How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies – 5 Easy Ways

Annoyed by those tiny black fruit flies that seem to never actually die? Let’s face it, we ALL get them, no matter how spotless our home is! To help alleviate that annoyance and get back your sanity, today’s post is all about how to get rid of fruit flies!

This is one post I never thought I’d write but when you have fruit flies you know how annoying they are! I came across an amazing tool to get rid of fruit flies (that I’ve also used for my plants too) and had to share!

It can be difficult to know what is a fruit fly or a gnat or what is something else. We were dealing with little black flies near a few of our plants that at first I thought were fruit flies but turned out to be fungus flies (more on that in another post!).

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies - 5 Easy Ways

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What is the difference between Gnats & Fruit Flies

Both are tiny annoying things that fly around your home. Fruit flies are typically brown to black while fungus gnats are dark gray or black. Fruit flies are more round while gnats have dangling legs and long bodies.

The most telltale sign is their eyes. Fruit flies have big red eyes while gnats have black eyes so small you can barely see them! Fungus flies hang out around plants in their soil while fruit flies stay near food, trashcans or dirty drains. (Thanks Orkin for all these details!)

Ok now that you can figure out what you’re dealing with, let’s talk about how to get rid of fruit flies.

What Causes Fruit Flies?

They can come in from food from garden or unrefrigerated food from the grocery store. You need to be sure to clean out the source before you start trapping the adults. Otherwise you’ll never fix the problem!

Throw out any fruit that’s getting too ripe (peaches that are turning brown, bananas that are getting soft and black). Clean out any bowls your fruit sit in to ensure there’s no leftover crumbs, etc. from something that was in there. Also be sure to clean out drains and trash areas to make sure there’s nothing hiding there.

How to DIY a Fruit Fly Trap

There’s lots of different ideas to try (just make sure you did the step above to fix the root of the problem! Here’s a few things to try:

3 different options for getting rid of fruit flies in your home

1. Pour boiling water down your drain.

Pouring boiling water (or even white vinegar) will kill all the adults hiding in your drain. It can be hard to see these fruit flies so this is a great way of killing ones you can’t even see.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar in a Cup with Plastic Wrap

A mason jar with vinegar topped with plastic wrap to get rid of fruit flies.
A mason jar with vinegar topped with plastic wrap to get rid of fruit flies.

Pour a little bit of apple cider vinegar into a cup. Any amount will do – you just need a little bit. Cover the top of the cup with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band (or hair scrunchie haha!). Poke a few holes in the top for the fruit flies to enter in through.

Fruit flies love the smell of the vinegar but once they’re inside the cup, they can’t get out! I put this close to my fruit basket or where I’m noticing the fruit flies so you can catch the most.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar + Soap + A Piece of Fruit in a Cup with a Paper Cone

A paper cone to trap fruit flies in a jar with vinegar and a chunk of ripe fruit.

This is the one I do the most! Pour a little bit of vinegar in the cup along with a few drops of soap and a small chunk of fruit. Roll up a piece of paper into a cone and insert it into the cup. Just make sure you don’t put it in too far so it’s touching the vinegar!

The smell will help attract the flies, the cone will trap them in and the soap will keep them in the vinegar. You can also do this one without the soap but I find it more effective in actually keeping them in rather than having them fly around in cup.

4. Stale Beer or Wine

Leaving out an old beer bottle or almost empty wine bottle will help catch the flies. Fruit flies like the smell and the skinny necks help keep them in. Like above, put in a squirt of dish soap to help trap them in so they can’t fly out!

5. Sticky Traps

Sticky traps to get rid of fruit flies
Sticky traps to get rid of fruit flies

This whole post started because I discovered these sticky traps for my fungus gnats on my plants. They are so easy to use! You simply stick them into something (I obviously stuck them in my plants to get the fungus gnats) or even lay them on something like a ripe banana or avocado (or any fruit). These are INCREDIBLY sticky so once the fruit flies land on them there’s zero chance that they’re getting off!

Amazon also has a ton of other traps to try but these are the only ones I’ve used so I didn’t want to share something I hadn’t!

I don’t wish them on you but I sincerely hope this helps you with a few different ways to know how to get rid of fruit flies! If you’re looking for other cleaning or home posts check out my decluttering and organizing challenge or my home organization hacks!

As always, thanks for reading and sharing!


About Jen

Jen is a mom of 3 who loves frozen cookie dough, plants and a generous pour of creamer in her coffee. Her biggest joy is helping others find joy in their life, style and home through tips, tutorials and encouragement. She also runs 2 additional blogs. Feel free to send Jen a message or join the fun on Instagram!

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