Getting rid of pesky fruit flies

How to get Rid of Fruit Flies | The Coupon Project

Have you ever walked into your kitchen one day and realize something smells “off?”

That was me yesterday and I decided to get to the bottom of it. Turns out I had a rotten pear in the bottom of my fruit basket. So, so gross.

I immediately removed it and bleached the living daylights out of my counter. However, I now had a new problem…Drosophila melanogaster.

(Also known as the common fruit fly.)

So I turned to some of the best experts I know on Facebook – YOU for advice. And I’m pleased to report that most of my fruit flies are now gone! Yes, in less than one day!

I mixed red wine vinegar and dish soap and a little water. At first I tried adding saran wrap and poking holes, but I found it wasn’t working fast enough. So I removed the wrap and guess what? Still worked.

Other, less successful methods that we attempted:

  • Swatting at them. (I only got one after about 10 swats.)
  • Vacuuming them. (Hubby did this with the vacuum attachment, and while it did get a few of them, it was rather time consuming.)
  • Spraying them with water. (I got about 4 this way.)
  • A bowl of vinegar. (Didn’t get any – you NEED to add the soap.)

Apparently they are drawn to the sweetness in the red wine vinegar (and many of you recommended red wine or apple cider vinegar over plain), and somehow they get “stuck” in the soap. Again, I found the saran wrap a pretty unnecessary step – but your results may vary.

So if I double doggy dared you, would you drink this?


  1. Leona says

    I do the same thing… but w/ apple cider vinegar. Works great. I used to have a peach tree back in Texas and when they were in season I’d bring in bushels of peaches along w/ the fruit flies. I just put it in a coffee cup and not even fill it half full, by the end of the day.. no more flies. The best thing is .. no chemicals. : )

    • arussell says

      Yup – I think the key is a “sweet” vinegar. I sooo agree – I love how safe & frugal & EFFECTIVE this solution is!

  2. Iris Lugo says

    I had to deal with fruit flies this summer. I took a large mason jar and put a strawberry in it with some apple cider vinegar. I than made a funnel out of cardstock and sealed it completely on the top of the jar with masking tape. The fruit flies find their way in but can’t find their way out. You can either empty it outside (the live ones) or I just filled it with water and dumped it all down the drain. All the fruit flies were in the jar in 2 days.

  3. Tomina says

    The flies aren’t getting stuck in the soap but are finding that they can no longer “walk on water.” I actually did this as a science project as a kid. When you have a bowl of water (or vinegar) there is something called surface tension on any water or a “skin” which is why insects can just land on it. As a kid my science project showed this surface tension by floating a sewing needle on the surface tension of a bowl of water. However, the 2nd step in my project was to add a drop of soap to the water. The soup disrupts the surface tension on the water so that it no longer has this “skin” that insects can land on so when you do this with your vinegar the fly is planning on walking on water but finds that he should have taken swimming lessons first and drowns. LOL.

  4. Amy Stillions says

    that is pretty cool. I hadn’t heard of that one. Someone once told me orange juice and soap but it didn’t really work well. I usually spray them with water and then swat them while they are down. Time consuming…but it works. I will have to remember this if I ever have a problem with them again

  5. says

    ahahaha i had the same problem in the summer the contractors left food in the house and when we moved back in we had fruit flys galor my husband did the vaccume thing too, all the steps you tried we did but i did apple cider vinegar and dawn dish soap and that so work!!! plus we huge those ugly fly strips for the few that were too stubborn but we got them!!! buggers

  6. Gretchen says

    I have also found that forgetting to dump out your coffee (that has liquid creamer in it) and leaving it on the counter seems to work well too! 😉

  7. JENNIFER says

    Another one that I have tried that worked is to use a cheap bottle of wine, dump out about half way and leave sitting out on the counter they fly inside and cant get back out!

  8. regina pittman says

    I will try that, they found their way in with some bananas and hung around!

    Now does anyone have any remedies for the sugar ants? They are getting to be a pest this year as well!

  9. Susan says

    That is the only way to get all of them, and pretty much any vinegar you have on hand works if you put in the dish soap. I tried using the saran wrap the first time I did this, but quickly learned I got more when I took it off.

  10. April Anderson says

    Only two or three drops of liquid dish soap added to the vinegar are needed. The soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar so that when the flies put their little feet on the surface, they break through and drown. So there’s no need to add a ton of liquid dish soap – you’ll only be wasting it. :)

  11. Christan says

    For sugar ants, Splenda works great! It is safe for kids and animals. It takes a bit to work because the ants take it back to the queen but once the queen dies, the whole colony dies. So it completely takes care of the ants.

    I’ve been told grits work too but I’ve only used Splenda.

    I love the apple cider vinegar solution for the fruit fly issue. Definitely needed all summer when one cans various fruits.

  12. Holly says

    I use about 1/2 C of wine or a clear juice and 1 drop of dish soap. Works every time. Within 48 hrs. No need to waste liquid or soap. I work to hard to coupon for those things. I’m not wasting anymore than necessary on bugs. LOL

  13. Dsperin says

    I need a sure fire way to get rid of little black ants. They are driving me nuts! Terro has not worked. I found a swarm yesterday and they survived Windex, Simple Green, and Bleach Spray–one on top of the other. Hubby finally had to grab the bug spray. Sheesh!

  14. Bree says

    Ok, so what exactly do you do? Do you add one before the other or just a mix? We went blackberry picking over the weekend and we have so many right now, they are driving me nuts! Thanks!

  15. Sarah says

    I just leave a small bowl on my counter where they tend to congregate. I fill it half full with apple cider vinegar and it only takes a small squirt of soap. I find though that I need to replace it every day or it no longer attracts new ones.

  16. Raven Nicole says

    I just tested the red wine vinegar…well not exactly. I made some of my own with apple cider vinegar and some of my moms wine and it’s like watching Black Friday with fruit flies. Lol. Thank you so much for the idea!!!

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