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5 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Has this steamy summer driven fruit flies into your kitchen? Try these natural ways to give them the boot.

The upside to home-spun solutions to get rid of fruit flies is they cost less and keep harmful chemicals out of your home.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

Fruit flies breed quickly, so you can go from just a few of the buggers to a super gross swarm of them in just a few days. If you’re dealing with a fruit fly infestation, chances are it’s in the kitchen where you definitely don’t want to spray toxic chemicals.

The natural fruit fly remedies below take more elbow grease than commercial bug sprays or calling an exterminator. The upside to these home-spun solutions is that they cost less and keep harmful chemicals out of your home. Natural pest control takes a more holistic approach to fighting bugs. You’re going to start by getting rid of fruit fly breeding grounds.

1. Be Diligent About Kitchen Compost

We have an outdoor compost bin, but we also have a smaller countertop canister for collecting food scraps. That counter top compost is basically an all-night fruit fly buffet. Do you have one of these? You don’t have to get rid of it. To avoid a fruit fly problem, just empty your counter top compost every day. It’s also a good idea to wipe it down and let it dry every day or two. Food gets mushier faster if there’s moisture in the bin, and fruit flies love that the most.

2. Clean the Kitchen

(And any other room where you serve food). Even tiny scraps of food can feed your fruit fly problem. A deep clean removes those food sources, making your house a less desirable place for fruit flies. Clear off the counters and wipe them down, and thoroughly clean the floor and baseboards. It’s also a good idea to audit your fruit bowl. Grab anything overripe and either compost or preserve it.

3. Vinegar Trap

Now that you’ve gotten rid of their food sources, it’s time to get rid of the flies that remain in your house. This simple vinegar trap works really well:

  • Pour about 1″ of apple cider vinegar into a tall glass jar, and mix in a couple drops of dish soap.
  • Cover the top with a piece of saran wrap secured with a rubber band, and poke a few holes into the wrap.
  • Fruit flies are attracted to the strong vinegar. They can get in through the holes in the saran wrap, but they can’t get out.
  • Refresh your trap every few days until you’re not catching flies anymore.

4. Vinegar Trap Variation

Follow the steps above, but skip the saran wrap. Instead, make a cone from a piece of paper and nestle it into the top of the jar. Same idea: flies can get in but not out.

5. Low-Tech Fruit Method

Want a more humane solution that doesn’t involve killing the fruit flies? Try this catch-and-release method. Stick a few chunks of cut up fruit into a container that has a lid, then quickly cover it when the fruit is covered with flies. Fruit flies are slow, so if you move quickly, you can trap a lot of them with one slam of the lid.

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