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Question DetailsAsked on 9/4/2012

What are the best ways to get rid of fruit flies?

We were visiting my folks this weekend, and their kitchen has a swarm of fruit flies. My parents have a garden, and I'm sure the fruit and vegetables are the cause. I'd just need to recommend them some good solutions short of fumigating the place!

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11 Answers

Voted Best Answer

The quickest way I've found to get rid of them (as opposed to preventing them - see answer above) is to put a half cup of cider vinegar (must be cider vinegar) in a jar or bowl and put a half-dozen drops of dishwashing liquid on top of it. Leave out on a counter wherever the problem exists. Empty and refill as needed.

Answered 8 years ago by Labour of Love


Ok. First things first. Use google images to make sure they are fruit flies and not phorid flies or fungus gnats. Tip- the red eyes are a give away.
If they are fruit flies, the key to elimination is to clean or remove breeding areas and prevent future entry to the home. The adults are short lived, but missing a breeding area can allow reinfestation. I'll try to hit the main areas of concern.
1. Clean and sanitize trash cans including surfaces beneath bags. If possible, take trash outside at least daily. Rinse and repeat.

2. Inspect and remove any infested fruit (bananas are the worst). Place ALL other fruit in the fridge until infestation resolved.

3. Remove and discard any fresh flowers in the home. Do not replace until infestation resolved.

4. Clean all counters, floors, hard surfaces of any residual food/juice and sanitize.

5. Use a drain cleaning product containing active enzymes per label to clean ALL drains. (Draincare is an ok choice, do not forget wetbar, guest bath etc.)

6. Clean the condensate pan beneath the fridge. .

7. Keep windows closed and sealed well if there are any window a/c units.

8. You may be able to purchase a few liquid filled traps to thin out the adults. They typically contain a vinegar type solution.

Hope this helps. Fruit flies are a pain. Most people just throw the fruit away and think it will go away, but they move to other breeding areas.
Good Luck!

Answered 8 years ago by Don's Pest Control


I agree with Don, he gave an excellent answer! The key to eliminating fruit flies is finding and eliminating the breeding sites ,which is decaying organic debris.

I must also respectfully disagree with labour's suggestion about the cider vinegar and soap as a way of controling them. This will no doubt catch alot of flies, the problem is the reproductive rate of fruit flies is so quick that this will never get rid of all of them. A female fruit fly can lay 500 eggs at a time and once they hatch the newly minted fly can start reproducing more flies within 12 hours. As a pest control professional for over 30 years I can tell you the only way to eliminate the problem is to find and eliminate the breeding sites.

The only thing I would add to Don's response is you may save money in the long run hiring a professional to help you identifiy fruit fly breeding sites

Doug Longfellow

NaturZone Pest Control



Answered 8 years ago by dlongfellow


I've used vinegar with good results, but I didn't have a cornucopia of fruit outside my door OR in my kitchen. Don's answer was quite thorough and I have no doubt it would work. However, many of us are not motivated to go to such great lengths unless we are driven to madness by the continuing problem. You may have to stay with your parents for a couple of days to get it all done!

I was concerned about the recommendation of Draincare. Is it safe for the environment? So I googled it: Sounds good to me and it appears to be sold at big-box stores, although I'm sure there are other "safe" products available.

I would start out with the quickest solution (keep the fruit in the fridge; empty and clean the garbage can; clean all surfaces, then wipe them again with diluted vinegar; "treat" the drain in the kitchen sink), see if it solves the problem, and take it from there.

Please let us know what happens!

Answered 8 years ago by Oleron


I realize it's a bit of a quibble, but the question was for getting rid of them, not preventing them. The best approach is to do BOTH, but the immediate concern, according to the query, was to be rid of them. I do al LOT of canning and freezing and sometimes have a problem with fruit flies. Vinegar and soapy water works.

Answered 8 years ago by Labour of Love


Buy a lizard!

Answered 8 years ago by wmadix


It sounds silly but remove the source and cover food. You can use a fruit fly trap or lightly fog to control adults. Make sure garbage cans are cleaed out.

Answered 8 years ago by Guest_9164266


I use an old long neck red wine (Star brand) vinegar bottle and put about 1/4" of balsamic, apple cider or red wine in the bottle. Save the interior plastic cap, the holes are small enough to let fiies in but too small to find their way out. I have two bottles, I put out one in the kitchen window the other next to garbage pail.

Good Luck!

Answered 3 years ago by Guest_96744951


Living in Georgia, the summer months often see these pesky little things pop up, and I found the best way to get rid of them is to do these three things:

1. Eliminate any food (especially fruit) that is out in the open, and if you are going to throw it in the trash I suggest first placing it in one of those plastic grocery bags from kroger (or any store) and wrapping it up tightly before placing in the trash (im always looking for inventive ways to reuse Kroger bags...)

2. If you can kill them before they hatch you will save yourself a lot aggrevation, so try and eliminate any standing water to prevent them from laying their eggs there. You may have noticed some near your sink and thats because they thrive on the food and water that exist in your pipes & drains, which you may never see. To stop this I suggest simply pouring a cup or two of bleach down each of your drains in the house (sinks, bathtubs, etc) and placing a stopper over them for a few minutes as it will kill both the flies and their eggs quickly and easily.

3. I personally had no luck with the vinegar traps or even the expensive blackflag standing traps, but I did find that the pest fly strips sold at Home Depot do a great job at catching them, and they are much cheaper than anything else I found (I bought 96 of them for less than $20 so am set for years...). They can be placed anywhere and are incredibly sticky (which makes them great for fruit flies), but be careful when unwinding/hanging them as they really will stick to anything. Heres the link for the ones I bought, and Im pretty sure they sell smaller quantities as well, but if not, I've seen similar items sold 4/$1 at the dollar store so depending on quality that may be a option... Good luck, and GO DAWGS!!!


Answered 3 years ago by scottatl999


I put apple cider vinegar in a class, cup or jar and cover it with plastic wrap. Rubber band the plastic wrap tightly to the glass and then poke small holes (with the tip of an ice pick. The fruit flies will climb through the plastic wrap to get to the vinegar, but will not be able to get out again.

Source: I learned this technique from a neighbor.

Answered 3 years ago by Elizabethstar


I used my vacuum cleaner to suck in all the fruit flies. It worked very well.

Answered 2 years ago by MardiS


I had a horrible infestation and it was like every 3 i killed myself...3 more came flying at me..and they started to actually get IN my fridge and so on..even my freezer.....i tried the apple cider vinegar trap and it would catch like 100 every few days...finally we saw a venus fly trap plant at the store and decided to try worked...its so small, but i rarely see one anymore. they work so well.

Answered 2 years ago by amnicole

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