Jun 24, 2013

How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies With Apple Cider Vinegar And Dish Soap


How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies

Does anyone else hate fruit flies as much as I do?

I have tried a few different methods over the years to try to get rid of them, but a couple of years ago I heard about a new method (new to me) from some friends of ours using apple cider vinegar and dish soap!

Since the ACV/dish soap method is much easier than the paper funnel method that I had settled on in the past, I decided to try it.  When the flies get bad, I put out a bowl of apple cider vinegar and pour some dish soap in (it just needs a few drops in it) before I head to bed then then when I wake up in the morning it looks like the picture above!!

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I’d love to hear from you guys on this topic! What do you use to get rid of fruit flies?

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  1. Oh my goodness, thank you for posting this!! I am going to have to try it, those flies are driving me crazy! As soon as I swat one away from my face, another immediately takes his place!

  2. wow I will have to try that one out. They are starting to come back. We had them bad last summer and I tried everything. I had heard to leave a plate of pancake syrup on the counter and they would try to eat it and get stuck in it….not a single one did. So nice to see photographic evidence that something actually works =)

  3. When we’ve had them in the past, I used rubbing alcohol–10 parts alcohol to 1 part water. You can put it in a spray bottle and spray the last remaining ones! The alcohol concentration is so low that it’s still safe if it lands on food.

  4. We had them really bad last week, too! I found the apple cider vinegar trick online & in a few days they were GONE! (and floating in the vinegar) I put the apple cider vinegar & a few drops of dish soap (to break the surface tension) in a jar, covered with saran wrap/rubber band & punched a few holes in the wrap. They would fly into the holes, but not out. Also read somewhere that putting beer in the jar would work 20 times as well, but I don’t keep beer around.

  5. I am going to keep this in mind if it happens again. We had them bad last week. I took a strawberry and smashed it up in a small dish, put press n seal over the dish, then poked small wholes on top. They flew in, but couldn’t get back out. Yet, they were still alive so i had to squish them on the side. Gross. Looks like your method is much easier!

  6. Brilliant! thanks!!!

  7. oh thank you thank you! I have those little suckers right now! We have a worm composting bin and i guess i fed them too much at one time so we got flies instead! Heading to the store to pick up some vinegar! Thank you!

  8. This works but NOT as well as a little bit of active dry yeast sprinkled over a bit of water in a bowl. Put plastic wrap over the top with a few holes. This is the best method I have found. Discovered it by accident!

  9. I always did a jar with some juice in it (the stuff the kids didn’t finish- frugal!!!) covered with plastic wrap and a few holes poked through. It works well but I’ll have to try your idea and the others to see which works best for me!!

    • Thanks, Rachel! Have been meaning to search the internet for a remedy to this problem. Summer heat in TX mixed with bananas is a BAD combo!

  10. What about just regular flies? Any tips for getting them caught? They CONSTANTLY fly in when I open the door to the garage and have to get me, baby in carrier, and diaper bag in. They annoy me more than fruit flies because they’re so LOUD! TIA

    • Savannah says:

      Take a ziplock bag with water, vinegar, and a penny inside it and hang it with a nail on the frame of your garage door!

  11. Oh these little suckers have been driving me CRAZY… especially around my compost container (which, as you know, is just an empty butter dish, lol). I’m doing this TONIGHT!


  12. I’ve tried the juice and dish washing liquid method and it works a little, but I still find that using a vacuum on the fruit flies is the best method. Ultimately, if you live somewhere where it turns cold in the winter, the flies will die because it’s too cold (a little below 70 degrees) and too dry for them in the house.

    • Yeah, we live in Texas and have major fruit flies most of the year. I’ve vacuumed up house flies, but I haven’t tried it with fruit flies… I’ll have to give it go once they come back (and it should be soon since it’s warming up here).

      I love your site, btw! We are going to attempt to grow tomatoes, peppers, okra and a few other plants this year. I will be looking through your Beginner section for tips!

    • H. Robertson says:

      It’s 30 degrees outside in Pa right now and the fruit flies are enjoying my warm house greatly. They are also known as drain flies so finding moisture in a warm house is not an issue for the little suckers. Only have issues with them in winter here so don’t bet on the cold helping you out

  13. Pete Ballan says:

    The little sods are driving my wife and cat into a state of fury ! As I am a keen wine maker and do a lot of chutneys and jams, basically throughout the year, the flies are drunk with alcohol and filled to the gunnels with chut’s. I am having a difficult time to convince the missus that they WILL go away, but after a whole year of temperature resistant little blighters, I have learned to discipline the household into mild acceptance.

  14. Shannon S Pickens says:

    Thank you! I can’t wait to try this tonight! They are in full force & I believe with mild winter we had they are going to continue to be horrible. This way is easy & cheap because I have both in my house! 🙂

  15. Isabel Pelayo says:

    This WORKS! I’ve tried it (unfortunately)

  16. Samantha Cantrill says:

    I tried this with gnats and it really works. They’re attracted to the vinegar and can’t escape the bubbles from the soap.

  17. Nancy Reynolds says:

    Will have to try this… we too have tons, and i haven’t even had bananas! Must have been the strawberries or something else.

  18. Talia Quinn says:

    Gonna have to give this a try. They’re driving me crazy!!

  19. Leslie Anthony Boyd says:

    Fly paper works quickly too. Its amazing how quickly those stubborn gnats reproduce. Yuck!

  20. Darcey Lafo Olson says:

    Relatively new to Texas and they are driving us insane! We couldn’t figure out what we were doing wrong! Fortunately our neighbors mentioned their issue so we knew it must be a Texas thing. Damn buggers!

  21. Lindsay Pryor says:

    We use bananas and whiskey. Works like a charm!

  22. Lindsay Pryor says:

    We put a slice of banana in a small amount of whiskey in a small ramekin covered with Saran wrap with small holes poked in the wrap. You have to make sure the holes are big enough to allow fruit flies in, but not out. It works amazingly well. If you don’t have any whiskey in the house I’m sure any alcohol would work or an airplane bottle would be enough for quite a few traps.

  23. Laurie Due Courtemanche says:

    It works – amazing!

  24. Jamie Doskocil says:

    I’ve always used a small dish of plain white vinegar (set out on the counter) and they would be gone within a day. I wonder if it’s the scent that drives them away.

  25. Rachelle Jones says:

    It works! I do it every year. Sometimes I hang fly tap too just to be sure 🙂 also put you bread in the fridge or they will climb in that too! They live bread!

  26. Teresa Kilgore Sirois says:

    I use cider vinegar and soap all the time. works like a charm

  27. Lisa Spears says:

    Lol.I use a glass of wine…works like a charm!

  28. Jennifer Busl says:

    My husband always uses whiskey too. Works perfectly!

  29. Susan Ogan says:

    using this for years!

  30. Kathye Carter Shuman says:

    Defintely going to try this…

  31. April T Hooper says:

    I’ve heard of vinegar but no combined with dish soap, going to give it a try.

  32. I’ve used this for several years now since my sister in law told me about it .My mix is about 1c of cider vinegar ,1 c. of water and a few drops of dish soap to  break the surface tension of the  water mix. I’ve found plastic containers don’t work as well for me so I use a lime green ceramic bowl …seem to work great..Never have found anything better except a closed cruet of vinegar kept on the table for salads….Yuck! 🙂

  33. I have been using that method for quite a while. What I did was took an empty spice bottle with the shaker cap and put the vinegar and dish soap in that. That way I can leave the jar open, catch those last stubborn ones and not be embarassed if someone drops by.

  34. I know we hate to use clorox but my pest control guy said to pour approx 1/2 cup down sink drains and they will disappear…worked!

  35. Rene DeFries says:

    Thanks for the tip. I truly hate those pesky critters

  36. How to get rid of “fruit” flies:

    Step 1: Replace living flowers with plastic.
    Step 2: Relax.

  37. I didn’t have much success with the vinegar and soap idea. The best thing that has worked for me is pour scalding water down the sink pipes in my home. They live there, also they live 1 to 2 inches down in the potted plant soil, they thrive on moisture so let it dry out. This has been the best so far.

  38. white vinegar in a cup on the counter or near where the problem is.

  39. 1/2 cup Apple Cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap, it gets them every time!!! I like to divide it up into smaller cup around the kitchen.

  40. I place apple cider vinegar & a dash of water to dilute, in the bottom of a glass jar and place a tight seal of saran wrap over the lid. Then I poke several tiny holes with a sharp steak knife in the wrap. The holes are big enough for the fruit flies to get in, but they can´t get out. Eventually they drop & die into the vinegar. It works slick!

  41. Morgan Douglas says:

    The apple cider vinegar and dish soap worked for a while, but then what seemed like a million fruit flies were showing up in my computer area and they started avoiding the trap altogether.
    Do not use apple cider vinegar. It will just blow up in your face like it did me.

  42. We found that the vacuum cleaner will remove them much faster and then leave the bowl out overnight to get the last few remaining.

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