It never fails: You return from the farmer’s market with a bountiful harvest of vegetables and fruits. You leave some on the counter to ripen, only to return and find a swarm of fruit flies feasting on your peaches and plums.
Fruit flies, though harmless, are a nuisance during the warmer months of spring and summer. If you’re wondering how to get rid of fruit flies, you’re in luck. Banishing them from your humble abode doesn’t take a ton of harsh chemicals — in fact, you probably have everything you need already.
How to get rid of fruit flies with vinegar
There are two types of vinegar that can help you get rid of fruit flies: Apple cider vinegar and white vinegar.
Using apple cider vinegar to get rid of fruit flies is easy: Just pour a small amount inside a glass, cover with plastic wrap and secure with a hair tie or rubber band. Poke holes in the top of the glass and watch as fruit flies swarm to it. This same plastic-with-holes trick also works with ripe mashed bananas instead of vinegar.
You can also use a small amount of white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) in a glass, along with a few drops of dish soap. Leave it uncovered and the fruit flies will fly in — and to their deaths.
How to get rid of fruit flies with milk, sugar and pepper
This is an old Farmers’ Almanac trick: Simply simmer 4 ounces of sugar, 2 ounces of ground pepper and 4 ounces of milk together in a saucepan for 10 minutes. Put in a bowl and the fruit flies will fly toward the sweetness.
How to get rid of fruit flies with wine
Fruit flies love wine, too. Pour some leftover red wine on the counter to get rid of fruit flies.
If all else fails, get rid of fruit flies with store-bought supplies
It might not be the most environmentally friendly option, but FruitFly BarPro strips can be added to your cupboards or countertops to trap fruit flies and get them out of your fruit basket. Alternatively, you can use an LED light made to attract insects — like the GLOUE bug zapper — to kill fruit flies.
And if you’re wondering how to get rid of fruit flies for good, follow this advice: Always put your fruit in airtight containers where they can’t get to it, like a bread box, or inside the refrigerator.