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5 Effective Homemade Fruit Fly Trap Ideas (That Work!)

When you find your kitchen overtaken by a swarm of fruit flies, you want them gone as soon as possible. 

More than likely, you've been Googling all the different ways to go about fruit fly elimination. 

Let's face it...

homemade fruit fly traps

There are a TON of different products out there and even more ways to make a natural fruit fly trap.

With that in mind...

We're going to break down some of the best homemade DIY fruit fly traps we have been able to find across the internet... enjoy!

How Do You Get Rid of Fruit Flies in Your House (Naturally)?

If your kitchen becomes a fruit fly breeding ground overnight, the key to making an effective trap for these guys is being familiar with why they like your kitchen so much.

Not quite sure what we mean? Keep reading for a little more insight.

Are Fruit Flies Attracted to Sugar?

One might assume that because fruit is naturally full of sugar (and because flies are usually the first visitors on the scene anytime someone opens up a package of sweet food in the summertime), that these pests are after the glucose. 

It stands to reason that in creating a homemade fruit fly trap, the best thing to do in order to lure in the fruit flies would be to scatter some sugar granules inside, right?

Well, not necessarily.

Fruit flies do enjoy the sweetness of fruit, but it's the breakdown of the fruit that they're really after.

These insects feed off of the fermentation when organic material begins to decompose, so they're going for the parts of the fruit that is literally rotting.

This is why beer, wine, and ciders all seem to blast an invitation to any fruit flies in the vicinity to come on over.


Where Do Fruit Flies Come From?

Fruit flies, who thrive in the warmth of late summer/early autumn, are generally brought into the home by one of three ways:

  • An open window or a door left ajar
  • Minute cracks in the structure of your home
  • As barely-visible eggs resting on the surface of produce from the store

Because fruit flies breed so rapidly, once you let them in, it'll be weeks (sometimes months!) before they die off naturally. This, of course, is why people turn to traps.

Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your pest problems?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area.

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A Warning Against Using a Store-Bought Fruit Fly Trap

Maybe you're short on time.

Perhaps you've just moved into your place and don't have a lot of extra stuff just yet.

It could be that you just plain don't like DIY projects.

Whatever the reason, if you're leaning toward buying a trap from a store or online retailer, we recommend against it.

Why? Well, for starters, most traps that you can buy are made of natural ingredients anyway; the exact same things you'd use in your own trap.

Even if you're buying a trap made of chemicals, fruit flies probably won't be so attracted to those (after all, they're not called "chemical flies").

To add insult to injury, these store-bought traps can be more expensive.

DIY Natural Fruit Fly Trap: The Way To Go

In short, here are the benefits of fruit fly trap DIY methods:

  • you probably already have everything you need
  • it's usually the cheapest option
  • this is the most effective way to catch fruit flies

Like we said earlier, unless you've just moved into a new place, you're probably going to have all that you need to make a homemade natural fruit fly trap with basic household supplies. 

Because you probably don't have to buy anything extra, you'll spend literally nothing on a homemade fruit fly trap.

Okay, maybe you'll need to shell out for one or two things (like a jar or plastic wrap, for instance), but in that case, these items can be re-purposed for other things in the home.

Fruit flies are on one mission: to find fermentation.

Once they get a dose of overripe produce or organic materials, they can breed. This means that they're always on the lookout for naturally-occurring matter on which to feed, and that they'll be most attracted to the bait in a homemade trap.


Using White Vinegar For Fruit Fly Removal

The magic word to catch fruit flies: vinegar. Any quick internet search on how to get rid of fruit flies will give you a slew of articles and tips glazed with this household staple. Why? 

Why Fruit Flies Everywhere Love Vinegar

Vinegar is an ideal meal for fruit flies: totally fermented organic matter. Because fruit flies will always zoom toward the acidity of broken-down natural materials, they can't resist the scent.

For fruit flies, vinegar acts as Kryptonite: they fly right into an open container of it, and then drown themselves in the liquid, attempting to consume it through their mouthparts. 

The Best Fruit Fly Trap with White Vinegar

In order to make the perfect trap for fruit flies, all you really need is a glass and some plastic wrap.

You can use a jar and a lid if you've got that lying around, but in terms of bare-bones traps, it's not necessary.

  1. Pour some white vinegar into the glass and cover it with plastic wrap.
  2. Poke a few small holes in the plastic so that the scent can emanate out, then poke a larger hole in the center of the plastic for the fruit flies to get in.
  3. Add a few drops of dish soap to act as a glue and keep them stuck inside the vinegar.
  4. They'll follow their noses to the source of the smell, but not be able to find their way back out again, eventually dying off inside the glass. 

If you end up using the jar and lid, just poke holes in the lid as directed above.

Using Apple Cider Vinegar To Kill Fruit Flies

Not all vinegar is created equal in the monstrous red eyes of the fruit fly.

Apple cider vinegar is perfect: it's fruit that has been distilled to the point that it is festering liquid. White vinegar can be used to catch fruit flies, but they'll be MUCH more inclined to fly into a trap if apple cider vinegar is used.

Make a trap as described in the previous paragraph, with a jar and plastic wrap.

Here's a fun experiment that kids will love: try out both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar.

Make two traps and place them at opposite sides of the kitchen. See which can catch the most fruit flies in a day!

Watch this video to learn how to make a fruit fly trap at home with vinegar:

3 More Homemade Hacks to Banish Fruit Flies

While vinegar is the absolute most effective way to easily catch and kill fruit flies, it's not the only way. If you don't have vinegar (or just can't stand the smell), we've got you covered.

Make a Fruit Peel Jar

Much like the vinegar jar above, this homemade fruit fly trap relies on the insect's sense of smell to reel them in.

This can work in a glass, a jar, or even a plastic Tupperware container. 

Simply take the garbage pieces of fruit that you'd normally throw out (think banana peels, avocado skins/pits, the tops of strawberries, apple cores, etc.) and place them into a container.​

Using either a custom-fitted lid or a piece of plastic wrap, poke holes for air and one large hole for entry. After a few hours, watch the fruit flies pile inside!

Use a Wine Bottle

Okay, this trap is as easy as it comes.

You don't even really have to do anything! The next time you're enjoying some wine, leave a bit in the bottom of the bottle.

While you wouldn't think that wining and dining a fruit fly would be an effective method in controlling your fruit fly infestation, hear us out. 

Fruit flies love all wine: from a nice Cabernet Sauvignon to a refreshing class of Chenin Blanc, they'll dive headfirst into an open, uncorked wine bottle just sitting around.

Not only will your kitchen take on the musky, alluring aroma of a nice open bottle, but you'll be catching all your annoying fruit flies at the same time.

A Trap for the Ages

You've heard of the Old Farmer's Almanac, right?

Well, in an issue from the 1800s, this fruit fly trap trick came about.

It's blissfully simple: just simmer a glass of milk, a cup of sugar, and a half-cup of raw pepper on the stove.

Once it cools, put the mixture into a bowl and set it on the counter top.

That's it!

The fruit flies will sense the fermentation of the sugar in the milk, and the pepper works as the active ingredient to suffocate them; clogging up their mouth parts with thick granules.

Want to skip all this research and just hire a decent exterminator for your pest problems?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area.

(Process takes about 30 seconds)

The Bottom Line About Fruit Flies and Homemade Traps!

Fruit flies are unpleasant at best and downright nasty at worst, but they're easily swayed away from your food with the right kind of trap.

Rather than put your faith in the hands of something manmade, give them what they're really after: a piece of nature's candy.

Fruit flies are smart, but you're smarter. Once you set a trap made from things in your house, they'll be powerless to resist.

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