How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on September 2, 2008

So I remember doing “genetics” experiments with fruit flies in AP Biology in high school. They did not teach me what to do about them when they appear in my kitchen.

You know how quickly they multiply…so they are definitely beating me! The only food that I leave out on the counter is bananas. They ripen too quickly in the fridge.

I see the little boogers on the “stem/stalk” part of the bananas. I “remember” hearing something about how to get rid of them, but can’t seem to “remember” (think…fuzzy mommy brain!)!

Help! I need to kill them faster than they can multiply!

How can I get rid of these little pests???

*****UPDATE: The dish soap and vinegar worked perfectly! I found several of the little boogers in the dish this morning and have seen now flying around! Other than the pungent vinegar smell, it was quick, easy and effective! THANKS!!!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

hotomom September 2, 2008 at 10:31 pm

OMG how funny we just had a HUGE infestion of them because of our neighbor leaving his refrigerator full of rotting rood (we live in a two family). We finally started leaving out wet rags and they would flock to that and we got a venus fly trap. Nothing worked great so I’ll be interested to read what others say. Good luck!!

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Rebecca September 2, 2008 at 10:38 pm

You may have to figure out somewhere else to keep those bananas–or stop buying them for a couple weeks while the fruit flies find somewhere else to live.

Another thing you can do is put some vinegar or wine in a jar, then put a funnel over that. The flies will go in but won’t be able to fly back out.

You may want to check out our Thrifty Green Thursday blog carnival over at the Green Baby Guide!

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~Rhen @yestheyareallmine September 2, 2008 at 11:00 pm

I can so help you with this! It was actually a WFMW that I posted a little while back.
Grab a bowl and put a banana peel in it. The riper, the better. Cover the bowl with clear wrap. Poke some holes (slits) that are big enough for the flies to crawl through. The flies will be drawn to the peel in the bowl and then will not be able to get back out again.
I did it at my house and was amazed at how many flies it caught by morning.

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GreenStyleMom September 2, 2008 at 11:05 pm

I had a post up in July about how I get rid of fruit flies. I meant to post it for WFMW and forgot! Here it is…
http://greenstylemom.blogspot.com/2008/07/catching-fruit-flies.html

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Megan September 2, 2008 at 11:10 pm

I’m also battling fruit flies, and they drive me crazy! The best solution I’ve found is to set out a little bowl of apple cider vinegar with a little dish washing soap in it. The fruit flies are attracted to the apple cider vinegar, but the dish soap kills them. One time I actually counted, and I had 50 fruit flies in my little bowl!

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tina in thailand September 2, 2008 at 11:18 pm

I once read what sounded like a great idea for fruit flies.
In a small shallow jar or cup, ect.. put a bit of jelly or fruit. Cover it with plastic wrap and poke tiny holes in it. Seal the plastic wrap around the mouth of the jar with a rubber band. The idea is the fruit flies will fly in through the hole, gorge themselves on the jelly or fruit, and then cannot fly out, or perhaps they can’t easily find the hole.
Worth a try!

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KrustyTheCat September 3, 2008 at 12:34 am

If you put a bowl of regular old vinegar out on your countertop, it attracts the fruit flies and they drown in it!

good luck! If mine are really bad too, I like to vacuum them out of the air. lol

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Missy @ It's Almost Naptime September 3, 2008 at 2:38 am

I did this and it totally worked, plus it was kind of a science experiment for my kiddos. And me ;)

http://lifehacker.com/software/home/get-rid-of-fruit-flies-with-a-soda-bottle-trap-276005.php

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Missy @ It's Almost Naptime September 3, 2008 at 2:38 am

I did this and it totally worked, plus it was kind of a science experiment for my kiddos. And me ;) BR/BR/http://lifehacker.com/software/home/get-rid-of-fruit-flies-with-a-soda-bottle-trap-276005.php

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Mojonah September 3, 2008 at 4:32 am

I have a friend who just went thru this in her home. She tried several different ways to get rid of the fruit flies, but one worked the best:
put apple cider vinegar in a glass and make a funnel out of a piece of paper and tape it. Then put the funnel in the glass with the idea being that the fruit flies would fly in thru the funnel and not be able to fly out again. Hope this helps.

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$5 Dinner Mom September 3, 2008 at 10:53 am

Thanks for ALL of your ideas! I plan to try the vinegar and dish soap first, as I know right where to find them! It seems easiest! I’ll let you know how it works and if I need to use any other ideas!
THANKS for helping me get rid of these little pests!

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Genelle September 3, 2008 at 11:51 am

There are a lot of good ideas on here and I’ve noticed that vinegar is a pretty common theme. I don’t have much of an issue with fruit flies, but I was visiting my parents about a month ago and got to see what my mom did to get rid of the little buggers. My parents compost their vegetable scraps. When the fruit flies get bad in the house she will save the scraps for a day in a small pan that is oven safe. At the end of the day she puts the pan in the oven and cracks the door open just a little bit. The fruit flies are attracted to the food scraps and fly into the oven over night. In the morning she closes the oven (First thing!) and then sets it to bake for just a few minutes. The fruit flies are all killed in a short amount of time and then she takes the food scraps out to the compost.

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Annikke September 3, 2008 at 11:53 am

Seems like the other commenters said the same thing, but I will say it anyway — Sometimes if you leave your sink full of water they will be attracted to it and die in there. I also have heard the mixture of dishsoap and water in a squirt bottle, spray it on the item the on (fruit isn’t always good, but since you don’t eat the banana peel it probably would be ok) — sometimes they are in plants too so if you spray down the plants in your house it will help kill them off.

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Aunt LoLo September 3, 2008 at 12:37 pm

Make sure you use the dish soap or the funnel. (I haven’t heard of those before!) I just put out a little dish of cider vinegar…and the flies loved it. They crawled all over the DRY parts of the dish, attracted to the sugar from the evaporating vinegar…and then they flew away whenever i walked too close. Grr…wish I’d seen some of these ideas sooner! ;-) (We went on vacation, and came home to find all of our fruit-dependent friends DEAD. Good riddance!)

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marigold September 3, 2008 at 4:40 pm

The dish soap should work great. Alternatively, you could leave a little wine in a glass and they’ll dive right in. Good luck!

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