DIY: How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies with a Homemade Trap

I’m bugging out and killing fruit flies dead. Sorry for the hostile language. But if you’re like me and have lots of fruits and vegetables hanging around your home, then eventually you’ll be a buzzing with these little flies. Elimination is key to maintain one’s sanity.

To help you trap and get rid of each and every fly, I’ve put together this little do it yourself homemade fruit fly funnel trap project to help remedy the situation. This simple, easy, and cheap trap is environmentally and fruit fly friendly. Yes, you can set your flies free after capture.

fruit_fly_funnel_trap_diy.jpg

DIY Items:

Stuff you’ll need:

  • empty jar or bottle (smaller bottle necks are better)
  • sheet of paper
  • tape
  • piece of ripe fruit

Instructions:

To make a fruit fly funnel trap:

  1. Take the sheet of paper and make a funnel or cone shape. Tape the outside of the funnel to secure.
  2. Place piece of ripe fruit into jar.
  3. Insert funnel into neck of jar. Be sure funnel fits snugly. Use tape to secure funnel to jar neck to prevent fruit flies from escaping. Use tape to seal all gaps between jar neck and funnel.
  4. Place fruit fly trap in an open area on a flat surface. The flies will be trapped and unable to escape from the jar.

fruit_fly_trap_working1.jpg

After baiting this trap just sit back and wait. Once the funnel trap is a buzzing, feel free to set your flies free in the great outdoors, or not. There ain’t no flies on me. Snicker.

Preventing Fruit Flies: If you don’t want to be swatting little flies, prevention is key. Keep fruit in sealed containers away from open areas.

Ever had a fruit fly infestation? Do you have any other fruit fly remedies or traps? Please get buzzing and share in the comments below.

Your two cents:

  1. A.J. October 2nd, 2008

    We had to breed fruit flies in genetics lab.

    This stuff came in handy for sedating the buggers:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FlyNap

    Vinegar also works as bait, with the added benefit of drowning the flies.

  2. Beth October 2nd, 2008

    agreed on the vinegar. don’t use honey.
    in this case, it turns out that you catch more flies with vinegar than honey.
    i really like lee valley’s fruit fly traps, but yours are far more frugal!

  3. Beth October 2nd, 2008

    wait, you free the fruitflies but you kill the gophers???
    oh the humanity.

    ok, don’t actually post this one 😛

  4. Kerry October 2nd, 2008

    @A.J. It appears I don’t need a genetics lab to breed these buggies. LOL

    @Beth I like your comments. Posted. 😀 Actually, only your first comment is moderated by the blog filter. Repeat commenters get their voice heard right away!

  5. ABCs of Investing October 2nd, 2008

    This is a great suggestion – I’m going to try it and see if it flies!

  6. Tony October 2nd, 2008

    You could also drown them in sweet, sweet ice wine like my wife did! http://cheezewhizandmustard.com/2008/09/16/fruit-flies-suck/

  7. neimanmarxist October 3rd, 2008

    This is a great idea. I will be trying this out though I must say I don’t mind drowning them so perhaps a vinegar trap might be more what I’m looking for so as to not have to muck about with overripe fruit and tape. i just kind of let the fruit flies run amok this summer (uggg)and now that the weather is turned they haven’t been showing up. But this post has been bookmarked!

  8. marci October 3rd, 2008

    Ohhhh… I sure could have used this a couple weeks ago!

    I tried putting a piece of banana carefully on the entrance to the garbage disposal, and then when it looked like they were congregating in the sink, sprayed them with the water spray nozzle… was NOT very effective 🙂

    I will remember this! So simple, yet so effective! Thanks!

  9. Beth October 3rd, 2008

    Tony, I can’t believe you’d let a drop of ice wine go to the fruit flies! Fox is releasing them into the wild, you’re getting hammered with them…what is this world coming to??

  10. Penelope Pince October 3rd, 2008

    We once had a really bad infestation of fruit flies which brought home with a bunch of peaches. It was awful; we tried fly paper, but only caught a few. Then, my sister discovered a way to trap them which is similar to yours.

    1. Find a cup or jar – we usually use a yogurt cup that we’re going to throw away.

    2. Put a small piece of fruit, or better yet banana peel – waste not 🙂

    3. Stretch a piece of saran wrap tightly over the opening of the cup with a rubber band or string.

    4. Poke a few tiny holes in the saran wrap.

    5. The fruit flies can get in but not out (or maybe they don’t want to).

    6. After a day or two, we just throw the cup away.

    Yeah, we throw the little buggers away; we don’t want them reproducing and their little ones finding their way back.

  11. Katie October 3rd, 2008

    Great post! My mom is having a terrible problem with fruit flies. I’m going to maker her one of these traps tonight.

  12. Arnie October 9th, 2008

    We had an infestation of fruit flies at work so I secreted a peeled banana in a colleagues locker and trapped them in there. He wasn’t too happy though!

  13. Kerry October 9th, 2008

    @Arnie Do I work with you? LOL Quite the practical joker I presume. 😀

  14. Sini October 11th, 2008

    Started doing this last year too. Apple cider vinegar works best. White viengar’s a no go.

    I also tried just cutting the top off a plastic bottle and reverting it back, but the bottle opening’s a bit big and the flies find their way out. The reason why I started cutting bottles is because the paper got wet when I tried drowning the flies…

  15. zen October 11th, 2008

    If you place the herb Rue around, most flies are repulsed by it. Put it near all the food sources and you shouldn’t have a problem

  16. Kathleen November 4th, 2008

    We have just today been infested around all the windows of the home. YIKES. I am only assuming they are fruit flies as I have no idea what they look like close up. I am always careful with fruit but now remembering we just had pumpkins out on the stoop (after we carved- dumb) for a few days. Could that be it?
    I will go home and try the wax paper over cup with rubber band and use the apple cider vinegar (after work)
    My hubby is home furiously cleaning right now. He is very freaked out as are the children.

    Hoping this works.

    Side note on the apple cider vinegar….my daughter age 9 had a couple planters warts on her heel. I dipped a cottonball in apple cider vinegar and placed it on the wart overnite for serveral days (exactly the size of the wart-no bigger), then taped it up with duct tape. The warts completely died after a few days and fell right off. 🙂

    Kathleen

  17. Kaylynn December 5th, 2008

    We’ve always had a problem with fruit flies, especially in summer and fall. One thing my mother always did, ( and always worked) was to take a little cup or a deep saucer, and put some dish soap (we used Sunlight) and vinegar.
    Those little suckers go straight for it and it isn’t long until you see a few floating.

    We keep a dish out all year long to keep the house pest free.. works great. Portion doesnt matter too much, just 1 part soap three parts vinegar does the trick!

  18. Cami December 20th, 2008

    We found sake works best. Of course, we discovered this by accident, we were trying to drink the sake and we could not keep the flies out of our glasses!

    Now we keep sake on hand just in case we need to lay traps, but not the good stuff! The cheapest stuff (perhaps not worth drinking) works just as well.

    Vinegar huh… perhaps we’ll try this next summer. It might be cheaper than bad sake (though perhaps not by much) and useful for other things.

  19. tendo January 8th, 2009

    Red wine in the bottom of the jar works really well, that way I can also enjoy the thought of them dying drunk and happy. Then again , cleaning out the cupboards once in awhile would have prevented the problem all together.

  20. Shell January 20th, 2009

    Vinegar took forever and didn’t really work, they were procreating faster than dying. Use a vacuum cleaner! The hose just sucks them up.

  21. Susanne June 2nd, 2009

    a little white wine in the bottom of a cup, a layer of saran wrap on the top of the container with a few holes poked in it. Works great. I will try the cider vinegar as I seem to have more of that than wine.

  22. Mary August 4th, 2009

    I looked up some ideas on the web, and last night I cut 2 water bottles just where the top curve goes straight, to form a funnel shape. Leave the cap on and poke a few holes (from the inside so the holes are smooth in the direction you want them to go) and set it upside down in the bottle to form a funnel going down into the bottle. Bait the trap – I used a piece of overripe banana, a little kombucha (because it smells like cider vinegar and the fruit flies hover around the cloth over the jar) and a drop of dish soap for the surfactant properties – they drown more easily. So far I have caught many many fruit flies, and the population is noticeably diminished. I hope much more so by the time I get home tonight!
    I have read they can come in as eggs attached to fruit, so from now on I plan to watch (or wash) new produce fo any sign of problems.

  23. Stephanie September 20th, 2009

    I use the same trick as Penelope above. Ripe fruit in a cup, cover with plastic wrap, poke a few small holes, and voila! It works like a charm!

  24. Kerry September 20th, 2009

    @Stephanie @Penelope I just tried your fruit fly trap trick — pure awesomeness. A little red vino in the cup works wonders too. 😉

  25. Laura October 18th, 2011

    I had a friendship cake (sourdough that you keep feeding and pass on to friends) and kept the batter in tubs with cling film (saran wrap i think? sorry I’m British! lol) and poked little holes in the top. Alas, the fruit flies invaded and ruined the batter that I was going to pass on to friends, but it does work. Think I’m going to try putting several tubs out with different substances inside and see what works best.
    Thanks for all the tips guys! xx

  26. Danny July 3rd, 2012

    A cup of Japanese rice vinegar left in the middle of the room has never failed for me. Fruit flies love the pungent smell and drown in the liquid. Most flies will be gone after the second day.

  27. Jake August 20th, 2012

    I found a lil trick for disposal when the freaking bugs.

    Stick your funnel trap into your fridge and leave it there until the fruit is frozen,

    the cold should kill off the flies, now while the fruits frozen, get to work on hammering on it. i’m not sure how well it worked (i just used a sledge which is massive overkill) but the broken pieces don’t clog your toilet when you flush em down!

  28. alicia November 6th, 2012

    im combining a little of everything ive read with the exception that my ripe fruit is left over fruit yogurt in the container. im adding a drop of fruity dish soap and malt vinegar, which is all i have so we shall see in a few hours 😀

  29. Mike July 3rd, 2013

    Take revenge. Use the jar to trap them with a piece of banana. 5 minutes in the freezer knocks them out cold.

    Feed them to tropical fish while they’re out. Your fish will thank you.

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