Get Rid Of Fruit Flies With These 6 Homemade Fruit Fly Traps

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6 Homemade Fruit Fly Traps

There’s no doubt about it, fruit flies are an incredibly common, and incredibly irritating household pest.

Found in homes across the land, particularly during the summer months, these flies reproduce at a ridiculously fast rate (they can lay up to 500 eggs at a time), meaning once you’ve got one buzzing around your kitchen, it is likely to be joined by swarms of friends in no time at all.

Fruit flies thrive in moist damp places, so they are most commonly found around the sink and garbage disposal drains, as well as close to fruits and other foods (particularly rotting or fermenting foods), but these make baited fruit fly traps very effective!

Fruit flies on a piece of fruit

Signs of a fruit fly infestation

If you’ve got a fruit fly infestation, you’ll probably know about it as you’re sure to spot both the adult flies and the pupae around your home. The adult fruit flies are often seen flying around the kitchen or trash cans and are particularly present around decaying fruit and vegetables, as well as liquor and beer bottles.

Once they start to mature, the fruit fly larvae crawl out of the breeding material and into a nearby dry spot where they pupate. Although it is easy to mistake the fruit fly larvae for rodent or cockroach droppings, they are distinguishable by a pair of horns on one end of the pupae.

So, in an attempt to rid your kitchen of these pesky fruit flies, here are our top homemade fruit fly traps that will allow you to kill and remove fruit flies quickly and simply… Getting rid of fruit flies is simple when you use the following traps.

Bowl fruit fly trapSimple fruit fly bowl trap

Fruit Jar/Bowl Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit flies are huge fans of fruit, so this is the perfect way to lure them into your fruit fly trap.

You will need…

  • A glass jar or a bowl
  • Saran Wrap
  • A toothpick
  • Some very ripe or overripe fruit
  • Soapy water
  • Rubber band

Making the trap…

  1. Take several pieces of ripe, ideally overripe fruit, and place them in the bottom of the glass jar or bowl.
  1. Cover the jar with Saran Wrap, securing it with a rubber band.
  1. Using the toothpick, poke holes in the wrap.
  1. Set the jars around the house, focusing in the areas where the fruit flies seem to congregate. The flies will be drawn to the trap and will successfully find their way in, but won’t be able to get out.
  1. When the jar is full enough, submerge it in a bucket of warm, soapy water and allow it to sit for around 10 minutes to kill off the fruit flies.
  1. Rinse out the jar, then refill it with overripe fruit and repeat the process. Your home will be fruit fly free in no time at all.

Jar fruit fly trapFruit fly Jar Trap

Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

This is an incredibly simple trap that should help to catch any rogue fruit flies. This fruit fly trap works on the concept that fruit flies can’t resist the smell of fermentation and so flock towards the apple cider vinegar, which is, of course, made from fermented apples.

You will need…

  • A mason jar (or similar)
  • A funnel
  • ½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • A drop of dish soap
  • A piece of ripe or overripe fruit

Making the trap… 

  1. <Firstly, heat the apple cider vinegar and pour it into the mason jar. The vinegar should be just deep enough for the flies to drown.
  1. Add a couple of drops of dish soap to the apple cider vinegar. This will break the surface tension of the liquid and prevent the flies from sitting on the top and flying away.
  1. Insert your funnel into the mouth of the jar and tape it in place. If you don’t have access to a funnel, simply roll up a piece of paper to make one. The flies will then enter the jar through the funnel, but won’t be able to get back out again.
  1. To make the jar extra tempting, drop in a piece of ripe fruit and allow it to break down in the mixture.
  1. Now all you need to do is wait! If you find that the flies don’t drown when they enter the jar, simply place it in the freezer for around 20 minutes and that should kill the fruit flies.

Red Wine Fruit Fly Trap

Like many of us humans, fruit flies are drawn to red wine and, once you’ve caught them, it’s easy to kill them in their intoxicated state.

You will need…

  • A small amount of red wine
  • Wine bottle

Making the trap…

  1. This fruit fly trap is extremely easy to make! Simply leave a small amount (around half a glass) of red wine at the bottom of the bottle.
  1. Leave the open bottle out on a surface, close to where the fruit flies seem to lurk. The flies will flock to the wine, fly into the bottle, and then get stuck.
  1. The flies should drown in the wine, but if they don’t, simply place the bottle in the freezer or fill it with warm soapy water.

Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

You will need…

  • A bottle of apple cider vinegar (it doesn’t need to be full!)
  • Saran Wrap
  • Rubber Band
  • Toothpick

Making the trap…

  1. Firstly, remove the cap from your bottle of apple cider vinegar. Remember, it doesn’t necessarily need to be a full bottle, a nearly empty bottle will have the same effect.
  1. Cover the opening of the bottle with Saran Wrap and secure it in place with a rubber band.
  1. Using the toothpick, poke a hole in the Saran Wrap to allow the fruit flies to enter the bottle.
  1. Put the bottle in the main problem area and then sit back and wait. The flies will be attracted by the scent of the vinegar and, once they enter the bottle, they’ll find themselves stuck and will drown.

Old Farmer’s Fruit Fly Trap

This tried and true homemade flytrap method has been used for centuries. Although it might seem like an unusual recipe, it’s a sure-fire way to get rid of fruit flies. 

You will need… 

  • 1 Pint of milk
  • ¼ Pound of raw sugar
  • 2 Ounces of ground pepper 

Making the trap… 

  1. Combine the milk, sugar, and pepper in a saucepan and allow the mixture to simmer over low heat for around 10 minutes.
  1. Next, pour the mixture into shallow dishes and place them around the house, strategically targeting the spots that the fruit flies seem to flock to most. We’re not entirely sure why, but the fruit flies are drawn to the mixture and, once they land in it, will quickly drown.
  1. If you notice that the flies seem to be landing and flying away rather than drowning, simply add a drop or two of dish soap. 

The Bottle Fruit Fly Trap

This is another quick and easy way to make a fruit fly trap, which uses things you’ll have lying around your home.

You will need…

  • An empty 2-litre plastic soda bottle
  • Heavy-duty packing tape
  • Some rotting fruit or vegetables

Making the trap…

  1. Take a pair of scissors and carefully cut the empty soda bottle into two parts. You should make the cut approximately ¼ to 1/3 of the way down the bottle to ensure that the bottom half is larger that the top half.
  1. Remove the cap from the top of the bottle and turn the top half upside down.
  1. Take a few pieces of rotten produce (potatoes seem to work particularly well) and place them in the bottom half of the bottle.
  1. Take the top half of the bottle and place it upside down inside the bottom half, creating a funnel effect.
  1. Next, tape the two halves of the bottle together to ensure that they stay securely in place.

Prevention is better than cure…

Homemade Lemongrass Fruit Fly Spray

This isn’t technically a fruit fly trap, and it won’t kill the fruit flies, but it should help to keep them away from your home. And we all know that prevention is better than cure.

You will need…

  • 10 Drops of Lemongrass essential oil
  • A clean spray bottle
  • 2 Ounces of hot water


  1. Start by pouring 2 ounces of hot water into the spray bottle.
  1. Add 10 drops of Lemongrass essential oil and shake well to mix the two ingredients together.
  1. Spray the Lemongrass mixture over windowsills and doorways. This should keep the flies away. If you notice any fruit flies around the house, you can also spray the mixture directly onto them.

As well as keeping fruit flies out of your home, the Lemongrass spray also leaves a nice, refreshing citrus scent around the house.

Eliminate the source of the problem

Food bowl - ripe fruit attracts fruit fliesCover, or store ripe fruit in the refrigerator

There are a number of simple steps that you can take to eliminate the source of the fruit flies and keep them out of your house.

Firstly, make sure that you don’t leave any ripened fruit or vegetables exposed. Get a fruit bowl cover or keep them in the refrigerator where the flies can’t get to them.

In addition to this, you should also clean your recycling bins regularly and make sure that any bottles or jars you place within the recycling bin are clean and free from food residue.

If you compost your food waste, make sure your compost bin is positioned as far away from your house as possible.

You should also check that your garbage cans are free from any small bits of food or liquids.

The fruit fly traps listed on this post are highly effective at trapping and killing fruit flies. Combined with the common-sense prevention advice, getting rid of fruit flies should be easy and your home will be fruit fly free in no time at all.

(Images from: Downtowngal & cheeseslave)
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