We love indulging in all of our favorite fruits when they're in season, but keeping them in the house always raises the issues of how to best get rid of fruit flies and gnats. It seems they're everywhere as soon as you bring home som peaches or apples from the market, and though a bowl of bananas and oranges looks great in a bowl on our kitchen counter, it also leaves our snacks exposed. So what's there to do? How do you get rid of fruit flies and gnats? What is the best way to kill or trap fruit flies? We did a little research on the subject and came out with some great options for not just your kitchen, but the rest of your home, too.
How to get rid of fruit flies and gnats.
When it comes to learning how to get rid of fruit flies fast, you really only have one option: catching and killing them. But if your problem isn't super urgent, or if you're taking action before you have a problem at all, you can also just focus on preventing them from entering your house in the first place. Trapping them is probably the more straight-forward solution, and easier than carefully inspecting and having to worry about each plum or pear you pick up at the market. And once you know where they congregate and why they’re buzzing around your kitchen, ridding your home of them is pretty straight forward with the following cleaning tricks. At the same time, there's definitely something to be said for cutting off the issue at the source. Check out all the different ways of keeping your home fruit-fly-free, then try the one that's right for you.
How to trap and get rid of fruit flies in the house quickly.
1. Use apple cider vinegar to get rid of fruit flies in the kitchen.
To catch fruit flies, you can set up a few traps that are easy to put together. One is an apple cider vinegar trap like this one from Today’s Creative Life. All you need is a little bit of apple cider, an empty jar (which can be your apple cider vinegar jar, an old mason jar, a soda bottle, etc), some plastic wrap, a rubber band, and a toothpick. Pour a little apple cider vinegar into your jar, then cover it with plastic wrap. If you have a jar of apple cider vinegar with just a little left, that’s perfect. Secure the plastic wrap with the rubber band to keep it in place, then poke holes in the wrap. The fruit flies will smell the apple cider vinegar and fly in through the holes. Once inside the jar or bottle, they’ll be trapped, and you can throw the jar away. If fruit flies are a frequent problem for you, you can also store this jar in the freezer until you need it next — but it’s kind of gross to keep a jar of drowned fruit flies hanging around the ice cream.
2. Use red wine to get rid of fruit flies in other rooms of your house.
Red wine doesn't necessarily work better than apple cider vinegar, but it is a little less, well, stinky — to you that is. To fruit flies and gnats, it smells just as appetizing. And hey, who can resist a glass of red? Plus, if you've got an issue with someone leaving dirty dishes upstairs or a decorative bowl of lemons in the entryway, it's a little less conspicuous than a jar of rotting fruit. If you've got a couple sips left in the bottle from cooking (or drinking with) last night's dinner, all you need to do is pour them into a mason jar or another old container. If you've got a pretty can you wouldn't mind sitting in your living room or up in your bedroom, you can use that, too. Cover the top with plastic wrap, secure it in place with a rubber band, and poke a few holes with a toothpick or fork. Soon, your problem will be taken care of — and you also won't have the unsightly issue of seeing fruit flies floating around in the liquid. The dark color of the wine will help disguise it from view.
3. Make a DIY fruit fly trap using some old fruit and a mason jar.
You can also set up another trap like this one from NatureMoms using a jar, a little old fruit, and a piece of plastic wrap. Yep, that's right, you can turn part of your problem into part of the solution. Just drop your fruit in the bottom of the jar — the stinkier and more rotten, the better — then cover the mouth of the jar with your plastic wrap. Secure it in place with a rubber band and use a fork or a toothpick to poke some holes in the top. Again, fruit flies will fly inside to get the fruit, but once inside, they won’t be able to find their way back out. Once you've managed to take care of the fruit flies buzzing around, you can bring them outside, seal the jar, and toss it. If you want to keep your jar, use a soapy water mixture to drown the flies and you're already one step closer to washing the jar out and saving it for next time.
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4. Buy a fruit fly trap for any troublesome rooms.
You can also buy traps in stores near you or online from Amazon. LeaveMeBe's Fruit Fly Yellow Stick Traps (Amazon, $8.99) can help protect your plants and look cute instead of ruining the aesthetics of a gorgeous succulent or tiny tree in your home. Terro's Fruit Fly Traps (Amazon, $12.09) disguise themselves like adorable little apples that you can tuck amongst your real fruit, leave out on the counter, or hide away with the trash. Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch! Fruit Fly Trap (Amazon, $8.49) looks perfectly in place in cabinets or on your counter, too.
Where do fruit flies come from?
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There are a couple obvious options for where your fruit flies are coming from. That bowl of fruit you have out, for one. The trash is another good culprit. But one less obvious answer is the garbage disposal in your kitchen sink. You might not expect that something that gets rinsed down recently would be the problem — but overlooking it might be why your fruit fly issue isn't getting any better. Too often, we let a little more go down the kitchen sink than we should. And if there’s rotting fruit in there, you can bet there are fruit fly eggs. Fruit flies like to lay their eggs near food sources and in moist environments, so you can understand why this location would be so appealing.
How to prevent fruit flies from invading your home.
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If killing fruit flies doesn’t seem up your alley, you might want to focus on fixing the problem at the source. While a few aren’t always an issue, a few laying a few thousand more eggs definitely is. Once you’ve safely stored all of your fruit and taken out the trash, check for more subtle signs of where they could be laying eggs. There may be spills that you’ve overlooked that are attracting them, or it might be the inside of a fruit bowl or trashcan. Even if they seem clean, it’s always best to do an extra wipe down just to be sure there are no smells or spills hanging around to attract new ones.
When it comes to your drain, check it to make sure it’s clear, than wash it out with boiling soapy water and scrub down the sides. Toss any old rags, sponges, or mops that are getting grungy and may have cleaned up one mess too many. Make sure you’re storing fruit carefully on your counter. You can keep it in a brown paper bag or tupperware, or safely away in your fridge. Finally, make sure the fruit you’re bringing into your house isn’t damaged or spoiled. Rotten fruits could be bringing eggs in with them.
Do fruit flies bite?
Nope. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the bugs biting you or your family. Unfortunately, they will still eat your food, which can spread bacteria and get you sick. If you have fruit flies in your kitchen, it might be best to throw out what you already have and buy new, fresh fruit at the market. Then, follow our tips to prevent getting them sneaking in again in the future.