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Especially in the summer, when the fruit and vegetables ripen quickly, the small fruit flies become a nuisance. Once they have appeared, they multiply very quickly and can then be found all over the apartment. But there are effective fruit fly traps that you can build yourself, which is not expensive and quick to make. Above all, the self-made traps are usually more effective than those bought from the trade. How to do it will be revealed in the article.

fruit flies

Fruit Flies - Definition

Fruit flies can be very annoying. They are usually brought in with the ripe fruit or vegetables from the garden or from the vegetable stand in the supermarket or from the farmer. The small pests can multiply very quickly and so a whole army can quickly grow from just one fruit fly and buzz through the living rooms. The flies feed mainly on the fermenting parts of the rotten fruit. The sour, vinegary smell that the fruit and vegetables emit in such a case magically attracts the insects. So there is the following worth knowing about the fruit flies.

  • about 50 species known in local latitudes
  • Females lay up to 400 eggs
  • likes to get into the fermenting parts of fruit
  • these later serve as food for the larvae
  • from the egg through the larval stage to the fly, sometimes just seven days
  • pupated larvae can overwinter
  • the larvae can transmit bacteria


Prevention should be taken to ensure that the little pests don't settle down in the first place. Anything that magically attracts fruit flies should not be left open in the home. And this is not just about fruit and vegetables that may have become overripe, the following items should also always be kept tightly closed, especially in summer, or should not be allowed near the apartment or house at all.

  • Always clear away leftover food or drinks immediately
  • applies especially to sweet and sour foods such as wine or sweets
  • Always keep compost bins tightly closed
  • Clean more often with warm water and washing-up liquid
  • in the best case, put compost in a far corner of the garden
  • Always close residual waste with a lid
  • Fallen fruit does not belong in the fruit basket
  • Wash fresh fruit just before eating
  • early washing process leads to rot
  • If possible, store fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator

If a fruit fly infestation has already been determined, then it is of no use just building a fruit fly trap, in such a case the cause of the fruit fly infestation must also be removed. Therefore, once a fruit flytrap has been set up, the pests are not allowed to find any more food, otherwise even the best trap will be ignored.


Unfavorable smells

With just a few measures, you can take action against the fruit flies in the fruit basket. Simply put a sliced onion in the basket. The fruit flies avoid places where the onion scent is emitted. If a massive infestation has already been spotted, the onion in the basket can lead the flies to the traps that have also been set up, which should then be set up at some distance from the fruit basket. If you don't like the onion itself, you can also spike cut lemons and oranges with cloves and spread them around the fruit basket. The fruit flies don't like this smell either. As a preventative measure, these odor-emitting home remedies can also be placed by the open window, so that this acts as a natural barrier to prevent any fruit flies from outside entering the apartment through the open window.


Curls with vinegar and fruit juice

Probably the most effective fruit fly trap you can make yourself is one that is mixed with vinegar, fruit juice and washing-up liquid. Because these home remedies together can have a great effect on fruit flies. What matters here is the right mix. The fruit juice, which should usually consist of apple juice, and the vinegar attract the fruit flies with their sweet and sour smell. The detergent, on the other hand, takes away the surface tension of this mixture. If the flies land on it, they inevitably sink and drown. With the following mixture, the fruit flytrap should be a success.

Attract fruit flies with vinegar and fruit juice
  • a small glass or small bowl
  • about two parts water
  • mix with one part vinegar and three parts juice
  • a drop of detergent is enough
  • Combine the water, juice, vinegar and washing-up liquid and toss gently
  • can also be stirred with a spoon
Fruit fly trap with fruit juice and dish soap

set the trap and wait. Especially on hot days, the liquid evaporates faster, so the fruit fly trap has to be remixed more often so that it remains effective and can attract many pesky flies.

curls with wine

Equally effective is the fruit flytrap with wine. Ideally, rosé or white wine is used here. However, this has nothing to do with the taste, the fruit flies are only less easily recognized in the dark red wine. Here, too, a mixture is mixed with wine, vinegar and washing-up liquid. The procedure here is as follows.

  • Pour the mixture into a small glass or bowl
  • set up at the favorite spot of the fruit flies
  • wait for the first flies to enter the trap

Curls with sugar water

If it has to be done quickly because the infestation is massive and there is no wine or fruit juice available, then a fruit fly trap with sugar water can also be set up. Above all, no vinegar is needed for this, which often smells too much in the apartment. Above all, there are no unpleasant smells of vinegar when using the trap with sugar water. The process of building this fruit fly trap is as follows.

  • as a container small glass or bowl
  • half full with water
  • add five to six teaspoons of sugar
  • stir, mixture should be slightly thick
  • Add a drop or two of dish soap
  • the opening can also be reduced with a funnel
  • the fruit flies can no longer find their way out

As an alternative to all of these covers, an old CD can also be used. This is simply placed on top of the glass or bowl. So there is only a small hole in the middle, through which the fruit flies can get inside, but usually no longer find their way outside. A good side effect here is that the nuisances are additionally attracted by the shimmering surface.

Curls with yeast

For the fruit fly trap with yeast only a few ingredients and home remedies are needed to be able to build this trap yourself. The yeast trap is also usually very effective for larger infestations of fruit flies. For this, a bottle with a long, narrow neck is needed, into which the mixture is poured. However, it is essential to ensure that the liquid mixture does not touch the neck of the bottle. Otherwise the fruit flies will get stuck in their throats and find their way out again. With this trap, however, the pests must get all the way down into the mix in order to be caught and fought effectively. The mixture for this now consists of the following.

  • a piece of fresh yeast
  • mix with a teaspoon of sugar and lukewarm water
  • a milky liquid should form

Since the fruit flies are attracted to overripe, rotten and fermenting fruit, which in such a case will release yeast, they will also find the yeast trap very attractive. Because the yeasts that are formed on the fruits are the main food source for the pests.

build traps

Plastic bottle trap

For all the fruit fly traps described, which consist of a liquid, a plastic bottle that is no longer needed can be used instead of a glass or bowl. However, building this trap takes a little more time. Here's how to do it.

  • rinse the empty bottle well
  • Cut in half across the middle
  • pour in the prepared liquid
  • now put the neck of the bottle upside down in the bottle
  • unscrew the cover first
  • possibly seal the interfaces with adhesive tape

In this way, the fruit flies, looking for food, get into the bottle through the inverted neck of the bottle and thus the large opening. Conversely, they can no longer find their way up through the small hole to the outside. Therefore, if the fruit flytrap is filled with the right mixtures, then the bottle with the neck inwards is also a good solution for effectively catching the pests.

Fruit flies are real pests

Fruit flytrap with tape

If you don't want to set up a container, you can also make a fruit fly trap out of double-sided adhesive tape. For this purpose, a mixture of vinegar and juice or sugar water is mixed. The tapes are stuck on the wall near the heaviest population. Then the mixture is applied to the adhesive tape with a brush or your finger. The fruit flies, attracted by the smell of sour vinegar and sweet sugar water, fly to the adhesive tapes and stick. They can then simply be pulled off the wall with the adhesive tapes and disposed of.

Vegan fruit flytrap

With a vegan fruit fly trap, the small insects are caught alive and can then be released again later in nature, far away from houses. This trap also works with the tried and tested home remedies, but the mixture is different here. The procedure for making the vegan fruit flytrap yourself is as follows.

  • Fill the bowl with a little vinegar
  • this should only cover the bottom
  • Cut overripe fruit into small pieces
  • put in
  • Pull the cling film over the tray with tension
  • Prick pinhead-sized holes
  • set up and wait

After a while, the little pests will gather in this fruit fly trap. The vinegar is there to attract the flies. If they fly through the small holes, they find the overripe fruit in the trap and settle on it. However, they can no longer find their way out through the small holes. However, the vinegar does not harm the flies. When enough fruit flies have collected, the trap can be emptied out in the open and set up again in the home if necessary.

trap test

Fruit flytrap not working

If no fruit flies collect in one of the traps described in more detail above, this can be due to various factors. On the one hand, patience is of course required here, because the trap usually only snaps shut after about three hours or later and then shows the first results. But it can also be that the trap has too much competition all around or it is not attractive enough for the fruit flies. So, if there are no fruit flies in the trap even after several hours, the following factors should be checked.

  • the mix is right, you should experiment a little here
  • all fruits and vegetables should be out of reach of the flies
  • if there are attractive treats, the flies will not get trapped
  • Leave the fruit flytrap alone after setting it up
  • ideally don't get too close for the first few hours
  • the fruit flies need rest to get trapped
  • as close as possible to the flies' favorite spot
  • alternatively replace the fruit basket with a trap
  • sometimes two or three traps are needed for all flies
  • especially with a large infestation

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