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Get rid of fruit flies with vinegar

According to Mavis from One Hundred Dollars a Month, you can use Apple Cider Vinegar to get rid of fruit flies. Has anyone tried this before? I’d love to hear if it’s worked for you!

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72 Comments

  • J says:

    It didn’t work for me and I tried it repeatedly for a month. I have read others that had great success. Maybe I just have stubborn flies.

    • Jessica says:

      Have you tried regular vinegar and a bit of dish soap? mix the soap up just enough to turn the water the color of the soap. Its not the fastest method ever but I have had great success.

  • Dawn S says:

    I have and it worked for me. The only differences were I used a quart mason jar, apple cider vinegar, a couple of slices of banana and a cone made from a sheet of paper. When the cone is inserted narrow end first, the fruit flies can enter but can’t exit through the small opening. I would empty and refill as needed! Worked great!

    • Marcia Smith says:

      That is what I did. The cone and the fruit helped. But now I still have some issues. So I am going to try the cider.

  • Christina says:

    Apple cider vinegar works to a degree. Red wine works better in my experience. Just put some in a cup or shallow small dish, cover with plastic wrap, rubberband to secure it. Poke some holes and they fly in and cannot get out. I was brewing kombucha last year and they were constantly trying to get to it, so I used a little kombucha instead of red wine and that worked wonderfully.

    • Angela says:

      red wine vinegar with a couple squirts of dawn dishwashing liquid does the trick

    • Anna says:

      Wine or balsamic vinegar work for me, too. If I leave a finished wine bottle on the counter they swarm into it. I just have to remember to cork it before moving the bottle, or they come flying out.

  • Brooke says:

    Put cider vinegar and a couple drops of dish soap together and it works great!!

  • renee says:

    We always, always use apple cider vinegar to catch fruit flies.

    Have a little “fruit fly trap” on the counter by banana’s right now.

    We put a drop of dish soap in a little cup then add some vinegar. Works like magic!!

  • Molly says:

    It does work

  • Fay says:

    It works sometimes. You have to make lots of bubbles and leave the kitchen for the entire day otherwise they get disturbed too often. I think a little more sugar in the recipe also helps.

  • Heather says:

    Never worked for me. Seemed to just attract more.

  • Andrea says:

    It works! I had a few annoying little fruit flies flying around the kitchen and it trapped them all within an hour.

  • It worked beautifully for us.

  • nadia williams says:

    i use it all the time. i put a little bit of dish soap in with mine as well. as soon as i start seeing them, i put out a cup. when i no longer see them around, i remove the cup.

  • Ali Federwitz says:

    Yes, it does work. We used a water bottle and just added a few drops of liquid soap so that they “Stick” in there.

  • Steph W. says:

    Love it! It works for me- I put apple cider vinegar in a little dish with a squirt of dishsoap!

  • Angie says:

    I second the idea of adding dish soap – that seems to be the trick that does it.

  • Sara Z. says:

    I did this once. We had an issue with a bear getting into the trash outside the house (which meant we tended to leave the garbage inside longer than usual – ugh). I can’t remember if I used white vinegar or apple cider vinegar with the dish soap, but it worked really well. The fruit flies were pretty bad so I think I had to refill the container once, but I would definitely try it again!

  • Jane says:

    another great option is using some fruit juice, a squirt of dishwashing liquid, and a little water. you don’t even need to cover it. works every time. i usually use a jar from the recycling bin since i won’t want to use the container again!

  • Dawn says:

    I use a bottle with a small opening, pour the apple cider vinegar in, add a drop or two of liquid dish soap (this is to break the surface tension of the vinegar and makes the fruit flies drown) and put the bottle where I notice them the most. Some times I do a couple bottles. The small opening in the bottle makes it harder for them to fly back out. I usually have to do this for a couple days to get rid of all the fruit flies. Every morning I empty the bottles and refill them with fresh vinegar and soap. Always works for me.

  • Twila says:

    I have tried vinegar for fruit flies, but I just put it in a dish and set it on my counter. That did not work. Maybe if I try the plastic wrap it will work for me.

  • Heather says:

    It’s worked for me. The apple cider vinegar with dish soap. I use a sorta shallow dish, a take out container from chinese or mexican. Is maybe an inch deep. Works great!

    • JereAnn says:

      Another vote for cider vinegar and dish soap. It gets them all every time. I put it on the counter in a little vase so I don’t just have a bowl of dead flies sitting out.

  • Beth says:

    Ive tried this with apple cider vinegar and it is wonderful! (A little icky to throw it out, though!) Make sure the plastic wrap is tight and the holes are not too big.

  • T says:

    I am an Entomologist (Entomology is the study of insects), and yes, using apple cider vinegar does work. I use a wide rim juice glass for this purpose. I put in a little dish soap, fill the glass half full with warm water, then the rest of the way with apple cider vinegar. This way, you have bubbles and there is more surface area on which to collect and trap the insects. The soap is insecticidal in itself, and they get caught up on the surface area of the bubbles while present. Later, they will simply just be attracted to the vinegar and will drown in the liquid. I sit several of these around the kitchen, and one in each of my bathrooms when my home becomes infested with gnats. Sit them next to your fruit on your countertops where the insects are naturally drawn.

    Cantaloupes, bananas, and peaches tend to be the worst offenders for gnats. Certain stores seem to have heavier populations than others as well. Walmart is the worst in my area for gnats in the produce. It helps to wash your produce when you bring it in the house, but this can ripen the fruit more quickly. The vinegar cups will get the gnats under control within a few days if you choose not to wash your fruit.

  • T says:

    By the way, it is not necessary to use the cling wrap if you add dish soap.

  • Gretchen says:

    Yes, use some Dawn with it and it works great.

  • sarah says:

    We did this last year with white vinegar (what we had on hand) and empty water/soda bottle. We poked a big hole in the lid of the bottle, put just an inch or so of vinegar, and left it by the sink. Worked great!

  • Jalet says:

    I have done this for years, but now I use this type of set up with the vinegar. Old wine works too.
    http://www.thinkingfountain.org/t/2literbottle/2literbottle.html

  • Cindy says:

    I have had great success with this method. you need to use a shallow bowl, fill about a 1/2 inch with vinegar and put a few drops of Dawn dish liquid in the middle. The vinegar attracts the flies and the dish liquid coats their wings so they cannot fly. Good luck!!!

  • Momofthree says:

    I do this with a piece of banana instead of vinegar and it works well

  • Ellen says:

    I love using this trick! It works everytime! The key is using apple cider vinegar and to make the wholes in the plastic wrap small. I use a push pin and puncture the plastic about five or six times. They can get in, but they can’t get back out! 🙂

  • Nicole says:

    We are dealing with these right now!! As a matter of fact, we actually found about this online las night. We used an empty juice bottle filled it up with 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar and put a little sugar and water in there. We woke up this morning and it had worked!!!

  • annette says:

    does not work for me 🙁

  • Lish says:

    I do 1/4 cup each cider vinegar and water with a drop of dish soap. The flies go to the vinegar but get stuck in the soap. It works great for me, but not without the soap.

  • Natalie says:

    I used Apple Cider Vinegar in a tall glass with a paper funnel taped to the opening. Taping the funnel to the top of the glass kept the little buggers from escaping. Once a day, I dumped the entire glass in the yard and rinsed it then started again. It cleared up our sewer gnat problem in about 4 days.

  • Nancy Brelowski says:

    It worked for me… I filled small bowl with apple cider vinegar, added a couple drops of dishwashing detergent (Dawn). I had to make it fresh each morning but it worked.

  • Jen says:

    Instead of using vinegar, I just put a bowl of fruit scraps (banana peel, apple core,etc.) in a bowl with used saran wrap on top, poke a few holes w/ a toothpick and let sit for a couple days. Then take the whole thing out to my compost pile and dump it out. Rinse it all out and do it again if I need to. No waste!

  • michelle says:

    Worked for us! I had a small glass pyrex bowl set on the kitchen counter and bathroom sink. I filled it 3/4 full with dishsoap that I stirred around and a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. You have to leave it for days and be patient. I also refreshed it with the apple cider vinegar every morning. I caught alot and, knock on wood, they’re gone.
    You have to make sure to get rid of fruits, breads, etc. and any spills too.

  • Laura says:

    During our fruit fly infestation last summer, I discovered that fruit flies prefer red wine vinegar to apple cider vinegar. I added a drop of dish soap and stopped using the apple cider version because the red wine vinegar was much more successful.

  • stacy says:

    Yes. Apple cider vinegar & a drop of Dawn.

  • Shelly says:

    This does work very well for us. I have used it a few times when I get fruit flies off of our bananas. I agree with Brooke that adding the dish soaps works better than just the vinegar. With the dish soap you don’t have to cover the container.

    When I am canning my pickles I have to be careful to close all the door and windows or else I find fruit flies trying to squeeze through the screen to get in because of the vinegar smell.

  • Krystal says:

    it works great but you can’t buy the cheap diluted store brands. Use quality Cider Vinegar and it will be surprising how may you catch in it in a day! Change every few days to a week for best results! It smells sweet to the flies, but then they get stuck in it!

  • Kristina says:

    Definitely works! Make sure to add some dish detergent. The flies are attracted to the sweet vinegar and then can’t fly out because their wings are coated with soap. We had a terrible fruit fly problem last summer, and a couple days of doing this got rid of all of them!

  • nicky says:

    YES! Worked right away for us…put drop of Dawn in it!

  • Emily says:

    Excited to try this! It seems like all the fruit flies do is swarm here in my home. This is well worth a shot!

  • Kelly says:

    Yes it DOES work. I find that they’re more attracted if you add some corn syrup or a piece of rotting fruit and some dish soap.

    What worked even better when I was infested a month ago (picked the wrong pineapple!)… past-its-prime sweet wine. You know, that bottle you forgot to finish off a few months ago? They love the sweet, fermented smell.

    Covering the dish is to keep the mix from evaporating so fast, I think. They’ll go for it either way, but you have to change them less often if you cover it.

  • Jenny says:

    Apple cider vinegar + dishsoap uncovered in a small dish= no more fruit flys
    Work like a charm!

  • brynne says:

    i used orange juice with a funnel with great success.

  • Shannon says:

    No it didn’t work for me last summer. I only had success by brewing yeast in a cup with warm water with a little sugar. Of course, covered with plastic wrap with holes so they can get in but not out.

  • I put apple cider vinegar, a dash of water, and a drop or two or liquid soap in a shallow dish. It worked great!

  • Cheranne Johnson says:

    It does work well. Make sure to get all of your fruit into the fridge and not leave it out while you are getting rid of the fruit flies. It will work much faster since they only have the option of the vinegar and not the fruit bowl….

  • Kelly Weston says:

    I do this every year and it works like a charm! I just started noticing them flying around the other day and set out my trap and have already caught 3. By the end of the summer, I won’t be able to count them, I’ll have caught so many. Gross, I know…

  • Kim says:

    I don’t know about fruit flies. We live in Fl and have a terrible problem with gnats. I mixed a little apple cider vinegar and dish soap and put plastic wrap over it and poke holes in the platic wrap. I works great for us!

  • Carol says:

    My daughter was having problems with fruit flies. My son in law put out plain apple cider vinegar and that took care of some. He had a glass of grapefruit juice set out for breakfast and the stubborn ones that they still had went right for the juice and drowned. Ruined his juice but it took care of the rest of them. I’m thinking he said someone told him there are 2 kinds of flies, one likes something in the vinegar better and the other likes something in the juice.

  • Rochelle says:

    My husband uses vinegar all the time with great success. Secret is to use a funnel-style setup so that the fruit flies can get in but not out! I also agree with using red wine!

  • WilliamB says:

    Works for me, every time.

    I use red wine vinegar in a small glass dish because I like how it looks, and add a couple of drops of dish soap to break the surface tension so the fruit flies fall into the water and drown instead of lying on top and getting away.

  • Nicole says:

    It sure does work! Put some vinegar in a bowl win ONE DROP of dish detergent, and set it out near your fruit. It works great!

  • Heather T. says:

    This is how I get them, except I use an empty plastic container and just poke holes in the lid. Its very gross how many you get.

  • Ashley says:

    I used regular vinegar mixed with dish soap. Definitely works!

  • Linda says:

    apple cider vinegar in a small dish with just a small amount of dishwashing soap (like Dawn). Do not cover it – just leave it open. It’s on my bathroom counter right now and it works GREAT! Straight up apple cider with seran wrap (as shown above) did not work for me at all.

  • April Tozlowski says:

    Apple cider vinegar with a couple drops of dish soap swished around in it works all the time for me. Love this trick!

  • Abigail says:

    I gave this a try today after I saw your post. It worked! I added the dish soap as many suggested. I caught way more than I thought was in the house! Kinda gross, but kinda awesome too!

  • Whitney says:

    I’ve used this with great results BUT the key is to put a few drops of dish soap into the apple cider vinegar. The sweetness of the vinegar attracts them but the soap makes ’em stick! It totally works!

  • deanna says:

    I’ve used red wine vinegar and it definitely works. I just put a bit in a small shallow bowl and place it in the problem area. I’ve never covered it or added dishsoap, but be sure to check it every day or so. You may be scarily surprised at how many you catch!

  • Judy says:

    We use apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish detergent in a glass every time we get fruit flies and it gets rid of them in no time!
    http://www.whatilivefor.net/2010/10/how-to-get-rid-of-fruit-flies.html

  • FATMA A KAATAR says:

    can i use normal vinegar to get rid of housefly

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