Fruit Flies In Your Drain? 4 Traps To Get Rid Of Them

Written by Shaunice Lewis
Published: May 13, 2022
Image Credit Arif_Vector/Shutterstock.com
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There’s nothing more annoying than a fruit fly infestation. These tiny bugs can wreak havoc on your home. If you’re dealing with fruit flies there are a few traps that you can create to help get rid of them. Read on to learn more.

What Are Fruit Flies?

Fruit flies are a common household pest that can invade your home at any time of the year. These flies have short lifespans but reproduce very quickly, turning small problems into really big ones fast. These flies can go from egg to adulthood in only a matter of 8-10 days. They love to hide in moist, damp places like your kitchen sink drains, compost/garbage bowls, kitchen waste cans, garbage disposals, etc. Fruit flies are mainly attracted to fruit but will sometimes feed on other things as well. If you have fruit sitting out in a bowl, this can be a breeding ground for fruit flies, especially as the fruit rots or begins to ferment.

Close up of a fruit fly on a piece of fruit
Fruit flies are difficult to get rid of once they invade your home.

Alexlky/Shutterstock.com

Apple Cider Vinegar Trap

Apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural methods for getting rid of fruit flies. It’s also one of the simplest since all you will need is a bowl and apple cider vinegar. If you want to make this trap even more effective, you can make sure you have some plastic wrap on hand as well. Here’s how it works:

First, you need to start by filling your dish or bowl halfway with the apple cider vinegar. Next, use your plastic wrap to cover the bowl, making sure that it fits snuggly over the top and that there are no loose edges. Then, you can take a toothpick or something of similar size and poke a few holes in the top of the plastic. And there you have it — your apple cider vinegar fruit fly trap.

This trap works by drawing the fruit flies in by the smell of apple cider vinegar, which smells similar to rotting or fermenting fruit — which is what they are most attracted to. Once they climb into the bowl through the holes on the top of the plastic wrap that you made, they’ll become trapped — unable to find their way out. The fruit flies will then drown inside the bowl.

Don’t worry if you don’t have any plastic wrap to use. This trap will still work, it just may take a bit more time for the flies to drown in the apple cider vinegar, but at least while you wait they will be drawn to the bowl instead of around you or your food.

Be sure that you set this trap in an area where you’ve seen a lot of the fruit flies. That way you can trap most of them in one go and help put a dent in the number of fruit flies you have in your home. As we mentioned, fruit flies reproduce very quickly, so you don’t want to ignore the problem and let it go on for too long. What may start out as just a few fruit flies in your kitchen can turn into an infestation in a matter of weeks or less.

You can place these apple cider vinegar traps by your kitchen sink since fruit flies typically like to reproduce down in your kitchen sink drains. Keep in mind, that they may also migrate to your bathroom sinks or even your shower drain, so you may want to place some of the traps in those rooms as well. You can never be too careful.

Basically, wherever you’ve seen fruit flies is where you should place the traps. It’s better to have more than enough fruit fly traps in your home than not enough, especially when it comes to tackling this issue. Check on your fruit fly traps each day to see if you’re catching enough in them. If you notice that some traps are more full than others, you may want to try moving some to other areas that are catching more fruit flies—this way you can maximize your progress.

Empty the fruit fly traps regularly and repeat this method until you no longer see any more fruit flies being caught in the traps. This is a good sign that your traps worked and you caught most of, if not all, of the fruit flies in your home.

An apple cider vinegar trap filled with dead fruit flies
An apple cider vinegar trap is a simple yet effective way to eliminate fruit flies.

Joseph Creamer/Shutterstock.com

Dish Soap Trap

The next best trap we’ll cover for getting rid of fruit flies is the dish soap trap. This type of trap works great if you don’t have any apple cider vinegar on hand, or have trouble finding it at your local store. The first thing you’ll need to do is fill a jar halfway with water. Then add a few drops of whatever kind of dish soap you have on hand and mix it together so that you have a foamy dish soap bath. After you’ve done that, set the jar somewhere that gets a good amount of light. It doesn’t matter if it’s sunlight or artificial lighting, as long as it’s well lit.

This trap works by attracting the fruit flies to the jar and then luring them into the jar by the smell of the dish soap. Once the fruit flies enter the jar, they will drown in the water due to the surface tension between the water and dish soap. This is a simple, easy trick to get rid of fruit flies if you don’t have any apple cider vinegar to work with.

Rotting Fruit Trap

If you’ve got an overripe banana or any other type of fruit that’s beginning to go bad, you can use it to your advantage. Place the rotting fruit inside of a plastic bag and leave the bag open on your counter. Once you notice that the fruit flies have made their way to the fruit, carefully close the bag, trapping the fruit flies inside. You can then dispose of the bag outside so that the fruit flies are removed from your home. This method works quickly and is a great alternative and simple DIY. Plus it costs almost nothing to make as long as you’ve some fruit.

Wine Bottle Trap

The next fruit fly trap idea we’ll cover is the wine bottle trap. If you have a wine bottle on hand, this method is perfect. First, you’ll want to pour out the wine that’s in the bottle, leaving anywhere from 1 to 3 inches left in the bottom. Next, add in a few small pieces of fruit like strawberry, orange, or banana. You can also use fruit peels if you have some on hand, like mango peels. Be sure that the fruit that you add to the bottle falls all the way to the bottom and into the remaining wine.

If you’re wondering why you’d need to add the fruit, it’s because sometimes the wine isn’t sweet enough on its own to attract the fruit flies to it. If you are using a sweeter wine, you may not need to add any additional fruit as the wine should be sweet enough to attract them on its own. If not, adding the fruit to the wine adds to the effectiveness of the trap.

Next, roll a sheet of paper up into the shape of a cone. Insert the tip of the cone into the opening of the wine bottle and adjust the paper until it fits snuggly into the bottle. You want to make sure that the paper fits inside without leaving a gap between it and the glass. Then, trim off the top part of the cone with a pair of scissors if there is any more than about 6 inches of paper sticking out of the bottle. This step is just to get rid of any access paper and make the trap more effective and neat-looking.

Finally, place the wine bottle on the counter next to your kitchen sink or wherever you’ve noticed the fruit flies. Let is sit there for several days or until you stop seeing any fruit flies around your home. Take the bottle outside to the garbage once you’re finished with it and place it in the trash. This ensures that there’s no chance that any fruit flies were still alive inside and are able to escape into your home once again.

Additional Measures

Another very simple remedy you can try is to simply pour boiling water down your drains. As we mentioned, fruit flies like to mostly reproduce in your drains where it is dark and damp and they may have access to food particles that their larvae can feed on. This is why you will need to kill them while they’re in the drain so that they don’t mature to adulthood and wreak havoc throughout your home. Boiling water is a simple and easy way to do this.

Simply boil some water and then pour it down each drain in your home where you suspect fruit flies or their eggs may be lurking. Consider pouring boiling water into your bathroom drains or shower drains as well. You may even want to try pouring some down your toilet since they’ve been known to hide there as well.

Pouring boiling water down your drains can be done in combination with using the other traps that we’ve mentioned above. This helps to ensure that not only are you catching the adult fruit flies that are flying around in your home, but that you’re also killing off any eggs that are in your drains so that the problem doesn’t persist even after you’ve caught the fruit flies in the traps.

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About the Author

Freelance writer specializing in natural health and wellness.