Good Question: How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

Good Question: How To Get Rid of Fruit Flies?

Faith Durand
Oct 8, 2008

Here's a good question from a reader on a practical issue most of us face in our kitchens: fruit flies!

The weather is getting nicer and I'd like to start opening the windows. The problem is that my trash is almost entirely organic and rarely ever gets thrown out due to my trying to conserve my plastic (though compostable) garbage bags. The smell attracts fruit flies. There are screens but they still manage to get in.

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I remember a recent post on here about using rue to repel them. I haven't been able to find rue in flower stores nor in upscale grocery stores around here. What else can I try to keep them away? I've heard of vinegar. Instead of dealing with the flies, should I re-evaluate my trash choices?

- syckklam

Syckklam, we recently had an infestation too, after we brought a lot of farm-fresh produce in and left it on our countertops a little too long. They are very annoying!

We have a couple thoughts for you. First of all, yes, you can also use vinegar to keep fruit flies away. Read our post all about fruit flies here:

Fruit Flies! What They Are and How To Get Rid of Them

You can see our top tip on killing them here, courtesy of re-nest:

Fruit Fly Death Trap

This is all natural, and involves a cone of paper and a dish of vinegar. There are some good alternative natural options in the comments on these posts as well.

Another thought, stepping back, is perhaps you should both change your trash out more often, or consider getting an indoor composter. We have been using the Naturemill indoor composter for all our organic scraps. We don't have to change our trash bag very often because all the organic (and fruit-fly attracting!) scraps go straight into the composter. It seals tightly and doesn't attract fruit flies.

• See a review at Unplggd: Re(al)view: Naturemill's Composter

Of course, if you do throw meat or seafood scraps or packaging into your regular trash, be sure to take it out by the end of the day. That will not only attract insects but make your kitchen stink!

Any more tips for syckklam?

Related: Good Question: Earth Friendly Kitchen Trash Bags?

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