What Is the Best Homemade Fruit Fly Trap? 6 Key Solutions

Olivia Elsher

Jul 11, 2024

fruit flies

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Knowing how to make the best homemade fruit fly trap is a satisfying endeavor. After all, there’s nothing worse than having these little critters fly around and linger in your home. Some commercial traps may catch them, but they can eventually disentangle themselves and escape. Make recipes to know how you can free your home from these insects.

Why Do You Get Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies can seem like quite an anomaly when they appear. However, there are several reasons why they might be in your household. They gravitate toward rotting fruits and vegetables. If you have produce that’s been sitting around for a while, fruit flies will immediately flock to it. Even one bad apple in a batch full of good ones can bring the horde.

Ripe produce also attracts fruit flies. The worst part is they will likely stay in your house for quite a while unless you get rid of them. They are prone to laying eggs on food or other organic surfaces in the home. Thus, you’ll have to deal with the next generation of these insects in the coming days. 

The Best Homemade Fruit Fly Traps

Fruit flies are annoying to handle, but the best way to keep them out is to throw away rotten fruit and keep the home as clean as possible. Mesh nets on openings leading to the great outdoors can keep them at bay.

Granted, their presence is inevitable if you haven’t taken the proper precautions. There are a variety of fruit fly traps on the market, some more effective than others. However, you don’t have to go far to get the resources to snare and kill the critters. Here are the best homemade fruit fly traps you can try. 

apple cider vinegar

1. Apple Cider Vinegar and Dish Soap

Apple cider vinegar is a key ingredient when dealing with fruit flies. Its fruity but pungent smell emulates the scent of overripe fruits, attracting insects. What the small bugs don’t know is the liquid is also acidic enough to kill them. 

Dish soap is the perfect ingredient to pair with apple cider vinegar since it helps subdue the fruit flies. All you need to do is mix four tablespoons of cider with two tablespoons of suds. If you want the mixture to bubble up ever so slightly, activate the soap with a few tablespoons of water. 

Once done, transfer it to a mason jar and cover it. Punching holes into a mason jar lid with a hammer and nail is one of the most effective options since it’s durable enough to take the smallest punctures. You can let the flies glide into the small container and let the solution take care of the rest. 

If you want to preserve the lid, use aluminum foil or plastic wrap. A toothpick should do the trick— just be conscious of the size of the holes. You don’t want fruit flies to go in and out of the jar as they please.

2. Fruit Juice and Vinegar

If you can’t access apple cider vinegar, fruit juice and vinegar should be a great substitute. Whether you have apple, orange or grape extract, it will emulate a similar smell that attracts fruit flies. A splash of vinegar should make the liquids as potent as apple cider.

Homeowners can also use wine as a substitute. After all, it’s mostly comprised of fermented grapes. It even has a good level of alcohol content to assist in killing your insects. Do the same mason jar method. You can also add dish soap and water as an extra measure. 

3. Vodka and Lemonade

Vodka is a good insect killer with its alcohol content. However, fruit flies may feel less inclined to go to this since the liquor has little to no scent. Mix vodka with lemonade to create a sweet smell that will attract your target. You can add the solution to a plastic bag and hang it up, leaving an opening for the flies to go to. 

You can also create a little anti-repellant spray for general flies. Put vodka into a spray bottle with aloe vera juice and eucalyptus oil. The solution offers a fresh smell, and insects aren’t much fan. Spray it on home surfaces and your arms to ward them off. 

peppermint essential oil

4. Milk, Sugar and Ground Pepper

Milk, sugar and ground black pepper are a great combination to try out at home. While they don’t resemble fruits or vegetables, most flies flock toward the subtly sweet scent they create.

In a pan, heat milk, sugar, and ground black pepper together. You can mix them slowly to incorporate them. Once completed, get small shallow bowls and pour in the mixture. Place them in fruit fly-prone zones and watch them fall into the liquid. 

5. Peppermint Oil and Cotton Balls

Peppermint fragrances are pretty strong but soothing. If you aren’t convinced, fruit flies simply don’t like their smell, so you can use them as a deterrent during invasions. Soak some cotton balls in the essential oil and put them in different corners of the house. 

Peppermint essential oil can also work as a preventive method since it lessens the emergence of fruit flies from the pupal stage. Just run the same method of soaking cotton balls in the liquid. Position it at windows, doors and other openings. 

6. Paper Cone and Fruit Pieces

Use rotting fruit to your advantage and add it to a mason jar. From there, find a piece of paper and create a paper cone. Squeeze it to make the smallest hole at the bottom of the cone. Tape it down once you get the ideal shape.

After that, put the smaller end of the paper cone into the jar with the fruit. It could be anything from bananas to apples to grapes. Secure it with tape and leave it out in the open. Fruit flies will buzz into the entrance and get stuck in the jar. Release them outside. 

Trap Your Fruit Flies

Flies are quite the pest to deal with, especially if they’re ruining your produce and home environment all at once. Recreate the best homemade fruit fly traps above and look forward to bidding the insects goodbye. Follow the prevention methods to keep your space critter-free.

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