4 Ways to Make a Homemade Fruit Fly Trap
Get rid of annoying fruit flies by making a homemade trap that uses apple-cider vinegar or decaying fruit to attract the pests.
Get Rid of Those Pesky Fruit Flies Without Going Bananas
Fruit flies are the bane of scrumptious fruit selections you set out at room temperature. Leave fruit out in a bowl for the kids to enjoy a healthy snack, and within a day or so, the fruit flies find it too. Make your own fruit-fly traps to keep your home free from these pesky pests. But first, put all existing fruit in the fridge and take out any trash that has decaying fruit in it; otherwise, the fruit flies may not notice your trap.
1. Simplest Two-Ingredient Fruit-Fly Trap
The easiest fruit-fly trap takes just seconds to put together. Pour 1 cup of apple-cider vinegar (ACV) into a deep bowl (or 1/2 cup for a smaller trap), and then add a few squirts of liquid dish soap. As with any of these four traps, set the bowl in an area where you've seen fruit flies, but out of reach of pets and young children. Fruit flies will be drawn to the vinegar and won't be able to escape thanks to the soap.
2. Slightly More Elaborate Trap
The second fruit-fly trap also uses ACV and dish soap, but this time in a jar. Pour in an inch or so of ACV; add a drop of dish soap, and then swirl the jar gently. Cover the top with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the plastic with a toothpick as you hold the plastic taut with your other hand. This prolongs the amount of time the fruit flies stay in the jar if they haven't yet reached the vinegar. Eventually they will.
3. The Paper Cone Method
This trap is like the ACV-in-a-jar method, but with a paper cone at the top. Add the ACV and dish soap to the jar, and then roll a piece of paper into a cone so the narrow end of the cone has at least a dime-sized hole in it. Set the narrow cone end into the jar. Then loosen the top of the paper a bit so it touches the inside of the jar mouth. Tape the paper in place so it retains its cone shape and prevents fruit flies from escaping around the perimeter of the cone.
4. The Compost Method
As you've already noticed, decaying fruit attracts fruit flies. Make your own catch-and-release trap by placing fruit scraps such as fresh apple cores or parts of peach skins in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; poke a few holes in the plastic, then wait. Each morning, check the trap for fruit flies by tapping the bowl. If you see any, take the bowl outside, remove the plastic and set the fruit flies free. Replace the plastic, and reuse the trap.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Landlordology, SFGate and others.