How to Make a Fruit Fly Trap

If you see fruit flies in your home all summer, make a quick fruit fly trap to tame these pests. Try a few of these tested and humane methods to trap fruit flies, and see which is most effective for you. Put several around the house, and remember to check and clear them often.

Before Setting Traps

Before you use any of these traps, eliminate the flies' food supply by washing out soda cans, drink bottles and other food containers before recycling. Do not leave food uncovered on countertops or in cabinets. Put fruit and vegetable waste outside in a compost heap if you can, rather than in an indoor trash container. These preventive measures may solve the problem. If not, try one or more of the proven traps outlined below.

The Paper Chute Fruit Fly Trap

Set a tall glass on the counter with ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, fruit juice or pieces of overripe fruit, such as a banana in the bottom. Roll up a sheet of paper into a cone, open about 1/8 inch at the point, and tape it to the glass so it does not unroll.

Set the paper cone into the top of the glass. The fruit flies will fall down it into the cider or fruit, and will not be able to climb back out. Empty the dead fruit flies out daily and reconstruct the trap. Discard the paper cone if it gets wet and roll a new one.

The Dish Soap Fruit Fly Trap

In a shallow bowl, mix 1 drop of liquid dish soap, ½ cup apple, orange or peach juice, or apple cider vinegar. Stir in ¼ cup of water, and add a few chunks of overripe fruit, such as peaches or bananas. Place a sheet of plastic wrap across the top with just a few small holes for the flies to get in.

Leave the bowl on the kitchen counter, in the sink or down near your trash can. The dish soap in the bait mixture weighs the flies down so they can not climb out of the liquid. It also breaks the surface tension at the top of the juice or vinegar so the fruit flies fall in, instead of being able to glide across it.

The Alcohol Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit flies also seem to be attracted to beer, wine and sake because of their fermented content. Put flat beer, inexpensive wine or low-grade sake into the container you use to trap fruit flies. Cover the container with plastic wrap, taped down to make a secure seal, and punch a few tiny holes in it. The fruit flies will get in, but they won't escape.

How Not to Make a Trap

Don't have too big a hole in your paper cone for the paper chute trap, or the fruit flies will be able to escape. Do not bait your trap with honey or sugar. Sweet acids such as apple juice or cider vinegar work best.

To Dispose of Dead Fruit Flies

Toss out the entire trap. Do not rinse dead fruit flies down the drain.