How to get rid of fruit flies fast: Three easy traps to make at home

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Fruit flies are tiny and brown in colouring with red eyes, and they’re usually found flying around kitchens and bins – which don’t make for the best sous chefs when you’re trying to cook. You can mostly find the critters here because they’re most attracted to ripe, rotting or decayed fruit and vegetables, as well as fermented items like beer and wine.

Fruit flies reproduce at an alarming rate, hence why they often seem so hard to get rid of.

According to WebMD, a female fruit fly can lay up to 2,000 eggs on the surface of anything moist or rotting, most commonly overripe fruit and vegetables.

Within 24 to 30 hours, the eggs hatch into larvae or maggots that feed on the food source of which they were laid. Then, within around two days, these larvae will be ready to mate too, starting the cycle all over again.

While the transition seems a fast turnaround, these flies only live for around eight to 15 days, but with a constant stream of them, it can feel like forever.

Thankfully, there are some simple and effective ways to get rid of fruit flies either within the day or overnight, and you can do this without buying expensive treatments and tools.

Here are three DIY fruit fly traps you can put together easily to tackle any problems with these pests you might have.

Make an apple cider vinegar and plastic wrap trap

Arguably one of the most effective traps you can make for fruit flies, apple cider vinegar is much more effective at enticing these flies due to its sweetness.

Vinegar is a scent these pests can’t resist and once they succumb to this trap, there will be no escape.

To do it, simply pour some apple cider vinegar into a glass or bowl. Cover the opening with clingfilm or another form of plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band if necessary. Next, poke a few holes into the plastic for the fruit flies to enter.

For a faster success rate, make a few of these contraptions and place them around the problem areas.

Make a paper cone, vinegar and fruit trap

To make this trap, it’s best to use rotting produce to really entice the flies into the trap.

Again, this is a super simple contraption and all you need is three items to rid yourself of the fly problem.

Pour some vinegar and a chunk of overly ripe fruit in a jar – the sweeter the better. Next, roll some paper into a cone and place it in the jar with the more narrow opening inside it, like a funnel.

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The flies will funnel down into the fruit and trap themselves in the jar. Apple is a great fruit to use to do this.

Warm vinegar and soap

If the other two traps aren’t for you, you can simply try the vinegar and soap trick.

For best results, it’s advised to warm the vinegar up. So, fill a microwaveable bowl with some apple cider vinegar and add a few drops of dish soap in.

Heat it up so it becomes more aromatic, then leave the bowl out uncovered as bait.

The soap will break the surface tension causing the flies that land in the mixture to sink and drown.

Are there other ways to deter fruit flies that don’t involve traps?

If you find fly traps a tad inhumane, you can also deter the critters with scents. Fruit flies can’t bear the smell of basil, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, or lavender.

Place fragrant herbs in muslin bags or tea bags and hang them around problem areas, or buy some essential oil diffusers.

Another method is to really stay on top of kitchen chores. Make sure to wipe down surfaces, sinks and bins with detergent regularly, and make sure dishes aren’t left in the sink for prolonged periods of time.

It’s also important to change your sponges and dishcloths regularly to prevent odours and stale food from festering.

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