4 Natural Fruit Fly Remedies

A bug made of an apple slice, sitting on a glass container filled with apples.
What You'll Need
Apple cider vinegar
Plastic bottle
Plastic bag
Rubber band
Spray bottle
Lemongrass essential oil
Basil, lavender, mint, or rue
Pot or vase
White vinegar
Large bowl

Have you ever had the experience when a simple trip to the fruit section of a grocery store brings an armageddon of wild life home with you? Yes, I am talking of fruit flies, the tiny little zooming bugs that appear practically from nowhere, that can cause a serious detriment and annoyance to any living space. Although not harmful, such bugs are very difficult to get rid of, prowling around sinks and garbage disposals. There are no products on the market specifically targeted to fruit flies, so what is a homeowner to do? As a DIYer who loves natural, homemade solutions, I asked my grandma for old time advice on the subject to which she only replied that she “sprays them out of the air with a can of Lysol.” Though probably effective, this was not what I was looking for, so I did some research of my own and came up with some natural fruit fly remedies. Want to get rid of the fruit flies in your home? Here is how to do it, naturally.

Getting to the Bottom of Fruit Flies

Before attempting to eliminate fruit flies from a home, one must truly understand what they are. Fruit flies are small fly-like insects that procreate at an enormous rate. Though they are named as such because of their love for storing eggs in rotting fruit, the can lay up to 500 of their young in a variety of places, such as drainpipes, garbage bags, and even near empty water bottles. With this in mind, when fighting the battle against an army of these bugs, dark, damp places should be eliminated. When my home first hosted a family of the bugs, the simple act of closing a drainpipe in the kitchen and bathroom sinks was enough to keep them from reproducing. By beginning the war where they breed, you can cut down on a lot of flies that must be caught and eliminated later.

1. The Bottle and Bag Trick

Fruit flies are attracted to certain unusual things, one of which is apple cider vinegar. As the pests are not known for their intelligence, this first trick traps them to be set free or eliminated later.

What you’ll need:

  • Bottle with apple cider vinegar inside
  • Plastic bag
  • Rubber band
  • Pencil


  1. Place your bottle with about two inches of apple cider vinegar by the sink or any well populated areas.
  2. Cover the top of said bottle with a plastic bag, gently wrapping the rubber band around its nozzle, securing it to the top.
  3. Using a pencil, gently poke a few holes through plastic. This concept allows the smell of the liquid to escape, drawing the bugs in through the holes. As this is not a smart animal, it can make its way inside in an attempt to feed on the apple cider vinegar, but will not be able to make its way back out.
  4. Dispose of the trapped bugs outside or by using a means of your choosing.

2. Spray Them

Remember how I mentioned my grandmother sprays fruit flies with Lysol? Well, that can be rather harmful to the health of everyone in the room (humans included), so here is a natural DIY spray to help eliminate the bugs with a more gentle approach.

What you’ll need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Lemongrass essential oil
  • Water


  1. Fill a spray bottle with water and add 10-20 drops of lemongrass essential oil.
  2. Shake well.
  3. To eliminate fruit flies, simply spray the mixture over all areas where the bugs frequent. They greatly dislike the smell and therefore will not zoom the sprayed areas. If sprayed strategically, the breeding grounds of the insect family can be limited, which in turn will kill the bugs.

3. Repel Them

This is my favorite tip of all because of its simplicity. My research shows there are a number of herbs and plants that the bugs despise, so why not use them to our advantage?

What you’ll need:

  • Herbs and plants (to be mentioned below)
  • Pot/vase
  • Water


  1. Attain some basil, lavender, mint, or rue.
  2. Place them in water in areas that are well populated by fruit flies.
  3. Simply allow the natural scents of the plants and herbs to repel the bugs without harming or affecting them physically. As mentioned above, the breeding grounds of the insect family can be limited, therefore cutting off their means of procreation.

4. DIY Fruit Wash

What most do not realize is just how the little bugs are actually smuggled into a home in the first place. The eggs of the adult bugs get laid onto the fruit, which when brought into the home, actually develop on the food you ingest. To prevent this, simply clean the fruit before bringing it into your space, using the formula below.

What you’ll need:

  • Standard white vinegar
  • Water
  • 1 large bowl


  1. Mix one cup of water and two tablespoons of vinegar in a large bowl.
  2. Leave your fruit to soak in the mixture for a minimum of three minutes.
  3. After soaking, rinse well with water.