Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Aug 8, 2004 07:09 PM

How do we keep the fruit flies away?

  • g

So it's summer. The fruit is great. We like to keep it out in bowls in the kitchen so someone can grab a peach or a banana or an apple or a mango if the mood strikes. Sadly, the fruit flies seem to get more out of it than we do. The fruit is NOT rotten or even overripe. But we can't seem to keep them away. Short of keeping it in the 'fridge, does anyone know of a simple solution for keeping them away? Is there some kind of natural repellent (bay leaves?) that we could use?


Gypsy Boy

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This won't solve your problem of flies getting into the house but you can get one of those domed nets to place over the bowl of fruit. If you can't find one of those, you can also use one of those frying pan splatter guard screens.

    1. Hi,

      First off, you have to find where your fruit flies are domiciling. I usually check my onion- potato drawer for a vegetable which has evolved into a community house. Do the obvious and throw it away!

      I then pull out my vacuum cleaner and suck up any fruit flies I find with the hose attachment. This works well on flies, moths and other pests. Sometimes it takes a few days to collect the crew, but once they are suppresed and off premises you can leave fruit on the counter without a care.

      I know it sounds weird but it works.


      1. I also have good luck leaving out a bowl of water with vinegar and dish soap overnight. The vinegar attract them and the soap kills them. Works best with a white bowl; I've noticed they tend to land on white things. I also do the vacuum cleaner thing; very satisfying.

        1. Best trick ever - discovered entirely by accident last year. I had a piece of plum cake in a bowl covered with plastic wrap which, alas, had a small hole in the middle sitting out on my counter. All the fruit flies went into the hole - and were unable to find their way out again. Zillions of fruit flies trapped by their own stupidity.

          So...put a piece of rotting fruit or whatever into a container. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and poke a small (very small) hole into the middle. Ta da. Fruit fly trap extraordinaire.

          No really this works like a charm.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Nyleve

            I've had similar results with putting a little scotch or sherry, or red wine in a little bowl and they merrily drown away.

            1. re: Candy
              quiz wrangler

              Booze works too? One time I left a half-pot of cold coffee on the machine and forgot about it for a couple of days. When I finally tossed it out, out also went a half-dozen or so fruit flies.

              1. re: Candy

                Tried making plastic-wrap traps and they do work slowly but surely; however leaving out empty wine bottles with just a few drops at the bottom works like a charm.

                1. re: julesrules

                  From time to time I've used a bug zapper INSIDE my house for a few days to clear up a fly/mosquito problem.

            2. I've found that most of the time the flies come into the house as eggs on the fruit itself. After a couple of frustrating summers of dealing with an infestation, these days I immediately wash and dip in a very dilute bleach solution any fruit that I plan to leave out. No fruit thus far this summer.