How To Make A Homemade Fruit Fly Trap

Last updated on October 17, 2019 | Written by | DIY Home

There are few things as annoying in your home as fruit flies. They pop up without warning and seem to stick around no matter what you do. If your home has become infected with these kinds of relentless bugs, then you will probably wonder at some point how to make a homemade fruit fly trap. Sure, you can opt for a store bought ready-made trap to get rid of the little buggers, but sometimes a homemade trap is much more effective. That may be hard for some to believe, but when it comes down to it, you might end up spending a small fortune on fruit fly traps from the store in order to get rid of the flies before they become more of an infestation and much more than just a nuisance. 

Part of getting rid of fruit flies and keeping them out of your home is understanding how they got there in the first place. You might get rid of them with your handy new homemade trap, but unless you take proper precautions, you could be left setting more traps if the fruit flies just keep coming back. So before you embark on the experience of catching fruit flies and loving the idea of seeing those pesky things securely trapped, you should probably learn to understand just what brings them on and what makes them tick.

Where Fruit Flies Come From

All it takes is just one fruit fly egg drop to turn your kitchen into ground zero. It might not sound like much. Because in theory, you’d think you could get rid of fruit flies easily if just one fly lays its eggs. But according to Live Science, one fruit fly can leave behind as many as 500 eggs in its wake. Think about how many eggs could be left behind if a handful of fruit flies use your home as their dropping ground and it’s enough to thoroughly irk anyone. 

The name fruit fly implies that these insects come from or are attracted to fruit only, but the truth is, they can be attracted to any moist surface in your kitchen. From there, they might be seen zipping around your bathroom or even your living room, but fruit flies almost always originate in the kitchen. This can be through overripe produce left out, garbage disposals, or even wet rags or mops that are left out.

Once just one fruit fly has attached itself to your home, you can expect it to lay large wherever it was initially attracted to. And because one fly can lay hundreds of eggs, which could then hatch before you even realize that one fly is in your home, it’s important to nip this problem in the bud as soon as you can.

The Difference Between House Flies And Fruit Flies

Mohd Azriem Awang Besar/Unsplash

It might seem like fruit flies are from the same insect family as flies and, therefore, can be banished with the same tips and tricks you might already have for house flies. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case. Luckily, most house flies have a good chance of giving up and dying off after endless failed attempts to leave through a closed window or glass door. If you have a ton of them working their way through your home, however, it could be a different story.

But just on sight, it’s easy to see the biggest difference between fruit flies and house flies. Fruit flies are a lot smaller with larvae which are harder to detect than maggots. They are also attracted to produce and moisture, whereas house flies are all about rotten food and garbage and can get a lot bigger. Because of their vast differences, it can also be difficult to get rid of them both at the same time. But if you have a fruit fly infestation, then you will want to set out specific traps that go well beyond fly tape you might hang for house flies.

How To Make A Homemade Fruit Fly Trap

Because fruit flies are naturally attracted to rotted or sweet produce, it should come as no surprise that part of what you can use to attract them into a trap is more of the sweetness that inadvertently lured them in the first place. But there are a few different ways to make a homemade fruit fly trap. And just in case one doesn’t work for you, feel free to shop around and try the different options to see what does prove worthy of getting those pesky mini flies out of your house once and for all.

1. Mix Dish Soap And Apple Cider Vinegar

Bárbara Montavon/Unsplash

One way to get fruit flies out of your house is to make a simple trap with some apple cider vinegar in a small jar. Then, you add in a few drops of liquid dish soap and cover the top with plastic cling wrap. Poke a few holes in the cover to provide just enough room for the fruit flies to get in without being able to get out and you should have them out of the house in no time.

2. Make Use Of Old Fruit

Emma Van Sant/Unsplash

There’s nothing like using what fruit flies are attracted to in order to corner them in and attack the infestation. Take a large piece of overripe fruit and place it in the bottom of a jar. Then, add a little bit of vinegar and insert a coke of paper in the jar on top so it is touching the fruit but also sticking out. The fruit will attract fruit flies, but the cone’s shape and size will make it difficult for them to escape the jar.

3. Put A Little More Effort Into It

Jagoda Kondratiuk/Unsplash

This method of making a homemade fruit fly trap isn’t as easy as setting out some old fruit, but it can still be effective. For this one, add together milk, a cup of sugar, and a half cup of raw pepper. After it cools, place the mixture in a bowl and set it out on the counter in your kitchen. Because the sugar ferments  in the milk, fruit flies will be attracted to the trap, but the mixture itself will eventually suffocate them.

4. Keep That Leftover Wine

Bundo Kim/Unsplash

If you are guilty of leaving a few precious gulps of wine or even beer in a bottle after you have finished the majority of its contents, don’t throw it out right away. Instead, leave it out in the kitchen to allow fruit flies to be drawn to the sticky sweetness left inside. The narrow shape of the neck of the wine or beer bottle will make it difficult for fruit flies to get out and if you add a few drops of liquid dish soap, you can more easily trap the flies inside.

5. Use Honey For A Sticky And Sweet Trap

Arwin Neil Baichoo/Unsplash

Instead of opting for the liquid dish soap and vinegar option, try mixing honey and sugar and warming the combination up. Then, add in a few drops of apple cider vinegar and place the mixture in a container. Cover the container in cellophane and poke holes in the top to allow fruit flies in. The mixture will entice them, but the honey will trap them inside.

Final Thoughts

There is nothing inherently wrong with buying fruit fly traps from the store instead of making some of your own. But when it comes down to it, it’s kind of hard to ignore how easy it is to make a homemade fruit fly trap of your own. Admittedly, having a jar of apple cider vinegar and honey on your kitchen counter isn’t the most pleasant thing in the world. It is, however, an effective, natural, and easy way to trap those suckers and get them out of your house once and for all.

And the beauty of these homemade fruit fly traps is that if one doesn’t work so well, you can try others to see how effective they might be instead. In most cases, these traps are also made from supplies you likely already have laying around your home. So if you happen to be dealing with what seems to be an infestation of annoying fruit flies, there are tons of options to get rid of them yourself.