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4 Super Simple Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Had enough of the little pests hanging around your kitchen? Here's what to do to get them out of your hair –– err, fruit bowl –– for good. 

Fruit flies are a problem year round, but tend to be especially difficult around the summer and fall when more fresh-picked fruit is at its ripest. Unfortunately, even when you're taking precautions to keep the flies at bay –– putting ripening fruit in the fridge, making sure to keep windows closed or screened off, etc. –– fruit flies can still have a way of popping up around drains, seldom used showers, and the like. When you find that your home is getting slightly taken over by the tiny pests, here's what to do to get rid of the nuisance once and for all. 

Photography by: Raymond Hom

Use Vinegar & Soap


Fruit flies are super attracted to vinegar, so it's a good idea to use the stuff to lure them into a homemade trap. All you need to do is mix a bit of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap and place the mixture into a shallow dish, then set the dish out on the kitchen counter or near the spot where you often find fruit flies. While the vinegar will work to draw the flies in, the dish soap will act as a kind of barrier preventing the flies from getting out of the dish once they're in, thanks to the added surface tension. As a result, any flies that are drawn in (hopefully that will be all the flies causing you annoyance) will drown and die. 


[HOUSEHOLD PESTS: How to Get Rid of Them]

Use a Banana


One of the reasons you want to get rid of fruit flies is to keep them away from your fruits. But that doesn't mean that you can't take advantage of the pest's love for fruit in the process of eliminating them. To set an easy homemade trap for fruit flies, place a few slices of banana in a jar, and then at the top of the jar, insert a funnel (you can just make this out of paper) with the narrow opening facing down into the jar. The simple contraption will ultimately draw flies into the jar –– they won't be able to resist a ripening banana –– but will make it almost impossible to get back out. 


Use Some Red Wine


Just as fruit flies can't resist a good fermenting fruit, they're equally attracted to a good merlot (but who isn't, right?). Another super simple to construct homemade trap for fruit flies just calls for a bit of red wine in a shallow bowl that is then covered with plastic wrap. A few holes punctured into the plastic will give attracted fruit flies an opening to get into the bowl, but the wrap will make it tough for the pests to get out. 


Use Basil or Rue


If you've got an herb garden, then this would be the time to take advantage of some fresh herbs. Basil is a great pick when it comes to repelling fruit flies, and all that you need to do is place a few leaves in a bowl near your produce, or slide a few sprigs of it right into your fruit bowl, and fruit flies will be sure to stay away. Another great option? Rue. Less popular in culinary dishes, the herb is excellent for keeping fruit flies away from your produce since the pests are majorly repelled by the smell. Luckily, most people find the scent to be pretty pleasant, even if it is often considered a little too bitter to eat. 


[HERB BASICS: How to Grow Your Own]