You’re not alone in your love of seasonal produce: Pesky fruit flies always seem to find their way to your farmer’s market haul before you even get a chance to fully enjoy it. AndIt doesn’t take long for them to take over your kitchen.
Here are a few ways you can kill these annoying intruders:
- Make a DIY trap with apple cider vinegar and plastic wrap.
- Use a paper cone, vinegar, and old fruit.
- Combine a little vinegar and dish soap in a bowl.
- Put out an almost-empty bottle of old wine or beer.
- Buy Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch! on Amazon.
To cut off fruit flies from their food source and prevent them from entering your home, take these preventive measures as well:
- Throw out overripe produce.
- Store fruits and veggies in the fridge.
- Wash produce as soon as you get home to remove any potential eggs or larvae.
- Take out the garbage regularly.
- Clean up spills ASAP, especially fruit juice or alcohol.
You may also want to double-check that your pests in question aren’t drain flies, which lurk around drains or garbage disposals, or fungus gnats, which prefer overwatered houseplants. (Quick tip: Fruit flies have red eyes, while those other imposters don’t.) If you’re guilty of leaving a brown banana out just a little too long, then try one of these effective remedies to banish fruit flies from your kitchen.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Plastic Wrap
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Pour a little into a glass, or just remove the cap from a bottle. (It doesn’t have to be full — nearly empty will also work). Cover the opening in plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band. Then, poke a few small holes for the fruit flies to enter. They can’t resist the scent of vinegar, and they won’t be able to exit once they’re inside.
For an even better chance at success, make several of these DIY traps and place them around your kitchen.
What You’ll Need
Apple Cider Vinegar
Disposable Plastic Cups
2. A Paper Cone, Vinegar, and Old Fruit
Place a little vinegar and a chunk of very ripe fruit in a jar. Then, roll some paper into a cone and stick it into the jar, placing the narrow opening down. (You can recycle or compost the homemade funnel afterwards). The smell of rotting produce will help entice the fruit flies into the mixture, but the cone makes it difficult for them to get out.
3. Vinegar and Dish Soap
If you find your fruit flies impervious your plastic wrap or paper cone traps, try adding three drops of dish soap to a bowl of vinegar, and leave it uncovered. The soap cuts the surface tension of the vinegar so the flies will sink and drown.
4. Old Wine or Beer
Like vinegar, fruit flies love the smell of wine. Try leaving out an open bottle with a little leftover liquid — the skinny neck will keep the flies trapped. The Old Farmer’s Almanacalso recommends using stale beer to attract fruit flies to a DIY trap. Try adding a couple of drops of dish soap to either for surer success.
5. Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch
Flypunch Fruit Fly Trap Aunt Fannie’samazon.com $7.99 SHOP NOW
The chemists in the Health, Beauty, and Environmental Sciences Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute were excited to see this product cross their desks, especially Senior Chemist Sabina Wizemann, who found that it worked better in her home than other DIY remedies she’s tried.
The mixture uses the active ingredients sodium lauryl sulfate (a surfactant used in soaps) and malic acid (found in fruit) and comes in a stand-up jar. All you have to do is open the top, set it on your counter, and “watch the cycle of life unfold