Get rid of gnats for good with these clever strategies. You’re not alone in your love of seasonal produce: Pesky fruit flies always seem to find their way to your farmer’s market haul before you even get a chance to fully enjoy it. And it doesn’t take long for them to take over your kitchen. Here are a few ways you can kill these annoying intruders:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar And Plastic Wrap
Pour a little into a glass, or just remove the cap from a bottle. (It doesn’t have to be full — nearly empty will also work.) Cover the opening in plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band. Then, poke a few small holes for the fruit flies to enter. They can’t resist the scent of vinegar, and they won’t be able to exit once they’re inside.
2. A Paper Cone, Vinegar, And Old Fruit
Place a little vinegar and a chunk of very ripe fruit in a jar. Then, roll some paper into a cone and stick it into the jar, placing the narrow opening down. (You can recycle or compost the homemade funnel afterward. The smell of rotting produce will help entice the fruit flies into the mixture, but the cone makes it difficult for them to get out.
3. Vinegar And Dish Soap
If you find your fruit flies impervious to your plastic wrap or paper cone traps, try adding three drops of dish soap to a bowl of vinegar, and leave it uncovered. The soap cuts the surface tension of the vinegar so the flies will sink and drown.
4. Old Wine Or Beer
Like vinegar, fruit flies love the smell of wine. Try leaving out an open bottle with a little leftover liquid — the skinny neck will keep the flies trapped. The Old Farmer’s Almanac also recommends using stale beer to attract fruit flies to a DIY trap. Add a couple of drops of dish soap to either for surer success.
This mixture uses the active ingredients sodium lauryl sulfate (a surfactant used in soaps) and malic acid (found in fruit) and comes in a stand-up jar. All you have to do is open the top, set it on your counter, and “watch the cycle of life unfold.”