Getting Rid Of Fruit Flies In The Kitchen

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The Easiest Most Effective Trap Ever!!!

Our problem…

Our household had a fruit fly problem for about two summers. I knew it steemed from our practice of collecting kitchen scraps in a bucket that didn’t close completely. We just hoped that they would eventually just go away.

NOPE. Two summers deep into this problem and it was only getting worse. We had them in almost every room in the house.

It was not until we had a guest that stayed at our house offered us a simple solution. She shared with us the solution that worked for her because she had also dealt with this problem.

To make a simple trap. That requires only three simple items. Yeah, it’s only three items that you’ll need but is the most effective trap to rid yourself of these pesky little buggers.

What You’ll Need

Most households will have these items already, so nothing really needs to be bought. So save your money on buying specific traps and go with this tried and true home remedy solution.

This is called a Vinegar Trap.

  1. An empty plastic bottle – water or soda bottle works great. I prefer the clear water bottle because you can monitor the trap on its effectiveness. You can also use a clear mason jar too.
  2. 1 half of piece of paper – printer paper works great.
  3. Apple Cider Vinegar.
My trap minus the Apple Cider Vinegar.

To start, put a little ACV in the bottom of the empty bottle. You don’t have to put much in, just enough to attract and drown these little buggers. And they will drown. You need a minimum of a quarter of an inch to an inch of apple cider vinegar in the bottom of the bottle. I’ve seen some people using almost a full bottle, this is wasteful and not needed. These guys are highly attracted to apple cider vinegar and will find a way to get into the bottle but once in they will not find a way out.

This leads us to the next step…the paper. Carefully, roll the half sheet a paper into a cone. You remember your college days, right? Where one end is narrower than the opening. Place the narrow end into the bottle and carefully press the paper down to ensure there are no openings. Then you’re done. Simple, right? You can also trim with a pair of scissors the top of the paper to shorten it and make it more appealing.

Make as many traps as you need. I really recommend you make more than one and place them where ever you see these little guys. At the height of our problem, I had five of these traps going. Never really thought of myself as a Jeremiah Johnson type, but hey this trapping is kind of rewarding at least for pests.

Granted this isn’t the most appealing decorations in your house. But neither is having gnats or fruit flies. In a couple of weeks, all of them should be caught and you can discard and recycle the traps.

How Does This Work?

The gnat or fruit fly enters into the bottle by flying or by walking down the paper cone into the bottle. Once it reaches and passes the event horizon (the bottom of the paper) it’s like a black hole, it will never come back out alive and the ACV is the gravity which is too much for them to resist. And they drown in it.

Much to my surprise, they can’t seem to figure out how to escape, as some will test and explore the top of the inside of the bottle and paper for openings. Unfortunately for them, they will not find any. Muahahahaha!

Side note, I don’t like killing anything but if it is my dwelling it is fair game. Also, I will often catch spiders alive in my house and release them outside. I am sure someone can devise a trap to safely trap gnats and then release them but it is too much trouble for this guy.

Some Additional Steps Maybe Needed…Yep

Some additional work may be needed to prevent future reoccurrences from happening.

Pouring A Bleach Solution into the sink. This might have to be done in every room with a drain, either the kitchen, bathrooms, or basement. By mixing a solution of bleach and water and pouring it down the drain should fix them. Make sure you wear proper protection and clothing when pouring this down the drain. After all, you are dealing with bleach.

Also NEVER mix bleach with ammonia!!! This makes a deadly toxic fume!

How To Prevent Fruit Flies In The Future

Just because you have gotten rid of those pesky little buggers (or think you have), doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t come back.

Preventing is the key to solving the problem in the long run.

1. An Adequate Kitchen Compost Bin

If you are like me, I had a problem with fruit flies when saving kitchen scraps for my compost pile, which I use to fertilize my garden with. I was using an old ice cream 1-gallon pail and then an empty larger laundry detergent container. Both methods led to having smells and the numerous fruit flies infestation in my house. This doesn’t have to be the case…

To solve this problem I went to a specific container that addressed both issues. Trust me, get one if you save kitchen scraps. You can read my top picks here for the Best Compost Bin For The Kitchen.

2. Cleaning Up Dirty Dishes Right Away

Sure, it’s easy just to put your dirty dishes in the sink and say to yourself, I deal with it later. But if you have recently dealt with a gnat or fruit fly problem, you need to stay diligent. So get in the habit of washing your dishes right after you’re done eating a meal. Plus it usually easier before everything has dried and become stuck to your plates.

3. Potting Soil Replacement

If you suspect your insect problem is coming from your potted plants, now might be a good time to change the soil. You’re going to need to buy a high-quality topsoil to make sure there is no unwanted gnats or fruit flies coming along for the ride.

4. Quality Garbage Can

Some garbage cans leave an opening for any number of insects to easily fly in and out of. Especially, these little buggers. Look for a lid that closes securely and easily. I’ve found that the kind that swings open and shut don’t adequately limit gnats and fruit flies from entering and leaving the garbage can.

I recommend you invest in a good kitchen compost bin (see above), as these store discarded fruits and produce properly without smell and insect problems. You should be composting your kitchen scraps anyways to fertilize your lawn, garden, or flowers. Read my post, Why You Need A Garden – Doesn’t Matter How Small.

 


What method do you use, to rid yourself of fruit flies? Would love to hear what works or doesn’t work.

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