How To Make an Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

After apples are crushed, the juice is fermented to make apple cider vinegar. Fruit flies like fermented fruits and that is why apple cider vinegar attracts them. It also contains acetic acid that is enough to dehydrate and kill these flies.

To make a homemade fruit fly trap, pour ½ cup of apple cider vinegar into a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of dish soap. The apple cider vinegar will attract the fruit flies while the soap will make them sink and drown in the vinegar.

You have to use a detergent or soap to neutralize the tension on the upper part of the vinegar so that the flies can easily sink and get trapped.

If you do not use any soap, the fruit flies will still be attracted to the vinegar but they will land on the surface.

They will not easily drown in the vinegar and this means that they can land and still fly around. The apple cider vinegar trap is supposed to catch and drown the fruit flies and that is why soap must be added.

Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap
Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

How to make a fruit fly trap using apple cider vinegar only

If there is no dish soap or detergent at home, here is how you can still make a fruit fly trap using apple cider vinegar only:

  1. Pour ½ cup of apple cider vinegar into a clean bowl
  2. Cover the bowl with a clear cling film or a clear polythene paper
  3. Make small holes on the top that is enough for the fruit flies to get in
  4. After they are attracted to the apple cider vinegar, they will get in but they will not be apple to fly out because of the cover

Other types of vinegar can also work in killing those annoying flies but apple cider works best because of the strong scent that will easily attract them.

Apple cider vinegar, water and soap for fruit fly trap

You can also save on the vinegar by mixing the vinegar with water. However, you have to make sure the vinegar is on the higher ration than water.

You cannot mix a cup of vinegar, water and soap because that will be a total waste.  Just do it moderately and be reasonable while at it.

This is because if you dilute the vinegar, the scent will also not be strong enough to attract the fruit flies. The strength will also not be good enough when to kill them as compared to a concentrated solution that is not mixed with water.

In whatever container it is that you have used, place the mixture close to where the flies are most concentrated. In a few minutes the flies will trace the vinegar and get into the mixture only for them to sink.

Add some drops of soap to it because this will help in breaking the surface tension and also acts as poison.

Vinegar when used in trapping fruit flies comes with a number of advantages. It is non-toxic and does not require any addition that is unhealthy. Vinegar offers great results with limited negative effects as compared to other methods of getting rid of them.

When it comes to storage, vinegar should be well covered once the bottle has been opened.

Spillages should also be avoided and when they happen they should be wiped off immediately. Since it is acidic and a preservative as well, there is no need to refrigerate it.

While there are other things that attract fruit flies, apple cider vinegar is one of their favorites and that is why are also referred to as vinegar flies. This aspect is what makes it efficient when making fruit fly traps.

How long does it take to kill fruit flies with apple cider vinegar?

There is no specific time because this is a gradual process. However, it is advisable to leave the apple cider vinegar fly trap to sit overnight for the best results.

This will also depend on the number of fruit flies. There is no way you can say it will take 30 minutes when you have hundreds of fruit flies that you want to get rid of. The same case applies if you just have like a dozens of them.

Using this fly trap is also okay when you have minimal infestations. It is as simple as reasoning out the number of flies that you see around and the bowl that you want to trap them in. Will they all be accommodated in there?

Apple cider vinegar is a common ingredient in homes. With its ability to attract fruit flies, its use is extended beyond the kitchen.

The trap should be placed in strategic points. Although this can still work well during the day, fruit flies are thought to be most active during the night.

This is because there is minimal movement and disturbance at night. Those little flies don’t fly around and they like settling. This is why trapping them is very easy.

Do fruit flies like vinegar?

Fruit flies love the scent of apple cider vinegar and that is what attracts them. However, they do not like the vinegar because it contains acetic acid which irritates them.

Homemade fruit fly trap vinegar is easy to set up. They require minimal resources and are not harmful. They can therefore be used in the kitchen without fear of contaminating the food. They are also economical as one uses readily available materials.

One easy and effective way of catching fruit flies is by using vinegar. Since these tiny insects spend their mature life in breeding and looking for food, they have a heightened sense of smell.

This will lead them to any vinegar around making it easy to catch them. Adding some soap to the vinegar ensures that they die as well.

Fruit flies use their sense of smell to trace fermenting and rotting fruits, vegetables and other sweetened things. They tend to fly towards their target, after which the land and settle. This is why apple cider mixed with soap makes an efficient trap.

Apple cider vinegar for massive fruit fly infestation

If you want to trap fruit flies in large numbers, then you will need to make a large trap. This is best for trapping fruit flies in drains or big garbage bins.

Take 2 cups of apple cider vinegar and pour this into a large container or a hollow vessel. The higher the amount used, the stronger the scent that will attract the flies. Use a pair of scissors to cut one corner of the bag.

The cut should create a hole that is enough for the flies to go through into the vessel but not get out. This will make up a funnel shaped cover for the vessel.

Cover the hollow vessel with the plastic bag and ensure the hole you made is at the center. Once set, fasten the bag using a rubber band.

Push the corner that you cut off to make a hole inwards towards the vessel so it forms a funnel shape. Adjust accordingly to ensure it goes deep enough but does not touch the vinegar.

Once done, the trap is all set. Place it where there are most flies which could be close to the fruits’ storage area, around the bins or bathroom drains. Let the trap settle as long as possible without any disturbances.

Multiple traps can be made depending with the number of fruit flies. After some time, the trap will accumulate dead flies. These can be disposed and a new trap set until all of them are cleared.


  1. Harvard: Vinegar Composition
  2. Science Direct: Cider Vinegar