Outside view of VIDA Building

Getting Rid of (and Avoiding) Fruit Flies

Fruit fly sitting on an orange. Photo Credit: FAO/IAEA

July 2021

We love summer. We love fresh Fruit. But we’re not fans of the fruit flies. And it seems like you go from having none to having an infestation overnight. That’s because one female fruit fly can lay up to 500 eggs at a time and they only take 24 hours to hatch. And if you’re like us, you don’t want to use chemical laden pesticides to rid your apartment of those tiny invaders. The good news is that it’s easy to make your own all-natural fruit fly trap and pretty easy to prevent them from coming back.

DIY Fruit Fly Trap

You’ll need a small jar or glass, apple cider vinegar, liquid dish soap, and plastic wrap. The vinegar lures the flies to your trap and the dish soap coats their wings and keeps them from getting out. Just fill the jar or glass about ¼ of the way with vinegar. Add a few drops of dish soap. Cover the top with plastic wrap. If necessary, use a rubber band to hold it on. Then poke one or two small holes through the plastic wrap. The holes don’t have to be big because fruit flies are only about 1/8 inch long. Then place your trap in the area where you seem to have the most flies. You’ll catch them all in a day or two and can discard the trap.

Preventing Fruit Flies

  • Keep your kitchen counters clean. Even the smallest spill of anything sweet can attract them.
  • Run your disposal when you’re done preparing a meal and be sure to keep your sink clean.
  • Eat or discard over-ripened fruit to avoid it sitting out too long.
  • Make sure you use a covered trash can in your kitchen. Also make sure you use trash liners/bags. Even the smallest bit of fruit on a trash can will attract fruit flies.
  • When storing fruit on the counter, cover it with a food umbrella.
  • Rinse empty soda and beer containers. Even a few drops left in them can attract fruit flies.
  • Use the scents fruit flies hate. They are deterred by basil, peppermint, lemongrass, and lavender. Using these as fresh herbs or essential oils in your kitchen can make it less hospitable.