How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies For Good

With this method, fruit flies don't stand a chance.

Fruit flies love pints of strawberries, like this one.

A fruit fly magnet. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

If you’ve ever escaped for a long weekend and left fresh fruit on your counter (or forgot to take out the garbage), you’ve likely come home to find some unwanted guests buzzing around your kitchen.

Fruit fly invasions are inevitable in the summer months, but there’s a simple way to get rid of these harmless pests. Just follow the steps below and you’ll be fruit-fly free in no time.

How to get rid of fruit flies

  • Grab a piece of paper, some tape, a mason jar or tall drinking glass, dish soap and vinegar (any will do, but apple cider or red wine vinegars are best).
  • Roll your piece of paper into a funnel and make sure the narrow end fits snugly into your glass before taping it together.
  • Pour in a few tablespoons of vinegar, and add one very small drop of dish soap. The soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, sinking any fruit flies that touch down.
  • Place your paper cone into the jar and leave your DIY trap close to the flies’ hangout. (If the cone is a little wobbly, tape it to the glass rim in a couple of spots to secure it.)

The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar, but once they fly into the cone, they won’t be able to get out. A former food editor at Chatelaine used the cone to battle a particularly nasty infestation and claims it works better than all other methods, including the popular plastic-wrap-over-a-glass technique. So the next time you find yourself swatting away one fruit fly too many, pick up a piece of paper and get rolling.

Originally published July 2018; Updated August 2021. 

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