays or traps online or at your local store.
Method 3 of 4: Using essential oils
- Essential oil (lemongrass, eucalyptus, or peppermint)
- Spray bottle
Essential oils provide another option to help deter fruit flies. While the essential oils don’t kill the fruit flies, they keep them away. To prepare the essential oils for use, fill a spray bottle with 1 cup of water and five to 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice. Once mixed, spray the areas that commonly attract fruit flies, such as near the sink or the trash can. Some great essential oils to use for this purpose include:
Method 4 of 4: Other steps to get rid of fruit flies
In addition to the methods above, you can take certain precautions to prevent fruit fly infestation of your home. The following steps explain how you can keep fruit flies out of your home.
- Clean your sink drain: Sometimes food particles and pieces get stuck in your drain, creating a potential breeding ground for fruit flies. If you know that your sink drain harbors fruit flies, take steps to clean it properly.
Pour a pot of boiling soapy water down your drain to kill any live fruit flies and wash them and their eggs down the drain. Also, make sure to scrub the inside of the basin of your sink.
- Store produce correctly: Cover your fruit, if in a bowl; place it in a closed brown paper bag; or place it in the refrigerator.
Also, make sure to take your trash out on a daily basis or take any discarded fruit directly to a compost bin outside.
- Wash out the trash can: Wash your trash can occasionally to remove stuck-on food. In addition, when placing bottles and cans in your trash, rinse them out beforehand, as any leftover substances in them can attract fruit flies.
Keep a tight lid on your trash cans to prevent fruit flies from entering and laying eggs.
- Wipe down surfaces: Using hot, soapy water, clean your countertops, cabinets, and other areas that might have stuck-on food that can attract fruit flies on a daily basis.
In addition, pay attention to cracks where food residue can accumulate and wash any dirty dishes quickly.
Keeping fruit flies out of your home might seem like work, but by following the advice above, you can ensure that you stop an infestation before it happens. Even if you do experience a fruit fly problem, there are several methods at your disposal to easily rid your home of this small pest.