I didn’t use to have a problem with fruit flies, or maybe I just didn’t notice them until a few years ago. Or maybe it’s just because I get more fruit from farmers markets that I seem to always have fruit on the counter. But possibly, it’s just all the tropical fruits coming into season at the store: bananas, watermelons, mangos, etc.
Regardless: fruit flies are so annoying.
Fortunately, I have a very simple way to get rid of them. Most of the ways you can find on the internet are too complicated. All you need are simple items that you probably already have on hand at home: a bowl, a piece of fruit, juice or wine, plastic wrap, and a skewer or toothpick.
I think I first found this trick via Cheeseslave, but since using it I have found that if I don’t have a bottle if wine open, it’s easier to just use juice and the fruit flies like it just fine!
- Take a glass bowl and put a piece of ripe fruit in it.
- Pour about a 1/2 cup to a cup of either wine or juice over the fruit.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and pull very tight so the surface is completely flat.
- Poke little holes in the plastic wrap with a toothpick or wooden skewer.
Tips: Make sure you use a glass bowl so the plastic wrap can stick really well to the bowl and pulled taut. For the fruit, use a pear or a banana or a piece of melon; something with a lot of sugar that the fruit flies loooove.
The flies will not be able to resist the sweet smell and when they climb into the little holes they won’t be able to figure out how to escape.
After you collect several fruit flies, which usually takes a day or so, you can take the bowl out to your large trash can* and just dump the bowl into it and take it back inside to fill it again with a little juice and fruit again for the remaining fruit flies. Good luck!
*Amended to add: or to the compost heap outside! That’s a much better place, but I admit I don’t compost currently.
I have used a banana and pears with wine, and bananas with pineapple juice (I had some on hand from making Pina Coladas from my cocktail book!) Works like a charm every time!
Other Tips to Get Rid of Fruit Flies:
- Put all your fruit in the fridge. If you have room, this is one of the best ways to remove fruit fly breeding grounds.
- Make sure all your dishes are rinsed and put in the dishwasher. Even if your dishes are rinsed, if they are in the sink they can attract fruit flies to hide and proliferate.
- Wipe down your kitchen counters, and the shelves in your pantry. You never know where those fruit flies might be hiding, so go on a hunt to being them out of hiding.
- Smack ’em! Fruit flies aren’t fast, so grab a fly swatter and get the ones you can, or just clap your hands and try to catch them.
- Make sure your trash cans and recycling cans are completely covered so the fruit flies cannot hang out there.