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 other types of fruit fly traps 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!).

Fruit flies can be so hard to kill by hand since they’re so tiny and fast. Add to the fact that a female can lay up to 100 eggs each day that hatch in 24 hours and you’ve got yourself a really annoying problem!

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 a food source like a fruit bowl, trash cans and garbage disposals.

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

What Causes Fruit Flies?

They can come in from food from your garden or unrefrigerated food from the grocery store. The first thing you need to do is be sure to clean out the source before you start trapping the adult fruit flies. 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) that are sitting out on your kitchen counter. 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 sink drains and trash areas to make sure there’s nothing hiding there. The newborn maggots don’t turn into full flies right away and feed on a food source until they grow a bit making it extra important to find the source and get rid of it quickly!

How to DIY Fruit Fly Traps

There’s lots of different ideas to try including a few homemade traps (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 adult fruit flies hiding in your drain and potentially remove any eggs waiting to hatch. 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.

Another great way to get rid of fruit flies is through an apple cider vinegar trap. The first step is to pour a little bit of apple cider vinegar into a cup or small bowl.

Any amount will do – you just need a little bit. Cover the top of the cup with a piece of plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band (or even a hair scrunchie). Poke a few small 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.

If just the apple cider vinegar by itself isn’t doing the trick, try this one! 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 piece of rotten fruit. Create a paper funnel by rolling up a piece of paper into a cone.

Then insert the funnel 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

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!

Other Tips

One of the best ways to deal with a fruit fly problem is to not let it start! There are some preventative measures you can take to prevent a fruit fly problem. Here are some tips:

1. Freeze Your Compost Bin

If you have a compost bin full of organic matter in your home that doesn’t have a secure lid or that doesn’t get taken out every day, freeze it! Adult flies can’t get into a freezer and even if they did they couldn’t survive.

2. Keep Produce in Fridge

Fresh fruit, especially fruit that is overripe, is a the perfect breeding ground for fruit flies and fruit fly eggs. Keeping fresh fruit in the fridge is one of the easiest ways to prevent fruit flies from becoming an issue.

3. Clean Your Garbage Cans

Every time you take out garbage and before you put a new trash bag in, take a look around your garbage bin and the ground around it. Food particle can easily fall out of the trash bag (especially if you have little kids who clear their own plates) and leftover food is a great spot for pesky fruit flies to live.

Clean up the trash bins itself and all around the bins each time you take out the trash.

4. Clean Surfaces Daily

Even if your kitchen counters look clean, it’s easy for a few crumbs or drops of honey from your morning toast to go noticed.

Making sure all of your surfaces are cleaned daily, especially in late summer or early fall when fruit flies are at their worst, will help prevent fruit flies from hanging out in your kitchen.

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!

And if keeping your house clean is a struggle, check out my guide to keeping your house clean!

As always, thanks for reading and sharing!



  • Jen Biswas

    Jen has styled women for photo shoots, fashion shows, board meetings, work trips and most importantly, every day life! She's been hired to style many homes as well. Her aesthetic aims to make style approachable and practical, and most of all fun! She's 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 personal style through practical tips and inspiration. She loves to share all of her styling secrets on Paisley & Sparrow! Feel free to send Jen a message or join the fun on Instagram!

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