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Vinegar flies are a real plague, especially on warm days, as they multiply explosively. You don't have to despair now, because you can get rid of the pests with simple traps.

In a nutshell

  • Vinegar flies are not dangerous to humans
  • Vinegar flies love soft, rotting fruits and vegetables
  • Beverage traps help against the pests

vinegar flies

Vinegar flies, also known as dew, fruit, fermentation, cider or fruit flies, are one to six millimeters in size. Around 3,000 species of the Drosophilidae family are known worldwide. Around 50 of them live in Germany. A distinction is made between wild species and cultural successors. The latter have adapted to human habits and are magically attracted to rotting fruit and leftover drinks. Since they feed on fermenting substances, residual and organic waste are also popular gateways for the pests. Female fruit flies lay up to 400 eggs that are invisible to the human eye. The offspring are deposited in fermenting plant substances, such as those found in rotten fruit. Bacteria and yeasts, which decompose the fruit, serve as food for the maggots. The development time from the larvae to the adult insect depends on the temperature. At 25 degrees Celsius, development takes nine days. After another twelve hours, the offspring is sexually mature.

Fight vinegar flies

Fruit flies usually appear in this country in summer, when the warm temperatures cause stored fruit to rot quickly. Once they have established themselves, they multiply explosively and are often difficult to get rid of. Although the fruit flies are not harmful to humans, they are considered a nuisance pest. To fight the fruit flies, you can hit them with their own likes.

Garbage can

Fruit and leftovers in organic waste are a welcome food source for fruit flies. Therefore, you should empty the trash can more often than usual, especially in summer or on warm days. Flies and their offspring end up in the bin together with the rubbish. To keep the fruit flies away, you should thoroughly clean the trash can after emptying it.


You can get fruit fly traps from specialist retailers. However, since these work according to a very simple principle, you can easily rebuild them. For this you need

  • a glass of water, a bowl, an empty jam jar or a bottle
  • a few squirts of dish soap
  • attractant

The glass or bowl serves as a container for the trap. The detergent has the effect of reducing the surface tension of the liquid attractant. This way the fruit flies can no longer stay on the surface and drown. As an attractant for the liquid trap, you can use various means, such as:

  • Vinegar, such as fruit, wine, or balsamic vinegar
  • fruit juice
  • Wine, beer, whiskey, liqueur or sparkling wine

Tip: Vinegar can also be added to the trap in diluted form as a remedy. If sugar is dissolved in the vinegar water, this should increase the effect. This also applies to fruit juice.

How long the traps remain in place depends on the number of flies caught. In any case, however, you should change the agent every two days so that the traps do not lose their effectiveness.

Advanced fruit fly trap

You can also close the fruit fly trap so that the fruit flies can no longer escape the trap, for example if they are on the edge of the container. For the closure you need cling film and a rubber band.

  • Seal the jar with cling film
  • fix with rubber band
  • Poke holes in the cling film with a thick needle

The fruit flies get caught in the trap, but cannot find a way out.

live trap

If you don't want to kill the flies, you can set up a live trap. However, handling them is a bit more complicated. For this trap you need:

  • a large plastic bag
  • a piece of overripe fruit or a banana peel

To combat the fruit flies, follow these steps:

  • Put the fruit or banana peel in the plastic bag
  • Wait for the flies to feast on the treat
  • If the flies are in the plastic bag, seal the plastic bag
  • Take plastic bag outside
  • Open plastic bag and release vinegar flies

Tip: So that the flies do not return, you should release them at a large distance from your house or apartment.

Keep fruit flies away

So that fruit flies do not attack the fruit in the first place, you should keep the kitchen clean. Make sure that no used glasses or drinks, such as wine or non-alcoholic sweet drinks, are left lying around. You should also clean work surfaces and sinks well so that flies are not attracted.

Remove soft fruits and vegetables

Fruit that has soft spots should be removed. You should also check the fruit bowl to make sure that juice has not leaked out. Because it attracts flies.

lemon with cloves

Cloves and lemons are said to help keep the fruit flies away from the filled fruit bowl. To do this, cut a fresh lemon in half and lard the flesh with cloves. Place the pitted lemon half next to the fruit bowl. The smell drives away the flies and keeps them away from the fruit. In order for the protection to be permanent, however, you should replace the lemon after two to three days.


Placing a sliced onion in the fruit bowl helps in two ways. On the one hand, fruit flies do not like the smell of onions, on the other hand, it masks the sweet scent of the fruit. To ensure that this positive effect does not turn negative, you should check onions regularly. If it starts to rot, it loses its effectiveness and becomes a magnet for flies.


The scent of various herbs, such as fresh basil or dried olive oil, is said to drive away the pests.

protective hood

A fine-meshed protective cover prevents access to the fruit. However, you should keep in mind that fruit flies rarely grow larger than three millimeters.

frequently asked Questions

Is fruit in the refrigerator safe from vinegar flies?

Yes, the fridge is considered a safe place as it is too cold for the flies. However, not every fruit is suitable for storage in the refrigerator, as it can lose its taste. As a rule of thumb, local fruit is refrigerated, exotic fruit should not be stored in the refrigerator.

Are fruit flies dangerous to humans?

No, fruit flies and their offspring are considered harmless to humans because, unlike other flies, they usually do not transmit pathogens.

How do vinegar flies get into the apartment?

As a rule, you bring them into the living quarters yourself. Because they are often brought in with purchased fruit.

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