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Jul 25, 2007 10:04 AM

How do you get rid of fruit flies in your kitchen??

Is there any trick that will rid my kitchen of fruit flies?? There are sooo many and I don't know why they are here! All of the food that is out is fresh and I keep our kitchen clean. We even have a lid for our garbage. They are driving me crazy! Please help!

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  1. put your fruit away in the refridgerator. I hate to do it too but.........

    7 Replies
    1. re: smartie

      This happens to us because our parrot eats fresh fruit.

      First, no fruit on the counter. Refrigerate it or don't keep it.

      Second, put out a bait. I noticed that a glass left on the counter with red wine (it was a Rioja) attracted about two dozen in half an hour. They apparently drowned.

      Third, and this works a little with some bugs, but not all -- we plug in our old bug zapper in a darkened room. Some moths and bugs are still pulled into the light, but I think fruit flies may not be the right species.

      1. re: smartie

        well this is not just the ultimatum destroyer of fruit flyes or other type off flyes but also a fun to do method, I use a vacuum cleaner, enjoy your battle, Maurocarlo/Canada

        1. re: maurocarlo

          You Rock!!!! Why couldn't I have thought of that!!! My husband is anti kill for any creature.....but these flies are REALLLLY asking for it!!!

          1. re: maurocarlo

            Thanks!!! I used a combination of a vacuum cleaner and leaving out a container with a little dish detergent and apple cider vinegar. I killed as many as I could with the vacuum and got rid of the rest with the apple cider vinegar solution!! I am anti-kill bugs but we had a MAJOR infestation because I had some fruit in the trash. Thanks again for all of the suggestions!

            1. re: maurocarlo

              You are AWESOME. Why did I not think of this??? Worked like a charm. Thanks so much!

              1. re: sreggers

                I do the same when we get our annual ant invasion--suck 'em up in a small vacuum, then "release" them back outside, well, any that survived the suck up.

          2. There is a source. Once you find it, you'll know.

            1. Use a fly trap. Bait it with fruit or sugar water.
              You can buy one in just about any garden supply store or make your own similar to this link.


              1. Rid them... tough. But a way to keep them in check that's dirt cheap: cups filled about 1/4 way up with a squirt of dishwashing liquid, a little water to make it bubble up and a splash of some red wine vinegar or cider vinegar. Put some plastic wrap on top, secure with a rubber band and then poke a few very tiny holes (use tip of a fork tine) in the plastic. They fly in and can't figure out how to escape. Put the cups where the infestations are. You'll be surprised how many you'll catch (but the uncaught ones continue multiplying...)

                An alternative to the reefer crisper would be to put them in a sealed container on the counter (as long as it's not too hot), although that only works if you're planning to use those veggies/fruit in a day or two.

                24 Replies
                1. re: Panini Guy

                  I've done this with pure cider viegar and it works well. They fly in and can't get out. It has pretty much eliminated my (mild) fruit fly problem.

                  1. re: lupaglupa

                    I have a book called "1001 Uses for Vinegar" which suggests this method. I've tried it and it does work.

                    1. re: BigBelt

                      Some reason vinegar isn't working they just walk around on the edges of the jar and don't drown in the vinegar as i thought they would.. Have any suggestions anyone? Their all over my bathroom and kitchen. They even sit on my dirty dishes (YUCKK) i cant even brush my teeth with out them scattering all over the top of my sink I'm just disgusted i need help!!!

                      1. re: mumtaz

                        I used balsamic with good results, as long as I didn't cover the container I kept the vinegar-water mix in. I think because balsamic is sweeter than regular white vinegar?

                        Fermenting/rotting fruit in a slightly soapy water solution works better, though.

                        1. re: mumtaz

                          Just came upon this. I'm sure you have solved the problem by now, but for others, it sounds like drain flies. They are just like fruit flies, but live in the drains. I had them a couple of years ago and tried everything. It was disgusting! I finally called my plumber and he told me to fill the sink with ice (lots) and then pour a lot of dishwasher detergent (the liquid) and a bit of water. Turn on the disposal and let it grind the ice mixed with the detergent. It creates a gross, black sludge and will come back up into the sink but it will go down. Just add it little water if it gets stuck. This did the trick for me. I do it now a few times a year to clean out the disposal and haven't had a problem since. If the flies are circling around the sinks they are not regular fruit flies.

                          1. re: eworj

                            Thank you SO MUCH for this post! We tried everything and even spent money to buy traps and couldn't figure out why they weren't working. Because they are DRAIN FLIES! Thanks for taking the time to post this!

                            1. re: eworj

                              The pest control guy I used for my restaurant told me to just put some household bleach (which I had for sanitizing dishes anyway) down the drains about once a week. I had no problems with them after I started on that program. One way to check if the drains are your problem is to watch the top while you or someone else bangs on the trap, if they are in there, they will fly out.

                              1. re: pulguksa

                                Pouring boiling water in on a regular basis helps too

                              2. re: eworj


                                1. re: eworj

                                  THIS sounds like a solution that will work for me! THANK YOU!

                                  1. re: eworj

                                    What if you don't have a disposal because I think they are coming from my sink

                                    1. re: Caramelj87

                                      You pour bleach into the drain and then don't run any water for 15-20 minutes, just let it sit. Their eggs hatch in the sludge in the crook of the pipe so you should always do this no matter where else you see them in the kitchen.

                                      So weird to think about bugs this time of year, with all the snow we have outside. One of the very few good things about winter as far as I'm concerned.

                                2. re: BigBelt

                                  It has to be apple cider vinegar. A piece of fermenting fruit will also do it. The other day there were a couple of them sitting on my rising bread - they are attracted to products of fermentation.

                              3. re: Panini Guy

                                We were infested after I forgot about a bag of potatoes I left under the sink. We took a similar approach, but found it worked very effectively using fruit as bait. There is something to the old adage about attracting more flies with sugar than vinegar.

                                I took an empty pickle jar and put a piece of ripe banana and cantaloupe in it. Then I made a funnel cone out of a piece of paper (didn't have a real funnel, but that would have worked too) and put it into the jar so that the wide part of the cone sealed the top, and let it sit.

                                I don't think it's a question of the flies not being able to figure out how to escape, I can't imagine they would have wanted to as the fruit got more and more overripe over the next few days and none seemed to want to go back up the fairly large hole at the bottom of the funnel.

                                I find it difficult to kill anything, so I simply took the trap outside and emptied it, gave the birds a snack.

                                1. re: tubman

                                  our source also was some forgotten potatoes (yuk). We had residual flies for awhile, and I took a one liter bottle, put some wine or juice in the bottom, put a coffee filter rolled into a cone in the top, and moistened the coffee filter with a bit of juice to "draw them in". It worked very well; they drowned in the juice and/or couldn't get out. When it was disgusting enough, I'd throw it out and start a new one.

                                  1. re: tubman

                                    We're also using the paper cone in a jar method with good results. We free our captives outside twice a day. We're using a bit of mango now, but if you don't have ripe/rotting fruit as bait, cider vinegar works too.

                                    1. re: PollyG

                                      I had some nonalcoholic champagne (yuck, and don't ask why) and I found that to be the BEST fruit fly bait I've ever tried.

                                    2. re: tubman

                                      This is what I do to trap fruit flies and it works very well for me:

                                      I put a piece of ripe fruit and add a little cider vinegar in a clear long plastic bag (like the one in the product department in the supermarket). You can put the baits in a container first to put inside the bag. Set the bag on the kitchen counter (or wherever you think you have the most problems with fruit flies) and make sure the bag stands straight and open. The fruits will be attracted into the bag, After you collect quite a few (as you can see through the clear bag), you can quickly close the top of the bag with your hand and trap the flies inside the bag. You can either let them out outside or you can kill them easily by gradually let out the air from the bag and then squeezing the bag to kill the flies. It is really very easily. And I can't believe how many flies I got rid of this way. In fact after one day, I did not have any more problems any more. Good luck!

                                    3. re: Panini Guy

                                      I just tried this an hour ago and already trapped about 30. It really works! Thanks

                                      1. re: Panini Guy

                                        Panini Guy's method is the best! I've never had another problem with fruit flies since I started catching them this way.

                                        1. re: Panini Guy

                                          I know this is 2 years after this post, but THANK YOU, Panini Guy!! My fruit fly infestation is almost completely gone -- and I set out the first cups only 2 hours ago! I didn't have any vinegar, so I just used some apple cores I had in the fridge (saved for the compost heap) and they worked like magic.

                                          One change I made though was to omit the sudsy water, simply b/c I am really uncomfortable w/ killing anything, even bugs, (lame, I know) and the flies were drowning in the water. This is probably the whole point of the water, but I had naively not realized that was its purpose and was horrified and guilt-stricken when I saw the little floating fly bodies in the suds and discovered I was a fly-murderer. :( So just a heads-up to fellow catch-and-releasers -- don't use liquid! A piece of overly ripe fruit works just fine on its own.

                                          1. re: glendora

                                            I love suckiing up those nasty buggers up too, The black plague started with bugs living on rats. Flies eat and vomit on your food....and they poop on your food too. That's how diseases start. I wouldn't shoot a deer or something, they have emotions and are not disease infested creatures, but fruit flies ....... that is a different story. Our health is so much more important than fruit sucking them up with a vacuum or drowning them, I feel I am protecting my family from potential diseases and just plain yukkiness. This is our home :) So you like to grind, thumbs up, I like to suckem up with the vacuum :)

                                            SORRY, THIS WAS SUPPOSE TO BE A REPLY TO LINDA WHIT.

                                          2. re: Panini Guy

                                            THANK YOU VERY MUCH for this info I tried with the plastic but they couldn't find the holes so I took it off and within 2 hours there were about two hundred at the bottom of the glass and my kitchen was pretty much fly free!!

                                          3. if you've already done a thorough sweep of the counter area, i would head into the pantry and cupboards... you never know what may have been inadvertantly left in there (i once had a not so bright roommate who didnt know she should refridgerate her strawberries and left a basket in the pantry for a week). i would also put your produce in the fridge until the problem clears up.

                                            10 Replies
                                            1. re: LAcupcake

                                              Also your garbage disposal. Bits of food that remain in there is a breeding ground.

                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                Absolutely! We had them take up residence in ours after we got rid of them everywhere else. Boy they were tough to get rid of there too. Took weeks of constant cleaning/purging and being absolutely spotless before they eventually died off.

                                                1. re: sivyaleah

                                                  I enjoy grinding up the little buggers. <vbg> However, I'm one that just cannot -- CANNOT -- put my hand down there to get any bits of food that just won't clear. Too freaked out by horror movies. :-)

                                                  But I have a little white plastic tool that has a plunger on one end - press on that, and four/five wires come out the other end, spreading out to a clawlike grabber. I use that to get the stuff that just won't grind up and go down the drain. Think I got it at Kitchen Etc. (no longer in business) or BB&B for less than $2.00. Also useful for pulling out any hair from the bathroom drain that makes it past the trap.

                                                  1. re: LindaWhit

                                                    Being the daughter of a plumber has taught me many invaluable lessons- one is about the disposal... Once a week put the stopper in your kitchen sink and fill it almost to the top. Once done remove the stopper and turn on the disposal and the water faucet at the same time- this great rush of water will clear anything and everything out of your disposal including any fruit flies that have set up shop. I also love to toss a lemon/lime/orange or two down there for good measure and smell. If you do this faithfully you will never have to call your plumber for clogged disposal/drain.

                                                    1. re: MeffaBabe

                                                      Just reading this now, MeffaBabe (thanks to CH making old posts "rise to the top of MyChow" when someone posts to it years later). I like the idea of stopping up the sink and then "flushing" it in one big swoop. Will have to remember that.

                                                      And lemon, lime and orange rinds are always tossed into the disposal. Makes a racket when I first turn on the grinder, but the citrus smell is an added bonus.

                                                      1. re: MeffaBabe

                                                        I add a healthy glug or two of bleach and some LOC or dish soap before releasing the stopper.

                                                        1. re: MeffaBabe

                                                          thank you -- i'm getting great tips here!

                                                    2. re: LindaWhit

                                                      I've found a great way to clean the garbage disposal gunk is to pack as many ice cubes as possible into the chamber above the disposal, give a good squirt of dishwashing soap in there, then turn on cold water and run the disposal until all of the ice is crushed. Works every time.

                                                      1. re: Non Cognomina

                                                        I pour as much baking soda as I can down the disposal and follow that with vinegar. It works a like a charm.

                                                        1. re: Non Cognomina

                                                          Careful, though, on just how much ice you use--I once froze up some plumbing something with beaucoup ice. Was fine once I ran some warm water to dislodge the icejam!