Fruit Fly Trap – Build Your Own in 5 Minutes!

A DIY fruit fly trap can be a very effective way to deal with a fruit fly infestation. After reading through a couple how to articles on the internet, I couldn’t really find a satisfying guide on how to make one with decent instructions. Of course, as mentioned in other articles on this site, using these traps should only be utilized after you have found and destroy the place in which the fruit flies are breeding. However, once this has been done, you need to focus your attention on getting rid of the fruit flies that are already present and you need to do this as quick as possible as they can reproduce very quickly. In order to do this, you need to learn how to get rid of them without incurring too much cost. The purpose of this article is to explore the process on how to make the best trap so that you can kill those fruit flies quickly and effectively. In addition, we will explore which is the best way of killing fruit flies using a trap that can be made at home and various other tips and how to instructions. I hope that you enjoy this article and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave me a comment :)

Traps – The Simple Fruit Fly Infestation Killer

One of the most effective home made traps is definitely this one and people around the world have reported a great success rate with this method. The good news is that it will hardly cost you anything to build and only takes about 10 minutes to make. So after you have discovered the basics about getting rid of fruit flies, you can go about making your own one right away. It works as well as replacement for a Vector, Natural Catch and Martha Stewart’s fly trap. Here are a few steps that outline the process in detail:

The first thing you need to do is find a couple ingredients for this fruit fly trap recipe.

  1. You will need a bottle of apple cider vinegar (any brand is fine, so don’t purchase anything expensive
  2. A couple glass jars (cups are fine as well but just be aware that it will eventually be holding dead fruit flies so just ensure that you wash them extremely well after use)
  3. A couple sheets of plastic (this can easily be taken from shopping bags although I personally prefer to use clear plastic)
  4. Something to make holes in the plastic (a knife will do the job, as long as its not too big)
  5. A rubber band which can easily be purchased at any stationary store. (you can also use a hair band if you wish but make sure you wash it afterwards)
  6. Some house-hold dish-washing liquid (again, not some expensive stuff, just the stuff your usually wash your dishes with is sufficient for this trap).

Once you have all these items, its time to make your very own traps. All that you need to do is pour about a cup of the apple cider vinegar into your glass jar and add a tablespoon of dish washing liquid into the mixture. Give it a single shake to mix the soap into the vinegar and then fit the plastic sheet over it. Then keep it in place by strapping the elastic band around the top. Once this has been done, simply punch a few holes into the plastic with your knife, making sure that each hole is no larger then the width of a pencil. Then you just need to repeat this process to make about 4-5 of these fruit fly killers and then place them in any problem area in your home or office. I highly recommend that you place one or two in your kitchen as I have found that this a very common place in which they are found. You can find additional information on these fruit fly traps by clicking here.

Do These Vinegar Fruit Fly Traps Work?

Vinegar fruit fly trap that works

Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

Well the reality is that fruit flies are rather dumb. The trap works by luring the fruit flies to their doom by the smell given off by the vinegar which acts as strong fruit fly bait. Since fruit flies find their food sources by their sense of smell, they are drawn to it and investigate by going through the small holes that you made in the plastic sheet. Once inside, they come into contact with the vinegar with great satisfaction and may sit their for quite awhile with no apparent desire to leave. However, when they do they will find that they are weighed down by the soapy mixture that you placed on top of the vinegar and cannot escape. To make matters worse, they are unable to climb back up the wall of the jar because their feet are too slippery. After 24 hours, all the fruit flies inside your drain fly trap should be dead and although it may seem a bit barbaric, remember that they were putting your families health at risk, something that should not be taken lightly. I think that the term “survival of the fittest” applies nicely to this method as this vinegar trap really works well!

Homemade Fruit Fly Trap That’s More Friendly

Paper cone fly trap thats homemade

Friendly Fruit Fly Traps

Another easy trap for fruit flies (or drain flies) that you can use is called the “Paper Cone”. OK, you got me, I did just make that up but since it doesn’t officially have a name, I think that it fits quite nicely. The reason why I call it that is because of the way it looks, take a look at it on the left. The way that his one works is very similar to the previous trap, except it doesn’t kill the fruit flies. Instead, it just prevents them from escaping (although I have found that they sometimes do get out, but only a small percentage). All that you need to do for this trap to work is the following:

Take a piece of rotting fruit (anything really, as long as its fermenting) and  place it inside of a glass jar. Then create a cone shape with a piece of paper and place it inside the jar as shown on the image. Be sure that there is no space between the cone and the rim of the jar otherwise the fruit flies will easily get out and your trap for fruit flies will not be effective. Additionally, make sure that the hole at the bottom of the cone is very small, just big enough for the fruit flies to get inside but small enough to make escaping very difficult.

How Do These Paper Cone Traps Actually Work?

This trap works by attracting fruit flies to the smell of rotting fruit. In fact, to be slightly more accurate, they are attracted to the sugar that is fermenting on the fruit. After investigation, they will find it a lot more difficult to get out of the jar then it was to get out. Remember that this trap is not foolproof. Compared to the vinegar fly trap, this is far less effective in getting rid of a fruit fly infestation. I have found that some of them do escape but since they are not very intelligent, most of them will fail with their escape plan. If you want to learn about where fruit flies actually come from, check out my guide on this subject and let me know if you have any questions. :)

In conclusion, the best fruit fly traps are a very effective way to deal with any sort of fruit fly infestations. However, you must first figure out where these little pests come from in order so that you can effectively fight them. Once you have figured that part out, you can start to fight the problem. However, I have seen many people get rid of fruit flies only to have the same problem a couple weeks later so its important to learn the things that they are attracted to in order to eradicate them completely. Thanks for reading my article. I would appreciate it if you share this information with your friends and family on your favorite social networks like Facebook or Twitter so that they can also learn how to build these traps.

Natasha Anderson

Natasha Anderson

Hi there! My name is Natasha and I would like to thank you for reading this guide. If you have any concerns or would like to ask a question about this article, I encourage you to leave a comment below and I will provide a reliable answer within about 24 hours. Remember, all this information is provided at absolutely no cost and if you have enjoyed what you have read, please show your appreciation by sharing this post on your favorite social network below. I look forward to helping you!
Natasha Anderson
Natasha Anderson
Please note that the contents of this guide is for informational purposes only. If you would like to receive professional advice to diagnose a pest control related problem, please contact your local exterminator immediately.

Comments

  1. Sadi says:

    I really like the natural trap, I hate killing anything (even if its a nasty bug) and I love the fact that I can remove them without hurting them. Thanks!!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Cool, pleasure Sadi. I also prefer natural, non-harmful methods!

  2. Cosmo3633 says:

    How long does it take to get rid of the flies.  This is working great but still have a lot flying around.  I used bleach.  Is drain cleaner better?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

       Hey Cosmo. Glad to hear that you are having some success with your fruit fly problem. Bleach is perfect, I often use it as well. If you ensure that you clear your rubbish up and take it out regularily, ensure that you have no wet or damp material lying around, clean out your drains and set up a few traps for fruit flies, they should be gone within a maximum of two weeks. However, I have had cases where almost immediate results were achieved so keep it up and you will get rid of them quickly :)

  3. emily says:

    If you just leave a cup or so of vinegar & put a couple drops of dish soap in it , they just fall in & drown . lol i don’t get the point of the plastic .

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Emily. I use the plastic for two reasons, firstly it ensures that fruit flies do not escape (I have seen them get out before) and secondly, I use it to keep the smell contained as I have a rather small kitchen and sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. (especially if you have a couple of these fruit fly traps)

  4. Gary says:

    I have a beer refridgerator, and I get them pretty bad from the drip pan being full of beer. I will try your trap with the dishsoap and vinegar. I hope it knocks them out, and doesnt just attract more to come here lol.

  5. Natasha Anderson says:

    Hehe, I am sure it will work well. Also perhaps consider taking all the beer that you want to drink out the fridge BEFORE you start drinking to reduce spillage ;)

  6. Jennifa_em says:

    Fantastic .. Thank you so much my infestation is really bad so I now can live in peace clean drains clean kitchen and bathrooms… Thank you… Jennifer.M
    P.s. will any kind of Vinegar work?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Pleasure Jenni, yes, any vinegar will work fine :)

  7. Vogue406 says:

    The fruit flies just seem to sit on the side of the jar rather than going in it…maybe I should take the plastic off??

  8. Natasha Anderson says:

    Hi Vogue. You might need to punch bigger holes into your plastic so they can get in :) Try keeping it on for now until you have tried that!

  9. Antenbunny says:

    Hi, I’m just wondering if I should throw out the old traps after a while. Or can I just use the ones I’ve made for 2 weeks? I have to say it has really worked for me. Amazingly so.I still have a few flying around, so I thought after a few days the apple cider vinegar looses it’s smell.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Anten! Personally, I would replace them every 3-4 days. They cost hardly anything to make so this frequency shouldn’t be an issue. Glad it worked for you, any further comments are welcome :)

  10. Yorke322 says:

    I did the apple cider vinegar / dish detergent and it worked, but a slow process.  I walked in the house from ” Sonic”  drive Inn with a strawberry limeaid drink which was gone except a few pieces of strawberry and ice at the bottom,  sit it on the table to answer my cell and looked over at it and it was covered in fruit flies.  They were entering the cup through my straw, so needless to say i took the cup outside emptied all floating flies and started all over. 

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey York! Wow, thats quite a story but remember that those fruit flies were probably lurking around before you put your drink down. Needless to say, I hope that you use the fruit fly trap that is recommended in this article to get rid of the problem, I have had great success with them in the past. Thanks for sharing, have a good one!

  11. Max says:

    We just moved to an area that has swarms of literally thousands of these beasts flying around outside. So when we open our door, no matter how quickly we shut it, we get a new batch of them inside.

    I have to say I was a bit skeptical that this would work, especially after placing one in my kitchen and . . . nothing. They flew around, landed on top, but were not going inside. By the next day however, they were diving right in and unfortunately (for them, for me fortunately) they don’t swim as well as they dive.

    Also, when I changed it out, and added two more to my home, it takes several hours before they start diving in again.

    But this definitely works and it works great! Thank you.

  12. Natasha Anderson says:

    Hey Max! Thanks for taking the time to recount a personal experience and I am glad that you had some success with the fruit fly trap. It would be interesting to find out what is causing such a massive infestation in your area though, do you have any ideas?

  13. Dsimone says:

    apparently the fruit flies in my house are REALLY stupid. they couldn’t figure out how to get into the holes in the plastic wrap, so i took it off and they dove right in. thanks for a great solution!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey! That’s pretty damn funny lol, thanks for sharing that. I suppose that does make sense and I am glad you enjoyed the guide. Keep safe and have a fantastic holiday Dsimone!

  14. Deebee says:

    Hello Natasha! This is a great article. I’ve just made this awhile ago and i’m looking at it now, and there are flies in it! Also may I ask how long does the vinegar liquid sticky thing last? Can I leave it anywhere inside the house for 2-3 days? I’m planning to make 5 more to be placed around the house. Advance thanks for your reply! :)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

       Hey Deebee! Thanks for your kind words, they are appreciated! Glad you are having success after such a short amount of time! You can keep the trap for about a day or two before needing to replace it. Perfect, more is definitely better in this case, five of these traps should get rid of all those fruit flies in a short amount of time! Good luck!

  15. DiegoMateo says:

    Natasha, do you know any other traps like these? I love your creativity on this stuff. Makes me want to improvise your ideas and make it more deadly to these damn flies around my house lol. How about honey? Are they attracted to it? Here in Madrid, flies are all over the place if you aren’t careful of the disposing of your own trash.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Diego! Thanks for your kind words. Yes, honey would work but its a tad more expensive lol. I recommend just sticking to the vinegar option, it works well and there is no need to replace it with anything else. One of my subscribers suggested beer but I would personally rather be drinking it myself then sharing my stock with fruit flies ;)

  16. Leila says:

    These annoyingly fruit flies are all over my kitchen! I’ve done some traps and I was successful in terminating them yesterday. Presently, the flies begin to multiply in numbers and they are chilling again in the kitchen! Can you suggest a good location of their eggs? I think I need to deal with it shortly since I have relatives coming here tomorrow.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Leila, thanks for your comment! Fruit flies usually lay their eggs in rotten fruit and other old food, basically somewhere that their young can feed and keep warm. I suggest that you use the traps again and then spend a couple hours looking for and cleaning up whatever is attracting them. Remember to take your trash out daily, especially if its warm weather and keep your surfaces as tidy as possible. Good luck!

      • Kristin says:

        We came home from a vacation, to find fruit flies we didn’t know we had before we left! We use an old coffee can for emptying used grounds in. We left one last pot of coffee grounds (by accident) , and that’s all it took, to leave a “breeding ground”. Thought this good information for those wanting to know other “hot spots” for continued cycles to start. Thanks for the trap idea! Speeds up trying to end the cycle! Kristin

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Pleasure, glad you found my guide useful and thank you for sharing that important bit of information :)

  17. Trudi says:

    My philosophy about household pests has always been–if it stays outside, great! But once it comes into my house, it’s dead! We have never had any problems with fruit flies until last year (married 40 years). We made the “cone” traps but used vinegar and soap. Put one in the kitchen, one in the office and one in the master bathroom. Got rid of them and we had no more problems. Now this year, they’re back (earlier than before) and we’re going through the whole thing again. Will do as you suggested and look for their “hangouts.” I know we did yard work last weekend–in and out of the house a lot, so perhaps that started it. Anyway, the vinegar and soap thing really works. Thank you for passing it on to us!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Its an absolute pleasure Trudi, thanks for taking the time to comment and for your kind words. I am glad you have had success with your traps, I can also personally verify that they work very well :) I will be doing a couple more DIY trap guides for ants and a few other pests and I would love to hear your opinion on them when they are up. Until then, have a good one!

  18. Zach says:

    Hi, can you use honey instead of vinegar? I don’t have any vinegar, but plenty of honey

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Zach! Honey might work but I havnt personally used it. The essence of the trap is that they fall into the vinegar and drown so I am not too sure if that will happen unless the honey is very liquid. Give it a try and let me know, if it works then we can share it as a viable option :)

  19. EM Young says:

    Great ideas and non-toxic. It works, too. Love it! THANK YOU, Natasha, for sharing these ideas with everyone:)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey EM! Its a pleasure, thanks for leaving such a nice comment on my blog! :) I hope that others will also benefit from this information as you have. Have a good one and hopefully see you back here again soon!

  20. Cicely says:

    I did this but a little different. I used a plastic 16 oz soda pop bottle. The paper cone is a little tighter at the end seemed like it was harder for them to get out of the bottle. I put a drop of dish soap and about a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar in the bottle. I set these in all the areas we saw the flies and by the next day there were so many in the bottle we had to dump them and start over. Within a couple of days we didn’t see them any more.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Cicely! Wow, thats a nice method, thanks for sharing! I will definitely point my readers to your comment so that they can also benefit from it, appreciate your contribution to the community :)

  21. Brooke says:

    Hi thanks for the tips. I’m wondering does it have to be apple cider vinegar?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Brooke! It doesn’t have to be but I have found it to work the best. If you use anything else and have decent success, please let me know so that we can convey that information to the Bug Squad community!

      • Brooke says:

        Thanks! I tried 3 homemade traps the only one that they got in was apple cider vinegar one. I found out what was attracting them, a ripening tomato from our garden. It looked fine on one side but on bottom it was rotten. Kitchen ceiling is covered with them. Maybe there is something I’m missing.

        • Natasha Anderson says:

          Hey Brooke! After you have have cleaned up that rotten food (which I am sure you have done so by now), open all the windows and place about 10 or so traps. It may take a couple days but you will get rid of them. Let me know if you run into any more problems :)

  22. Joan says:

    In my own experience, I have found that when these pests invade my house, traps made with beer or red wine is farm more attractive to the fruitflies than vinegar. I really only use these products for cooking, so on those occasions that I do buy beer, I always have leftovers. Wine goes bad (hey — vinegar!) before I use a full bottle, so I have natural bait there. I do add the dish soap so they have trouble escaping. Though I’ve seen vinegar traps be very successful in a work setting, at home they just haven’t been. My experience has been that they prefer, in descending order, beer, red wine, lemon, and really won’t get caught up in the vinegar. I even found a number of them on the surface of my cat’s & dog’s water from overnight, but they have ignored the jar of cider vinegar sitting on the counter top just above it!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Joan! Thanks for these great tips, The Bug Squad community (and myself) really appreciate your contribution. I will definitely try these methods myself when I have the opportunity (hopefully not too soon lol) and will share it with those who are not having much success with vinegar. Have a good one!

  23. Brenda says:

    My daughter has been having a problem with fruit flies for the past 4 months. She moved into a new apartment and we hadn’t noticed any fruit flies in the first week, but after that, they became a problem and she can’t get rid of them. She did have fruit in the house and her wonderful mother had bought her a bowl with fresh lemons to sit on her counter :). All fruit was discarded after the fruit flies were noticed. The garbage is taken out daily now. She has cleaned and disinfected all the cupboards in the kitchen, the back corners of cupboards. She has gone through all the stored boxes to make sure there was nothing in them. She has poured draino down her bathroom sinks, tub and kitchen, she has also poured a lot of bleach down over the past 3 months. She has the apple cider vinegar traps out, no plastic, just a bowl, tried with dish soap and without. They do catch the fruit flies that you can see. She keeps the plugs in the sinks and the bathtub when not in use, but does occasionally forget. Just when she thinks things are better, they are back again. The landlord bought a new fridge and stove a month ago as her fridge was not working well, we thought that might solve the problem as well. She never opens the windows, but does have an air conditioner unit in the wall. How do you find the source when you have had no fruit in your house and they appear to have nothing to feed on. Mops were thrown out, no wet laundry. She is at her wits end as bugs are her phobia. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Brenda! Since you are not having any success with the traps and you have taken such extreme (but good) steps to get rid of them without success, I recommend getting her a bug bomb (fogger). Just follow the instructions carefully and make sure that you pack any foodstuffs away. I also suggest that you leave the house for the day just to let it do its thing, maybe spend a day out as a family. Let me know how that goes. :)

  24. maccaronee says:

    I always find mine love my cat’s wet food. If I forget to rinse out a container before putting it in the recycling they get in there. I just got another batch from leaving for the weekend and leaving wet food in a bowl for my cats before I left. They didn’t finish it I guess and found a ton of larvae and flies upon my return 3 days later.

    I trapped as many as a I could and filled the bowl with water only to find out that the larvae didn’t drown! I added dish drops and it seems they eventually go under the water but it took way longer then I thought for them to die in the sink. Any suggestions for killing the larvae? I don’t want to let them go down the drain until they are dead to avoid a future infestation?

    I will be trying the vinegar trap to catch the couple adult flies that got away, I normally put wine with the plastic wrap holes on top and is usually does the trick. Excited to see if Vinegar works better. Sometimes I add a rotten banana piece to attract them more quickly, I find if you don’t have the liquid they can usually escape too unless you are very diligent at letting them free outside often.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Maccaronee! Agreed, I actually had the same problem a couple weeks back but since I took action immediately, it didn’t turn into any sort of infestation. If there is visible larvae, your best bet will be to just throw the food, etc. away or clean up (using just regular bleach and water) the affected area. Vinegar works great, let me know how that goes and if you have any further questions please feel free to ask :)

  25. Brenda says:

    Hi Natasha,
    Your suggestion of the bug bomb triggered my thoughts to a product called Konk. Some of their products contain pyrethrins, (I believe they come from a plant) which are more environmentally friendly. The information states that it is safe for pets etc. and is used in restaurants that use a lot of fruit for cooking. You can buy a spray can or an automatic dispenser. Also comes in a foam which appears to be more toxic. Konk is for flying insects and appears to be doing the job for my daughter. We still haven’t found the source; may be coming through the air conditioner??? Hopefully the konk will kill them off before they can mate, but so far, so good. Hope this may help anyone else who is battling the fruit fly battle. Yay!!!!
    Brenda

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Brenda! I haven’t used that product but I will check it out, thanks for the suggestion. Not likely but its worth investigating. Have you checked the possibility that they are coming in from outside? Regardless, let me know how that products works for you as your feedback will be beneficial for the entire community :)

  26. BT says:

    Hi! What’s a bug bomb? I’ve had a fruit fly problem for a few weeks and I’ve set up traps w vinegar (mostly wo soap) and one w soap. They tend to just crawl over the glass (the ones wo plastic) any tips? I’ve taken out my trash, poured boling water down my train. I was thinking about calling in an exterminator -thoughts? Cheers! Brittany

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey BT! A bug bomb is an aerosol based insecticide that, once deployed, will kill insects within its maximum range. Since you have not had success with the trap (please make sure you have followed the steps carefully though because it usually works), you can definitely try a bug bomb. Let me know how it goes :)

  27. Brenda says:

    Hi Natasha, This is Brenda with an update on the Konk. My daughter could not get the dispenser so she just sprays with the aerosol when she is home. She has gone from between 15 – 30 per day to about 5 per week that she sees. We do think that they were coming in from outside, possibly through the air conditioner. She did cover that with netting but some of those fruit flies are pretty tiny. I believe that by killing them off quickly when they come in, they do not have time to “mate”. It appears to be eliminating the problem. At the very least, she can now cook her meals and eat at home without fruit flies in competition for her food lol. Hope this can help others with the same problem. Thanks for your site Natasha, you have been a great help :)

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Brenda! Thanks for the update and its an absolute pleasure. I really enjoy helping the community and nothing makes me happier than a success story. Hope to see you back again soon! Cheers!

  28. BT says:

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that I had drain flies (apparently there is a different between them & fruit flies – I can’t tell). I picked up some Raid Flying Insect spray and sprayed each room in my house letting it set for 15 minutes in each room (wo ventilation). I also cleaned my drain with Drano and haven’t had a problem since. Hope this helps someone! Cheers! BT

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey BT! Thanks for sharing your experience, I am sure that someone will find it useful and I appreciate your contribution to The Bug Squad. Cheers!

  29. Rachel says:

    Hi Natasha I have serveral fruit flies traps with vinger/plastic/cup but the fruit flies are not getting caught. It’s been two days now. I have these traps in the kitchen, bathroom and my bedroom. I used this method in the past in my apartment but its not working in my mom’s house. I did notice the fruit flies looks small and then some looks bigger than I seen in the past. Any assistance would be grateful.

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Rachel! That is very strange, are you sure that they are fruit flies? If you can send me a picture I will be more then happy to help you out. Also, are you using apple cider vinegar? Looking forward to your response, sorry mine was a little late. Cheers!

  30. Rachel says:

    Do the jars have to be glass or can you use an old plastic bottle?

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Hey Rachel! You can use either, it really doesn’t matter as both will work well :)

  31. CHRIS BY THE SEA says:

    I noticed that my half drunk bottle of red wine had flies in it

    after filtering them out . . .

    trying this . .lets see . . .

    cant feel sorry for them . . they had about .001 units each!! Alcoflies!

    • Natasha Anderson says:

      Definitely a good way to go, I don’t feel sorry for them at all ;)

Speak Your Mind

*