Apple Cider Vinegar Actually Makes for a Great Fruit Fly Trap

updated Aug 17, 2023
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A bottle of apple cider vinegar on the kitchen counter
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Salad dressing may be the first thing you think of when you hear apple cider vinegar, but this pantry staple really is good for so much more. You might not know it, but apple cider vinegar also makes a good cleaner — and most surprising of all, it actually works well as a natural pest control substance. Specifically it serves well as a fruit fly trap, and it’s a cinch to make one yourself.

Fruit flies happen to the best of us — especially as summertime temperatures climb and we fill our kitchens with fresh, in-season fruit and vegetables. But fruit flies are annoying and a little bit gross and if you could get rid of them, wouldn’t you? All it takes is some apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and a jar.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

How to Make a DIY Fruit Fly Trap with Apple Cider Vinegar

The most effective way to keep those annoying pests out of your fruit bowl is to bait them with apple cider vinegar and dish soap. The theory is that the vinegar smells irresistibly sweet to the flies, they fly into the traps, and then get their wings weighed down with the dish soap so they can’t make their way back out. There are a few different methods you could use to make the trap, but we found the best method is also the most classic.

Here’s how to make your own fruit fly trap:

  1. Take a Mason jar, and fill it with about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.
  2. Add a few drops of dish soap inside.
  3. Then, using a hammer and a nail, punch a few holes in the lid.
  4. Screw the lid on tight and set it near your fruit bowl and you’ll be amazed (and maybe slightly grossed out) by the results.