Take *That* Evil Fruit Flies

July 1, 2010 by Michelle

Brand new giveaway for e.l.f. cosmetics here.

And I have a chance to win tickets to The Emperor’s New Clothes from the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre here for my Chicago friends.


It’s that time of year again (read: summer), and I made a tactical error. When I went to St. Louis this past week and left my husband behind with the wee ones for two plus days before they joined me, I didn’t make my usual “I’m traveling” kitchen adjustments.

I assumed that my husband would feed the wee ones fruit at all or most meals just like I do. Therefore, I didn’t put the uncut pineapple, the apples or the oranges into the fridge as I normally would.

When we walked into the house on Sunday evening, we were greeted by our housesitters, the fruit flies.

Ick. I hate them. Really, really hate them. And yet every year, at one point or another, we have a fruit fly invasion. It generally happens in August when it’s super hot and humid and they appear within a day of fruit being placed on the counter.

The good news? With that experience comes expertise in getting rid of them. Humanely (realtively), cheaply, and – most importantly – effectively.


Yep, those little black specks are the sucker fruit flies that have gotten trapped by my husband’s nifty little device. They can (and do!) get in, but they can’t escape. Eventually they get tired and fall into the liquid below, drowning. Or my husband gets nice and lets them out far far from our house.

Two days after putting the trap out, we’re nearly fruit fly-less.

So how can you too make such a trap and save yourself?

Simply take a piece of paper and roll it into a cone with a small hole in the bottom. Tape it into that shape. Place the cone into a glass or jar of some sort that you have placed a small amount of vinegar (not my expensive balsamic vinegar as my husband originally tried!). Then just wait.

It’s amazing how quickly those nasty little buggers will fly down to find that sweet (to them) vinegar – and yes, the apple cider stuff seems to work the best. Once they get through the hole, they can’t figure it out. When they crawl towards the tip of the cone, they can’t make the u-turn and climb out, and none of them are smart enough to hover below and then simply fly through the hole again.

You’re welcome.

Now go enjoy your fruit in peace.



  • morninglight mama

    Awesome!! I will absolutely put this to the test, because every summer our saga begins by the fruit bowl that usually just holds bananas, and those suckers are impossible to get rid of. Thanks so much!

  • Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog

    Fruit Flies SUCK.

    We're going to the play on Saturday. When are you going?

  • WeaselMomma

    This is a great tip. Thanks.

  • Melisa with one S


  • Alexis AKA MOM

    I hate those little buggers. Perfect idea thank you so much! We try to eat the fruit fast but I know the bananas bring them here :(.

    You rock! And dad no fruit come on .. hehe

  • Unknown Mami

    You guys should market that thing. I'm serious. Restaurants and bars need it.

  • Michelle

    Dawn – I'm there with ya… but this works magic!

    Tracey – They do, don't they? My work had them everywhere, and it was just nasty.

    WeaselMomma – Do weasels eat fruit flies?

    Melisa – I'll pass that along to my husband. He'll be thrilled.

    Alexis – It know. It's so hard to keep them away in the summer!

    Unknown Mami – Hmmm. I'm actually thinking about it. They really *do* need them, and I bet I could make them pretty so they sat on tables and people never knew what they were for. I love it!

  • Mrs4444

    I hate 'em, too. I want to know where in the heck they come from! Are their eggs in the bananas or something? Ewww Bravo on the great trap!

  • anymommy

    I hate fruit flies. The one good thing about our move to the arctic tundra. I hardly ever see the little effers any more.

  • Pat

    Oh, wow, Michelle. I don't have to use my bug-zapping electrified badmnton racquet any more! Your husband is a genius. I'm gonna make one tomorrow. Thanks!

    I might still use the bug-zapping racquet occasionally because of the satisfying loud cracking sound it makes when I hit a bug.

  • Teacher Tom

    Having discovered this idea, I now welcome the fruit flies. In my version I just cover the glass with plastic wrap with a few holes punched through it with a tooth pick. The result is the same. I've been known to spend an hour just watching the trap. I do not let them go.

    And, indeed, you do want a sweet vinegar like apple cider or balsamic. Red wine will work too.

  • Karen

    You are genius! Thank you a million times over. Those fruit flies are the bane of my existence.

  • Laura

    Does this work on all flies? I wonder?….because we always get flies mid summer and kind of go crazy killing them with the vacuum and such.

  • Michelle

    Mrs4444 – Shhh don't ask questions like that. Trust me, you don't want to know the answer!

    Stacey – You aren't in the arctic tundra. But hmmmm no fruit flies there? Tempting!

    Pat – I get wanting the satisfaction of the zap, but ohhh this is such a wonderful trick 🙂

    Tom – You welcome them? Brave man. I like the cone where at least they don't feel like they *should* be able to escape. Am I putting too much thought into this?

    Karen – I thanked my husband and now he's got a swelled head after I read him some comments. Oh well! 🙂

    Laura – Ummm I don't know actually. We don't typically get anything but the fruit flies. The few house flies that get in, my cats catch and eat.

  • septembermom

    What a great idea! I hate fruit flies too.

  • Michelle

    Kelly – We aren't alone. I don't think anyone *doesn't* dislike them … well, maybe except for Tom 😉

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