Make a Vinegar Trap to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

A Cheap and Effective Way to Trap Breeding Fruit Flies

Fruit Fly Vinegar Trap
Fruit flies can't resist the fruity aroma of cider vinegar. Jeremy Noble via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Got fruit flies? Ugh. All it takes is one piece of rotting fruit, and you can find yourself with a maddening fruit fly infestation in your kitchen. Even if you throw out your produce and clean your kitchen, the fruit flies may persist. The best way to control fruit flies at this point is to get rid of the breeding adults. You can make a simple vinegar trap to catch and kill fruit flies that just won't go away.

Fortunately, fruit flies aren't very bright. The adults spend all their time focused on two goals: mating and laying eggs on rotting fruit. They use their sense of smell to find fermenting produce, and will fly to their target with little regard for their own safety. That's why a vinegar trap is so effective. The trap is designed to lure the fruit flies in and to prevent them from escaping.

How to Make a Vinegar Trap

To make a vinegar trap for fruit flies, you'll need just a few things (you probably already have most of them in your home):

  • a glass or cup
  • a plastic baggie large enough to fit over the glass
  • a rubber band
  • scissors
  • apple cider vinegar

Pour a small amount – an inch or so – of apple cider vinegar into the glass. The cider vinegar has a nice, fruity aroma that fruit flies simply cannot resist. Using the scissors, snip the corner off the plastic baggie. This should create a hole just large enough for fruit flies to pass through, but not so large that it will be easy for them to escape.

Place the baggie over the glass, and position the hole you've cut over the center. Push the snipped corner down into the glass so the baggie forms a funnel in the glass but doesn't touch the vinegar. Use the rubber band to secure the baggie to the glass.

Place your vinegar trap in the area where you see the most fruit flies – near your garbage, produce bins, or compost container.

If you have a heavy fruit fly infestation, you might want to make several vinegar traps, and place them around your kitchen and in other rooms where fruit flies are present.

Fruit flies will fly into the glass, pass through the hole in the baggie, and become trapped in the glass. Within a few days, you should notice an accumulation of dead fruit flies floating in the vinegar. Empty the trap as needed, and refill it with fresh apple cider vinegar. A few well-placed vinegar traps, along with good housekeeping practices to discourage fruit flies, should get your infestation under control quickly.