How To Kill Fruit Flies

This guest-post comes to us from Jennifer Ferro, KCRW’s General Manager. 

Summer means fragrant, juicy and ripe strawberries, apricots, peaches and nectarines.

It also means fruit flies.

Some years the fruit fly situation in my kitchen is so bad I need a beekeepers outfit just to get to the fridge. The only way to take back your kitchen is to kill the little suckers completely and totally. But how?

First, you need to have a scorched-earth policy.  Your pledge: No flies left undead.

First, put away all fruit. That means taking all your fruit out of any bags. Wash it off and dry it.  Then, put it into the refrigerator (gasp!).   I am normally against refrigerating flavorful fruit. It tends to be harmful to the taste and texture. But we all have to make sacrifices at times like this.

Next, clean off all surfaces that held the fruit. Wash all bowls and dry them, clean off countertops.  Throw out your kitchen trash, clean out your kitchen sink trap, dump out your compost scraps.

Finally, set your trap.  This is the easiest thing to make and it is extremely effective. You’ll need a small, narrow-mouthed bowl or jar, plastic wrap, one chop stick and soy sauce.  Here’s my most recent trap. It’s just a small Pyrex glass ramekin.

Fill your narrow-mouthed vessel with approximately an inch of soy sauce. (Traps can also hold a banana peel or red wine but I can smell those things rotting in my kitchen.) Next, tighten plastic wrap over the top.  Poke about 10 holes in the plastic wrap with the tip of the chop stick.

Set the traps on the counter and be ready to watch those annoying flies die.  If there are no flies in your trap after a day try widening the holes. It seems counterintuitive but it works.

Good luck in your killing spree!

  • Nicole

    I have made similar traps using shot glasses and vinegar and it worked perfectly.

  • mhp

    A partially drank bottle of red wine next to your trash bin works well as well.

  • PSreader

    Great tip! My method is similar: I use a small cup with a bit of cider vinegar with a drop of dish soap. Had this problem just last week, and the flies are gone.

  • Thank you for this. My worm compost bin is now inside my kitchen and my only flycatcher so far has been the four legged animals.

  • fascinating, thanks! do you think it will work on moths?

    • Jenniferro

      This will not work on moths. That's another blog post! You'll have to throw out all your grain products and put up some of these:

      • lixwex

        thank you- after fighting these little dudes for twenty five years, i'm ordering some right now!

        • When Jen says throw out all your grains to get rid of those pesky meal moths she means all. Be brutal about it and wash down your shelves in case there are lingering larvae hanging around.

          • lixwex

            i know, i learned that the hard way in previous years; this season they've even nested on the outside of clean pyrex and inside capped spice bottles (ewe)! thank you!

  • lixwex

    put the moth traps out last night with baited breath- first moths swarmed all over and then they were gone, just as fast! all these years… thank you so much!

  • This is really a well matter for sharing up as I think! Actually this is really a vital matter of thought for the fruit farmers that How To Kill Fruit Flies indeed. Your post gonna help us t realize the importance of killing fruit flies. Thanks for this nice allocation and carry on…..

    produce shipper arizona