How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies: Testing 8 Odd Methods

By Subodh / September 22, 2011

Unless you have never had fruit or water in your house, you have had fruit flies. If fact, they seem to appear almost magically if you leave so much as one strawberry out and let it over-ripen. It is not just fruit either, they also like spoiled vegetables. Basically they just love old produce and once they are around the can be a little tough to get rid of.

Luckily, because they are such a common pest there have been some unique methods created to handle them and they all use things around the house. Some get rid of the quickly while others work with a trap.

The trap method

To make you own trap all you will need is a funnel, a jar, and bait. The flies are drawn down the funnel by the bait and into the jar. The, either because they are not too bright or because they are happy there, they remain in the jar until they die. The jar and the funnel can be of any type so the big difference is in the bait. Here are some of the most common ones used.

  • Toothpaste. This is an odd bait method that most likely came about because people saw fruit fly hanging around their toothbrush. What they did not realize was that it was the water on the brush and not the toothpaste itself. In the end, toothpaste doesn’t work.
  • Apple cider vinegar. This is an old method of baiting fruit fly traps and it does work but with mixed results. If you want to make it more effective then you should try warming up the vinegar first. Warm vinegar is much more aromatic that vinegar that has not been. This is recommended bait because it works and it is cheap.
  • Wine. Wine, especially red wine, works very well. It is similar to both vinegar and to fruit. If you have ever left the cap or cork off your red wine bottle you will know how well it works, even if you don’t want it to.
  • Banana liqueur. This is not something you want to go out and buy because it has such a limited number of uses but if you have some left over from making Bananas Foster then give it a try, it does work well.
  • Tequila. This works better than you might think. The fruit flies seem to be attracted to the fermented agave smell.
  • Rotten fruit. This works well but has its down sides. One is that you have to look at rotten fruit in a jar. The second is that rotten fruit is what they breed in.

Other Methods

  • Hair dryer. This might be a great method if all you did was aim the hair dryer at them and they went “poof!” This is not the case. You need to get the fruit flies close enough to the intake to get sucked in and then hit a heating element. This assumes that they do not get caught on the screens on the way in. Besides, you are going to look silly chasing fruit flies around your kitchen with a hair dryer. You should pass on this method.
  • Incense. Oddly, fruit fly lungs can’t handle incense smoke so they just drop dead. Unfortunately many people have a similar reaction. If you do happen to like incense, this might be just the solution for you.

If you have fruit flies they are not impossible to get rid of, you just have to find the method you like the best.

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