The Best Natural Fruit Fly Trap using Vinegar

Thrifty and all natural Fruit Fly trap using vinegar and dish soap.

Got a fruit fly problem? Have no fear – today I am sharing the best natural fruit fly trap using vinegar! It will save you, promise.

Last week when I canned peaches using my no-refined sugar recipe I noticed a fruit fly. Well overnight that one fruit fly turned into 20. And then 40. Seriously…what is up with how fast these little fetchers breed?  Before I knew it I was doing the icky dance, batting fruit flies away every time I opened my pantry. I knew that the breeding needed to stop and these fruit flies needed to destroyed.

My parents always used vinegar and dish soap to kill them little buggers.  Unfortunately at that moment they were traveling and I couldn’t get a hold of them for their recipe. Luckily on that same day I got an email from a reader named Stephanie who shared her recipe for a fruit fly trap using vinegar and dish soap.

How to make a Natural Fruit Fly Trap Using Vinegar

Fruit Fly Trap using vinegar - natural, safe, non-tox and it WORKS!

Take a jar and fill it 1/2 or 1/3 full of apple cider vinegar. Next,  gently mix in a few squirts dish soap (maybe a teaspoon amount) so there are no bubbles. Then, leave it on your counter overnight near where you see them. In the morning there will be drowned fruit flies in the bottom of it! If the first night doesn’t catch them all make a fresh batch the next day to catch the stragglers.

How this works is the apple cider vinegar smells like rotten fruit to the fruit flies and attracts them. The liquid dish soap breaks the surface of the vinegar and sucks them in when they try to land, which drowns them.

DIY Fruit Fly Trap using Vinegar and dish soap - it works great!

Now I am a lover of most creatures besides spiders, grasshoppers and flies of all kinds. So it still saddens me a little that I am having to kill these little fruit flies, but if I don’t they will breed and infest quickly. This method is natural and non-toxic so if my kids come by and happen to grab the jar off the counter it shouldn’t hurt them.

So it’s bye bye, fruit flies! Hope this recipe helps you out.

Thanks again Stephanie for your recipe!26 Comments

The Best Natural Fruit Fly Trap using Vinegar was last modified: February 10th, 2014 by Karrie

Subscribe and never miss a thing

Receive free email updates!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Your support keeps this blog running and is greatly appreciated. AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to,,,,, or DISCLAIMER: The content on the blog Happy Money Saver is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Please consult with a qualified healthcare professional before acting on any information presented here.


  1. Yay! I’m glad it worked for you 🙂

  2. Cindy Smith says:

    If you use a 2 liter soda bottle and cut the top off insert it upside down and tape it on then it creates a funnel that the fly’s can get in but cant get out so you will actually capture more then you would with just an open jar!!

    • I have heard of that one too, but never tried it. Sounds really cool.

      • Try this. It really works. Well have a bad problem with Fruit Flies evey summer. We have tried numerous pricey traps that work marginally. My wife found this online. We tried it, we put about 6 traps around the house. By god it works. The little corpses just litter the bottom of the cups we use. They die and sink. So there are none floating on top to warn others, HaHa. When the bottom is full, just dump it down the sink. Refill and reuse the cups.

  3. How big a jar are you using? Can it be a little one so as not to waste so much vinegar?

  4. Oh, and now you know why scientists use them for genetic studies. They only live 24 hours so their life cycle and breeding habits make them an excellent choice. Just not in my house 😉

  5. Just a side note. I found that real apple cider vinegar is the key. So double check and make sure its not apple cider flavored vinegar.

  6. Thank you! A friend gave a bunch of pears recently that I’ve been keeping on the counter in a paper bag to ripen. I checked them this morning and found a swarm of fruit flies. Luckily, I have some Bragg’s apple cider vinegar in the cupboard so I tried this method. It works! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  7. I just had fruit flies, a nice cousin brought a giant bag of apricots to us as a gift and they melted rotted just turned nasty in my laundry room bc I forgot about them. OOPS. For fruit flies its just a nice excuse to have a glass of wine, then I leave the wine glass out with maybe 4 ounces of wine in it. Almost instantly the fruit flies start landing in it and swim around a bit and drown. If I had to pick a way to go… swimming in wine might be up there on the list 🙂

  8. I found I could catch the stragglers who don’t land in the glass with the hose on my vacuum because they fly so slow.

  9. Thanks. Perfect timing for this post since I have been making pear jam.

  10. Thank You for this recipe! I could not remember what was in it when I needed it! Now, if only you had a GOOD way of getting rid of pantry moths! My birds food was infected, and I have them everywhere EXCEPT my pantry!!

    • Kristine says:

      I want to know too!! I’ve had them for years!!! I’ve had some success with Gardens Alive Indian moth traps, but I still seem to be left with some…. *sigh*

      • Kristine and OBX Queen, I had pantry pests a couple of years ago. I got rid of them with some degree of labor, and no chemicals. First, I emptied my pantry, just stacked everything up on my kitchen table. I carefully inspected each container for any sign of larvae or moth. If there was one little hint, I threw it out in a sealed plastic garbage bag. Then, I removed the shelves (mine are wood that balance on supports). I washed them in warm soapy water, and dried them well. Then I vacuumed the ceiling, walls, and every nook and cranny in my pantry. Then I washed the ceiling, walls, floor, every corner. Check especially in corners, like the interior door jambs. Then I wiped down all my jars. Paper packages such as flour were placed in zip top bags. I stored the less frequently used dry goods in the freezer for a few weeks just to remove bait in case I might have missed a pest. I put the shelves back, replaced my pantry food, and I haven’t had a problem since. It was well worth the one late night of work!

        • Amy – I had to do the same thing with pantry moths! As well as put all open items in a ziplock bag or sealed container. After some research I found that the moths and ants don’t like peppermint. So I place peppermint tea bags on my pantry shelves to deter the little critters. It’s great having a clean pantry cupboard!

  11. Mary Ann Brandys says:

    I used this vinegar mixture and I just used a small container on my computer, they were everywhere. After a while I thought the vinegar mix was drawing them in. So got some fly traps and some that go flat on the window.They are covered and the fruit flies are getting less and less. Also I sprayed in the lower crack of my window sill with Totally Awesome and some Dawn soap in case they were coming in there. We opened the refrigerator and found a bunch of dead fruit flies, My husband had been eating out of a bag of grapes and put it back in refrig. He will now put in an enclosed container.

  12. We live on a horse ranch with millions of regular flies. Do you have a recipe for them. Tried a liter bottle cut ate the top & inverted, put root beer in it. This caught a few, but not very effective. Someone else said to put a penny in a plastic snack bag with water in it so it would look like a giant . eye to the flies. Another friend said it doesn’t work. Any other suggestions? Thanks.

  13. red wine vinegar works too. i used that last week when i ran out of apple cider vinegar. In fct, i felt it worked better.

  14. KARRIE!!!!!!! this is just what I needed! I will have try this , your my hero 🙂
    but once I get rid of fruitflys , then I have to deal with ants. those ants. they infested in my chicken coop and were bitting my baby chicks this morning (there two months old) what do I do ? have any ideas on how to kill the whole colony and the queen and not kill my chickens with chemicals? and to have any ants come back. even though I don’t like killing nature like that, the baby chicks can’t go back in until they’re gone. those ants were ALL over the chickens’ feet.

    • I would try sprinkling whole cloves (found a big tub at Costco) all around the outside of the coop (out of reach of the chickens…) ANTS hate cloves and will move their colonies somewhere else usually.

    • Try dusting with food grade diatomatious earth anywhere you see offending insects. Including ant hills. Nontoxic for birds. Careful with dust, not healthy to breathe. I add it to dry feeds also to deter any invading insects. To deter mice/squirrels add cayenne pepper powder. It’s ok for bird feed only. Mammals are sensitive to it.

  15. I just take an old butter tub and punch holes in the lid with an ice pick. Pu some vinegar in the bottom and leave it on the kitchen counter and throw it out after 2 or 3 days. Does a great job and really don’t have to worry about spills or adding dish soap.

  16. Love this trick! I have used it for a few years. I used to cover the top of the container with plastic wrapped with holes poked in but it seems like the trap collects them faster when it is uncovered. The containers I use vary from baby food jar to shallow dish with a fairly shallow pour of the vinegar. Even used a pie pan for catching a gazillion of them next to the cat’s litter box after I forgot an open bag of garbage for two days. Ewww! But it got ’em all in a couple days!

  17. When I read this one I thought “yeah right” but my house was overrun with the nasty bugs and I was desperate so I gave it a try. I used a handful of old medicine bottles I had laying around and put 4-5 around the house. It WORKED!! After just a few days the plague was over. Thanks so much!

Speak Your Mind


Follow me over to the blog for more homemade goodness . . .