Can This DIY TikTok Hack Solve Your Fruit Fly Problem?

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No one likes fruit flies. But inevitably, they appear after you bring fruit and veggies into your kitchen. Now let's find out how to get rid of them.

No matter how clean you think your kitchen is, at some point you’ve probably noticed pesky little flies flitting around your trash can. I have, and if I’m not careful, they’re soon flying all around me.

Fruit flies are incredible little insects. They often producing thousands of offspring during their lifespan, which can last as long as 50 days. So when you see fruit flies, it’s time to take action to get rid of them.

One popular method, as demonstrated on several TikTok videos, involves setting out a bowl of apple cider vinegar. One video shows a mixture of vinegar with sugar and dishwashing liquid. Another video features straight vinegar with a squirt of dishwashing liquid.

How It Works

Both of these methods work. Fruit flies are attracted to the apple cider vinegar, with and without sugar. And because they’re poor swimmers, they end up drowning in the liquid. The addition of dishwashing soap cuts the surface tension and ensures the fruit flies will sink and drown.

A Few Pointers To Make Sure Your Vinegar Trap Really Works

If you decide to go with the apple cider vinegar method to trap and kill fruit flies, a couple of tricks make this work even better.

  • Use raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar instead of filtered.
  • Add a top with holes to the dish. Fruit flies go into the holes and can’t find their way out. You could cover the dish with plastic wrap with holes punched in it. In one video they used with the top of a one-liter plastic bottle, which acts like a funnel.
  • Place the vinegar near the source of the fruit flies — likely the kitchen trash can.

Other Methods for Trapping Fruit Flies

You can also successfully trap fruit flies with a ready-made trap like the Terro Fruit Fly Trap.

If you don’t like the smell of vinegar, try yellow sticky traps. The flies stick to these traps and can’t escape. I’ve used these and am always surprised how many fruit flies are hanging around my house!

All these methods for trapping fruit flies work great for trapping fungus gnats, too. Fungus gnats, which like the moist soil of houseplants, can be just as pesky as fruit flies.

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Carol J. Michel
Carol J. Michel is an award-winning author of several books including five gardening humor books and one children's book. As the holder of degrees from Purdue University in both horticulture and computer technology, she spent over three decades making a living in healthcare IT while making a life in her garden. She started writing about gardening on her blog called May Dreams Gardens which lead to numerous magazine articles, her books, and a podcast called The Gardenangelists. She was recently named a GardenComm Fellow by Garden Communicators International.