Introduction: Easy Fruit Fly Trap

Picture of Easy Fruit Fly Trap

I used to make the inverted cone type traps but one day I didn't have any tape so I tried this. Much to my surprise it worked just as well, but was way easier to make.

Fruit flies can be a pain in the kitchen, but with a good trap it's surprising how quickly you can get rid of them.

The steps are:
1. Put bait in the bottom of the container
2. Cover top with plastic wrap
3. Secure with rubber band
4. Poke holes so flies can get in

Step 1: Materials

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1. A container
2. Plastic wrap
3. Rubber band
4. Bait

1. Something pointy

Step 2: Choose a Container

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You want something small, and hard to knock over (especially if you're baiting it with red wine). I have found the bottom half of a water/pop bottle or a little yogourt container to be ideal.

I like to use disposable plastic containers because the thought of cleaning out a fruit fly hotel does not appeal to me and I'd rather just toss the whole thing at the end.

Step 3: Bait the Trap

Picture of Bait the Trap

Bait the trap by putting a little bit of something yummy in the bottom of the container.

Generally this is whatever the fruit flies are hanging around. Some good standbys are wine, old fruit, bananas/banana peels, and orange juice. It's usually desirable to have some liquid in the bottom so they drown instead of setting up families.

Edit: I've been told cider vinegar is also a good bait. Also, adding a little bit of dish detergent* will encourage drowning.

*Be careful with adding detergent, the green apple detergent I have right now scared all the flies away. A second trap with the same bait and no detergent worked great.

Step 4: Cover With Plastic Wrap and Secure

Picture of Cover With Plastic Wrap and Secure

Cover the container with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.

Step 5: Poke Holes

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Poke one to four entrance holes in the plastic wrap. Try to imagine how big a fruit fly is and make the hole a little bit bigger than that (say 2 mm). This doesn't have to be precise or clean. Pulling the plastic wrap tight will make this easier.

Step 6: Remove Hiding Spots (op)

Picture of Remove Hiding Spots (op)

Now to really eradicate the little bugs you need to remove their hiding spots. This means removing their access to anything tasty except your trap. Put fruit in the fridge, seal it in plastic bags or cover it tightly. Throw out any fruit thats starting to spoil and take the garbage/compost out. You'll only have to do this for the first couple of days. The more disciplined you are at this the better and faster the trap will work.

In the summer when there's a lot of fruit coming and going I tend to forgo this and just leave a trap out all the time.

Step 7: Freeze 'em (op)

Picture of Freeze 'em (op)

Fruit flies will start breeding really quickly so if you want to keep the trap for more than a few days and not have a fruit fly farm on your counter (trust me you do not) it's a good idea to kill the flies off periodically. The best way I've found of doing this is to put the whole thing in the freezer overnight.


RichardJ113 (author)2016-11-16

Hello, someone try to use this trap
, if yes tell me is it effective or not, so and now i want to ask a
question about the fruit! What kind of them i need to use, and which one
is better, or maybe they all have same effect, i realy new in this
topic so want to know all aspects about that interesting trap! Thanks!

LorraineC3 (author)2016-10-25

If you use small holes they rarely get back out. I also have made a paper cone and put it in a empty water bottle, they cannot seem to fly back up out of that. If you use the 100% apple cider vinegar they cannot get gassed r burned to death.

Spray your fruit with water or wipe it down before you bring it in the house as well.

oululife (author)2015-08-04

Can I be the first?.....
"Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana"....
OK, OK, I'll get my coat.

cute !

Kayfix made it! (author)2016-07-02

Nice !

Tried with sliced banana and worked great :)

donnamaskew (author)2016-02-01

I left a half a cup of sweet coffee on the counter while I went out of town for the weekend. ..came home and my pet fruit flies were floating face down ;/ so I'm guessing one could say sweet coffee would work as a trap.

tmv22 (author)2014-03-17

i dont understand. if the flies can get in a hole. why cant they get out the same hole?

ArtS1 (author)tmv222014-10-05

To get out, they would have to fly out through the hole, which they can't do even if they could see the hole.. They don't have sticky feet that would let them walk upside down on the inside of the plastic wrap.

joe.dolan.507 (author)ArtS12014-11-01

I physically watched them escape from the same holes. Get your facts straight...

sehrgut (author)joe.dolan.5072015-11-24

This sort of trap is not escape-proof, but it slows their escape enough that you should see a large number of flies every day. You then freeze them and re-use the trap.

MonkeyB (author)joe.dolan.5072014-12-15

I physically watched them escape, what hell does that mean?

Moscuba (author)MonkeyB2015-07-31

He tossed a floating fastball and you hit it out of the park!

Phones ringing, I need to orally speak to someone on the phone.

MelissaC8 (author)ArtS12015-05-17

Oh yes they CAN get out of the hole, it's very unlikely but I've watched them do it afew times. The fewer holes the better the chances they won't get out.

dgateley (author)tmv222015-07-30

The scent draws them to the holes to get in but from inside nothing about the hole attracts them. A few will exit via one by accident and escape but statistically they'll end up in the trap.

FredE1 (author)tmv222014-08-24

They smell their way in but have no smell to guide them out......

neopolitan (author)2015-08-03

omg I find them cute... ever see them under a microscope?

sehrgut (author)neopolitan2015-11-24

Me too! I used to work with Drosophila in grad school. I'm using these traps (with sponge soaked in apple cider vinegar as the bait, to prevent drowning) to catch wild breeding stock to use as feeder insects.

DanH64 (author)2015-11-08

I have used very successfully apple cider vinegar in the bottom of almost any open top container with no dish soap, or plastic over the top. In fact, I feel you'll get far more in the container without the plastic. They drown, dish soap and plastic is unnecessary.

DickVanMeter (author)2015-09-19

To get rid of fruit flies, pour 1/2 cup of bleach in all of your drains. Sink, shower, bathtub, bathroom sink too. Fruit flies lay their eggs in you drain traps. We had a terrible infestation and got rid of them with ordinary bleach. Buy cheap bleach from the dollar store. You have to do it every day after you have used the sink or bathtub. It works believe me.

somewhiteguy (author)2015-08-03

Doing the same thing with just apple cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap makes them drown and you don't have to freeze the little buggers. Just rinse and repeat.

ashleyjlong (author)somewhiteguy2015-08-04

Yes! We use the vinegar/soap trick at home with decent success.

EsaE (author)somewhiteguy2015-08-03

I have no idea what this "trap" is supposed to do except feed them.

SueE3 (author)EsaE2015-08-03

Well, as long as you put it in the freezer overnight, you're going to kill whatever bugs are in the trap.

MichiganDave (author)2015-08-02

This came in so handy as I arrived home the other day with a nice variety of fruit and about 10 million fruit fly babies hidden amongst the edibles. I really dislike these little beasts so I took a preventative action by soaking the fruit in water for about 5 minutes. Drowning baby insects: I felt so good about doing this. The next day I noticed a fruit fly. That lasted for a few hours and soon I had too many to count.

So I made your trap. Totally worked!

A BIG Thank you, and I shall keep this mind for the inevitability next time.

dewnorth (author)2015-08-02

I've used wine vineger and a bit of dawn dish soap in an open glass with no cover. That works too.

Mister Weepers (author)2015-07-30

I've had faster results with the container with water and a few drops of liquid dish soap added. I don't put a cover on. The soap lets them break the surface of the water when they visit the local swimming pool and they drown a slow death. I tried the covered method with apple vinegar and that didn't work nearly as well as water + soap.

Plus when they're all gone, you're left with a tasty drink that's full of protein.

Protein at no charge! But what will the soap do to your innards? Whoops! Gotta go!!!

Protein and a laxative. All in one amazing drink!!! While I can't officially say it also cures cancer, I've yet to see a study that proves it can't.

VickiGene43 (author)2015-07-31

I have apple cider vinegar and a drop of liquid soap in an open wine glass sitting near the compost container in my kitchen. The fruit flies FLOCK to the glass, lining up on the rim like birds, waiting to go for a swim. The apple cider vinegar stays pungent for a few weeks as it evaporates. Two weeks ago I disposed of about a half teaspoon of fruit flies. Considering how small they are, that was a large amount. Previously, I tried the plastic wrap over the container and caught too few to feel success. Possibly the fruit flies in Georgia are getting smarter or maybe they are too stupid to locate the holes.

grogers8 (author)2015-07-30

I have always found a little brandy or tequila work the best for a bate. About once a week I add just a small amount more and all the fruit flies die and disintegrate into the liquid. I've tryed everything previously mentioned over the years in many traps at the same time but these two always catch far more flies than any other baits.

HazelL2 (author)2015-07-30

Got two in the place. One in the kitchen close by the fruit bowls and one beside my parrot's cage ... they don't work. Be lucky if one fly ventures in. Vacuum works better.

PJSolarz (author)2015-07-30

The cover is not needed. Just add a dot of dish detergent and a teaspoon of water to 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in a small jar, glass or cut-off plastic bottle. The flies go down to the surface to lay eggs. The detergent breaks the surface tension and they fall in and drowned. Change the cider mixture once a week.

lindsey.borsa (author)2015-07-30

For really bad infestations, I use a vacuum as well as a trap. Suck up the little suckers. I sneak up on my compost and as soon as I disturb it, they fly up and I get them. I leave my vacuum sitting there for the day and do it frequently. Then at the end of the day I have a manageable amount of flies to contend with and finish them off with a trap. Great for when you have an indoor worm composter. None of the methods (like a thick layer of shredded newspaper) suggested by the composter instructions worked. My walls and windows were black with flies. Vacuum worked best.

Cymru (author)2015-07-29

If you make the trap with apple cider vinegar, the flies die and distnegrate.

SimplyJenn made it! (author)2015-05-19

Thanks. I made it and it took care of the problem quick. I didn't have a rubber band nearby. 5 twist ties worked fine. ?

MweniE (author)2015-03-09

Stupid little things... They have been giving me a headache. Followed the steps above and worked as expected. Thanks for sharing. My racket insect zapper is going on a vacation and so am I.

greyjoys (author)2015-01-22

I've found that taking out the trash and then spraying the trashcan (with or without the bag) with Windex or similar clearning sprays - it makes the flies more less attracted to what could be there. Just a thought :)

richarpo (author)2009-10-23

You could take the cling film off, and put it outside to let them escape.

crickle321 (author)richarpo2009-10-23

What would the benefit be of letting them escape outside?

DaveJ2 (author)crickle3212014-09-29

I like to let them go so that they can make their way back inside and I get to go through the process again. It's really the thrill of the hunt for me.

tgosser137 (author)crickle3212010-06-03

To provide food for other insects/birds etc. that eat bugs... yum!

acicigoi1 (author)2014-09-12

What do you do with them once you catch them?

account3r2 (author)2012-08-31

Speaking of vinegar... Has anyone tried this with honey and caught more than with vinegar? :D

gunner2379 (author)account3r22014-08-05

Vinegar works better. Grandma's sayings are lies! (watched pot eventually boils, red at night is not necessarily a shepherds delight, a penny saved has already been earned, and is thus not earned again, liquor/beer drinking order does not effect sickness.)

smf257 (author)2011-10-05

Used lemon-lime gatorade and some banana

25 minutes in and still no flys in the trap!

HELP! our office is infested!

pompeii (author)smf2572014-07-04

burn some incense or light a candle, keep the area ventilated. that should keep employees away

NoFiller (author)smf2572011-10-15

This is one of those 'watched pot never boils' situations. Leave the trap out for at least 24 hours. If it still isn't working here are some suggestions:

1. Use a more natural bait. For maximum attraction you actually want the bait to start going bad. That's why wine and vinegar work so well, because they are already fermented. Banana always works really well, but I might worry about the gatorade scaring them off. I have had this problem with some dish detergents.

2. Make sure that the flies don't have anywhere else to go. Even the best trap will have a hard time competing against a garbage can full of half eaten lunches.

dougehrlich (author)2013-11-16

For those who prefer glass or don't want to use throw away plastic bottles, simply put the fruit fly filled glass in the freezer for a couple of hours, clean out, and reuse if needed.

vteeuwen (author)2013-08-07

Was sceptic, but after squashing the grapes in the cups it actually worked very effective. Natural alcohol speeds it up ;)

KWDragon (author)2013-06-09

This worked great. I would guess the cloud of fruit flies in my kitchen was cut down maybe 90% in the first 24 hours. I am going to leave it out another 24 and see if it finishes the job, as I suspect it will. Thanks!

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