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  • Lauren Piro

7 Genius Ways to Kill Fruit Flies

What's your go-to method of killing fruit flies?

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. It doesn't take long for them to take over your kitchen.

While your best bet for keeping them at bay is to store fresh fruit in sealed places, sometimes that overripe banana might sit out just a little too long and, bam, it's too late. Compost that mushy produce ASAP; then try one of these effective remedies to banish fruit flies from your kitchen.

1. Unfiltered apple cider vinegar

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 with a rubber band. Then, poke a hole 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.

"No matter how hard I try to prevent fruit flies every summer, they seem to always find me," says Kim at Today's Creative Blog. "Every year, I Google 'how to get rid of fruit flies' and every year, I end up using this tried-and-true method. It's not pretty, but it is pretty effective."

2. Vinegar and dish soap

If you find your fruit flies are impervious to the plastic wrap, 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.

3. A paper cone and a piece of fruit

Place a little vinegar and a chunk of very ripe fruit in a jar. Then, roll a piece of paper into a cone and stick it into the jar, placing the narrow opening down. The fruit flies will be drawn in, but won't be able to get out.

"I learned this method from a friend who used to sell produce, and I think it is easier to put together and more effective than others," says Tiffany at Nature Moms. "Instead of using plastic wrap, I use scrap paper that I can then compost later."

4. Milk, sugar, and pepper

Everyday Roots blogger Claire likes this method from the Old Farmer's Almanac. Combine a pint of milk, 4 ounces of raw sugar, and 2 ounces ground pepper in a saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes. Then, pour into a shallow dish. The flies will be drawn to the mixture and quickly drown.

5. Red wine

Like vinegar, fruit flies love the smell of wine. Try leaving out an open bottle with a little liquid — the skinny neck will keep the flies trapped.

6. Aunt Fannie's FlyPunch!

The chemists in the Health, Beauty, and Environmental Sciences Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute were excited to see this product cross their desks, especially Senior Chemist Sabina Burdzovic-Wizemann, who found that it worked better in her home than other DIY remedies she's tried.

The mixture is natural (the active ingredients include sodium lauryl sulfate and malic acid) and comes in a stand-up jar. All you have to do is open the top, set it on your counter, and "count the bodies." (Aunt Fannie has a bit of a sharp tongue.)

7. Fruit Fly BarPro Strips

Yep, just like the strips for regular ol' house flies, fruit flies have their own simple traps. Hang these odorless strips from cabinet knobs nearest your most problematic spots. You might snare a mosquito or two as well. Bonus!

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