Fruit flies galore!

Share your best tried and true method for summertime when they stowaway on your produce and then multiple by the zillions in your kitchen. I have a couple of bowls on the counter with vinegar, covered in saran with some small toothpick holes poked in each. They are attracting many, but often the flies sit on top and don’t make their way in. Also, there are plenty more just flying about the house…

I use these on my balcony to catch gnats. I would think they’d be useful against fruit flies as well.

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Wine and soap always worked for me.


Fruit flies aren’t much of a problem in this area. In summers I keep the counters and trash cans wiped clean and don’t leave fruit out long. I often put fruit and vegetable scraps in ziplock bags before tossing and empty the trash frequently. If flies or gnats show up I escalate my diligence and will resort to spraying the garbage can until I see them diminish.

If it gets really bad I toss everything and go to the desert for a couple weeks while it blows over…lol.


My tried and true method: Pour a shot of two of booze (any kind you have) in a glass, dump about a tablespoon of sugar in the bottom, and top the whole thing with a layer of dish soap.

How it works: The fruit flies are attracted to the sugar and alcohol, fly in, then can’t fly out because the dish soap traps them.

Troubleshooting: If the concoction doesn’t start attracting fruit flies very quickly, try moving the glass to another location closer to where they seem to be gathering.

You can stop when the fruit flies are gone. Sometimes I need to empty the glass and refresh the um, cocktail, because I don’t want to see what the glass has collected.

Hasn’t failed me yet. I hope this method works equally well for you!

ETA: I see that @BeefeaterRocks uses almost the same recipe. I add sugar just to amp up the process.


I run vinegar through my kettle and/or coffee maker (both of which get done periodically anyway to reduce mineral build-up). Hot vinegar goes down every drain in the house - roughly a cup each. For us that’s two showers, one bathtub, three toilets, a bidet, six sinks. I can usually get all around the house with a gallon of vinegar. My research indicated that P-traps in drains are a major breeding ground for fruit flies so I go after the source. I do it before bedtime so the vinegar sits there overnight. With our worst infestation it took two “treatments” to get under control.


If you use the dishsoap, then you don’t need plastic film on top? Sounds like…


Interesting. About 10 yrs ago, we did have them breeding in our shower drain. But the more typical thing is they’re in the kitchen as their main hub. If we bring in produce, they ride on board. Then it is an uphill battle because there are certain things that need to be left on countertops. Tomatoes. Hard stone fruit, to ripen. Etc. We also compost, and keep a little bin in the kitchen and take it outside when it fills up. In the meantime, these little suckers turn from 2 to 200 in about 3 days.


Me too, but for trapping fruit flies I use a spash of scotch in a glass covered in holed saran.

Yes, skip the plastic film. You won’t need it.

ETA: I also vinegar our drains similar to Dave (my reason is to clear out soap gunk), but still have the same issues sometimes with summer fruit. So that’s how I landed on my potion.

Right. They breed in the the sink drains. They eat the fruit but don’t breed in/on it. Life span is 40 to 50 days but for us treating the drains seems to get the adults also - I guess (<- note) because the vinegar in the sink traps attracts the adults that are there anyway to breed and they drown.

The vinegar seems to cut down on soap and hair build up in bathroom drains as well which is good for me, since taking the traps apart to clean them is my job.

Should note that distilled white vinegar is my cleaning chemical of choice so we always have about four gallons in stock. Really cheap at our local warehouse store.

I’m big on economies of scale so when I do drains I also clean the coffee maker and kettle (which is where the hot vinegar comes from), our dishwasher (a cup of vinegar in a bowl on the top rack), our clothes washer, and the pump-back sump in the basement (clothes washer and sink are below the septic field inlet). I also dump vinegar in our three sump pumps and mosquito disks in our French drain. It takes about an hour including the time to heat up all the vinegar. About a gallon for the drains and maybe half a gallon for the other stuff.

I don’t have much tolerance for insects so it doesn’t take much to set me off. My wife accepts this as she is deathly afraid of snakes and I take care of those.


The wine/sugar/soap no saran is on the counter now. Next to an apple cider vinegar-saran and a white vinegar/cantaloupe/saran. Will do a compare.

And vinegar down the drains later when I have more time.


Your flies main be drain flies, not fruit flies.


Ultimately, if they behave the same and succumb to the same demise, what we call them doesn’t matter. However, if the different species need different defenses against them, that would be helpful.

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Red eyes. Fruit flies.

I can’t believe your vision is that good!

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Last year, thanks to a delivery of organic fruit, I had a major infestation. I used 2oz apple cider vinegar, a couple of drops of dish soap, and a tiny squirt of honey in a small uncovered dish the size of a tuna can, left on the kitchen counter. They were gone in a week, though I had to refresh the trap several times, between the corpses and evaporation.

I still subscribe to the Misfits Market delivery, but ever since the fruit flies, I now take precautions when ripening fruit. I have some clear plastic bins, in cubic and shoebox shapes. I line the bottom with a paper towel, and after arranging the fruit inside, cover with very fine-mesh nylon, securing the fabric with elastic, so no flies can get in or out (though I haven’t seen a single one since). No pretty, but effective!


Why hot vinegar? What do you think is the benefit over room temp? Or is it just that you already have hot after putting it through your coffee maker?

Different flies live in different areas and require different treatment.

Fruit fly treatment is different than drain fly treatment.

They swarm over my computer displays. Plenty of light and right in my face.

What I read is that the attraction of drains for breeding is the moisture and the built-up organics (mostly soap and hair in bathrooms, soap and food particles in kitchens). Hot vinegar seems to dissolve the soap better so when you flush the drains the other organics get flushed through the system.

As mentioned we’re on septic so I try not to put chemicals down the drain that are hard on the system.

Good question.

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