How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

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Introduction: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

About: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of www.zcorp.com, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output devices. His detailed drawings of traditional Pacific...

Fruit flies - yuck!
Catch them in four different easy-to-make traps.

Got an infestation? Control it right now!
I compare the effectiveness of four different types of traps.

Step 1: Inverted Cone Fly Trap

This is the only trap here that can catch other types of flies besides fruit flies.
To make it, cut off the top of a soda bottle and insert it into the remaining part inverted. Tape or hotglue it in place. Put some liquid bait in the bottom.

The flies will fly in and will follow the walls back up, not finding the way out.

Instead of the plastic cone some people use a paper cone,
a plastic bag with the corner cut off,
or a piece of saran wrap with a small hole in it.

some people use these Alternative Baits:
juice or sugar water'
sugar water with yeast
apple cider vinegar
pickle juice

for other types of flies: meat, fish, canned cat food, or whatever the flies seem to like.

Step 2: Soap Bubble Trap

The flies are attracted by the bait and get stuck in the soap bubbles.
I used red wine as bait and added some dish soap. Put your hand over the top and shake it up as shown to make the bubbles. Then put it near your infestation.

Step 3: Soapy Bait Trap

This one is even easier.
Put a dab of soap on your fingertip and touch that to the surface of your liquid bait.
The soap breaks the surface tension and the flies fall into the liquid when they touch it.

Step 4: Wine Bottle Trap

This one is just a wine bottle with wine left in the bottom.

Step 5: Which Is the Best?

I caught one or two flies in each of the first three traps.
The wine bottle wasn't supposed to be a trap. I left it out by accident at the other end of the counter. All the flies flew in there and died.

Now I can't do any more experiments.

Fermentation of wine releases carbon dioxide which is heavier than air. I suppose they flew down into the CO2 and suffocated.

And that's it!
After having a fruit fly infestation for almost a year, an accidental trap wipes them out!!
Here's a photo down the neck of the bottle.

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    86 Comments

    Hello there! Thanks for the article, good information to increase their knowledge! But i want to ask, does the fruit flies can destroy all fruits, if you dont find the source and don't destroyed it, because i read the information named "How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies? here http://stoppestinfo.com/144-review-of-the-best-fruit-fly-traps.html And they sayed that if you dont find the source - it's the end of your garden! So how i can to find it? Wathching the destroyed fruit and destroy the tree or how?

    Two remedies for flies and mosquitoes. The bait for both is 1/3rd of the following 3 components. Yeast, powdered milk, and powered sugar. Stir to a paste or puddy consistency. Don't need much. the working yeast gives off co2 which turns out to be the very thing your breath gives off to attract mosquitoes. Flies love the musky sweet smell too. Second part of the remedy is to make a trap from an upside down hanging soda bottle or any clear plastic bottle container for that matter. The deal is to just cut off the top quarter from any soda bottle large or small and invert it thus sliding it back into the lower 3/4 bottle top side down for a snug fit (hot glue it). Make an 8 inch or so diameter cone out of any old screen door material (be sure to allow a pencil sized hole in the top). insert the screen cone gluing it up into the inverted cone you've created with your bottle top. Before you actually asemble all this together you should configure some sort of tray to hold your bait for placing inside before assembling bottle. Keeping your bait inside allows nothing but the flies and mosquito access to it. (mice cats of other vermin leave it alone). Polking heated sewing needle size holes in the bottom of your bottle assures the aroma gets out.

    the best is the easiest... Wine bottle!

    will yellow wine work? I have it sitting around since I don't drink yellow, only red and I don't want to waste any for those darn FF!! :)

    Dear Mr Tim Anderson-

    My cousin and I like to drink excessively, too much, too often, and not clean up after ourselves.

    After 2 years of this behavior, our kitchen has suffered the repercussions of our actions. Fruit flies have crashed our party and taken over our kitchen. We can no longer crack a can of Coors Original, cork a bottle of Pinot Noir, or even whisk together a simple John Daily (Iced Tea, Lemonade, vodka, MORE vodka). What have we done!?!?!?

    While we were in panic we stumbled upon your strategory... We followed your actions to the T. While all seemed to have some degree of success, my cousin and I grew inpatient and attacked the Fruit Pests from both sides with All Purpose cleaning spray.

    The flies hit the counter like a Whitney Houston to a bath tub.

    We won the battle, but not the war...

    We woud be honored to join your allegiance and help unite our new intel to takeover these Facist Fruits once and for all!!!

    1) Maple Syrup does not seem to have an effect on these hellbenders
    2) While we were successful with your wine bottle method, the same was not true with bloody mary mix
    3) Pickle juice is a myth in our area
    4) Don't and I repeat DO NOT water down any substance as the Fruits are only attracted to the most acholic of beverages (much like ourselves).

    If you are still out there, we wish good fortune on your quest to rid us of the slithery snakes!

    Out!

    Wine seems to work really well for attracting fruit flies into a trap. Three glasses for your, one for them.

    Very useful info, thanks for sharing.

    I find it scary that enough people have/buy 2-litre bottles of soda that it's assumed everyone has these laying around.

    1 reply

    My husband and I don't buy soda to drink. We buy the occasional 2-liter of cheap, store-brand diet soda to clean our drains with. Pour 1/2 a liter down your bathtub drain to clear hair clogs, then, once you're done with the 2-liter bottle, wash it out and make a fly trap out of it! Perfect! :D

    Any idea if one bait works better than another? Anyways, thanks for the great tips. I'm going to build my own tonight when I get home. Let you know how it goes. Appreciate it.

    Awesome article, thanks Tim!

    I found that hard cider works well too. Might be useful with a 6-pack providing more bottles that are smaller and to maneuver.

    So the question is, is it the co2 or the alcohol that killed them? A soda bottle mostly emptied would serve as a good test to the co2 hypothesis. I usually use the inverted cone traps but I've never used wine. Maybe a combination of the wine and inverted cone would work even better.

    7 replies

    Or dry ice, just put some in a bottle. Apparently you can get it in the supermarkets in the US. Not in the UK as far as I know. Does anyone where can you get dry ice in the UK?

    Hi, I do not know of ANY supermarkets in the USA that sell dry ice... but you can sometimes buy it from large wine & beer retailers. Best bet is to check the "Yellow Pages," or google 'dry ice.'

    We actually can buy dry ice in our grocery stores. I just bought some for Halloween at our local Hy-Vee. Self service about 4.99 for a 5 lb block.
    :D

    Dry Ice is very common at grocery stores. Safeway, Fred Meyer, Albertson's etc. usually have a small cooler in the front near the customer service counter. Some let you pick it out, other stores require an employee to do it. There is a set of thick cotton gloves in the cooler, and you pay by the pound. It's about $0.70/lb. here in Washington. Another source here in town is the welding supply shop. It is used in many mechanical applications.

    Hi again, They say you learn something new every day. The expression on my face, upon reading your reply to my note, could best be described as: "No Kidding??" The stores you mention are not common in the northeast, although I have seen Safeway stores in other parts of the country. However, since you mention them, I must say that I have never, ever, seen a cooler containing dry ice for sale (nor the required heavy gloves). When I have purchased it, on rare ocassions, it was about the same price you mention, but someone always brought it out to my car for me. I was usually buying 150 - 200 lbs for a restaurant with a failed cooler... Your reply was nonetheless interesting. Many thanks!

    Ive actually seen dry ice "coolers" or containers at Walmart, Krogers,Publix, and a few other places, i live down south, idk where you are, but it may be just more common down here

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    Meijer for sure has it… the huge 24hr places - pretty sure in NE or even Giant Eagle.