Kill all the fruit flies

I will not bore you good people with the details. I will merely state that one of these days, I will wake up twitching in a burn ward, with the house a mere smoking crater, and that no bug-squeamish jury would ever find me guilty. That’s how bad our fruit fly infestation is, and I turn to you for help.

Aside from the obvious (Balsamic vinegar bottle traps, Cloroxing the entire kitchen and eating out for a month, flushing the drain with ammonia, never eating anything that comes from a plant ever again), does anyone have a surefire way to get rid of the swarms of live ones? I know they’ll all die off in two weeks or whatever, but I can’t put up with these things for two weeks! HALP!

Most sincerely,
a pre-arson-conviction Speak With Bread

Balsamic? No. Cider vinegar. And you don’t need bottles, just some flat plates with a thin layer of it.

But you’re so cute when you’re twitching!

Really, what we need to do is clean. Clean the kitchen, clean the dining room, take out the damn trash, rationally organize the refrigerator, and store all of the fruit in said fridge.

But we’re both lazy. Very lazy.

First of all, amend “both” to “all four of us.”

Second, we don’t even have any goddamned fruit out that’s attracting them.

Third of all, I refuse to touch a trash can that spawns thirty zillion flies when I walk within a foot of it. I will literally burn the thing to shreds in our kitchen before I will march it outside.

And fourth of all, while that may get rid of the cause, THAT DOESN’T GET RID OF THE LIVE ONES THAT ARE ALREADY THERE. Seriously, Aaron, if you awake to a maniacal giggle at three in the morning and find me in the kitchen with a lighter…

Can’t you two just play grab-ass in real life?

I spent graduate school in a Drosophila lab. The fruit flies that escaped from our experiments and the stocks were a frequent nuisance. The best method I came across for getting rid of fruit flies was to make a paste of yeast and water, then smear it in a bottle of fly food (mostly cornmeal and molasses). Some of the fermentation products produced by the yeast must be incredibly attractive to them, because within a few hours the majority of the flies were stuck in our traps.

I’m guessing you’re using some sort of trap that takes advantage of their negative geotaxis, so it might be worth replacing the vinegar with yeast paste on top of mashed banana. Note that the yeast have to be alive to ferment, if they’re dead it’s not going to work.

Fun science fact, fruit flies can live for up to one-hundred days in the proper environment!



When I first moved into my current apartment, I had to deal with a fruit fly infestation. What I found got rid of them in a day or two was just a few jars half full of cider vinegar with a drop of dish soap in each. Apparently the soap decreases the surface tension of the vinegar so the flies can’t land. I was a little grossed out at just how many of the damn things were floating in the jars when I woke up the morning after I put them out.

Take out the trash, Aaron! She cooks for you and speaks with your bread. Take out the trash.

Hmmm…name that super hero.

Just be happy it’s not ants. I hate ants.

I’ll just put this here:

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.


Fruit flies are persistent, and there’s no magic bullet to make them go away.

Scrub everything clean, make sure you have NO standing water (like in a kitchen sink), make sure the floor of the kitchen is scrubbed an mopped.

  1. Get rid of the trash, clean your apartment/ house
  2. Buy the cheapest sparkling wine
  3. Decant the just bought cheapest sparkling wine into little bowls
  4. Alternatively decant just bought cheapest sparkling wine into champagne glasses (for standard increasing purposes)
  5. Place bowls/ champagne glasses on spots where the flies have been spotted previously
  6. Wait a couple of days

Lynch is clearly on the side of the flies. It’s like putting cookies out for Santa.

Well, when they’re drunk on cheap wine it makes them lose their inhibitions and make bad personal decisions. It may take some time, but I suspect it would work and our two fruit fly bartenders will see them going home in pairs or acting dejected as they slip out alone. Either way, check walls that are near to your place, because they’ll be veering from side to side and might get into an accident. Fruit fly pileups may cause some traffic congestion, so be forewarned.

Wow - you read my mind.

Use the Tim Elhaj method and capture the flies and release them in the mountains. Killing them seems so mean…

No, my method will work.

The responsible thing is to send them home with geotaxis.