Natural Fruit Fly Trap – DIY Recipe

With summer fruits and vegetables comes…. fruit flies. Ugh! But forget about buying those nasty looking commercial fruit fly traps. You can make your own natural fruit fly trap in minutes that is easy and super effective.

All you need are a few common household ingredients. Chances are you that you already have these on hand, but if not, they are available at any supermarket.

What You Need:

If you don't have a small glass bowl, a small glass jar or even a plastic bowl is fine since you won't be eating from it (at least I hope not).

I like to use a dish soap that has kind of a fruity smell to it. This helps to attract the fruit flies even more.

Directions for Making a DIY Natural Fruit Fly Trap

Once you have gathered all of your supplies, it's time to make your fruit fly trap!

1. Fill your container with about a 1/4 inch of apple cider vinegar. The amount is not as important as having enough for the fruit flies to land in. It doesn't have to be a lot, so don't waste too much of your apple cider vinegar on this. The apple cider vinegar is what attracts the fruit flies.

2. Add a couple of drops of dish soap to the apple cider vinegar and mix it around a bit with your finger or a spoon. The dish soap is what “traps” the fruit flies to the surface.

3. Set on your counter and let it work it's magic! You can set this trap out at any time. Set it overnight and you should catch plenty of fruit flies. Since we eat a lot of produce, we just keep the trap on our counter all the time. We dump it and refill it once a week or so.


Discussion: Do you have a problem with fruit flies?

Pin It:

More Natural Household Recipes from Around the Web:

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS

12 thoughts on “Natural Fruit Fly Trap – DIY Recipe

  1. The two previous houses that I rented had a fruit fly and spider problem. I must tell you, this tip does work but not all of the fruit flies will venture to the bowl, they might hover over the bowl. They do tend to gather together in small cluster in different parts of the house. And future generations do get smarter, so, I keep the mixture in a misting pump bottle for the “die hard” fruit flies. It is absolutely frustrating trying to catch all of them because they will lay eggs almost any place that has moisture (in the soil for plants) or even in the carpet. They may follow me home from a grocery store when I buy fruit or follow a visitor into my home. It took months for me to get most of them out of my home, when I finally moved, there were 4 fruit flies left and thousands of spiders. Vanessa, I had to wear netting over my head everyday (while at home) and another surprising fact is that the fruit flies only bother me and no one else.

  2. I tried this trap and it worked great. In the summertime in Wisconsin the fruit flies are terrible. Withing a few days of using this trap the fruit flies in my home were gone! Thanks so much for such a great tip!!

  3. I did a variation of this that worked just as well. I didn’t add the dish soap (I actually found that when I did, I attracted less flies?). I also used a ball jar with a plastic baggie rubber-banded around the top of it, with small holes poked in so the flies could get in, but not out. It was a mini graveyard of flies!

  4. This totally works but I would like to add a couple additional suggestions to maximize your fruit fly catching potential. if you have a small light you can sit under your bowl or jar at night you will catch tons more fruit flies at night with this method. In addition to that I would suggest you shake the mixture up to create bubbles so that the flies get caught that much more easily.

    I can’t tell you the horrible problem I’ve had with fruit flies this year. It has been the worst ever. The little suckers seem to be attracted to me while I sit at my computer and this is how I discovered they are attracted to light and perhaps warmth as well. Not sure about the warmth though.

  5. A wonderful solution without any harmful ingredients, or polluting the air around us. I am curious if this will also work for ants and other insects too. I am sure a variation of it will work. This is so much better than using an insect repellant. I have had some breathing issues with the repellents, but use it because I had to get rid of the flies. I think a little experiment with the ingredients will do wonders.

    1. Ray, I bet you it will attract any bug that will seek out sugary substances. I’m like you and prefer to use easily accessible and natural ingredients to solve a problem rather than buy some terrible smelling poisonous spray that may or may not work.

      Good luck with your experiments!

  6. Oh, man! I was totally going to post a similar recipe on my blog soon. I’ve used this technique three times already this summer and it’s the only thing that takes care of gnats. My boyfriend actually taught me a few tricks about drawing them faster, so if I end up posting it on mine I will link back to yours! 🙂

  7. Great info! I will share this with my husband. He is a teacher and he says there are ALWAYS fruit flies all around the school.

  8. I love these kinds of household tips that can be done with common household products. It is so simple and apparently very effective. I am sure that this has to smell better than those awful insect repellent sprays. I am going to try this because fruit flies have been particularly persistent this year.

  9. I also have a problem with fruit flies in the summer months. The flycatchers that you buy are nasty looking and so unhygienic. This home remedy sounds like a really great idea for solving my fly problem. I am certainly going to try it.

  10. I swear, everytime I bring home bananas it’s like an instant fruit fly explosion. And fruit flies are just so irritating! I’m definitely going to try this nifty little trick the next time I see one of the little buggers. Do fruit flies even have a purpose other than irritation and high school genetics class?? haha

    Thanks for the tip!

  11. I am often plagued by fruit flies! Like you, I always have fresh fruit and veg in my kitchen and they just love it. I also have sourdough starters and ginger bugs going at any one time so these little critters are partying in my kitchen the whole summer. I refuse to buy those awful traps you see in the shops, but this DIY trap is excellent, and much more natural than any of those chemically things you buy.

    I’ll be putting this on my counter top tonight.

    Thank you for another fantastic natural solution to an ongoing problem 🙂

Comments are closed.