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Natural Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

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12 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

There is a morning when you find a few fruit flies flying about the kitchen. A day or two later the few have become many and action is needed to get rid of them quickly.

These annoying insects can transfer bacteria to the food you are about to eat [1]. As a result, you need to eliminate them before the infestation gets out of control.

Here’s how to get rid of fruit flies naturally.

1. Paper Cone Trap

Fruit flies are brownish-black to tan in color with large red eyes, so you can easily distinguish them from house flies. They are particularly attracted to rotting fruits and drawn by the aroma of other fermented foods, so traps are very useful in eliminating them.

Make an easy DIY fruit fly trap by rolling up some paper into a cone and fitting the narrow end inside a jar or bottle, leaving the wide part as the entry point.

A jam jar is ideal for this purpose, containing some ripening or rotting leftover. Additionally, to sweeten the deal, pour in some cider vinegar as bait.

Now just wait for the flies to arrive. Once the pests are in the jar, the cone shape will make it hard for them to exit. They will eventually drown.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a simple home remedy to trap fruit flies and kill them. ACV has a strong fermented smell that attracts the critters.

Fill small bowls or glasses with ACV and cover them with plastic wrap. Next, punch a few holes through the wrap to allow them to enter.

Once the flies drop in the vinegar, there will be no way back out. Finally, wait for them to die then dispose of the contents in the container. It also gets rid of gnats.

3. Get Rid of Over-Ripe and Rotten Fruits

The scent of ripening fruit or rotting vegetable matter will surely attract the critters from outside the house.

As a result, the best way to avoid this is to place all ripening produce into air-tight food containers. Besides, you can also put them in the refrigerator and remove any decomposing fruits/veggies daily.

4. Essential Oils

The top picks that deter these critters are oils of lavender, basil, eucalyptus, lemongrass, peppermint, and cloves, or even camphor if used with care.

Unlike the aroma of vinegar which attracts, the flies can’t stand the smell of these oils.

Saturate some cotton balls or scrunched-up paper towels and place them around the kitchen and near doors and windows. These will act as deterrents for them.

5. Liquid Soap Solution

This soapy mixture works great for getting rid of fruit flies. Add some organic liquid soap to a dish with some cider vinegar to make a killer solution.

Making it thick enough will prevent them from escaping once they fall in.

6. Stale Beer

Use this homemade method as an alternative to other traps. The critters love fermented foods — old wine, stale beer, apple cider vinegar, etc.

Bottles with enough residual beer or wine can attract and prevent the pests from escaping via the narrow neck.

7. Clean Up

Cleaning up the inside of your house and the outdoors is a good move.

  • Bins in the kitchen can be given an extra wipe down and stored in a cupboard or other covered area.
  • Keep trash cans away from the house.
  • Drains should be kept clean and treated with an anti-bacterial cleanser and spray kitchen surfaces with a similar product.
  • Remove dirty food dishes and pans from sinks and surfaces as soon as possible.
  • Check any damp cloths used to clean surfaces or food and rinse them out thoroughly.
  • Check for fruit-falls outside and dispose of any rotting away on the ground.

Daily checks on all areas likely to attract flies are needed until they have disappeared.

8. Wash Produce Thoroughly

These pests can deposit bacteria on produce and surfaces, so ensure that you thoroughly wash foods and everything exposed to them. Sometimes produce brought in from the garden or greenhouse may bring in unwanted pests too.

Moreover, the female can lay her eggs in softening fruits, so extra care is needed to keep your produce clean or throw out anything over-ripe.

The larvae will devour any fruit or vegetables lying around – an unpleasant thought to remind you to wash the food and store it under a cover.

9. Empty Garbage Can

Bins indoor and outside the home need to be emptied more frequently than usual to prevent all types of bad insects from infesting the house. Also, firmly close the tops and keep areas around them clean.

10. Clean Drain Areas

This is essential to keep all kinds of flies away. Cleaning out drains is an arduous task but necessary to avoid them becoming a desired breeding ground for the pests.

Baking soda and salt or hot soapy liquid solutions will help eliminate odors that attract flies. Borax is also powerful and is even more effective when used with vinegar.

You can also purchase an environmentally friendly drain-cleaning agent such as EM-1 Septic Treatment.

11. Summerset Allguard

The critters start outdoors around fruit trees and bushes and in the vegetable patch.

Summerset Allguard is a commercial organic product containing concentrated solutions of garlic juice. This natural fruit fly spray also acts as a long-lasting deterrent to many other garden pests.

Diluted with water, you can use it on plants (crops), as well as ornamentals, and even lawn areas.

It is also rain-resistant so repeat applications are not necessary after every rainy day or heavy watering. Besides, there is no residual smell or taste of garlic on food.

12. Deciduous Fruit Fly Trap Kit

This product helps to control the Rhagoletis family of deciduous fruit flies that produce maggots seriously destructive to food crops.

The adult females are adept at laying their eggs carefully hidden, so special treatment is needed to control these pests.

This product works as a lure and sticky trap that will catch the adults. It prevents them from surviving and mating, thus avoiding the damage the maggots can cause.


Successful gardeners often have the pleasure of overproduction of crops. This happy situation can lead to produce left lying about on the ground or in the home — too much to consume.

These natural ways of controlling fruit fly infestations should help avoid the pest taking advantage of the abundance of fruits and vegetables.

Image via commons.wikimedia.org

Sasha Brown

Blogger and lover of all things natural.

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