Are you tired of thousands flying insects? Getting rid of insignificant activity of these insects is a piece of cake. Here you'll find proven methods and entomologists’ advices of how to get rid of fruit flies, homemade traps and 5 best fruit fly traps designed by the professionals that work.
So, you’ve got moths at your place. They don’t bite, but they are a nuisance. First, let’s figure out what kind of moths inhabits your house. At the first glance, they all look the same and people often confuse them, but since they represent different species, different control methods and extermination products should be used. Note where you find them most often.
What You Will Learn from This Guide:
- How to Tell Fruit Flies and Other Moths Apart?
- Do Fruit Fly Traps Work?
- TOP-5 Best Fruit Fly Traps that Work
- If they fly out of your sink, they are drain flies (read our review to find out how to get rid of them)
- If they swarm in the flowers, most likely they are fungus gnats (read about getting rid of fungus gnats).
- If they attack your wardrobe, they are clothes moth (read how to get rid of moths)
- If the moths have occupied fruit, stale beer, soft drinks or other alimentary products, they are definitely fruit flies.
Fruit flies are archenemies of fruit and vegetables, grocery stores, cafes, and gardens. Anyone who has ever encountered these tiny insects knows that it’s not easy to banish gnats from your house.
When we say fruit flies we imply dozens of similar bugs. They are tiny moths, 1-3 mm long. They can be recognized by their oval, moonlike body and slow drunkenly flight pattern. There are many types of fruit flies varying from 1 to 2 mm. The color of their body varies, most often they are dark yellow and brownish, less often you encounter black and orange moths. They’ve got 2 symmetrical neat wings and 6-8 feet.
There are three types of devices positioned as fruit fly traps on the market. All of them attract flying insects and don’t let them get out. However, their action and effectiveness vary. The first type is a liquid vinegar-based solution which acts on the fruit flies’ biological peculiarities such as their preference for sweets and rotting fruit. It is, therefore, the most effective method. Sticky traps, on the other hand, are more suitable against gnats living in houseplants or garden.
- Traps with a liquid lure like TERRO. This trap resembles an apple and contains liquid vinegar-based bait. Not only fruit flies, but also ants get trapped by this tight jar. Women are especially fond of this product as its unique and stylish design will fit into your interior rather than ruin it.
- Sticky Traps are small and, obviously, sticky. They are supposed to be set inside the plant pots. All flying insects hiding in the flowers or fruit trees in the garden stick to the tape.
- Electric Fruit Fly Trap is a UV device which cannot only remove flying insects but also kill the microbes. A sticky sheet can be found inside the trap that collects the microbes in the room.
If you don’t want to engage in homemade traps and be concerned over sweet and sticky liquids, then we’ve picked the best 5 traps designed by the professionals.
BEAPCO 6-Pack Drop-Ins Fruit Fly Traps
BEAPCO 6-Pack Drop-Ins Fruit Fly Traps is the best selling trap on Amazon.com. This is a set of 6 compact transparent traps designed especially for fruit flies which costs ~$14.99. This product has a rather high Amazon customer rating of 4 stars out of 5. According to the product description, each trap can serve you for about a month. Some elementary school math will tell you that in this case a single set should last for about 6 months of consecutive use.
Lure, a non-toxic liquid chemical is also supplied with the traps. BEAPCO trap action combines the advantages of liquid and conic traps as the gnats actually fly into the plastic box throw a conic hole, and are unable to get out. They are not poisoned, they are simply trapped. Unlike bulky handmade traps, these traps can be placed anywhere in the house, and you won’t need to worry about their leaking, rolling over or exuding unpleasant odors.
According to the customers’ feedback, fruit flies literally fill up the trap within 4 days of use. Here’s what Dustin Hanes "Dusty" says: “I set 3 of these out and within a day or two they were all filled with fruit flies. It was unbelievable how many insects there were after a week or two. I haven't seen a fly since. Seriously, it worked.”
A small number of users, though, believe that the brand attractant is less effective than natural ones, and thus they recommend you to “Fill it with apple cider vinegar and fruit flies are fighting among themselves to see who can get there first”.
As a result, 71% of consumers recommend buying this product, and we’ll join them.
Price: ~$14.99 (pack of 6) Check the current price
Terro Fruit Fly Trap T2500
Terro Fruit Fly Trap T2500 is another trap which is designed especially for fruit flies – it is even shaped as a ripe apple. I would bite it! By Everything about TERRO reminds us of BEAPCO trap. The apple is sealed well, smells nice and works for 30 days. It’s got the same benefits and drawbacks. "Apple" is also sealed, smells and kept "alive" for 30 days. It has the same problems and the same advantages. The only thing that is different is the attractant; here it is simply colored apple cider vinegar. It is possible to use this trap both indoors and outdoors. This trap is much less popular with the customers as only 60% of them consider it useful. Its price is only ~$10.12. Many users complain that the trap isn’t working and that the flies don’t even fly close to it.
However, maybe if this trap isn’t working, then the problem is not in the trap itself? People often confuse different types of moths, since they are so much alike. Perhaps, you don’t have fruit flies, but another species? And if the moths aren’t attracted by such lure, maybe it is the drain flies or other moths, for example, that have infested your house? In that case, the means of insect control will be completely different.
Price: ~$10.12 Check the current price
Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch
As you can see, no fruit fly traps can do everything, and all of them are made from natural ingredients that you can find in any household. Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch Fruit Fly Trap,for instance, is made of vinegar, citrus pulp and ethyl lactate (found in alcoholic beverages). Kelly R described the main reason for her disappointment in this product: "I've watched many flies go down into the jar without going into the liquid, and then fly back out." That’s why many customers recommend pouring some trap in a shallow dish, cover it with plastic wrap and punch holes in it instead of merely opening the lid. If you follow this advice, this $7.99 jar will serve you for a long time. As an alternative, you can obtain bright plastic reusable traps such as FlyFix ($9.99).
Electric Fruit Fly Trap
Guarden is positioned as an electric sticky fruit fly trap and killer. Just like the previous one, it is odorless. The insects are attracted by light. As you know, fruit flies are more attracted by odor than light, so it is useless against fruit flies.
As the manufacturer admits, the trap works well only at night time as, naturally, most insects fly to a source of light. Its main advantage lies in the UV light that has bactericidal action and removes pathogenic microbes found in the air. As for the drawbacks, we’d note its fragility as the glass is bound to break and cut your hands if the device falls. For that reason, make sure you install the trap somewhere that’s not accessible to kids.
Only a few customers have bought this expensive $44.99 insect pest killing machine, but this minority are satisfied by the outstanding effect it has when used at night. Mosquitoes, wasps, flies, fruit flies and large whiteflies have all been lured by sticky bait. Other owners of the trap note the safety of its use: the hot lamp is conveniently covered by a plastic case so that a child won’t burn themselves when it’s on or won’t stick to the glue.
Flies in House Plants
If you’ve got flies in your house-plants, most likely they are fungus gnats, which are small, mosquito-like insects. Colorado State University scientists give the following recommendations:
- Suspend plant watering as the gnat eggs laid and / or larvae die of dehydration.
- Apply pyrethroid-based insecticides, available for use on houseplants including those containing the following active ingredients: bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, permethrin, and lambdacyhalothrin.
- Buy some roundworms which emit a bacterium that digests the internal contents of the larvae. Fungus gnat larvae die within three to four days. The roundworm species Steinernema feltiae is particularly effective against fungus gnat larvae.
Safer Brand Houseplant Sticky Traps
Those who need a sticky trap tend to order safer houseplant stakes which you can use even on your balcony. Pests stick to it as long as you change the sticky sheets in a timely manner. They are quite small, 1x2 inches long and are barely noticeable in the pots. Judging by the reviews, two hours later, some pests can be found on the sticky surface.
Its main disadvantage is that the sticky part is odorless and does not attract insects. Moreover, you can accidentally get into the glue when watering the flowers. According to the scientists, the trap is designed mainly against insects that inhabit moist soil.
Use larger sticky sheets in the garden, such as Trapro for $10.97 for a pack of twenty. These sticky traps are effective against small mosquitoes, whiteflies, mushroom mosquitoes and wasps.
Fruit (Vinegar) Flies in Your Garden
So you have some moths flying in your garden and feeding on the strawberries or fruit bushes (raspberries, blackberries). These moths are the first cousin of the fruit flies and are called Drosophila suzukii or Vinegar Fly. Dealing with them is the same as dealing with the fruit flies. First of all it is necessary to remove all (!!!) of the rotten infected fruit from the plants (that’s where the moths lay eggs) and to remove or bury it, and then process the house with insecticides.
Speaking of organically acceptable methods of vinegar fly control, University of California entomologists advise using pyrethrin sprays. You can try Bonide 857 Pyrethrin Spray Concentrate as protection of your garden and backyard. It costs ~$14.93 (for 8 oz) and exterminates other garden pests such as fungus gnats, aphids, and caterpillars.
Price: ~$14.93 Check the current price
Fruit Fly BarPro
Fruit Fly BarPro Fly Control Strip, a self-proclaimed Fruit Fly Killer #1 in America, is another product we should warn you about. These strips evaporate Dichlorvos, an insecticide that cannot be used at home. Without any doubt, Dichlorvos is a very strong killer, but it is best for use outdoors or in garbage areas, where there are few people who could potentially inhale this dangerous insecticide. Such a killing strip costs $10.99 and will last for up to 4 months.
If Flies Have Infested the Sink
If flies have inhabited the sink or other parts of sewage systems, be sure to buy Invade Bio Drain Gel- 1 qt. A quart of this gel will require an investment of ~$12.50 and in return you’ll get a wonderful product for cleaning the pipes. It can also dissolve organic matter and thus exterminate the flies and their offspring. Invade gel doesn’t contain any aggressive chemicals and can be sprayed. For that purpose, you’ll need to pour it into a good aerosol. It also smells good, since the deadly mixture is made of orange oil and secret live germs. Not only will your clean sink shine, but it will also smell pleasant.
Price: ~$12.50 Check the current price
Best Fruit Fly Traps Comparison Chart
BEAPCO 6-Pack Drop-Ins
|Fruit fly trap|| |
Terro Fruit Fly Trap T2500
|Fruit fly trap|
Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch
|Fruit fly trap|
FlyFix Fruit Fly Trap
|Fruit fly trap|
Guarden Electric Trap
Electric Fruit Fly Trap
Bonide 857 Pyrethrin Spray
Safer Brand Houseplant
|Fruit fly sticky trap|
|Fruit fly sticky trap|| |
Fruit Fly BarPro
|Fruit fly strip|
Invade Bio Drain Gel- 1 qt
Homemade fruit fly traps are very different from drain flies, mosquitoes or larger flies traps. We have already mentioned that using duct tape against these creatures is a bad idea. You need to apply some special schemes to catch fruit flies.
Below we’ll describe three most popular handmade traps to you. The principle of their functioning is the same as the insects are drawn into the trap with the help of an attractant and later they are unable to leave the trap.
1. A conic trap. First, find an empty glass jar and then put something “delicious” there, for example, a some rotten fruit or an orange which is the gnats’ favorite. Roll a steep paper cone over the spout of the jar so that once again, as a result, the insects, will fly into the jar, and will not be able to leave it. The amount of the insects trapped and their behavior can be tracked visually.
2. “Banana trap". Gnats are very similar to the minions :). They are also small, yellowish and very fond of bananas. This similarity is what you’ll take advantage of. Put a banana peel in an empty plastic bottle or even a plastic bag, punch some holes in this container with a toothpick or fine needle and then place it closer to the habitat of the insects. Within a day of two, most of their population will fly in there, but won’t be able to fly out as their chaotic flight path simply will not let them find any holes since they are drawn by the smell of the attractant and since they are unable to identify a source of fresh air. This method, by the way, is even recommended by the experts of the United States Department of Agriculture. Caught mosquitoes can be killed or let out.
3. Liquid trap. There are several liquid traps recipes online. For the simplest cases, the authors recommend to merely pour a mixture of syrup and honey, or beer, wine and juice in a deep bowl. Wine vinegar is also often added there. The insects are said to land on the liquid and drown in it. But we advise you to modify this design and to pour into the bowl a mixture of white wine and coriander seeds (you can also use wine or balsamic vinegar), put some peeled fruit there and cover everything with a kitchen wrapping film. All you have to do afterward is make some holes in the film with a fork or a toothpick ... and the liquid trap will be ready for use. The flies will sink faster when covered with such a transparent "ceiling."
Some of the peculiarities which are typical for this species exclusively make the extermination more difficult. Did you know that…
1. Fruit gnats breed extremely fast. A single ovipositor of a female fruit fly provides for about 20 offspring which begin to breed further within 8 hours after birth. By the way, the University of Georgia experts warns that the larvae grow up and become adult flies within 8-10 days. What a non-stop process!
2. They lay their eggs right under the skin of ripe or overripe fruit. They can’t bite through a very thick skin, though. Therefore they hardly inhabit whole watermelons or regular melons, etc. They prefer softer fruit.
3. Fruit gnats are able to lay eggs in decaying organic matter. That’s why they settle in the clogged sinks alongside with the drain flies and hence the confusion of the two species.
4. Moths are born early in the morning. People are asleep at that time and are unaware of the swarms of insects suddenly getting out of nowhere.
5. Other potential nests of fruit flies include flower pots, silage heaps, and full trash...
6. The flies’ taste preferences are unpretentious. Tephritid, on the species, feeds on and breeds in over 400 species of plants, for instance.
7. They can also enter your house through open windows and doors. Gnats love to live in the same place, but being deprived of food, they can still carry out serious flights with their feeble wings. The strategy of exterminating fruit flies is based on this simple idea: leave no nutrition for them and they’ll fly away.
8. There exist natural gnat attractants, such as dung, lake water, spicy and sweet smells. Even the air fresheners which smell like orange, lemon or cherry can attract them. If there are no insects at your place yet, you’d better not overdo it with these scents, or else they’ll be sure to come.
9. Fruit flies are slow, but attentive. They are can well detect quick movements and fly away. Therefore, be as invincible as a Japanese ninja when fighting them.
10. Gnats love moisture and are deterred by the dry surface. They are almost not afraid of frost and they also adore liquor.
Fruit flies breed fast, so mind the necessity of the systematical approach. Only dichlorvos will be able to kill the flies within a day or two. But why would you spray such chemicals at home? It’s better not be too lazy and take a week to improve the cleanliness and order at your place. In this way, you’ll be able to both exterminate yet another gnat generation and to avoid relapse.