5 Natural Tricks 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!

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.

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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.

5 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Your counter top compost bucket is an all night fruit fly buffet, but you don't have to completely get rid of it.

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.

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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.


Lindsay K
Lindsay Kemp5 months ago

Thanks for sharing. Helpful - apart from the photo!

Jetana A
Jetana A5 months ago

Good grief, Care2! That is a house fly on the uncovered watermelon slice.

Elena P
Elena Poensgen5 months ago

Thank you

Elena P
Elena Poensgen5 months ago

Thank you

Julie W
Julie W5 months ago

Why didn't you use a picture of a fruit fly? It would make sense given that's what the article is about. Very careless Care2!

Marija M
Marija M6 months ago

very good ingo, tks for sharing.

Magdalen B
Magdalen B6 months ago

Drosophilae round your fruit bowl suggest some of the fruit is over ripe so act as a warning. Cover your fruit up then nothing can get on it. That photo is not of a fruit fly.

heather g
heather g6 months ago

The vinegard and dish soap works well - they've started up again so must take action. Horrible little pests !

Sue H
Sue H6 months ago

Helpful information, thanks.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe1 years ago

Next time I get these little buggers, I am trying the Vinegar Trap.
Last year I tried the vinegar and molasses and it really worked well, so I may try that again!!