Fruit Fly Trap

It has been a crazy week around here with three afternoons spent canning and making freezer jam so the craftiness and cleanliness at our house has been suffering! So I am catching up on that this weekend. But I did find a clever and efficient way to get rid of all the pesky fruit flies that have been swarming my kitchen due to the large quantities of produce it has processed.

I remember hearing somewhere, long ago, that placing a funnel with a tiny opening into a jar containing a cut piece of fruit would make a good Fruit Fly trap. And guess what? It really works! They were all trapped within about 12 hours! I used tape and sealed the edges when I discovered some of those sneaky flies were escaping and that worked like a charm. Then when all the flies were trapped, I just released them back into the great outdoors.

Seeing all those flies in the jar brought back a lot of memories of my 8th grade science class. Remember Heidi? We had to breed them and then spent hours counting, sorting, charting and recording genetic traits! I LOVED it! Weird I know, but it is actually the first time I remember my interest in science was sparked. I was amazed that we could actually predict the type of genetic traits we would get. Anyways…I am sure none of you wanted to know all that!

This time of year seems to bring on the fruit fly infestations. Use this trick to remove them from your home and in the meantime, I will get some more ideas coming!



  1. luz says

    wow! I was trying to come up with someway to get rid of the stinky flies swarming around my fruit bowl with no luck. perfect!! thanks!

    • hardyju says

      If you want to kill them rather than trapping them alive try this. Put a small amount of vinegar in a bowl with a drop or two of dish soap and set it near your fruit. They fall in and die instantly!

        • says

          Apple cider vinegar works best. I pour some in a bowl and add a few drops of dish soap, swirl, can cover with plastic wrap. Punch in some holes with a fork and it works wonders.

          • Mr. Zeph says

            Yes, this is what I do too. I take a shallow can, say, a Tuna can. I fill it with apple cider vinegar. I cover it with Saran Wrap and poke a few holes it in i with a fork. Leave it out by where they swarm the most, within 48 hours, you’ll see a sludge of bugs but none flying.

        • elizabeth says

          Try making the holes smaller/ bigger, they might not be able to get in/ or too big they get back out

  2. Darin, Jenn and Ivy says

    Oh man that is the about the only thing I don't like about canning and freezing! Those little buggers had finally gone away from doing peaches and last night we got a bunch of corn to freeze and they are back! GRrrr. Now I know what to do next time. Thanks!

  3. Lo says

    I Love you for posting that!! We keep our kitchen compost in a tub on the counter until it is time to put into the composter so every time we open it fruit flies fly out. they are everywhere!! Im going to do this today. Do you mind if I link this post on my blog?

    • Maria says

      Lo, I started keeping my compost container in the fridge. IT made a WORLD of difference and I was kicking myself for not thinking of it before! Love the idea in this blog post though, too…..

  4. Jenna says

    Thank you!! Fruit flies drive me crazy! Now I know how to get rid of them…This is wonderful. :)

  5. southerninspiration says

    oh good one….i've used apple cider vinegar in a bottle before but your trick looks like it would work better!!!


  6. Room to Inspire says

    Very clever! I can never seem to get rid of these guys once they appear – thanks for sharing.


  7. Ashley says

    Awesome!! I just had this problem two weeks ago!! Wish I'd known this then! Thanks for sharing it, I'm bookmarking it for future reference!!

  8. Jenn says

    I only had the red-eyed kind this year. Did you have any green-eyed buggers? Genetics–I think I missed my calling.

  9. TreasureHunter says

    That is an awesome idea!! I could have used that a month ago when we were overwhelmed with them. I tried everything from Vinegar and sugar to just plain bug spray and they would not go away.

  10. TidyMom says

    oh I'm am going to have to try this! we've had enough of those pesky things around here lately!! (any my hubby is an exterminator! LOL)


  11. Isabel says

    a silly question, do you block the hole after they are inside? if not, why don't they just leave? :-S (a part from that great idea .. have you got something for mosquitos? ;P)

  12. Ruby says

    Love love love this! I am going to try this. I've been "peaching" all week. My house could use some fly traps :)

  13. **Amy** says

    Isabel–You do not need to block the hole. I am GUESSING that the flies can smell (do they smell??) or sense that the fruit is near by and the scent leads them down the tube to the hole. Once they enter, since the smell is so strong on the inside, they can not find their way out back through the hole. That is just a guess…sounds pretty good though, huh?

  14. Kristine says

    Here is another related idea: Put a small piece of fruit (such as the peel) in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and poke a hole in the middle with your finger. Once again, the flies enter through the hole but rarely get back out. Then take the bowl outside and remove the plastic wrap. I've even set the bowl in a cupboard (especially if I have company arrive) and the fruit flies are still attracted to it. Thanks for sharing, Amy.

    • Ellie says

      I have also found this banana in a bowl covered with plastic wrap works. But I poke small holes with a fork. Add red wine to the bowl and it’s a real magnet. The little nasties are too dumb to find their way out of the small holes they go in through. And they usually drown in the wine. Important to throw the dregs outside when done though – I think the plant their eggs on the bananas is the last days of their life and if you throw those in your indoor compost you will just get the newly hatched ones in a few days.

  15. Tasha says

    YOu are one amazing Lady? You just have more ideas then I know what to do with. I love it. LOVE IT. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Melissa says

    This is a great instant trap. I find red wine in a scoopy necked bottle is good for over time. I will definitely remember the banana trick.

  17. Lisa says

    Great idea. I know you can also use sugar water in a bottle. They can't fly straight up for some reason. Well that's what i once read anyway. :)Lisa

  18. Al, Wendy, Max, and Lil says

    ok this IS the MOST useful thing I have seen posted on any website ever anywhere at anytime. Thank YOU!

  19. Kristy says

    Where do you come up with all of these amazing ideas? Love it, and Hate fruit flies, fantastic idea.

  20. Nic and Shannon Rich says

    Awesome I think I will get on that right now I just finished the peaches but still have apples so this will come in very handy thank you!!!

  21. Our Family says

    THANK YOU! (Robynn would be so proud of you releasing them outdoors) I don't think i'll be that kind to the ones I trap from my house. I am going to set that up tomorrow.

  22. MrsMama says

    Amy, this was incredibly timely for me – thank you! The only thing we did differently was to stretch a piece of plastic wrap across the top, poked a small hole in it and put the funnel into that. It seemed to seal everything up nicely.

    It worked wonderfully too. Thanks again.

  23. natalie says

    my husband has been trying various forms of fruit fly traps (which have been WAY more elaborate than necessary) and it's been driving me crazy. I waltzed into the kitchen, set up your trap and it was like magic. thanks!

  24. Ruth Allmart says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This is perfect, just what I needed. I will put this into action tomorrow :)

  25. TRICIA @boutellefamilyzoo says

    I just came across your blog and I have been losing a great deal of time in your archives. Great stuff! Your blog is wonderful!


    P.S. Another fruit fly trap idea, which is very similar is to put a piece of fruit in the bottom of a soda can. Then you cover it tightly with plastic wrap, tape all around to seal, poke 2 or 3 varying sized holes in the top and then watch in morbid fascination as it fills up.

  26. The Busy Blaine's says

    Another trick is to fill a small container with about a 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and add a couple drops of dish detergent in the vinegar. The flies are attracted to the vinegar but once they land in it they can't get out because of the detergent. Not the nicest things to do to them but you will be amazed at just how many you actually have. I will put one in my kitchen and one in my pantry. IT WORKS!!!

  27. **Amy** says

    Too funny! Who knew we were all desperately trying to find a way to rid our homes of these pesky guys! I love all the other suggestions some of you came up with as well. I am going to have to give the plastic wrap a try. It sounds a bit easier than taping the funnel as I did! Be careful…with our new skills, we could effectively put these guys on the endangered species list :)!

  28. Amanda says

    I love this! I have been bottling tomatoes, pears, and applesauce this week. Needless to say our house was swarming with fruit flies. I was so excited to open your post and find this brilliant idea!



    I'm your new biggest fan. So glad I found your blog!

  29. Visty says

    I just made one, because they are driving me batty! I used aluminum foil over the top, made a tiny hole, then pushed the paper through it.

  30. Stacey in Texas says

    Thank You!! I work in a school office where there is always food brought in which means we suffer with fruit flies … I'm so excited about trying this :)

  31. Nielsen Family says

    Love your blog!
    I am in a Drosophila melanogaster genetics lab right now…that's the scientific name for these guys :). They are always escaping their vials and I just mentioned how they were driving me batty. I am going to set this up in our lab this week!
    Looks like you have a jar of wild type guys in there…oh man, now I for sure know that nothing that I learn in that class applies to the outside world, it just sounds funny outside a lab!

  32. Anonymous says

    Hi Amy,
    I have to laugh thru scientific trial and error, I found this trap idea with a funnel, and how well it worked…..then I finally saw the funnel version on the internet! HA! Great mind abounds everywhere. Now I am researching an idea that I may share later. But for now I have to go count my flies. Ciao, Robert B.

  33. R. Weeks says

    Camille Im with you and the Catch and Release! Just a few drops of rubbing alcohol in the jar and cover the small hole to keep the fumes in the jar and Nighty Night! Sorry Robin…

  34. Kerry_Kid Giddy says

    Now I won't dread the warmer months here in Maine! Now can you make a mosquito trap too?!

    Thanks! Kerry

  35. Sandye says

    Bless you! Every Spring and Summer we battle them and it drives us bonkers! Last year I resorted to spending and entire day armed with my vacuum cleaner hose out and at the ready! LOL This year, I'll be giving this a go instead.
    Thank you so much!!

  36. Kelley says

    thank you! I got a few of the buggers and have been trying to figure out how to get rid of them.

  37. Allison says

    Woo hoo! Thanks again for another neat idea! I was going crazy but had remembered seeing something on your site about this and I'm on my second load of them tonight! :)

  38. Infarrantly Creative says

    that is a great idea. Every year I have fruit flies after canning and I think…now what is the trick to get rid of them again? Thanks…bookmarking.

  39. says

    I saw a similar post via pinterest and tried it last week and it worked great. I came across this post via pinterest too and just wanted to confirm that it does work! I wasn’t as nice as you though and didn’t release them. maybe I will next time so I don’t feel so guilty!

  40. LeAnn says

    Thanks for this! Add to this idea: instead of using tape, first put plastic wrap over the bottle. Secure with a rubber band. Poke a small-ish hole in the top, then gently ease in your paper funnel and push down to the bottom. As long as the plastic wrap doesn’t tear too much when you push the funnel down, the edges will stay tight around the funnel. It’s more secure than the tape.

  41. Charlotte Moore says

    I can assure you if I get them trapped they will not be set free to come again.

  42. Whitney says

    I found a similar idea. . .apple cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap in a jar. I put plastic wrap over it with a rubber band, and poked holes in the plastic wrap with a push pin. The flies go in for the vinegar, can’t get back out the tiny holes, and die in the soap. Great idea!!!

  43. Jenna says

    I’m not much of a catch and release for my ff’s. I pop that jar right in the microwave, and nuke them for 40 secs….rinse and repeat.

  44. Stacey R says

    I did the same project in 10th grade with fruit flies, but I was going crazy trying to figure out how to get rid of them…we used wood alcohol in lab. However, this idea is much better and safer!

  45. JJ says

    Wish I could pin this. I see you have a pinterest account is there a reason you don’t allow pinning on your blog?

  46. says

    Um…that is brilliant! And I might just love you forever because there are about half a dozen swarming around my kitchen and they are driving me CRAZY!!

  47. Alex Knight says

    A little apple cider vinegar is also fine bait. I put it in a loaf pan and put the sticky paper just barely askew so the flies will either land on the sticky paper, or drown in the vinegar. :)

  48. says

    Actually I have tried this trap and it has lots of problems. Like the fruit flies figuring out a way to get out, for example. A trap that is far more effective is to have a cup with about 1 cm of apple cider vinegar in the bottom and 1 drop of dish washing liquid. It traps the flies and kills them. In fruit fly season I set several of these around my kitchen (I have a very big kitchen) and I have very little problem with them. When the vinegar is full of fruit flies, dump on your compost and start over.

  49. says

    Even easier way to get rid of them is to pour some apple cider vinegar in a small dish and add a drop or two of liquid dish detergent and they will all die inside the dish once they eat the vinegar.

  50. Janice H says

    I tried 3 different methods, side by side on the kitchen counter and after a couple of days, this was BY FAR the most effective. Neither the rotting fruit/saran wrap cover with holes nor the open air vinegar method had anywhere near the number of flies I trapped in my paper cone/taped jar. If you have these pesky flies, YOU HAVE to try this. I am completely sold and thank you for sharing this method, Amy!

  51. Jenny says

    Oh I hope I hope I hope this works! We have had a huge fruit fly problem and can’t get rid of them. They are driving me NUTS!!!! I am going to make this right now!

  52. Kim says

    I tried just the cider vinegar & dish soap as well without as much success as with this method.
    2 cups water
    2 Tbsp sugar
    2 Tbsp vinegar (i use regular)
    few drops of dish soap
    Wisk together & pour into a bowl so it’s as full as you can get it.

    I change mine every two days or so because it gets murky looking & I think the flies are attracted more to it while its fresh. Works great!

  53. says

    Thanks for the great idea! I tried it this past week and it worked!!! I am sharing your picture and link in a post today for my followers. Thanks so much!!

  54. Cindy says

    29 degrees November 17th and there are still fflies at work kitchen….will be going for this on Monday thx

  55. Carl says

    OK this is fine , but why so complex? All I do is get breakfast at MacDonalds, bring the food home, eat it, then use the almost empty oranges juice cup with the straw still in it. Set it out in the kitchen. The straw keeps the little holes next to it open. When the fruit flies enter the cup they can’t find their way out. All you do is grab the cup and yank out the straw. Then place it in the freezer until they are dead. Then put the straw back in and use it again. Then throw it out when you get a new cup. Repeat as necessary. I have no fruit flies.

  56. says

    Some problems are timeless and border-less. Here we are in 2013, in australia, seeking help for a fruit fly infestation and I came across your site! I am setting this trap tonight so hopefully it will work. I especially like the idea of not killing them and being able to release them “into the wild”! Thank you.

  57. Rebecca says

    I have moved back to Utah in the Fall 2012. I have noticed small flying insects ( Frit Flies) bombarding my front grass. So much so that they are clearly bombarding the grass and the front trees. They are a big pain in the bottom. How can I get rid of these pests?
    Bugged out.

  58. kaen boyd says

    for those of you who keep compost in the the summertime I use the bottom crisper drawer of my refrigerator. As long as you ump it two or three times a week, it will NOT stink up your fridge AND there are NO fruit flies!

  59. Jaxs27 says

    I had a swarm of fruit flies for the past few days. I googled information about dealing with this and was directed to this site. I used the vinegar and dishsoap tip. And they’re almost all gone! I can’t believe how quickly it works! If it wasn’t so gross, I’d post a picture. Thanks so much!

  60. chwilówki says

    I think that everything published made a lot of
    sense. But, think on this, what if you typed a catchier
    title? I ain’t suggesting your content isn’t good., but what if you added something to maybe get people’s attention? I mean Fruit Fly Trap – The Idea Room is kinda plain. You might peek at Yahoo’s front page and note how they create news titles to
    get people interested. You might try adding a video or a
    pic or two to grab readers excited about everything’ve written. In my opinion, it would make your posts a little bit more interesting.

  61. 大人気 ポシェット says

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  62. Kathryn says

    I prefer the catch and release idea…because I LOVED the fruit flies in science class too!!! :D

  63. Bob says

    No need for even that much work. I take a wine glass, drop the fruit in, cover it in Saran Wrap, and poke a hole with a toothpick.

  64. says

    I have tried the apple cider vinegar and banana and it didn’t work for me. After a month or so I finally threw it all out.


  1. […] has been a crazy week around here with three afternoons spent canning and makingfreezer jam so the craftiness and cleanliness at our house has been suffering! So I am catching up on that […]

  2. […] #6 Today 04:58 PM This is another way to trap them. Maybe give it a try. Fruit Fly Trap – The Idea Room "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who […]

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