How do I get rid of fruit flies? That’s a question I’ve asked myself many times while on the verge of hysteria. Fruit flies love warm, summer weather and fermenting things, like vinegar/beer/wine and rotting fruit. They even find a way into my 12th floor condo (most likely in my produce. I know… gross). Before we get to the killing them part, it’s important to note that prevention is helpful, too. Keep your countertops and sink clean, clean up spills right away, don’t leave ripe fruit out for long, and empty your trash regularly.
Now I don’t have a 100% effective method for trapping and killing fruit flies, but I have a pretty good one. All you need is:
vinegar or wine (any kind will do)
very ripe and/or bruised fruit
plastic cling wrap
Put a chunk or two of the ripe fruit in the bowl, then add ¼ cup or so of vinegar. Try to make sure that the fruit isn’t completely covered by vinegar. Tightly cover bowl with plastic wrap, then poke several holes with a knife or skewer.
Now all you have to do is wait. Usually the flies end up drowning in the vinegar on their own. If I notice some still alive on the sides of the bowl, I’ll swirl it to speed up the process. It’s oddly satisfying! Add more vinegar as needed, and empty out periodically.
Instead of sacrificing a perfectly edible piece of fruit, I usually try to use bruised pieces that I would’ve cut off anyway.
If you have any other spills or scraps or dirty dishes on your counter, the flies might get diverted from your trap.
I, like many genetics students, studied fruit flies (Drosophila) in school, and I still sometimes check to see if my little prisoners are wild type or mutant. Ha! Anyone else study these little pests in school?