Skip to Content

How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies Naturally

Living in Florida, I have spent A LOT of time figuring out how to get rid of fruit flies naturally. Tips and ideas for how to kill fruit flies 4 different ways!

If you live in a warmer climate or are up North during the summer, fruit flies or gnats are probably around annoying you.  

Sure you could use a chemical spray to get rid of them, but if you have children or pets in the home, or you just don’t like the idea of spraying chemicals all over your house, natural methods are probably preferable. 

Fruit flies are so obnoxious.  Their 8-10 day life span means one or two become way too many in a really short period of time.  

They love moist, damp places, such as sink/garbage disposal drains, and are attracted to fruits and other foods-particularly ones that are fermenting or rotting.  Here are a few traps you can use for one or both.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

Apple cider vinegar is an easy way to put the kibosh on your infestation.  Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples, so fruit flies love it.  

Apple cider vinegar to get rid of fruit flies!

All you’ll need is a mason jar or clean mayonnaise jar, a funnel, ½ cup of apple cider vinegar, a drop of dish soap and for some extra oomph, a piece of ripe or overripe fruit.  

Pour the apple vinegar in the jar, just deep enough for the flies to drown.  

Add the fruit, if you want, and a drop or two of liquid dish soap.  This breaks the surface tension of the vinegar which means the flies can’t just sit on top and fly away when they’re done.  

Put the funnel (or make one by using a piece of paper and some tape) in the mouth of the jar.  The flies will be able to fly in, but not able to figure out how to get back out.  

Sit it on your counter and wait.  

Check back later.  If the flies haven’t died, stick the jar in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  

Repeat if this hasn’t gotten rid of the problem.

I use 3 or 4 of these around the house (my kids and Mother In Law's rooms tend to get fruit flies because they leave dishes in there or put food in their trash cans!)

2. Jar Trap with Fruit

Fruit flies like fruit, so this is kind of a no brainer (and it smells better than the last one).  

You’ll need a glass jar, some plastic wrap, a toothpick, some soapy water and really past eating or super ripe fruit (yes, even moldy will do).  

Put the fruit in the jar and cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap (a rubber band can help hold it in place).  

Poke holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick.  

Now put it where you have seen the fruit flies.  Make a few of them and put in multiple locations.  

The flies will get into the jar through the holes but won’t be able to get out.  

Once you have enough in the trap, submerge the jar or jars in a sink full or bucket full of warm soapy water for about 10 minutes to ensure the flies won’t be coming back.  

Clean out the jar or jars and repeat if necessary.  Side plus, it’s a great way to get rid of overripe fruit!

3. The “Don’t Wine About Fruit Flies” Trap

And yes, I spelled wine correctly because in this trap you’re using red wine!  

Fruit flies love it and will be drawn to any that s left out.  This trap will drown them, or if not, you can use the freezer trick.  

You’ll need a bit of leftover wine left in the bottom of the bottle (it’s a jar, after all), or, if you just can’t part with that last bit of wine, red wine or balsamic vinegar will also do the trick.  

If you don’t want to use the wine bottle, or don’t have one, just do the jar and plastic wrap and small holes trick.

4. Old School Fruit Fly Trick

If you want to go all old school (think Old Farmer’s Almanac) try this.  

You’ll need 1 pint of milk, ¼ pound of raw sugar and 2 ounces of ground pepper.  

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into shallow dishes and place these dishes around the house.

The fruit flies are drawn to the mixture and will quickly suffocate/drown in it.  To be sure they drown, add a drop or two of liquid dish soap into the mixture.

How To Avoid Fruit Fly Infestation

Ok, so not that the infestation is gone, here are some ways to prevent a re-infestation. 

Fruit flies

Take away their food source.  Throw out overripe produce (and take it out of your home quickly.  

Fruit flies don’t care if its in your kitchen trash!  

Store fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator.  

Always wash your produce befor≥e storing it.  This will remove any eggs or larvae on the produce.  

Clean up spills of fruit juice or alcohol quickly.

Lemongrass Spray For Fruit Flies

You can also use Lemongrass Spray.  It won’t kill them but will deter them from coming into the home in the first place.  

Take 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil and 2 ounces of hot water and combine them in a spray bottle (glass – essential oils don’t do well in plastic).  

Shake well and spray along doorways and windowsills.  

It won’t hurt pets or kids and it smells great!

Get Rid of Fruit Flies Wrapup

You don't have to be a messy housekeeper to attract fruit flies. Yes, having a fruit bowl out can draw them, but also spills, stains and even your garbage can is somewhere to look out for!

Make sure to wash out your garbage cans, check your kids rooms and take old fruit out of your house!

To get fruit fly free, set up your traps and start catching those little suckers right now!

Additional Resources: