Life Hack: How to get rid of fruit flies in the kitchen (and in the garden)

Few things look as appealing as a colourful bowl of fruit in the kitchen. And few things can ruin that

Few things look as appealing as a colourful bowl of fruit in the kitchen. And few things can ruin that look more than swarming insects.

There are plenty of great tricks to keeping them at bay. So far, these have been far and away the most effective for my family.

Got any alternative ideas? We’d love to read your suggestions in the comments below!

How to kill fruit flies in the kitchen

Take a simple bottle of apple cider vinegar, half full. Cover the top with plastic wrap, kept in place with a plastic band, and poke a hole in the top.

This will allow them to get inside (lured by the scent of vinegar) but make it extremely difficult to leave.

Alternatively, fill a glass with apple cider vinegar and construct a paper funnel. This will similarly make it easy to enter but difficult to escape.

Place the trap near your fruit bowl and marvel as the bottle fills up with dead flies!

How to keep fruit flies out of the garden

While fruit flies are far more difficult to control outside, a similar technique can help trap and kill flies that swarm too close to a particular plant.

Victorian Agriculture suggests the following DIY method:

  • Take an empty soft drink bottle.
  • Cut three holes 10cm from the top, each roughly the size of a 10 cent coin.
  • Fill it with a mixture consisting of 1 cup 100% fruit juice (including pulp) and 1 tablespoon of cloudy ammonia (or wheelie bin cleaner from your local hardware store).
  • Tie a string around the bottle and hang in a shady area roughly 1 to 1.5 metres off the ground.
  • Replace every week.

How do you get rid of fruit flies? Share your DIY tricks below!


  1. I use about a cup of red wine in a breakfast bowl covered with cling wrap with a 2-3mm hole on the centre. it will last about 3 weeks and will continue to work even after it goes mouldy on top. one int kitchen and one in the room in which you drink most often.

  2. Are we talking about Vinegar Flies here, or are we talking Queensland Fruit Fly, which is a far more serious problem ? They lay their eggs in the fruit and when they hatch virtually destroy all the fruit they inhabit ? Vinegar Flies aren’t worth worrying about, they’re just a bit of a nuisance at times.

  3. Apple cider vinegar. And make sure that no over ripe fruit is left laying around on the ground.

  4. How about ordinary flies who sneak in, while we’re coming through the screen doors?

    • I don’t have too much trouble with flies, I grow basil, rosemary and lavender near the kitchen as it is close to the vegie patch?

  5. Have never had them inside but we get them in the fruit trees, tomatoes and the eggfruit. Hubby likes to make homebrew so I use the dregs left over to put in the soft drink bottles with the holes in. I put them in the citrus trees mostly and catch lots. It works for blowflies too.

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