Building A Better Fruit Fly Trap

keep flies off tableEOut of necessity, I’ve built a better mouse trap — fruit fly trap. My fruit flies are just too darn smart to fall into a simple glass of wine and drown. Mine, instead, simply walk along the edge of the glass picking up enough juice from their feet to satisfy them before flying off to mate somewhere else, and increase my population of drain flies. I had to do something. With the combination of warm weather and watermelon around here, I’ve been inundated with flying pests. Technically, I don’t actually have fruit flies — I have drain flies. These have little red eyes, and are harder to catch with a slap of your hand than the slower moving cousins, fruit flies.

My solution is cruel, but effective. I simply sprinkle Boric Acid Powder or Diatomaceous Earth around the rim of the wine bottle where the poison is picked up on the fruit fly, and eventually kills the fly. I’ll even add a slip of a banana into the bottle just to ensure the bottle has enough “odor of fruit” to attract the flies.

Like I said. Cruel. But effective.

Here’s my post on how to get rid of fruit flies with a do-it-yourself fruit fly trap.

Get rid of fruit flies easily with this 6-step method to zap a fruit fly: Remember, to keep the fruit flies away, you’ll also need to clean the drains.

fruitflies3.gif

  • Your bait is apple cider vinegar, a banana, bread (they like yeast), or red wine — or even a few drops of left over beer, (if there is such a thing).
  • Pour your bait into a bottle with a narrow neck. A Corona Beer bottle is perfect. Because, fruit flies tend to be picky, as you have learned by now. A Cuervo beer bottle can work too.
  • Now, take some liquid dish soap, honey or vegetable oil and rub it around the top of the bottle opening, along the insides down into the jar.
  • The fruit flies fly in, and even if they do hover around the top of the liquid, they slippery soap makes it impossible for them to make their way out of the jar.
  • Check your bottle. After a few hours, microwave the entire bottle to kill any eggs they might have dropped.
  • Continue until fruit flies are non existent.

This is the fruit fly trap you’ve (I’ve) been looking for. The ultimate death trap for fruit flies. And yes, Mom was right; you can catch more flies with honey. And yes, the fruit fly is breeding, living and laying eggs in your drains. There’s no doubt that the fruit fly is smart. Most fruit flies will figure a way out of the trap we’ve set for them. But I’ve out-witted them. You really won’t have to spend a dime on this trap, as you already have the stuff in your pantry. Plus, I have some expert advice from Asapest.com. I’ve seen fruit flies hover around the top of a wine glass, and mate, and then I have 2 million more fruit flies. They don’t drown. They have figured out a way to fly up through the tiny pin hole in saran wrap that was designed to trap them. I’ve watched them crawl around the outside the rim of a wine glass, knowing better than to fly in, because they’ll drown. The traps I set turn into breeding grounds for more fruit flies. I even sprinkled odorless Boric Acid Powder around their favorite resting spot, my bathroom mirror, and they crawl around it. Read more below for the how-to’s on this awesome fruit fly trap. To keep them away, follow these tips from Asapest.

  1. Clean the buildup from the lining and the surrounding areas of your drains. Use a long, wire drain brush – similar to a bottle- washing brush – to scrub inside the drain.
  2. A bleach solution and nylon scrub brush can help eliminate the buildup around the edge of the drain.
  3. One reason for shower and tub drain clogs is the hair that collects in traps (the curved portion of the drain that holds water). Try bending a thin wire hanger to pull out some of this hair. Put a hook on one end and pull out as much of the debris as possible.
  4. You also can rent a snake, a device that winds through drain clogs using old-fashioned arm strength.
  5. Once you’ve cleaned the drain of hair and buildup, try using a plunger to push any remaining debris through the trap and down the drain.
  6. Instead of caustic cleaners, try keeping the lining of your drains clean a couple of different ways. First, I use an organic drain cleaner about three times a year to keep my sink drains and tub drains flowing smoothly. Try Bio-Clean which uses enzymes to break down the organic matter that lines and clogs drains.
  7. Also, use a drain freshener of salt, baking soda and white vinegar weekly to keep scum from building up in drains. Pour a half- cup of salt, then a half-cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar into the drain. Let the drain foam for as long as possible, even overnight, then flush with boiling water.

Every night I sprinkle baking soda down the kitchen sink. And, a little bit in the tray in the refrigerator underneath the ice and water dispenser. To keep them away from bananas and tomatoes, I sprinkle baking soda on them as they sit on my counter, and wash it off right before eating.

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23 comments on “Building A Better Fruit Fly Trap
  1. Cool cheap solution – I’ve always just not kept fruit in the house for a few days until they seem to die off so I’m guessing I have fruit flies, not drain flies . . . never heard of them before, but always good to know, as you never know what surprises you’ll find in your next flat!!

  2. O dear, o dear, o dear, SusieJ, this is a good post. I never knew what Drain Flies were until they invaded my beautiful Tribeca Penthouse. Getting rid of them? I tried everything thinking that there was something my maid was doing. I made the poor woman cry because I kept insisting that fault was hers. One should be cautious in how help is treated. They are human you know. It was the bakery on the ground floor! It wasn’t until I had a melodramatic scene with the owner and had to threaten the Health Department that she brought in a plumber who discovered the source in the sub-basement drain. Once it was cleaned the problem disappeared and, mercifully, the bakery closed and now the new tenants are spotless. But, it was a nightmare. Thank you for beinging this up for us. We love your darling blog!
    Nanny Molly

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  4. Quick answer.. Try placing a small strip of tape on all the drains ( don’t cover the whole drain ) an check the the next morning or it may take a few days, but this will help in determining if they are Moth flies ( Drain flies ). If so you could purchase InVade bio drain treatment which helps clean the gunk in the drain were they live and breed. If not a plumber may have to power jet your plumbing system. hope this helps :)

  5. A. Drain flies, also called moth flies and sewer gnats, are indeed a nuisance, especially in your case because they are originating inside your home. These tiny flies, from about 1/5 to 1/6 of an inch long, accumulate around showers, bathtubs, sinks and floor drains.

    They also reproduce outdoors, in shallow standing water, compost bins, overflow pipes and garbage containers.

    The flies lay eggs in the soft, moist organic matter that collects in and lines your drains. After hatching, the larvae feed on this matter and mature in 10 to 15 days.

    I’m surprised that your exterminator did not know how to rid your drain of these pests. Several gels are made that can kill the flies.

    These gels are sprayed around the drain area and are sold only to professionally licensed exterminators. You might want to consult another exterminator.

    However, you can try to solve the problem yourself. The first step is to clean buildup from the lining and the surrounding areas of your drains. Use a long, wire drain brush – similar to a bottle- washing brush – to scrub inside the drain.

    A bleach solution and nylon scrub brush can help eliminate the buildup around the edge of the drain.

    One reason for shower and tub drain clogs is the hair that collects in traps (the curved portion of the drain that holds water). Try bending a thin wire hanger to pull out some of this hair. Put a hook on one end and pull out as much of the debris as possible.

    You also can rent a snake, a device that winds through drain clogs using old-fashioned arm strength.

    Once you’ve cleaned the drain of hair and buildup, try using a plunger to push any remaining debris through the trap and down the drain.

    Although I don’t use caustic drain cleaners because I don’t want to upset the enzymes in my septic tank, you might consider using such a product during the initial cleanup. Follow directions, and do not use the cleaner in conjunction with other cleaners, like bleach (or even the household remedy I describe below).

    Instead of caustic cleaners, try keeping the lining of your drains clean a couple of different ways. First, I use an organic drain cleaner about three times a year to keep my sink drains and tub drains flowing smoothly. Try Bio-Clean (available online at http://www.safedraincleaner.com), which uses enzymes to break down the organic matter that lines and clogs drains.

    Also, use a drain freshener of salt, baking soda and white vinegar weekly to keep scum from building up in drains. Pour a half- cup of salt, then a half-cup of baking soda followed by a cup of vinegar into the drain. Let the drain foam for as long as possible, even overnight, then flush with boiling water.

    There’s a chance that the drain flies are coming from another source, too. Moldy, mildewy areas underneath loose floor tiles or behind rotting drywall can be a breeding ground for flies. Examine the areas around your tub or shower floor. Clean and reset all loose tile and rotting wallboard.

    For temporary control of flying drain flies, use aerosol insecticides designed for small flying insects. These generally contain pyrethrins or resmethrin and will kill adult flies. The sprays, however, won’t kill larvae and should not be sprayed into drains.

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  7. for the last few months I’ve been inundated with tiny flies. I had scoured my cupboards and house clean still with no success. My asthma was becoming affected, anmd I even became depressed. Then I googled them and came upon this site. It was like a light had been switched on. I got out and cleaned every single drain and suddenly they were gone. I had a marked improvement in health and my depression raisned thanx for your site. It saved me.

  8. The jar with fruit and OJ worked really well and to catch the strays I used my hair dryer to suck on the end of the dryer, I read it somewhere and they used the term “its fun to do” it really worked because the fruit flies move fast when you try to smack em! lol So use your hair dryer on the end that sucks in air, on high heat! ;)

  9. i was about to lose my grip on sanity until i found this post. these fruit flies are relentless! tonite i am going to scrub living hell out of all of my drains and sinks and change my shower curtain in hopes that i get all the goo that these micro b52s are living on.

    ill let you know who survives but many thanks for the tips i feel like now i am on the OFFENSIVE

  10. Thank you for this information. I have been trying everything! Apple cider vinegar traps, they do well for awhile, but they stop going in or breed at the top of the cone!!! I’ve looked like a nut running around the house clapping the air and hitting surfaces, even chasing them with the vaccum cleaner. Everytime I think I got ahead of them, they’re back. I am going to do the drain thing this weekend and hope for the best.
    For some reason they seem to be attracted to my daughters heavy plastic play kitchen! I have cleaned it thoroughly but they keep migrating back to it, I’m not sure if it’s the static of the plastic or what, but I’ve even added a trap to her play area!!!

  11. I am in the fire dept and for the last couple of weeks we have had an infestation of the little tiny flies. They are in the kitchen and around the mens urinal. I thought they were fruit flies, but after reading your article i think they may be the “drain flies” you refered to. Do i get rid of them in the urinals the same way as the sink? Please help, they are driving me crazy!

  12. Thanks Susie for the great info!!!!! I never heard of drain flies. But I know thats what these are! Yuck! I’m doing my drains asap when I get off the computer. Also, to the woman whose daughter’s play kitchen has the fly problem…Has she ever used water in the sink or anything? There may be some standing water inside the plastic pieces. My daughter had a play hair salon that got water in it. I was more concerned about mold than flies at the time. we also had some Little Tikes chairs that got lots of water in them. I took a Dremel tool and put holes in the bottom of each leg of the chairs. No more water build up! Anyway good luck to all of us!

  13. I just successfully used the jar trap method — this is where you put some red wine in a jar and rubber band some plastic wrap on the top as a lid, and poke some holes in the plastic wrap. Instead of just red wine, we put in about a half inch of the wine _plus_ a kiwi that was on its way to rotten. We had GREAT success with this method, and none of the flies figured out how to get out of the jar. If you poke small enough holes — say, with a toothpick — they’re unable to crawl out because each hole is ringed with some punched-in plastic wrap that hinders their being able to get back out that way. Anyway, we’re amazed at how many flies we trapped — I don’t even see _one_ today! But you have to be patient with the jar; we put it out on Saturday night, and were disappointed on Sunday morning to only find two flies in there. But they must sleep at night, because by Sunday evening, most of the flies in the house were trapped in there. Highly recommended method!

  14. These fruit flies/ drain flies are driving me crazy… I have tried the apple cider idea and they are flying around that thing like CANDY!!!

    Thanks for the ideas!!

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  16. Wow! Thanks! Me and my husband were baffled by where these flies were coming from. And I finally got fed up washing dishes.
    This will work great as I have an old bottle I’ve been saving for no reason!

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  18. What are some other methods to getting rid of these annoying little bastards, because they are driving me insane…

  19. I have a better solution if you don’t mind washing the area after. I tried the bottle of bread and the bottle of juice with a lime in it. It worked but not good enough. I then used a beer bottle and put bread in it. Waiting to see how this one works. After finding them in my bag of bread I said that is enough!!! I took the bottle of hairspray and started spraying them. It worked wonders! they get stuck and if you spray them in mid air they fall. Some need a couple of sprays but it does work. Again if you don’t mind wiping the walls, windows and counters clean afterwards lol. I am never leaving fruit out again!

  20. I love all methods listed. I must admit I think I have a combination of Fruit flies and drain flies. I’ve tried the apple cider vinger, using the vaccum to suck them up and now I’m using Lysol to spray them to death.. . . However after reading this blog – I’m going to clean my drains as well. I dont have the long wire brush but I do have scolding hot water and the power of good old fashion bleach.

  21. I read about this remedy: put a cup of apple cider vinegar and a squirt I’d liquid dishwashing soap in a bowl. Flies will visit the vinegar. The soap somehow keeps them in there, where they drown. It’s simple, cheap, and quite effective.

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