Quantcast

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.

You Might Also Like

25 Vegan Sources of Calcium

Move Over, Quinoa, a New Superfood Grain Is in Town

8 Fast Food Chains That Serve Local, Organic, Vegan Food

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Climate activists protest Chase Bank's continued funding of the fossil fuel industry on May 16, 2019 by setting up a tripod-blockade in midtown Manhattan, clogging traffic for over an hour. Michael Nigro / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Julia Conley

Climate campaigners on Friday expressed hope that policymakers who are stalling on taking decisive climate action would reconsider their stance in light of new warnings from an unlikely source: two economists at J.P. Morgan Chase.

Read More
Protesters holding signs in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en Nation outside the Canadian Consulate in NYC. The Indigenous Peoples Day NYC Committee (IPDNYC), a coalition of 13 Indigenous Peoples and indigenous-led organizations gathered outside the Canadian Consulate and Permanent Mission to the UN to support the Wet'suwet'en Nation in their opposition to a Coastal GasLink pipeline scheduled to enter their traditional territory in British Columbia, Canada. Erik McGregor / LightRocket / Getty Images

Tensions are continuing to rise in Canada over a controversial pipeline project as protesters enter their 12th day blockading railways, demonstrating on streets and highways, and paralyzing the nation's rail system

Read More
Sponsored
padnpen / iStock / Getty Images

Yet another reason to avoid the typical western diet: eating high-fat, highly processed junk food filled with added sugars can impair brain function and lead to overeating in just one week.

Read More
Horseshoe Bend (seen above) is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River in Page, Arizona. didier.camus / Flickr / public domain

Millions of people rely on the Colorado River, but the climate crisis is causing the river to dry up, putting many at risk of "severe water shortages," according to new research, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
An alarming sign of an impending drought is the decreased snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, as seen here in Christmas Valley, South Lake Tahoe, California on Feb. 15, 2020. jcookfisher / CC BY 2.0

California is headed toward drought conditions as February, typically the state's wettest month, passes without a drop of rain. The lack of rainfall could lead to early fire conditions. With no rain predicted for the next week, it looks as if this month will be only the second time in 170 years that San Francisco has not had a drop of rain in February, according to The Weather Channel.

The last time San Francisco did not record a drop of rain in February was in 1864 as the Civil War raged.

"This hasn't happened in 150 years or more," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability to The Guardian. "There have even been a couple [of] wildfires – which is definitely not something you typically hear about in the middle of winter."

While the Pacific Northwest has flooded from heavy rains, the southern part of the West Coast has seen one storm after another pass by. Last week, the U.S. Drought Monitor said more Californians are in drought conditions than at any time during 2019, as The Weather Channel reported.

On Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor said nearly 60 percent of the state was abnormally dry, up from 46 percent just last week, according to The Mercury News in San Jose.

The dry winter has included areas that have seen devastating fires recently, including Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino counties. If the dry conditions continue, those areas will once again have dangerously high fire conditions, according to The Mercury News.

"Given what we've seen so far this year and the forecast for the next few weeks, I do think it's pretty likely we'll end up in some degree of drought by this summer," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported.

Another alarming sign of an impending drought is the decreased snowpack in the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The National Weather Service posted to Twitter a side-by-side comparison of snowpack from February 2019 and from this year, illustrating the puny snowpack this year. The snow accumulated in the Sierra Nevadas provides water to roughly 30 percent of the state, according to NBC Los Angeles.

Right now, the snowpack is at 53 percent of its normal volume after two warm and dry months to start the year. It is a remarkable decline, considering that the snowpack started 2020 at 90 percent of its historical average, as The Guardian reported.

"Those numbers are going to continue to go down," said Swain. "I would guess that the 1 March number is going to be less than 50 percent."

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center forecast that the drier-than-average conditions may last through April.

NOAA said Northern California will continue deeper into drought through the end of April, citing that the "persistent high pressure over the North Pacific Ocean is expected to continue, diverting storm systems to the north and south and away from California and parts of the Southwest," as The Weather Channel reported.

As the climate crisis escalates and the world continues to heat up, California should expect to see water drawn out of its ecosystem, making the state warmer and drier. Increased heat will lead to further loss of snow, both as less falls and as more of it melts quickly, according to The Guardian.

"We aren't going to necessarily see less rain, it's just that that rain goes less far. That's a future where the flood risk extends, with bigger wetter storms in a warming world," said Swain, as The Guardian reported.

The Guardian noted that while California's reservoirs are currently near capacity, the more immediate impact of the warm, dry winter will be how it raises the fire danger as trees and grasslands dry out.

"The plants and the forests don't benefit from the water storage reservoirs," said Swain, as The Mercury News reported. "If conditions remain very dry heading into summer, the landscape and vegetation is definitely going to feel it this year. From a wildfire perspective, the dry years do tend to be the bad fire years, especially in Northern California."