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How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies Naturally

Nothing says summer like an overflowing bowl of ripe summer fruit. Such a bowl, beckoning from the dining table or kitchen counter, is irresistible to just about everyone, including fruit flies. Along with the summer heat, and the fruiting bounty, comes a hazy and erratic cloud of fruit flies occupying the immediate space above your collection of summer fruit. We spend wasted energy trying to shoo them away, or furiously clapping in front of our own faces in hopes of smashing one between our palms (to no avail), but fruit flies are maddening and difficult to eradicate; however, it’s not impossible.

There are a number of things you could do to prevent fruit fly infestations, like keeping rotting or overripe fruit out of your living space, but once they are in your house…well they just seem to never go away. recently posted a tip video showing how to effectively, without nasty chemicals, trap flies with a jar, a piece of paper, and a bit of bait (what this video doesn’t reveal is that, once you trap the flies, you could bring your jar of flies outside for a humane release). See video below:

My personal favorite non-chemical, non-toxic, (but not humane) technique for trapping (and thusly killing) a scourge of fruit flies involves a similar method, this time using a bit of red wine and/or cider vinegar, a tall glass and some snug plastic wrap. Simply fill up your receptacle with about 1/3 cup of wine and/or vinegar. Then cover the glass with a bit of plastic wrap and poke a few small holes (large enough for a small fly to venture in) in the top of the plastic wrap. Leave the trap in an area where fruit flies like to hang out and just wait a few days for your trap to become populated with flies attracted by the smell of wine/vinegar. The flies wander in, but are not quite smart enough to exit from where they came. The result is a lot of dead drunk (or just dead) flies, which can be conveniently poured down your drain.

Do you have any other ingenious ways to rid your house of fruit flies, or any other summer pests?

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.


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3:06PM PDT on Aug 9, 2013


4:41AM PDT on Jul 16, 2013


10:41AM PDT on Jun 16, 2013

thank you will get some vinegar

10:42AM PDT on Mar 17, 2013

great plan

8:25AM PST on Jan 4, 2013

Thank you.

3:40PM PST on Dec 30, 2012

i read they also live in the soil of indoor plants (we have a dwarf lemon tree.) if you have that problem, cover the soil with sand.

4:45AM PST on Dec 4, 2012

Will have to set up one of these fruit-fly traps before I leave for work today...

8:35PM PST on Nov 7, 2012


8:12PM PST on Nov 7, 2012

Well, we might have been better served if this article had appeared four months ago!

7:13PM PDT on Oct 18, 2012

Does anyone remember the Mediterranean fruit fly invasion in California in the early 80s? It was terrifying - the military came in and stripped everybody's fruit trees, and they sprayed pesticide at night with low flying helicopters.

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Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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