Top 5 Homemade Fruit Fly Traps *That Really Work* | pest resources (2023)

Top 5 Homemade Fruit Fly Traps *That Really Work* | pest resources (1)

What does this guide say?

What causes fruit flies?

Benefits of a homemade fruit fly trap

6 homemade methods for fruit fly traps

The most effective fruit fly trap

let's wrap it up

There's no question about it: fruit flies are a relentless nuisance, especially once they've taken over your eating or prep areas.

We got it, we've been there, and we're still dealing with those pesky flying pests.

You may have googled online and found hundreds of products that help get rid of these pests, but most of them involve chemical sprays.

That's why we created this guide to help you solve your fruit fly problem with homemade fruit fly traps that are not only a more natural approach but also an inexpensive one.

In this guide you will learn:

  • What causes fruit flies?
  • How to catch fruit flies
  • 6 homemade traps for fruit flies
  • our favorite method
  • tips and tricks

Most of the methods we are talking about involve materials that you probably have around the house.

Top 5 Homemade Fruit Fly Traps *That Really Work* | pest resources (2)

What causes fruit flies?

Before we dive into the best home methods to solve your fruit fly problem, let's explain what causes fruit flies to suddenly appear and infest your kitchen.

Are you wondering where they come from all of a sudden?

There are a few reasons that can affect the entry of fruit flies into your home. one is thatFruit flies prefer high temperatures., and therefore are more populated during the summer/autumn months.

This is related to the second reason: fruit flies have akeen sense of smell. They are attracted to the smell of fermentation. It could be your fruit slowly ripening on its skin or the red wine you just uncorked. For the same reason, you will see many fruit flies near your vegetable garden and compost heap.

Fruit flies are aided by the wind blowing attractive odors through open windows and doors.

In this Article by Breugelpresented an experimentwhere a dozen flies were tracked with cameras and a 3D tracking system to see if they managed to locate the attractive smell.

Benefits of a homemade fruit fly trap

Top 5 Homemade Fruit Fly Traps *That Really Work* | pest resources (3)

We recommend choosing the do-it-yourself pest control option to solve your fruit fly problem. This is due to two main factors which is cheap and easy.Most commercially available fly traps are made with the same ingredients that you would use in your own fly trap.

Another benefit of making your own trap is the more natural approach. Sure, you could head to the store if you're short on time and invest in some fly repellent, but you're polluting your home with chemicals and potentially inhaling those fumes. Not to mention the ability to cover dining surfaces or even your food with these sprays.

To summarize why homemade fruit fly traps are the best option:

It's cheaper than store-bought fly pesticides
Everything you need may already be in your closets
Natural way to rid your home of these flying pests
Homemade fruit fly traps are the most effective way to catch fruit flies.

Unless you just moved into your new apartment or house, chances are you have everything you need to make a homemade fruit fly trap.It's an inexpensive way to deal with these errors, since you probably won't have to go to the store to buy anything extra.Well, you may have to buy a mason jar, but if you do, you can reuse it for other things around your house.

Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of produce such as fruits and vegetables, especially when they are overripe. This is where handmade fruit fly traps come in, serving as camouflage. Fruit flies will not be able to tell the difference between a sugary food source that is exposed and one that is trapped.

6 methods to make your own fruit fly traps

We recommend six classic home methods to catch and kill those pesky fruit flies that have invaded your home.

The basic concept of each of these methods is to leave an attractive sweet scent to the fruit flies in some sort of container that will trap and drown them.

Let's get into that in a moment.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar, Glass, and Plastic Wrap

Top 5 Homemade Fruit Fly Traps *That Really Work* | pest resources (4)

For this homemade fruit fly bait, add three to four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a jar or can. Cover the top of the jar or jar with plastic wrap and secure.

Then, use a screwdriver or knife to poke a few small holes in the plastic wrap so fruit flies can get in looking for the apple cider vinegar smell.

The smell of apple cider will lure them into the trap and they won't be able to fly away.

2. The wine bottle trap

This method is the easiest to set up, but we also found it to be the least effective. If you're a wine lover, this is ideal because you already have an empty wine bottle lying around.

Leave a few drops of wine in the bottom of the bottle and mix it with a little dish soap. This method will catch some fruit flies, but the other methods have proven to be more effective.

3. Paper cones in a glass trap

Top 5 Homemade Fruit Fly Traps *That Really Work* | pest resources (5)

This method requires a mason jar, plain paper, and a juicy bait like apple cider vinegar. Look in your pantry or kitchen for a mason jar or an alternative like a peanut butter jar, pasta sauce jar, or any other seasoning jar you may have.

Place your chosen bait in the jar. We recommend mixing apple cider vinegar with a small amount of dish soap.

Below you will find a sheet of paper, a newspaper. or cardboard, and roll it into a cone shape, then take some masking tape and place a small piece in the seam of the paper.

Now insert the cone into the top of the jar with the small end pointing into the jar.

Place the fly trap near your fruit basket or in an area where you have noticed increased numbers of flies.

4. Bierfalle

Yes, you read that right... we said beer trap, not bear trap.

Pour about a half cup of your least favorite beer into a glass or jar and leave it uncovered. The fruit flies are content with the leftover beer and can no longer fly.

5. Fresh basil

It has been found that fruit flies cannot stand the smell of fresh basil. So try keeping a basil plant next to your fruit bowl or even a few basil leaves under your favorite fruit.

6. Mason jar with holes in the lid

Top 5 Homemade Fruit Fly Traps *That Really Work* | pest resources (6)

This method uses a mason jar, but this time you leave the lid on. Poke a few holes in the lid with a hammer and nail.

Unlike the plastic wrap method, flies won't accidentally enlarge the holes when they get inside.

This is our favorite method and we recommend trying it first before going the fly spray route.

let's wrap it up

There we have it, 6 different homemade fruit fly traps to rid your kitchen of these pests. Each method is reasonably effective, and when planning a strategy, it's important to use 3-4 traps scattered around the kitchen.

We suggest using several methods we've listed in Your Fruit Fly Strategy to mix things up.

Remember, fruit flies love the smell of fermenting fruit!

Learn more about fruit flies

If you're looking for other fruit fly related articles, be sure to check out our other pest guides to help you get rid of your pests.


What is the absolute best way to get rid of fruit flies? ›

Bowl and Soap Trap

Fill a microwave-safe bowl with apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. Microwave the bowl so the mixture becomes even more aromatic. Leave the bowl out uncovered as fruit fly bait. The soap will reduce the surface tension, causing any fruit fly that lands on the surface to drown.

What liquid attracts fruit flies the most? ›

For the liquid, you will want to use something very sweet, just like the overripe fruits they enjoy so much. Typically, juice, wine, apple cider vinegar, or even beer have been known to lure them into the fruit fly trap.

What home remedy catches fruit flies? ›

Apple cider vinegar works better than white vinegar for fruit flies because it smells like fermenting fruit. Red wine vinegar will also work, but it tends to be more expensive than ACV. Microwave the mixture for 20 seconds or so to enhance the smell of the vinegar, then place the bowl in an area with a lot of flies.

What makes a good fruit fly bait? ›

Fruit fly traps can be made out of plastic containers such as soft drinks, milk bottles, or honey or peanut butter containers. Peel from 6 mandarins or two oranges 50mL household ammonia 1L water Medfly are attracted to sugar and protein content in fruit so home made recipes can do the trick.

How do I get rid of fruit flies in 24 hours? ›

They like fermented fruit, so mix a bit of dish soap with old beer, wine or apple cider vinegar. Pour water into the mixture until it bubbles, and leave the glass or bowl on the counter where you spot the flies. They'll come to the glass because of the fruit sugar, but get trapped in the soap bubbles.

What is the best homemade fly trap for indoors? ›

Use a shallow dish bowl and fill it with an inch of apple cider vinegar and a tablespoon of sugar. Next, add some fruit-scented dish soap. You can leave the dish uncovered or tightly covered with plastic wrap. Make sure to poke a few holes in it to attract the flies.

Which bait works best for a homemade fly trap? ›

A good bait for house flies is 1 part molasses, 3 parts water. This ferments and smells pleasant as long as it doesnt putrify. Many house fly baits use brewers yeast, fish meal, and sugar that ferments in water.

What smell do fruit flies hate the most? ›

Fruit flies dislike strong smells and you can repel them by grinding up, or hanging, fresh herbs in your kitchen. Lavender, basil, mint, and rosemary are said to be effective.

What kills fruit flies other than vinegar? ›

  • BANANA. Fruit flies are attracted to the scent of ripe (especially overripe) fruit. ...
  • WINE. Alcohol can be a powerful inducement to get fruit flies into your trap where you'd like them to stay. ...
  • BEER. ...
  • FRUIT JUICE. ...
  • YEAST.
Mar 25, 2021

What kills fruit and drain flies? ›

Mix a half cup of salt, half cup of baking soda, and one cup of vinegar, and pour the mixture down the drain. You can follow that with boiling water a few hours later.

What kills gnats instantly? ›

In order to get rid of drain gnats, pest control company Arceneaux recommends pouring a half cup of hydrogen peroxide or bleach in the drain. This should kill them instantly, but repeat as needed.

What drink attracts fruit flies? ›

Scientists have found that fruit flies detect and are attracted to the taste of carbonated water, such as water found on rotting fruits containing yeast.

What foods do fruit flies hate? ›

Fruit flies can't stand the smell of basil, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, lavender and clove. If you've had a fruit fly problem in the past, try placing these fragrant herbs in muslin sacks or tea bags and hanging them around the house.

What is protein bait for fruit flies? ›

Naturalure ™ Fruit Fly Bait Concentrate is a protein and sugar based bait containing the active ingredient spinosad. The mixture is attractive to fruit flies, including Queensland and Mediterranean fruit flies. Female fruit flies can detect the bait from several metres away.

Why won't fruit flies go away? ›

A fruit fly infestation won't just go away on its own—it'll likely only get worse. Even if the adult fruit flies die, you'll continue to get new fruit flies every day unless you cut off the source. If you do nothing, they'll just breed on unnoticed crumbs, spills, and food particles.

Will honey trap fruit flies? ›

Luring flies to a trap is the hardest part. Luckily, they're attracted to anything sweet — simple syrup, honey and fruit — so you shouldn't have to look too far to find something sugar-y enough to entice them.

Do fruit flies hate vinegar? ›

Vinegar (or acetic acid) is the ultimate product of the fermentation process in fruit, which is why fruit flies are attracted to vinegar odor. However, both low and high concentrations of vinegar odor leave flies indifferent (left).

Can fruit flies make you sick? ›

Health Risks of Fruit Flies

Some of the bacteria they may carry include salmonella, E. coli, and listeria. These three germs each cause food poisoning. Severe cases may put you in the hospital and can even be life-threatening.

Why do fruit flies keep coming back? ›

They're attracted to fermented waste: Sinia says you'll frequently find fruit flies lingering near "ripened fruits and vegetables, moist fermenting or decaying organic matter, as well as dirty mop heads and buckets." They also congregate near discarded beverage containers and recycling bins.

What smell do flies hate inside? ›

Cinnamon – use cinnamon as an air freshner, as flies hate the smell! Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and lemongrass essential oils – Not only will spraying these oils around the house create a beautiful aroma, but they will also deter those pesky flies too.

What smell kills house flies? ›

Eucalyptus oil is a good option, but you can also use lavender, citrus, pine, clove, peppermint, and thyme essential oils. Most flies hate these scents, so the oils will act as a fly repellent.

Is honey or vinegar better for catching flies? ›

Does honey actually help you catch flies? Well, it's definitely going to help you more than vinegar generally will, at least (though apple cider vinegar can be used to attract them too). Flies may be attracted to the sweetness of honey. Of course, that sweetness can be a fly's downfall, since it's also quite sticky.

What liquid attracts drain flies? ›

Soap + Water + Sugar + Vinegar

Add a few drops of dish soap to a bowl of water, sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Leave the bowl out for a few days close to the drain to attract the drain flies to the sweet solution. The thickness of the added soap will trap the flies in the water.

What is the best home remedy to get rid of flies? ›

Cayenne pepper is an excellent natural fly repellent and also deters many other insects. Mix one cup of water and one teaspoon of cayenne pepper in a misting bottle and spray it near entryways and wherever you see flies. Other natural fly repellents include lemongrass, peppermint, eucalyptus, camphor, and cinnamon.

Do fruit flies hate Windex? ›

Because Windex doesn't work as a repellent, it's no more effective at getting rid of the occasional bug than using a broom to shoo the critter outdoors or a paper towel to squish it. You're better off saving the cleaning solution for its rightful use.

Do fruit flies hate toothpaste? ›

The assumption was that toothpaste attracted the fruit flies. So, I put about a tablespoon in the bottom of the glass. A day later, there were still zero fruit flies in the trap. Bottom line: Does not work.

Do fruit flies hate Pine Sol? ›

Flies seem to HATE pine-sol. To make the fly repelling spray, mix the original Pine-Sol with water, at a ratio of 50/50 and put it in a spray bottle. Use to wipe counters or spray on the porch and patio table and furniture to drive the flies away.

Can fruit flies lay eggs in vinegar? ›

But if you put a cup of apple cider vinegar out on your counter—a common trap tactic—you won't kill the pests. You will only make the problem worse, since fruit flies can actually breed in the cup.

Where do fruit flies lay eggs? ›

Fruit flies lay their eggs near the surface of fermenting foods or other moist, organic materials. Upon emerging, the tiny larvae continue to feed near the surface of the fermenting mass.

Will pickle juice work for fruit flies? ›

Pickle juice works too for fruit flies.. pour some into a small disposable container.. like a jar lid..and set it on your kitchen counter..then can be tossed into waste container.. This works, the trick is the drop of liquid soap.

Does hydrogen peroxide get rid of fruit flies? ›

You can use a simple mixture of one part hydrogen peroxide and three parts water to kill fruit flies in your home and in your garden.

Does bleach get rid of fruit flies? ›

Do not use bleach. Since bleach does not coat the pipes, it will not kill the flies.

Does soapy water get rid of fruit flies? ›

Water with soap can help in resolving your fruit fly problems. Mix water and drops of liquid soap and place it during the night under a light. This trap can attract not only fruit flies but also mosquitoes which have been infesting your home.

Why won't my fruit flies go away? ›

If conditions like moisture (in your sink, via juice from rotten fruit, or even due to humidity), decaying food, and dirty drains continue, so will your fruit fly infestation, Baldwin explains.

Why are fruit flies so hard to get rid of? ›

That's because they have incredibly fast life cycles. A single female fruit fly can lay up to 100 eggs a day, which hatch in less than 24 hours. The maggots then tunnel under the fruit skin, feeding on the microbial rot. In just a few days later, they pupate into fully fledged fruit flies.

Why are there so many fruit flies in my house all of a sudden? ›

Fruit flies often come in to your home through cracks in walls, loose seals around doors or windows, or via eggs laid inside of a piece of produce from the grocery store. Fruit flies can seem to come from out of nowhere to infest your home, but this is mainly due to how quickly fruit flies breed and develop.

Where do fruit flies lay their eggs in the house? ›

Fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs at a time near the surface of fermenting (ripening) foods or other organic materials like the soil in your houseplants. They can also lay their eggs in sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, garbage bags, and even damp mops and sponges.

How long does a fruit fly infestation last? ›

It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to eliminate a fruit fly infestation, which is why experts recommend preventative measures.

Why are the fruit flies not going into the vinegar? ›

If fruit flies aren't going into the vinegar, make sure it's apple cider vinegar you're using in the trap. 'Plain white vinegar does will not attract fruit flies because it has no fruity scent,' says Diane Kuthy. And if it is the right sort of vinegar, don't use it cold.

Do fans keep fruit flies away? ›

Keep the air moving. Once you've located and removed the source of the fruit flies, keep a ceiling or blower fan going all day in your kitchen. Fruit flies can't zip around the kitchen very well, says Harrison, so letting the fan run will stop the flies from landing in your fruit bowl and breeding.

What kills fruit flies on contact? ›

Spray them with rubbing alcohol.

Fill a fine-misting spray bottle with rubbing alcohol, and spray the fruit flies. The alcohol will kill them, and dead fruit flies can be cleaned up easily with a wet rag.

Will a fruit fly infestation go away? ›

A fruit fly infestation won't just go away on its own—it'll likely only get worse. Even if the adult fruit flies die, you'll continue to get new fruit flies every day unless you cut off the source. If you do nothing, they'll just breed on unnoticed crumbs, spills, and food particles.

How do I get rid of fruit flies in my bathroom and kitchen? ›

Fly traps are a great way to get rid of fruit flies in the bathroom. They work by trapping the flies in a sticky substance, which prevents them from escaping. As the flies try to escape, they become stuck in the trap. This eliminates the need to use harsh chemicals or pesticides, which can be harmful to your health.

Why do I have fruit flies in my house and I have no fruit? ›

If there is no fruit or vegetable matter in your kitchen, check your garbage and recycling bins. Fruit flies may also use unclean drains as breeding grounds. Outdoor drains are likely sources of yard-based fruit flies, as are overripe fruits beneath the trees from which they have fallen.


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