How to Get Rid of Gnats and Fruit Flies

I can probably speak for all of us when I say that bugs are CRAZY this year! They are everywhere and taking over the world! Ok so maybe not taking over the world, but they are really bad this year. We had such a mild winter (at least around here) that the bugs never really got a chance to get hibernated so they came back out with a bang.

I’m a door watcher these days. If you come to my house, be prepared to always shut the door behind you. If it doesn’t get closed I will not be a happy camper because Bobby bug and his momma probably just brought their cousins with them to secure a new place in our house. My husband is worse than me. He goes on bug killing rampages with his fly swatter and won’t stop til he gets them all. Sometimes, depending on his determination that day, it will only take a few minutes and other times it takes an hour.

We got those window clings that actually do a great job of getting a lot of fruit flies. But for some reason this year they are fixated on our ceiling fan cords and the middle of the room. I found this idea on Pinterest last weekend at Passionate Homemaking and thought I’d try it out. It looked as though it would work, but seemed too easy. I thought I’d give it a try anyways.

This is the miracle contraption.

Don’t underestimate the power of the miracle this jar will perform.

1 Jar (or something like it that you have on hand)
1 Piece of Paper
Scotch Tape
Banana Slices (or something else nasty that bugs like)
1/2 inch – 1 inch Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Drops Dishwashing Liquid

The idea is that the flies will go into the paper funnel attracted to the vinegar and bananas and then not be able to get back out and eventually fall to their deaths in the slimy detergent-y liquid below. It only took a few moments for these little guys to fall into my evil trap. There are more on the other side. They kept moving every time I’d move the jar around!

It took a while for them to give up. But then by the next morning…

Ew! Yeah, not the most appealing view but satisfying all the same. Mission accomplished.

Let me know if you try this and have the same success!

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  1. Ew, ew, EW! Fortunately, I don’t get that many little buggers in my house (unless someone forgets the bananas and they get so ripe they fall off the hanger – nasty!). Glad you found an easy solution that actually works!

    • You are SO lucky Ronda! I have no idea why bugs are so bad around here this year. I don’t remember them ever being this bad. We woke up this morning to a slew of red ants coming in through the window somehow. And if the door is left open for any amount of time, there are loads of those little bugs around.

      I was so glad that this worked as you can imagine. šŸ™‚

    • we have been bombarded with gnats. we moved stuff even more and it was like a haven they made. i was barely getting the bottle ready and they swarmed over to it. well i have set it up midafternoon and i hope they are gone by tomorrow. just outside our sliding door my husband found a ton more. he sprayed raid bug spray. if that does not work i hope this works. thanks for the tip,

  2. Lisa Purple says

    It also works just putting some apple cider vinegar, dish soap & a small bit of water in a bowl to mix then put in shallow dishes & leave around…I used old jelly jar lids; I think they try to drink the sweet smelling liquid & end up sick because they land not too far from the lid. BAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    • I have jars of apple vinegar dish liquid an water all over the place an the only place they seem to go is the walls an every where but the jars .plus fly strips an we got a few of them. I just wont to find something that works.thanks

  3. Thank you! our office was full of them, hopefully now they will be gone! much appreacited:)

  4. Lisa L. says

    This is amazing!! We are always fighting those pesky fruit flies in our kitchen ! I had tried the bowl of apple cider vinegar, but this method w/ the funnel works 100 x’s better!! Thank you so much!!

    • We are too Lisa! It gets so bad in the summer time. I’ve already had a few showing up. I think the funnel just traps them better somehow. Apparently they aren’t smart enough to go up the same place they came down! lol

  5. We used to use the same mixture in a shallow bowl, but I think they’ve learned our tricks because it’s not working anymore. I just made a trap like yours and am hoping I have the same outcome that you did! I’m so over these little pests!!!

  6. I have to admit… I was skeptical about this at first, but I am at my wits end with these little pests so I decided to try it. We’ve been having problems with these little flies since our garbage disposal broke. They like to infest our garbage can to eat up scraps. We’ve started tightly bagging up fruits and veggies and such, but that only seems to stall them… rather than eliminate them. I’ve gotten raid fly sticks, but those only do so much. I actually had to lay it on top of the garbage can to actually catch any of them. So, I am going through the steps you listed. I assembled my trap and literally not even a minute after I clean up the area after assembling… I turn to see one of the pests walking along the top edge of the paper funnel. I stood there and watched, dumbfounded, as it crawled down the funnel and into the jar. I couldn’t believe it was working so quickly. I turned my back to put an item back in the freezer and turned to look back at the jar to see a second fly hovering around the mouth of the funnel. I think it is safe to say that, even though my trap hasn’t been in place for 15 minutes yet, it is working as intended.

    Thank you for this tip!

    • I know exactly how you feel Dave! It is such a nightmare when those things get into the house. It’s like you can never just have a couple. It was the same way with us. I didn’t have much confidence it would work either and was SO happy when a few got in there and then a few more. And then there were tons!

      So glad it worked for you too! And thanks for the comment!


  7. They make wanna scratch real hard when scabbies went rampid in our school GRoooosssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. woops!!! I ment ME wanna scratch real hard!!! oh ..cant believe the thought …I am scratching my eyebrow for real!!!NOW!!! urrrauugh!The ITCHY AND SCRATCHY Shhhhhhhhhooooooooooowwww!!

  9. Would white or malt vinegar work? I don’t apple cider vinegar in the house.

    • Hi Sara! I have heard that you’re really supposed to use the apple cider vinegar, but you are welcome to try the other! I’ve never tried, but I’d love to know your results if you do!

  10. Hi everyone….We tried the fruit fly traps but for whatever reason we could not get rid of the fruit flies. They were breeding like crazy and seemed to laugh at our traps. Some would go in the traps and crawl around on the glass but the little boogers would not die. My husband and I stumbled upon something. We needed to get a dehumidifier because we had a lot of moisture in the Rv. A day after plugging in the dehumidifier, the fruit flies we’re gone. I looked it up on the Internet. People that breed fruit flies and play with cultures say that they need to maintain humidity. The fruit fly cultures will dies out below 65% humidity. We have not seen a fruit flies in over a week now. Good luck.

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