Frugal & Natural Pest Control: Fruit Flies & Ants Be Gone!

IMG_6140We have been attacked by an abundance of fruit flies lately in my kitchen. AHH! Don’t you love those little flying insects that seem to find every bit of food in your kitchen and around your trash can? Here is our simple, frugal, and effective solution!

Fruit Fly Trap

1 quart jar
1 piece of paper, rolled up into a funnel
apple cider vinegar
small slice of banana

Fill a quart jar with a 1/2 inch of apple cider vinegar and a small piece of banana. Roll up your paper into a funnel shape (larger at the top) and tape it in place. Place the funnel into your jar and make sure all the edges are secured shut with tape. You may have to adjust the size of your funnel to make sure it fits nicely into your jar. Place the jar where the fruit flies are flying around and let it go to work. You will be amazed at how well this trap works. The fruit flies will smell the fruit and climb inside, but for some odd reason they don’t fly back up the funnel to get out. When you have caught a good supply, place the entire jar in the freezer. After a short time that flies with die and you can remove the jar from the freezer and use it again without even removing the old contents. Use repeatedly until your fruit flies are eliminated.

As you can see in my picture, this easy trap is amazingly effective!

Ant Trap

We are often plagued with ants in the Spring time as well around here. We have various sorts of carpenter and sugar ants. This little concoction does the trick! Last year we had huge carpenter ants all around our kitchen. Many were coming out of our electrical saukets in our kitchen. We were blown away by how quickly they were eradicated with this recipe.

1 tsp. borax (borax is an natural laundry boosting powder available in the laundry section of the store, normally on the top shelf)
2 cups hot water
6 Tbsp sugar
folded paper towel
small shallow cup (like a creme burlee dish)

Disolve borax in hot water. Stir in sugar. Dip the folded paper towel, using tongs, in the solution till completely saturated with solution. Cram the paper towel in the dish. Place in location where you have seen the ants. This solution will be eaten by the ants and taken back to the nest to share with the other ants and thus eradicate the entire nest. Keep away from children by placing on a countertop or cupboard, if possible.

It’s Frugal Fridays!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

320 Responses to Frugal & Natural Pest Control: Fruit Flies & Ants Be Gone!

  1. chemical Pest December 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

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  2. Diane October 29, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    How do you get rid of Lady Bugs? We have a swarm of them.

    • Gloria November 25, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

      you don’t kill lady bugs they are good things to have around.

      Their larvae eat aphids on your roses & fruit trees.

  3. Lynn October 8, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    What is a good solution to use for sugar ants on the outside? I have many (many!) little ant dens in my lawn. I sprayed poison-type stuff on them and they migrated to my flower beds!! And within a short time, they are also back in the lawn. My Grandchildren get little bites on their ankles when they play outside.

  4. Amanda July 29, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    Will any other fruit work besides the banana? I have a horrible outbreak of them in my kitchen but don’t have a banana readily available just a kiwi.. do you thin k it would work?

    • Elizabeth August 1, 2013 at 5:26 am #

      Actually you don’t need any fruit at all. Use a small bowl or ramekin and put in about 1/4 inch of apple cider vinegar and 1 drop of dish soap. Leave on a countertop where the fruit flies will smell the cider. The drop of dish soap breaks the surface tension and they will drown in the vinegar.

    • denise edlebeck October 3, 2013 at 11:28 am #

      I was making BlackBerry jam, and while crushing the berries they were flying all over them! I think you can use pretty much any fruit. I even used red wine in the bottom of a glass. I have to admit the berries worked best! Good luck!

  5. Vicki July 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    I make my own “carpet fresh” using equal parts borax, baking soda, and course salt. To that I add an essential oil like lavender, or tea tree (Melaleuca). Mix thoroughly to combine and put in a shaker (a recycled parmesan cheese shaker works great! Sprinkle liberally over carpet and if U are really industrious take your broom and “sweep” it into the carpet. Leave on for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight. Then vacuum thoroughly and dispose of the vacuum bag in the outside garbage.

  6. Anu March 5, 2013 at 9:19 am #


    I have fruit flies around my Christmas cactus and my sweet potato plant. I tried your remedy with the apple cider funnel but NOT ONE FRUIT FLY has flown to the trap. Tell me again whether the bottom of the funnel has to touch the apple cider with the banana slice as mine doesn’t. Also, how large should be the opening at the top? Mine is about 4 inches. Should the neck of the jar be smaller?

    Frustrated as the jar has been sitting there for three days now and not ONE fruit fly.


    • mb April 20, 2013 at 4:27 am #

      My guess is that you don’t have fruit flies; you may have white flies – nasty little critters that attack houseplants. You can look them up on the Internet.

    • denise edlebeck October 3, 2013 at 11:31 am #

      I did not find the vinegar to work. Your funnel should not touch the fruit and the opening of the funnel should be pretty small,
      that way they cannot find their way back out!

  7. Sonia January 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    Trying it now. Fruit flies already gathering around the top. Thanks for the solution. They were starting to drive me crazy :-)

  8. Nancy January 23, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

    I’m late to the party here – just found this via Pinterest. Good tips! I tried the fruit fly trap last summer and found that it worked even better when I left the funnel off altogether. I used a shallow cup and they just hopped right in!

  9. Blenda November 6, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    To kill roaches use blown-in insulation in your attic that has boric acid as the fire retardent. My old house has layers of 3 walls, 3 floors and 3 ceilings, plus tons of books and papers. For years I had the exterminator in EVERY 3 months and listened to his comments about getting rid of the books and papers or I would never get rid of the roaches. We blew insulation in our attic and have not had roaches or an exterminator in 17 years. Plus I still have my books and papers!!

  10. Wanda November 5, 2012 at 11:35 pm #

    Is ther a GREAT home remedy for roaches ?? Had somone to come and stay with us and they brought along their friends. Have sprayed ..but …we are seeing a few again ! Help Please !!

    • Kathleen November 14, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

      Best thing for Roaches is again Borax, 1 part borax, 1 part castor sugar, sprinkle behind fridge and counters, they also take it back to the nest and after 2 applications (3 weeks apart) I have been roach free for a year at a time.

      If you have an instant roach that you need to kill, keep this on hand, just mix up about 2 table spoons of washing up liquid in about a 300ml water (just more than a cup) in a spray bottle (the garden spray kind with a strong jet) and fire, it incapacitates and kills roaches in min. and makes for a very easy clean up (tissue paper and the loo works wonders) no poison, so the rest of the household is safe!

      Good luck!

    • Sondra May 12, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      To kill roaches without any worry about kids or pets, put out a dish of baking soda. It will give them gas, and since they can’t burp, they will explode.

  11. Gymgirl October 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm #

    Those pesky bugs in the bulk packages actually float, so you can pour anything like grits into a bowl of water and skim the buggies off until the water runs clear…

    We probably will never know how many buggies we’ve accidentally eaten already in our lifetimes, and the fact that we’re still alive let’s me know that, hey, life happens!

    I just think about shows like “Survivor” where they’re voluntarily eating all sorts of creatures for protein and survival, and remember that a few missed buggies won’t kill me. Long as I don’t see ‘em!

    And, just so you’ll know, I’d never serve anyone anything suspect — this one involves only me!

  12. Erin H October 26, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    We do not have any bananas, but im hoping something like sugar will work. The gnats are everywhere

  13. Anne October 17, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    Borax is also highly poisonous. Use with utmost caution.

    • CR November 3, 2012 at 10:40 am #

      Borax is no more poisonous than salt. Boric acid however is poisonous. They are two different things.

  14. lindsay October 17, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    Fleas… what worked best was bombing my house once a week for a month and when I used the bombs I put one under the house too. Just remember to read the instructions.

    • Sharada December 25, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

      For fleas I use Dawn Dish soap. in the house put in a pie tin with water (1/2cup warm water and about 10 drops of dish soap – blue original) and put a DESK LAMP over it turn all other lights off and let sit for about an hour th efleas go to the light and drown, I also wash all animlas with dawn and it helps and use a solution of 32 drops to 1 gallon of water to spray my yard every few months and it works have not had fleas and we had them bad all over our house where we had flea bites and hubby had some that got infected. so it wa svery bad, and my poor animlas had raw spots from scratching until we did this and we ahve been great since then

    • Wendy July 28, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

      I sprinkled borax on the carpet went out for awhile took dog out with me came back swept up dead fleas Did this in the basement also and got rid of them

  15. Lindsay October 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    I have not tried this before, but I have had wonderful success with a mason jar. You poke small holes in the top of a mason jar lid and put about 1 cup of wine in the jar, then put the lid on. The knats fly in, but don’t come out. The sweeter the wine the better, I think!

  16. Sandra October 12, 2012 at 7:49 am #

    Any tips on killing those pesty pantry moths? They are everywhere in my house…Someone told me they come in your boxed foods from the grocery store, but now they are all over the place… HELP

    • Laurette Thomas October 12, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      I’m sorry I don’t have a fix, but what I wanted to say for your future reference is that if you buy anything in bulk, especially bird seed or that type of thing, they can definitely come from there. Don’t buy any bulk foods that could potentially breed that sort of thing. If you think about it, there is no kind of protection, no box, wrap etc., it’s all out in the open.

      • Laurie June 19, 2013 at 5:00 am #

        If you keep birdseed in the fridge you won’t have a problem with hatching bugs.

      • Marlene Williams June 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm #

        Try keeping Bay leaves loosely on the shelves and inside containers. Pests do not like them. Hope this helps

    • Jesse October 14, 2012 at 8:14 am #

      I would get those because we would buy bulk birdseed. we would have to ‘prep’ the bags first before storing into airtight containers by running small batches in the microwave for 30 seconds and then storing it.

      Also get sealed containers for opened boxes of food. It won’t get rid of the moths but cut off the food source and they will all die eventually. Good Luck!

      • Laurette Thomas October 14, 2012 at 10:04 am #

        So you’re on top of controlling any further problems. Good. Just didn’t know if you’d thought of bulk foods as a source. Good luck on your mission!

      • Rachel Ramey October 21, 2012 at 9:42 am #

        Or freeze them for a few days.

    • kelly October 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

      my mom used to have that problem, she opened a jar of dried bay leaves and that killed them

    • Allen October 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

      Yes – buy these. Super effective, and there’s not toxic chemicals. You can get them on Amazon or direct from the manufacturer. Good luck!

    • tammy June 20, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      I had those nasty little moths everywhere finally figured out they came with some bird seed I bought.they multiply and nothing I tried worked absolutely nothing. I did lavender oil,bay leaves cedar oil,cinnamom,peppermint,threw away all my pantry food because they lay eggs in stuff like flour,on creases of ceral boxes and corners you can’t even see. I finally went on the internet and saw these sticky trap type things but for the moths.they are called Phermone based Pantry Moth Traps.They weren’t expensive let me tell ya they work great trap alone had like 10 of them buggers in it and since they have a 2 stage life cycle I bought 2 sets of them and glad I did as a few weeks ago I saw a couple only a couple but in 3 of the traps theres like 5 in each.take it from me go onlinr look them up and order ya few sets because they are worth it.

    • Patti July 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

      I keep my flour in the refrigerator… that tip several years ago, stays fresh and no bugs

      • Denise August 19, 2013 at 6:49 am #

        My Granny taught me to store excess (I buy 10 lbs. at a time) in the freezer. I have never had any problem. I get the flour into ziplock bags when unpacking the groceries and pop the bags in the freezer. If they are put in the bags right then they will lay flat, once the air is out, saving room in the freezer for the ice cream! lol

  17. Linda m October 9, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

    It works thanks because these fruit flies have been driving me crazy. Again thanks

  18. Linda m October 8, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    I’m trying this I’ll let you know if it works for me, because everything else I have tried is not working. And I don’t want to spray poison around my dogs.

  19. Crystal October 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    So I tried this twice hoping it worked but I must some really smart flies because I clearly see them in there and a couple minutes later they are out. Lol. I have Houdini fruit flies!

    • Louise October 5, 2012 at 8:55 am #

      I have used kinda the same thing but different. Jar with apple cider vinegar, 3 drops of dawn dish liquid, saran wrap over the jar mouth, with small slit in top and rubber band around top to hold in place. It doesn’t help with ants but fruit flies are attractive to apple cider and dawn will not let them fly out!

  20. Amy October 1, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Holy crow! I didn’t think it would work, but it absolutely does! Thanks for the great tip!

  21. Billy September 23, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    WOW!!! this trick really works! Before I could wrap the paper in a funnel, the fruit flies had started gathering! Could not believe how well this worked! Thanks!!!

  22. ruth sullivan September 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    i’ve used a version of this idea for dealing with fruit flies. i take a plastic water bottle, cut the upper portion off. i put the vinegar, banana slice and a few drops of dish soap in the lower part of the bottle, i put the top piece top down into the lower portion i place a strip of masking tape around the join. i find the soap in the water prevents the flies from flying.

  23. Steven September 21, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    Do you have any handy tricks for getting rid of fleas in the house? Our precious lil Abbey(beagle/jack terrier)carried some in from outside. We have treated her, and our unwilling cat Cosmo, but the little things have found their way into our carpet and couches. Please help, if you can.

    P.S. Going to the store on they way home to get our ‘fly trap’.

    • Tammy September 21, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

      The best stuff for fleas, Flys, ants, roaches, even spiders is to get a spray bottle and fill with water then add about 2 TBSP of Dawn dish soap. Spray what ever bug you need to kill and within seconds they are dead. I’ve spent so much money on flea sprays but this has helped the most.

    • Kendra Acker September 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

      Cedar Shavings outside, do this before mowing so it will shred it up more. Fleas hate cedar! You can also use it inside, just put it in a bowl, or vase. (Regular dawn soap) baths for the animals.

    • Laurette Thomas September 25, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      Hi, I don’t know if you’re only willing to use natural products, but there are none that will get rid of flea infestation, and the longer it’s let go the more difficult it is to solve. You have to get a good flea shampoo for any animals in the house and use flea bombs. First, you will need to wash all linens, etc, and put them in plastic bags until bombing is completed. Then lift up any dustruffles on beds, lift up cushions on couches and chairs, etc. Open cupboards and clear any crowded areas (like a closet floor full of blankets/clothes, and wash those things as well). Have a plan about where you can take your pets for a couple hours and see if you can borrow an extra crate if needed, then when the house is ready for bombing, bathe each pet in the house with flea shampoo, crate them, and take them out of the house immediately. It’s very important you don’t let them “touch” anything. Cover any plants (easiest way is to group them on a table; just cover with plastic). Then bomb the house using the appropriate amount of bombs for your home’s square footage. Follow thee dirctions on the bombs, but basically, you will need to be out of the house about an hour, open all windows for about an hour, and you should be good to go. This is the most important thing of all though. If you don’t take them to the vet and get flea control (for all of them, even the ones taht don’t go out), you’ll have to go through all of this again. It would be best to do it the next day or same day if possible. Sorry, I know it’s a lot to digest, but I guarantee you it’s the only way…

      • Jessica H October 9, 2012 at 3:47 pm #

        Actually, you can get food grade diatomaceous earth from feed/farm stores, possibly garden stores and even some other places (check Home Depot, Walmart etc). Spread this throughout your home, let sit, then vacuum. We do this about every 2 years, and we do not have fleas in our home even though we have 4 dogs. Our dogs are never treated for fleas, and still do not have them.

    • Kelly September 26, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

      your going to have to bomb the house probably Steven…it will take about 3-4 days before you notice them less to completely gone.

    • Crystal September 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      For fleas~It will take time to do this trick but it works very, very well…..First to understand the flea….It takes 10 days for a flea from laying the egg to dying and secondly fleas are made up of almost entirely water, which is how this trick works…..Take regular table salt and sprinkle all over your floors, carpets, dog beds, furniture etc……Leave over night and vaccum up the next morning…..Make sure you empty your vaccum and put the reminants outside……Repeat this process again in 9 days……….You will have to repeat this process 3 times in order to get entirely rid of the flea problem….This not only works with fleas it also works with sand fleas……..

      • Melissa T October 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

        This works wonders! We acquired sand fleas while on vacation at the beach. After returning home we realized we were completely infested. I done the process for 14 days and we were rid of the pesty things. I noticed a HUGE difference within 3 days but continued on with the treatment.

      • tanya October 18, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

        i have used this method and it worked really well. and i made a rosemary “tea” to bathe my cat in because he was allergic to flea meds of all kinds. it helps if you vacuum first before you salt and then again. fleas will come to the surface of the carpet when there is activity. so the vacuuming helps bring them up so that they can get killed by the salt. this method actually helped more than the bombs without all the nasty chemicals.

    • LC October 4, 2012 at 10:45 am #

      Vaccumm as much as possible with a bagless vaccumm. Dump the dirties into the dumpster outside. The flea eggs will hatch in the vac bag otherwise. Be sure you are using a HIGH QUALITY flea prevention EVERY 30 DAYS from the VET! This step is very important. If all pets are protected every 30 days eventually the life cycle will die out. Keep in mind about flea baths and such can strip off the prevention. Talk with your veterinarian about this. Also some houses very infested may require the yard to be sprayed or house to be sprayed! Hope that helps :)

    • Erin October 5, 2012 at 10:51 pm #

      Thought I’d offer my recommendation, when ever we get a flea outbreak in the house we sprinkle around DE – deciduous earth, food grade not pool grade. It’s completely safe for your family and your pets. You can even sprinkle it on the pets themselves to help kill the fleas. And in your yard to help kill the fleas out there too. Though it goes away when it rains so you have to reapply. Anyway when used in the house coat your furniture, pet beds, carpet everything with DE, it’s basically a white powder, Now you have to leave it on for a few days for it to work. Then you can vacuum it all up and dead fleas. :) More info if you like –

    • Lori October 26, 2012 at 7:31 am #

      For fleas in the house, place a nightlight in a low outlet near the floor during the night. Place a shallow bowl with a mixture of dawn dish liquid and water below the lite nightlight. Not sure why this works but it does. The next morning, you will see lots of fleas. Not a totally cure but it helps.

  24. Melissa September 20, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Lmao wasn’t even done my funnel they we’re flying right in! Love it !

  25. Patti D September 15, 2012 at 5:45 am #

    A couple other tips which I have found the hard way.
    When you bring home fruits or veggies from the grocery store, make sure when you put the filled bag, you tie it (I’ll tell you why in a minute).
    Then when you get home put the whole bag in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
    My son-in-law works in the produce department of a well known store. He said the back where the
    produce is stored, has trillions of those fruit flies….it’s just the way it is.
    If you tie off the bag, you keep the fruit flies from flying into your food while shopping….putting the bag in the fridge kills whatever you may have brought home with you.

    Just remember, anything with a skin, can have fruit flies.

    Pour bleach and boiling water down your drains. They also like to hang out there, where there is just enough moisture, like a bathroom where the sinks are used that much as say the kitchen.
    I have just made a habit of doing it about every 2 weeks, and have seen a tremendous difference with that alone.
    Don’t be afraid of putting traps in all rooms. I have three in my kitchen, one in my livingroom and one in my bedroom.

    This year, studies found, that the fruit fly populations exploded in some states, one of which is mine-WI.
    The good news, is that after a first frost, dead, gone in the gardens, but still be wary in the grocery.

  26. Trish September 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    I also discovered by accident, when i left a small amount of white wine in a class..the next morning, it looked like black wine as the remaining liquid was covered up by tons of the little vermons (fruit flies) i’ve not had an issue since.

  27. Elizabeth September 11, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    does it have to be apple cider vinegar? or can it be the reg white?

    • NattyJo September 19, 2012 at 7:23 pm #

      I tried the regular (white) vinegar with dawn soap because I didn’t have any cider vinegar on hand. A few gnats later and I went to buy some cider vinegar. When I mixed that with a few drops of dawn dishwashing soap, it worked 200% better! It attracted the gnats/fruit flies so much better!

    • Rachel Ramey October 21, 2012 at 9:46 am #

      I think it’s the apple in the apple cider vinegar that attracts the flies.

  28. Mamaloshen September 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    Another way to get rid of ants and also caterpillars is whole cloves (not clove powder, has to be the whole thing). They dont like the cloves so go away, but you need to use a lot. Think of them as a fence or boundary, so you use enough.

  29. abbey September 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Is the tip of the paper in the vinegar?

    • Lindsay September 6, 2012 at 6:48 am #

      No. It is just above the vinegar.

      • Leslie September 25, 2012 at 8:59 am #

        will it work if the tip is in the vinegar? or do I need to redo my funnel??

        • Lindsay September 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

          You need to keep a space between the tip and the vinegar otherwise the fruit flies will not go into the jar.

          • Helen October 6, 2012 at 8:46 am #

            I have ants coming through my recessed ceiling light. How do I apply the solution to the light so it will repel the ants?

  30. Monique September 4, 2012 at 6:10 am #

    A way to attract fruit flies and kill them at the same time is to put apple cider vinegar in a bowl with a few drops of dish soap.

  31. Whitney September 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    Thank you so so much! I’ve tried using alcohol as bait before and that worked for a bit, but then they came back shortly after! It’s very hard to keep healthy food when my space is limited and infested with fruit flies; it’s been awful. But within a few minutes of trying this, they had swarmed to it and became trapped! Many are even drowning because the banana pieces are somewhat submerged. I will recommend this in the future!

  32. Jess August 30, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    will def try the trap for fruit flies…. BUT for ants a great fast and easy way to get rid of them is with BABY POWDER they die/leave and never come back… since i learned this i always use it as soon as i see them trying to come in during the summer time.,.. works great!!

    • Darla September 12, 2012 at 5:49 am #

      Yep me too! been using baby powder for years now when I accidentally spilled some on an ants nest and they left the nest soon after

      • danielle January 29, 2013 at 12:46 am #

        how much baby powder whould you use to get rid of ants inside becuse i got ants in side my house tryed raid wich is not good useing that around my dog white vingar because my mother in law said that whould help did not so not sure what to try now

  33. Delia August 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

    I am getting to try this at home, just to be clear the piece of banana goes in the funnel, or at the bottom of the jar in the vinegar?

  34. Maureen August 28, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    Fruit fly trap really works, I have been doing it this way for years but I use the small cone shaped paper drinking cups-snip off the bottom-place over the top of a mason jar (fits perfectly)-use any kind of fruit-tape it on and wait….you will trap hundreds of the little pests :)

    • Delia August 28, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

      Did you put the piece of banana in the funnel or at the bottom of the jar in the vinegar?

  35. Kara August 23, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

    This may be a silly question, but what do you do with the jar of all the frozen dead fruit flies??

  36. Janine August 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Fruit flies live for up to 30 days unless it is under 60 or over 85 degrees F (this will shorten their lifespan). They lay eggs 500 to 600 at a time several times during their life and it takes about a week or two for the eggs to change first to maggots which feed on moist decaying / fermenting matter (fruit, vegetables, drains, wet mops, cracks in floor etc.) then pupae in a drier place (think caterpillar in a cocoon) then emerge full fledged reproducing fruit flies.
    (Boiling or very hot tap water or bleach down the drains daily will kill them there.) If going for a pesticide, a flea and tick spray that kills larvae will be the most effective and safe around animals (use one made for bedding or made to spray directly on animal as long as it kills larvae) use on walls behind appliances or anywhere you see them gather-this is really only for bad infestations. The best trap I have found to date is a glass of Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry-straight-caught hundreds in a couple of hours-the glass couldn’t fit any more or them after a couple of days; They just dove right in LOL!

  37. Sarah August 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Chalk works for our ants. We just draw a line along the place we see them to close off their access.

  38. Tina August 16, 2012 at 12:50 am #

    Just tried the fruit fly funnel contraption and it worked within seconds of putting it out. Wow! Thank you for the idea.

  39. Sharon August 14, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Hello! So I am going to try your fruit fly contraption because it seems to be working for people! I am wondering about one thing; does the bottom of the paper funnel (the smaller part that goes into the jar) go low enough to touch the vinegar at the bottom? THANK YOU!!!

    • Janine August 22, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      No-it can’t touch the water or the fruit flies won’t be able to get in the trap.

  40. Heidi Gail August 8, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    If you have regular ant invasions at your house, you should have the termite man come out and check your house. Evidently ants love termites. We had regular ant invasions until we found and got rid of the termites about 5 years ago. Since then, we’ve only had one or two stray ants occasionally.

    • janet harper August 14, 2012 at 9:07 am #

      We have ants all throught the yard . I have found some of their hills and treated those, but I still find ants throughtout the yard. None in the house.

  41. Debbie August 5, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    Stick bay leaves in cracks and crevices to deter cockroaches.

  42. Carole July 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    I believe fruit flies/sewer gnats only have a 24 hour life span, just long enough to reproduce. Also, according to reports that I have read, they are unclean.

  43. cassie July 23, 2012 at 4:26 am #

    hang a zip lock bag full of water on your door. will keep flies away.

  44. Denise July 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    I had ants a few years ago and I was told to dry used coffee grounds and then sprinkle them in the house along the places you see them come into the house. It worked like a charm! Sometimes when vaccuuming I would get disgusted with the grinds on the floor and vaccuum them up. Half an hour later there would be ants all over the floor. I learned to live with the grinds on the floor! It was cheap and didn’t harm my cat or my kids.

  45. Mary Kay July 20, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Diatomaceous earth can be used to keep ants at bay. Purchase the food grade and it is safe around animals. Feed stores carry.

  46. Lrussell July 15, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    To get rid of moths, make up a container with water and dish detergent, stir it up to create suds. You have to have the suds on the top.

    Moth are attracted to a light, so set the bowl under a lamp, within about 12 inches of the light source. The moths zipping around the light will try to land on the suds or will fly into them. Once they get wet, they can’t fly and will drown in the water.

    I didn’t have very many moths this year, so I just sat the bowl on my stovetop (burners off of course) and turned on the stove light that is under my over the stove microwave. Worked quite well.

  47. Chris July 14, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

    Does anyone know how to get rid of pincher bugs? :P They are AWFUL around my house!

    • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 6:47 am #

      You do know that the “pincher bug” or aka earwig is actually beneficial? They love to eat snail and slug eggs! Alas, they also eat your flower buds when the snail eggs are in short supply… So get a chicken, thy love ‘em! Or place a loosely rolled-up newspaper on the ground, and every morning tip it on end and shake the critters into a bucket of soapy water where they will drown. Alternately, place some tuna juice, tuna cat food, or some apple cider vinegar for bait in a small tin can or other container with a removable lid. Punch a few small holes in the lid, large enough for earwigs to enter. Bury it in the ground almost level with the soil. The earwigs crawl into the can and can’t get out.

      • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 7:01 am #

        I just realized that the return of snails in my yard coordinated with my elimination of the earwigs!!! Can I order some from you-all please?

  48. Shelley July 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    Why is no one feeling sorry for the roaches and wanting to releaset them back in to nature? They are God’s creatures too!! :)

    • Kloklo July 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm #


    • Linda G July 23, 2012 at 10:31 am #

      Then they need to stay outside where they belong. lol

    • MB August 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

      Roaches are disgusting. If you live in the south then you will know how awful they are! They are so creepy. Id rather have 10 spiders crawl on me than to have 1 roach on me!! LOL

      • Brittany August 29, 2012 at 8:30 am #

        Ew! No kill them they are covered in bacteria and germs. And if they got into your house in the first place they clearly know how to get back in.

  49. Kirsten July 8, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    It works! Didn’t use vinegar at all – just a slice of banana at the bottom and it caught tons! Only problem is it’s so hot the tape peeled back a bit and left an opening for some to get out… I’m trying it now with packing tape (instead of masking tape) and it seems to be doing a-okay!

  50. dani June 12, 2012 at 2:56 am #

    you mean it actually kills the ants? we have loads of ants in our kitchen at the moment, but i wouldn’t want to kill these hard-working, self-sacrificing little creatures. yes, they’re “only” ants, but they are fascinating creatures (read up on them once) of god, don’t do us any harm, are important for our planet and – get positively mentioned in the bible!
    any other ways of driving them out of the house would be appreciated:-)

    • Aimee J June 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

      We tried spreading cinnamon where we saw the ants coming into the house. Unfortunately we later realized that they were also coming in through a crack in the foundation so we had to spray an insect repellant along the exterior of our home because we couldn’t get them to leave. If, however, you have a single entry point cinnamon will deter them from coming in and won’t kill them.

    • laura June 28, 2012 at 3:24 am #

      I grabbed a bunch of bottles of cinnamon from the dollar store, sprinkled it into the dirt around the entire house, put on threshholds and haven’t seen one in the house in years! Cinnamon ROCKS…..also fire ants hate it, so I used it in the garden!

    • Antkiller July 1, 2012 at 6:02 am #

      I use the harshest chemicals known to kill entire nests. But I am an exterminator. Next time I will suggest a dash of cinnamon, lol.

      • Maria July 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

        Cinnamon works WONDERS for ants. You can also place cinnamon sticks strategically (I use them when I have to leave cat food outside for my outdoor cat). Works like a charm!

      • lori August 22, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

        I agree. I always use harsh chemicals. I hate bugs. As an exterminator do you have any advice on how to get rid of wood bees?

    • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 6:49 am #

      It doesn’t kill them, just repels them. That oughta make you happy~

  51. Stephanie June 10, 2012 at 8:05 pm #

    The fruit fly trap works even with vinegar I sliced a cherry up and they still fly in genious! thank you sooo much!

  52. ruth June 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    i used the same ingredients but took a plastic water bottle, cut about 4″ from the top, put the vinegar and banana slices in the bottom. then inverted the top into the lower portion, the flies get in but, as mentioned, can’t find their way back out.

  53. Valerie June 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    Would either of these work for spiders?

    • Robin July 3, 2012 at 9:15 pm #

      are you smoking something funny Valerie?

      • Valerie July 3, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

        spiders do not come around for the same reasons that ants and fruit flies do.

    • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 6:50 am #

      Nope :( Spray them with hairspray

  54. DIYLover May 31, 2012 at 5:19 pm #

    Fantastic! Simple yet effective.

  55. cathe May 31, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    For ants in my kitchen I sprinkled talcum powder (like Shower to Shower) up against all the baseboads…it seemed to work overnight ! Previously, I would kill them and scrub the floor and baseboards and the next day they were back. This worked like magic! It was wonderful and I didn’t have to worry about pets.

  56. McKenna May 30, 2012 at 7:12 pm #

    Thank you for writing this post! We just moved somewhere where there are just TONS of fruit flies and we never seem to get rid of them! Can’t wait to show this post to my mom!

    • Alice Andrews June 7, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

      I am not quite clear on the directions for the gnat trap. Does “make sure all the edges are secured shut with tape” mean the edges of the funnel or make sure that there is no gap between the paper and the jar? Also how far down does the funnel go? Does it touch the vinegar, stop just above it? I have an ongoing supply of gnats and I would love to try this>

      • Karen July 17, 2012 at 5:47 am #

        Make sure there is not gap between the paper and the jar. Tape the paper funnel to the jar. You sort of have to adjust the funnel before you decide how big to make the funnel. It has to fit the jar without touching the vinegar, small enough hole for the gnats to go in but the tape keeps them from coming out.

  57. diane May 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Peanut butter, equal sweetener, and honey mixture will kill ants also. I put the mixture in milk caps and set them inside and outside at ant hills. Won’t hurt kids or your pets!

  58. Aidy May 29, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    Thanks so much! This is bound to be useful in the future if I ever have any sort of bug trouble!

  59. odette May 20, 2012 at 4:12 am #

    Why kill the fruitflies in the freezer, why not take them somewhere else in nature and let them continue to live?

    • bhcrabill May 20, 2012 at 6:15 am #

      Why in the world would you feel the need to release fruit flies into the wild? It’s not like there isn’t billions of them.

      • Chrissy June 5, 2012 at 6:57 am #

        lol…so true!

      • bobbi June 11, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

        i guess you could say the same for people.

        • jennifer July 7, 2012 at 2:01 am #

          Valid point.

  60. jeannie May 14, 2012 at 9:02 am #

    do you know if this would work for cockroaches?

    • Jos May 17, 2012 at 7:54 pm #

      i wondered the same thing and did some quick research:

      use Boric Acid mixed with a little sugar…they will come to the mix take it with them and die and they will also take it to the others and they will die too, just put in a jar lid and place in corners preferably where they are entering if not just find some corners along the baseboard in kitchen this is the place where roaches usually hang out because of the food around, place in the back of cupboards as well, just becareful not to put this stuff where it is accessible to pets and small children, also place around usually behind ovens if you can, they go here too. Replenish this mixture from time to time when you notice the amount getting smaller. How this works is that Boric acid causes roaches to dehydrate and die.

      havn’t tried it yet but the person who posted it said it works everytime, so it’s worth a shot!

    • paula June 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

      I do know that if you put solo cups out with peanut butter in them, or the solo bowls it will catch roaches………they seem to love peanut butter, and once they climb into the plastic cup or bowl they can’t seem to crawl back out.

      • Midgette June 25, 2012 at 2:36 am #

        Also old bacon grease will do it to.

  61. Becky May 10, 2012 at 4:12 am #

    I have tried the fruit fly trap and it works well! I have also used apple cider vinegar in a shallow dish covered by plastic wrap with small holes in it (small enough for fruit flies to crawl through but not big enough for them to fly out)

  62. Sandra Highfield May 8, 2012 at 11:05 am #

    Do you have any ideas for DIY termite control. My house if fairly new (6 yrs old) but, I need to take measures as I live in an area with lots of pine trees. Do you have any suggestions. Thanks

  63. Amber Prestriedge May 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    I always get rid of ants buy sprinkling cream of wheat where they travel, the back of cabinets and on the ant beds outside.. It takes a few days but they love it but cant digest it and they explode.. We do this a few times every year. we never have a problem with ants. we have a lot of children and pets here so I wanted to use something that I didnt have to really worry to much about with them.

    • OTTO July 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm #

      Then you get flour weevils and moths that DO eat it

  64. Conni April 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    I check to see where they are resting and sneak up on them with the vacuum cleaner … works like a charm and makes me feel somewhat Star War like!

    • Evelyn June 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

      One year my husband went out with his shop vac and was sucking the Japanese beetles out of the air around our blackberry bushes. Comical except when I saw how many he caught.

  65. Tracy April 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

    Fruit flies are the worst. anxious to try this fix but i got rid of the fruit this morning and thinking they were the source of the problem! Can I just use the apple cider vinegar?

    • Erika D. May 24, 2012 at 6:26 am #

      Probably. I had a glass of wine out on the counter the other day and all the fruit flies drowned in it. Perhaps the apple cider vinegar would work the same?

    • Bonnie June 10, 2012 at 9:19 am #

      i use red wine and a slice of apple which was very ripe and i put it in a used water bottle with a small funnel made from a small note pad……works very well !!

  66. Hollie April 3, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Well the fruit fly trap didn’t work for me. I followed it to a “T”. Maybe my fruit flies have been around so long (a few weeks – I loathe them!!!) that their brains have evolved and they’re too smart to fall for a clever trick like this. Just my luck….

    • Kelley April 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

      Hollie, try this. It’s a simpler solution than the one above.

      Take a small container, about the size of a ramekin or small juice glass, fill it about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar (or whatever vinegar you have on hand) and mix in a few drops of dish washing liquid soap, then set it an out of the way spot on your counter or near your trash can (set up one container in each spot if you think it’s necessary).

      The fruit flies will be attracted to the vinegar and the added soap actually traps them and drowns them. When it fills with dead fruit flies, rinse out the container and refill it with the vinegar and soap mixture again.

      My family has been doing this for years and it’s been very effective, it’s not going to be fast, but it does work. If it doesn’t, then it may not be fruit flies you’re dealing with.

    • Janice April 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

      If you have a ton of them and company or something coming over, take your hairdryer out and suck them in through the air-intake side. They get fried up real quick (and it is quite satisfying as the same time)

      • Ariel June 10, 2012 at 12:28 pm #

        Bet that smells awesome…

      • Kerri June 12, 2012 at 3:39 am #

        then wouldn’t you have dead flies in your hair dryer? ew

    • Ro May 7, 2012 at 11:53 am #

      I use this trick at work and home! I just use clear plastic wrap with
      small V’s cut in it instead of paper funnel. The flies may circle the inside
      Of the jar but can’t seem to find the v’s punched in the plastic in order
      To escape! If they are taking over the kitchen I will use more DRASTIC
      Measures. Empty trash each night before bed, clean the sink drains and
      Spray with dish soap or disinfectant each night (they mate and nest in wet
      Garbage and sink drains). Do this for about five nights and they should be
      Gone! Do not leave fruit or veggies on counter!

  67. Brittney April 3, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Hello, I see that you published this post in 09! But I was hoping to ask a question about the ant trap. How long does it typically take to kill the ants? I followed the instructions and I have hundreds of ants coming in to all of the ant traps in my home. I’m just hoping that it eventually kills them and doesn’t just provide a food source. How often do I need to change out the solution? Any help is appreciated! I feel like we are infested with ants and when I called around to pest control places none of them can guarantee that the ants won’t come back unless I spray EVERY month. It’s expensive and I don’t want the chemicals sprayed for my family to ingest every month. Thanks in advance!

    • Lindsay April 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      For us, it typically killed them off within a few weeks. You have to let them eat it and being back to the queen in order to kill them all. We experienced an annual uprising but this method always killed them off.

    • veronica April 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      My neighbor gave me a recipe for keeping ants at bay from the outside of the house. 1 part Borax to 1 part powdered sugar. mix in container or ziploc bag to store. Place a line of this around the outside of your house, all the way around…on a sunny day..rain ofcourse will diminish the affects. The ants are attracted to it because of the sweetness of the sugar but they also take the borax back to the colony and it will kill off the entire colony. during the spring we have to replace it more often because of the rainy season but, it works and is cheaper than having pest control come spray. hope this helps.

    • Janine May 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm #


      I had a terrible problem with ants of all different types and sizes at a previous residence: They were running over my bare feet when I sat at the computer in my bedroom. I used a very similar recipe to the one above (apparently the ratio of sugar to borax is important):

      In glass jar mix:
      2 Tablespoons borax
      2 teaspoons sugar
      1 cup very hot or boiling water

      Stir mixture until dissolved. Stuff as many cotton balls as will absorb the liquid. Place a treated cotton ball on each side of every window and door frame around your dwelling. (The outside sill works well.) Also any other opening you can think of such as pipes etc…I also took a walk around outside the perimeter of house and noticed many holes about 1/8″ to 3/16″ in diameter in the sand and gravel part of the driveway with ants scurrying in and out, so I placed some cotton balls there as well. *Note please you do not want to place these in the garden as ants are helpers there; it is just the nests that have become a nuisance to the house you want to target.

      Within a few days I only had a few ants coming in the house; after a week there were none. I have made up a jar of this and passed it on to other people who have had persistent problems with ants and it worked just as well for them.

      THIS WILL KILL COLD BLOODED ANIMALS AND INSECTS–KEEP AWAY FROM PET REPTILES, AQUARIUMS, ETC. *Also keep away from children or warm blooded pets as they may get sick if they eat a significant amount.

  68. Jen March 31, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    This is awesome! I have a similar solution for snails: Put a few shallow and wide cups of beer outside in your garden in the evening. The next morning, they will be filled with drowned snails who got to have one last hurrah before expiring.

    • Ju June 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm #

      I use seaweed to place around my plants snails won’t get near the plants and it nourishes the soil.

      • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 7:44 am #

        Be sure to wash the seaweed before applying to your garden to remove salt

    • Rainy August 5, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      Would this also work for slugs? If not does anyone have an idea of how to get rid of them before they consume my lettuce garden?

      • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 7:47 am #

        Diatomaceous earth or crushed egg shells will prevent snail and slug incursions. Also a strip of copper on the perimeter of your garden bed. Or get a duck, they love the things!

        • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 7:57 am #

          A board trap works well. Place it such that the snails or slugs can get under it to sleep during the day. Tip it over in the morning and flick the slugs into soapy water.
          I keep black plastic leaf bags on top of my compost bins. I go out every morning and find slugs on the underside of it, imported from the garden on plant litter. I flick them into a small bucket with 3-4 Tbsp vinegar. When they succumb, I dump the bucket contents back into the compost bin! Recycling to the max…!

          My MIL used to have a banana slug problem big time. She just poured table salt on them. They would foam up and actually slide out from under the salty slime. Then she would salt them again, and that usually did the trick. Not at all good for the garden soil, however….

    • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 7:58 am #

      I’ve read that the more hops used in the beer-making the more attractive to snails

  69. Josie March 28, 2012 at 7:25 pm #

    For the fruit fly trap (boy am I excited I found this by the way!) do I have to use apple cider vinegar? I only have balsamic in the house and the flies are making my kitchen look like something out of a horror movie, can I use the balsamic instead? Please say yes!

  70. Emmes March 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    I tried the ant trap and the containers are still sitting on my counter. I haven’t seen ants in the traps, but then again .. I haven’t seen ants period. lol I had to put them on the counter as I have doxie dogs who are nosey and get into everything.

    My ant troubles started when they would invade my dogs’ food bowl. YUK! Thousands of them. I finally moved the dog bowl and had put the dish in a pan of water to keep the ants out. Then I found that by folding a plastic bag in half and setting the dog dish on top .. the ants stay out of the dog food!

    Thanks for the ant trap recipe! It works wonders!!

  71. Rhonda March 27, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    i just tried the Fruit Fly trap, and omg this totally works! I didn’t have any banana’s on hand as I just threw them out becasue they were too mushy, hence why I had all the fruit flies! So I used a strawberry that I split in the middle and that did the trick! My paper funnel had too large of a mouth so some of the flies were coming back out, but once I saw I had collected most of them, I put an empty bread wrapper over the top (in case any were to escape) and stuck it in the freezer like you said. Frozen, dead fruit flies! Woohoo! Thank you sooo much!

    • Deb June 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

      Don’t throw mushy bananas out. Use them to make banana cake!

      • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 8:01 am #

        Mash up your mushy bananas and feed your staghorn ferns

    • PC Rei August 6, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Then you tossed them in the compost bin, right?

  72. Heather March 26, 2012 at 5:02 am #

    These are great! Do you have anything for moths?????

  73. Parmela March 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    I’ll try anything. It’s spring and I can see them coming out of my wall electrical sockets too. Is there a perminate solution? anyone?

  74. Jessica March 14, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    You can also put the vinegar into a bottle and cover with scran wrap then poke small holes 5 or 6 in the top. The fruit flies will find their way in but can’ get back out

  75. Frances March 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    I have problems with sugar ants, they last for months. We got a cat last year and the ants crawl all over her dry food and the wet (because she doesn’t finish all at once). my question is, is there a way to get rid of the ants with out using the Borax. I don’t want to kill the cat! just the ants.

  76. Brook March 12, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Just ran to Target to get Borax. Ants be gone!! I can’t wait to see how quickly this will work

  77. Robert March 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    its a trap! ;)

  78. Shawna March 4, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Great ideas. Thanks!

  79. Lucy February 9, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    I have always put a big ziplock bag with a banana peel in it. The fruit flies will get into the bag. Leave it a few days and then just quickly zip the bag and throw away.

  80. Kellie February 1, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Okay, so should the bottom of the funnel be above the apple cidar, or touching the cidar?

    • Lindsay February 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      It should be above the cider.

  81. Cheryl B. January 19, 2012 at 5:59 am #

    LOVE the fruit fly trap idea!!!! You are right, they just suddenly appear out of no where – in mass. 8-/ Definitely going to be trying this! THANKS for sharing it!

  82. Sus September 30, 2011 at 1:15 am #

    I’m so glad to find this! I’ve been having a heck of a time finding something that would work and yet not be too tempting for my kids to mess with. voila! Just make my jar, can’t wait to watch it work! I didn’t have banana, so I used a slice of over ripe tomato and added some sugar as well.

  83. Wildlife Removal August 13, 2011 at 9:14 pm #

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  84. mary July 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

    great idea. also vinegar and dish soap in a bowl left near the offending site will draw them and kill them. dead. ;-) i have just tried your thing with banana, vinegar, and soap to see how that works with the funnel. the problem with the bowl of dish soap/vinegar is that it is easy to knock over. a mason jar is a simple fix to that i hadn’t put into action. will do. ;-) thanks.

  85. Kira @ Kissing the Joy June 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Oh my word, this is genius. I had a HORRIBLE fruit fly problem last summer and it took me forever to get rid of the little buggers. I was just using a bowl with apple cider vinegar and hoping they might fall in and drown. I am so happy to know this trick for next time. Thank you!

  86. Mark June 13, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    I tried this and as soon as the apple vinegar hit the banana, the flies started swarming! There were 3 in the bottle before I could tape the funnel and a dozen by the time i finished it and placed it! Thanks! :)

  87. Eilene May 14, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    For fleas and ticks, sprinkle your lawn with Diatomaceous Earth. It is all natural, and it will kill most things with an exoskeleton that are crawling around in your grass. Most websites say to water it in a little. I’m not sure about that. You MUST wear a mask while applying it, though, because the dust will harm your mucous membranes in your nose. You can also put little piles of it inside your cupboards for meal worms and such, and sprinkle a little around the bottom of your entry doors and windows to stop ants from coming in. I haven’t tried it yest in my basement, but I’m going to see if it will kill some of the spiders down there, because they scare me half to death. Childhood phobia combined with serious allergy leaves this old lady quaking in her boots!

    • Brett June 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

      good thing to know about DE: it is a known carcinogen if inhaled

  88. American Valkyrie January 11, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    After weeks of inhaling fruit flies in my office, I built about five of these traps. To make them better, I used fly paper instead of rolled up paper. It caught everything that didn’t decide to go into the funnel. The fruit fly problem was solved within a few days.

    • Linda March 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

      you’re lucky, when I use fly paper it doesn’t work. They land on it, walk around and fly away. They’re too light I guess.

  89. campsisradicans January 4, 2011 at 11:53 pm #

    this works. i’ve done it. empty the trap till they are gone!

  90. Melissa November 7, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    Be sure to throw them out the house when you freeze them – they will come back to life! We did an experiment in high school that involved freezing fruit flies, and many of them live after being frozen for days.

    • laura July 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

      EW!!!!!! good to know!

    • Evelyn September 27, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

      Interesting! I saw some fruit flies in our refrigerator and thought, “good, they’ll freeze and die.” …next morning, opened the refrigerator door and out some flew! WTH! I’ve got to try the trick above. They’re annoying!

  91. Jae Caffarelli October 23, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    I liked your article and the suggestions provided. There are a ton of recommendations out there that are both savvy and bad. If you know of any more suggestions concerning natural health or associated topics, that would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the excellent writing!

  92. karen September 2, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Not reading all replies, maybe this is a duplicate; however:
    For ants, put out yellow corn meal. It gets carried away & they don’t return. Supposedly kills them. I used organic…it’s real! Safe by the cat’s dish, safe for kids. Easy, clean.

  93. Mat September 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    I have an easy and very effective fruit fly trap. Simply leave about 1/4-1/2 an inch of wine in a wine bottle and leave it out. That’s it. They are attracted to the wine in the bottle, go down for a sip, get drunk and meet their demise.

  94. Katie Dickinson July 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Teeny-tiny ants and fruit flies invaded with a neverending vengeance this year. Even when my kitchen was sparkling clean at bedtime (as opposed to still having dinner’s dished left out) we would enter the kitchen only to find 20, 30, or maybe even 60 ants all congregating and crawling on the coutertop next to our stove. Yuck!

    Well even though I have strange looking contraptions (the homemade fly-catchers) all over the house and people look at me strangely, they are full of fruit flies! I was amazed that within 30 minutes the greater population was trapped. I didn’t think anything would stop these ants, but the morning after we set out the Borax solution we couted three ants on the countertop, bit 60. There were no dead ants either, so I am thinking that the Borax was carried back to the nest, and hopefully the stragglers will disappear.

    Bless you for writing this post!

  95. Wonderful July 16, 2010 at 7:30 pm #

    Mixing borax with corn syrup and dabbing (a very hefty dab) in on wax paper also works well. And then to keep little fingers out, cutting about a quarter inch off an old TP roll. And sha-bam, ant trap!

  96. Christian Midwife June 29, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    We have chickens so now we have rats. Any ideas on how to get rid of the rats. We use giant mouse traps with peanutbutter and walnuts. We also have an electric trap.

    • momentsgrace July 3, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

      Get a cat!

    • Louise Peters July 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

      Get a few cats, or a big, mean, tom cat with a tag along. On a more serious note, have you tried rat poison? How about live traps?

      • Elizabeth February 16, 2011 at 9:38 am #

        Don’t use rat poison! It’s really dangerous for other animals and children and then there is the problem of where to dispose the rats without them piling up. I think the cat idea is probably the best because the cats will eat the rat or dump it a ways away from your door but if for some reason you can’t get a cat call an animal remover specialist and ask their advice.

      • Louise May 15, 2011 at 2:52 am #

        Rat poison is not always a good solution. A friend used it and it did kill the rat. But it had crawled into the walls in her kitchen before dying so her kitching stank og dead, decaying rat for 6 months. Difinitely not an inviting smell when cooking!

    • Louise Peters July 13, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

      mothballs!! Why didn’t I think of that sooner. It works for moles and voles and meadow moles and mice!? So why not rats? Let me know if it works. Please.

    • Jan June 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

      Several years ago, my dad accidentally discovered a great way to rid his small hobby farm of rats, which had invaded his chicken coop. He always took a 5 gallon bucket of water into the hen house in the evening, and poured half of it out for the hens, planning to give them the other half in the morning. One evening a small board was left up against the side of the bucket half-full of water. The rats apparently climbed the board to get to the water, jumped in, then couldn’t climb out! He would find several drowned rats in the bucket every morning.

  97. marcnogle June 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    I suggest releasing the Fruit Flies outside in a garden or near a body of water (pond, lake, stream, etc. ) instead of freezing them, killing them, and throwing them away.

  98. Long Beach pest control June 13, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    It will not be necessary to wash dishes or bedding exposed to fumigation gases. Nor will it be necessary to remove makeup, soaps, detergents, etc. These items, even when used after exposure to fumigation gasses, are not likely to cause you harm.

    • Dalys June 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

      Ants dont like to cross baking powder, I had a massive trail coming in threw my 2nd story apt window. And poured a like of making soda across the window sill, and have had any ants in my kitchen in weeks.

      • Erica July 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Ants also hate vinegar. I also read that they dislike cinnamon and black pepper, so I put these things to the test. They were on my counter tops crawling up to the cupboard. I of course cleaned up what they may have been attracted to first, but they stuck around. I then wiped down all the counters with white vinegar. I also sprinkled ground cinnamon and black pepper where they seemed to be the most prevalent. They were completely gone in a couple of days.

    • Mark July 19, 2010 at 10:31 am #

      Get a life

  99. Thom Khatt June 11, 2010 at 1:32 am #

    Any insight for moths? I have these little wood moths that just wont die out. Theres always 4-5 in my pantry. I know that they go after the glue that seals cardboard food boxes but ive tried removing all the boxes etc and they still just dont want to leave.

    • Deborah Maher June 17, 2010 at 8:36 am #

      They are not wood moths. They are a type of grain weevil. If you put all of your grains and nuts in glass containers the breakouts will be contained. What happens is that they develop pupa (maggot) in old grains. Then the pupa builds a cocoon attached to the box top or side. When the moth comes out of the cocoon it eats a hole in the side of the box and gets out into your pantry. Somehow it lays eggs in other containers and the cycle continues.

    • E-Beth June 17, 2010 at 9:17 am #

      Thom-Don’t mothballs work?

  100. Missy June 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    My solution for ants has always been to put some honey in a shallow cardboard box (like a cracker box) and leave it where you’ve seen the ants. They head for the honey, get stuck, and die. Super easy to clean up, just throw the box away.

    • Rhonda March 11, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

      mix honey and yeast. spread some on a paper. The ants eat it, and then they blow up from the expanding yeast.

      • locke March 14, 2011 at 11:12 am #

        what about the queen. i have odurous ants and need to get to the queen. there are usually several in one colony,which makes it a never ending battle.

  101. Loren June 9, 2010 at 12:58 pm #

    Do you have a solution for waterbugs?

  102. Cat-Face June 5, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    I work in a drosophila (fruit fly) lab – the ideal trap for them instead of fruit is a paste made from mixing yeast and water (should have consistency of smooth peanut butter). Both can be bought from supermarkets, and simulates rotting vegetation without the smell.

  103. eng police June 4, 2010 at 1:59 pm #


  104. Ben Koshkin May 20, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    For ant mounds outside I recommend microwaving Uncle Ben’s grits and placing on the mound. The ants will feed it to the queen and the colony will die usually in 4-6 days.

    Ben Koshkin.

    • wayne st clair June 5, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

      That doesn’t say much about uncle ben’s grits. W

      • Brenda August 13, 2011 at 10:03 am #

        The reason it works, is because the grits or corn meal will expand in their stomachs after a bit, and it basically explodes their insides.

  105. Bele December 30, 2009 at 4:28 am #

    As for the flour bugs, when you first bring home the products (flour, corn meal, oatmeal, baking mix, etc..) put them in the freezer for 24 hours. This will make any eggs that the product might have sterile. Have been doing this for years. Have not had this problem since I started doing this.

  106. Alyiana October 10, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    Any suggestions for fleas? Other than a light in soapy water (only halfway works).

    • Kelli October 24, 2009 at 10:06 pm #

      I have had fleas several times in my home, and got rid of them completely without an extermitator. It was easy: Srinkle flea powder on your carpets/floors and vacuum. Empty the bag immediately (or if bagless vacuum, dump it into an outside garbage).
      Keep repeating the process, and eventually they will disappear. Steam cleaning the carpet can help too, but I found the vacuuming to be the most effective method.

      • Jaws June 6, 2010 at 2:44 am #

        Is it a kitten or a dog? A very very effective way to kill fleas is shampoo and water. Lather up some shampoo around their neck to make a very thick foam collar so the fleas can’t escape up the head, then just dunk them in water for about 15-30 seconds, and use a flea comb to comb them out the fur and let them drop.

        I used to just use a flea comb then drop them in a jar of water with a drop of soap. That drop removes the surface tension and they can’t jump off the surface. Anyway it took then about 15-30 seconds to quit twitching. Neither method kills flea eggs so it will have to be repeated every 3-4 days for a couple weeks, during which you need to heavily clean any fabrics in your house and deep clean the carpets, because they can live in the carpets for awhile without meals.

        Getting a flea comb and dropping them in soap water is effective too, tho it takes time, diligence, and care since often times they go for the belly and genital area where it’s very warm and soft, and you don’t wanna hurt your baby with a sharp poke with a comb. No bueno. Anyways, I hope this helps

        • Flea killer June 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

          You know what else helps? Flea control. Like advantage or frontline. Fleas don’t like human blood and it’s not nearly as much work as what jaws described. They all die when they bite the pet including eggs/larvae. And if it’s too expensive, you can get away with using it every other month, honestly.

          • Ashley Angell June 19, 2010 at 6:39 am #

            I get bit by fleas all the time, they like very pale skinned people because their skin is easy to bite through.

    • Terry May 20, 2010 at 3:00 am #

      The Herb Pennyroyal ground up and sprinkled into the carpet also works.

      • karen September 2, 2010 at 10:08 am #

        Pennyroyal is toxic to pets. Rosemary might work.

    • Jennifer June 8, 2010 at 6:19 am #

      yeah…..for the flea eggs I always sprinkle salt in my carpet for a few days and vacuum it out whenever I get sick of the salt sticking to my feet. After you do this enough the fleas will stop reproducing and eventually die. It works in my apartment every summer.

    • Rhonda March 11, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

      For fleas, put a solution of sugar water (i think this is right) in a little dish and set it under a night light. The fleas jump in and drown.

    • locke March 14, 2011 at 11:19 am #

      table salt works. sprinkle on ur all ur floors and any surfaces that they might be. leave for 24 hrs then clean up repeat in 7 days. then once a mth to keep them gone. for ur yard put pine sol in a sprayer attached to ur hose use until a foamy layer . repeat in seven days and then once a month. safe for pets and children.ive used the salt and it got rid of them and didnt return.

  107. M.I.A in Minnesota September 30, 2009 at 6:57 am #

    This does work amazingly well! With in seconds of making my trap, there were fruit flies climbing down to their doom! Thanks for the tip!

  108. debbie September 23, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    Wouldn’t adding some dish soap to the cider kill them
    which would eliminate the need to freeze? My best success
    so far has been to place a large platter (with raised edges)
    on the cupboard and pour the cider and soap in it. I get
    dozens per day.

  109. Becky September 11, 2009 at 5:45 am #

    I used these back when you first posted it and it did the trick. Then last week it seemed like ants were taking over our home. I made new ant cups on Sunday and I haven’t seen an ant since Monday night! Thanks for the idea!

  110. Meredith September 4, 2009 at 9:31 am #

    Genius, we’re doing it right now :) Thanks!

  111. April Bauer August 26, 2009 at 4:55 am #

    I just wanted to add another solution for the ants. Cornmeal. All you have to do is scatter it about & let them do all the work. I even put some outside my backdoor & it worked there as well. I like this idea because I don’t have to worry about the children getting into it. I don’t know what kind of ants I have/had so I hope it works for whoever gives it a try. Thanks for the tip with the fruitflies, I have a problem with them as well.

  112. Granola Mom August 22, 2009 at 10:15 am #

    Hi! I just wanted you to know that I blogged about your fruit fly trap!

  113. Natasha August 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    I would have gone crazy without this! I came home to so many fruit flies and right before family was coming to visit. Within two days this frugal and simple solution had taken care of the problem. Thank you!

  114. Ines August 21, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    Thanks for your prompt reply. Yes, I did search google, but on the first go only found chemical solutions, i.e. these kind of sticky tapes covered with beatle pheromones to lure them onto the tape to stick there and starve. Well, I’ll give it a second go and search thoroughly. Perhaps if I am successful I can post something here for you or others to try out in case of emergency :-)
    At least I found the source / hiding place of the little things, they must have been nesting in a cardboard box of breadcrumps since we moved into the apartment last fall.

  115. Ines August 21, 2009 at 6:08 am #

    Hi, I read about your invention for eliminating fruit flies a few weeks ago. I very much like the idea of it especially because it’s chemical-free. Gladly I haven’t got any problems with those. Yet, at the moment our apartment is run over by bread beatles / drugstore beatles (Stegobium paniceum would be the Latin name). Do yo happen to have any experiences with these little animals and your fruit fly trap? Do you know whether they will go for it?
    I would be very relived to find a “yes-answer” from you or any other invention that helps me get rid of these little beasts.
    Thanks a lot for any kind of chemical-free hint.

    • Lindsay August 21, 2009 at 6:42 am #

      I’m sorry but I personally don’t have any ideas for the beatle problem. Did you search google?

      • Tired August 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

        Do you mean mealworms? The little beetles that love to live in your flours and grains? My first recommendation is to never buy Jiffy mixes (at least here in the US). Info passed along to me by my mom, but of course, too late.

        Getting rid of mealworms is a long and tedious process, and once you do it, you’ll likely take measures to never get them back again. First, you should rid your cupboards of all infected items. Sadly, in my cupboards, this included sealed bottles of spices like ginger (well ok, I hate ginger, so no problem). Searching the internet will get you results of people saying you can freeze your flours and grains and that will kill the eggs. But really? Yuck. Throw it out and start over.

        I removed every bit of every food item from my cupboards and put it on my kitchen table, throwing out the obviously infected items. Then I wiped down all my cupboards with bleach. Left everything out for at least a week (weird to see the beetles crawling out). Wiped down the cupboards again and threw out more food. After that I put it all back, making sure that every little bit of every grain food was sealed up tightly (think resealable plastic bags, not just the packaging from the store). I believe I had to repeat this whole process one more time, and within six months I was free of the little pests. I permanently keep my sugars, flours and all other packaged baking goods in a Rubbermaid container away from pests.

        And I no longer buy Jiffy products. Sorry Jiffy, stop packing your products with mealworm eggs.

        • cindy August 27, 2009 at 8:53 am #

          I buy Jiffy products all the time and have never had a problem. Pizza crust mix, corn muffins, cakes, etc. I have had issues with some spices and spaghetti products, which were all in sealed plastic bottles and bags, so I think any product can get infestations. I don’t think brand matters.

          • Tired August 31, 2009 at 8:30 pm #

            If you’re using them right away, it’s likely the eggs don’t have an opportunity to hatch.

          • Tired August 31, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

            Oh….and they come in sealed packages, but they’re tainted before packaging.

        • Kelli October 24, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

          I just opened a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin mix today to feed (kill)ants in my yard. To my disgust, the box was full of bugs! I had to clean out my pantry, toss everything that was open (cereal, oatmeal, flour, etc.) Then I vacuumed, and took Fantastik with Orange oil and sprayed and wiped.

          I might buy Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix to kill ants, but not to make muffins! It is an excellent and safe way to kill ants. The flour, corn meal and baking soda in the mix makes the ants unable to digest, and they die. They carry it down into the nest, so you get to the Queen.

          Any mixes with flour, corn meal, etc. will now go into the freezer until using!

    • Rhonda March 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

      You might try the yeast with honey for beetles. If it draws them, they will blow up, too.

  116. amanda August 19, 2009 at 10:47 am #

    I just put out the fruit fly trap… we have a huge problem with them! hopefully this will work. At wits end and running out of flying insect killers to try! Would anyone know what brings them?

  117. Momo August 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    Thank you for the excellent apple cider vinegar -in a jar -with tape, remedy. I had dozens of flies all over the house. The procedure was quick efficient and economical. It didn’t cost me anything. I had most of those ingredients in my house. However, I did not have a bananna. So I used a table spoon sized piece of watermelon and a teaspoon of natural sugar. :) I saw fruit flies gather in the jar in minutes. I also poured bleach down all of the drains in my house. I see almost no fruit flies now.

  118. Kathy in NJ August 11, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    The ant trap worked SO WELL! Thank you for another fabulous natural solution!

  119. cheyenne August 10, 2009 at 11:29 am #

    A chicken or even better, an egg-laying duck will decimate those slugs and snails!

  120. cojo August 8, 2009 at 5:09 pm #

    Any recommendations for slugs (other than beer in a can-it’s been too rainy)

    • pacific northwest June 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

      I came across a container to house the beer for slugs that works great to keep the rain out. Take a 20 oz. plastic soda bottle and cut the top off about 1/3 of the way down. Flip the top part around and insert it into the bottom part so the lip of the bottle creates a funnel. Staple it around the edges and pour the beer into it. Slugs can crawl in but if placed right on the ground, the rain can’t dilute the beer.

      • Louise Peters July 13, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

        I love your slug trap idea! I currently use commercial traps that are a bowl with a slotted cover and an umbrella – like roof. Add the beer and a little yeast and presto, you can literally watch them leave thier current feeding spots or they will actually turn around and slither to the bait. They fall in and drown. I am going to make some of your traps and set them out everywhere. We have a HUGE problem with slugs and snails.

  121. Cait August 6, 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    Thank you so much for your fruit fly trap. I must add, in desperation, I used Red Wine Vinegar and it was terribly effective. I keep a pristine house-hold and these nasty pests have been plaguing my kitchen and making a mockery of my hard work for ages. I set up my Red Wine Vinegar trap and returned from work to find my kitchen, and house, fly free. Thank you and thanks again. I will recommend this website to all of my friends. I have been searching for an effective, animal safe, remedy for this problem and it has been found. Thanks and thanks again.

  122. [email protected]rm August 6, 2009 at 7:48 am #

    I’m putting this together right now. The fruit flies are multiplying in my compost bin and infecting the tomatoes!

    I’ve tried homemade ant traps with no success. I’ll have to try yours. We have free roaming fire ants in the house. I’m tired of working around them! At least they do a lot of clean up for me!!

    Thanks for the great post (thanks to Stumble!)!

  123. Vixin August 5, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    anybody have a natural earwig trap… my house seems to be a place they enjoy being this year. yuk

  124. Ann at mommysecrets August 5, 2009 at 11:14 am #

    I read your post 2 days ago, and thought, “what a great tip to use whenever i have an ant problem”. Then this morning I awoke to a kitchen full of fruit flies, which I’ve never seen in our house before!!! I think you might have jinxed me!!! Just kidding – thanks for the tip!

  125. Stefan Lasiewski August 5, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    Note that the carpenter ants are very destructive wood pests. like termites. If there are a few visible few carpenter ants on your kitchen counter, there are probably thousands in the walls eating the wood in your house.

    The ant trap will only remove the visual trace of these ants, and will have little effect on their actual population.

    Fruitflies are annoying. Sugar and Argentine ants are annoying. Carpenter ants and termites cause real damage.

    • Brandon M. Sergent January 4, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

      The trap is for flies, the goop is for ants. If they carry the food back, it can break the life cycle.

    • Louise Peters July 13, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

      We discovered carpenter ant damage on the back corner of our house. My husband is a builder, so he opened the wall to find that the damage really as bad as we had expected to visualize. Should I be worried that there may be more damage in another area of the house? What do you recommend as the most effective method for extermination and preventing recurrence of carpenter ants. They are stubborn little (big) suckers.

  126. emf August 5, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    I’ve come across this idea for a fruit fly trap before, and it works very well. I put a drop of dish soap in the vinegar in order to break the surface tension. This way, the flies drown when they try to land on the vinegar. Of course, freezing will kill them all, but maybe you’ll drown a few that were smart enough to find their way back out!

  127. Beth August 5, 2009 at 5:50 am #

    I put together the fruit fly trap yesterday and am amazed at the number flies caught!! Thank you!

  128. Whisper August 5, 2009 at 2:30 am #

    If you have an empty eyedrops bottle that is clean and dry, put boric acid powder in it and then just gently spritz the boric acid around the baseboards and doorways to get rid of the sugar ants and “slab” ants. It may also work with carpenter ants. Doesn’t touch the spiders, but when their food source is gone, the spider population is reduced too.

    To kill them faster, mix some boric acid with water and spritz them. I don’t have a recipe, I just dump a teaspoon or two into a travel sized spritz bottle and add water. Shake and let sit until it’s all dissolved (not long before that happens), then spritz them. If you spritz linoleum, or even sprinkle the powder on linoleum, you might want to wash the floors after a bit because the dried boric acid can be VERY slippery. Even to bare feet.

  129. ruby August 4, 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    I love these tips, thanks for sharing.

  130. Kristi August 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    Another great option for ants is to take cinnamon and mix it with water- it should be a paste like consistency. You can mold this into places that ants are coming in- door jams, windows etc. Obviously- this won’t work in electrical sockets. :) Ants hate the smell of cinnamon and will stop coming around.
    I have used this the past four summers and it works great. Plus, I have never worried about my son or pets ingesting it!

  131. Jen August 4, 2009 at 5:29 am #

    What a timley find! (Thank you, StumbleUpon!) I have a major ant problem this year, and it’s driving me crazy. Mostly they invade in the spring, but this year I’m finding larger black ones (possibly carpenters) that are crawling all over my kitchen. My ant-loving sons won’t let me kill them outright, so this will be a sneakier method of getting rid of them. Thanks!

    • Brandon M. Sergent January 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

      Jen, you are a trooper. That is very considerate of you and speaks highly of your character. Your boys will be good people I expect.


  132. Bob August 4, 2009 at 3:21 am #

    We used a very similar trap for hornets while we were touring New Zealand by camper van. You cut the top of a plastic pop bottle- the cut should be horizontal and be made just where the rounded shoulders of the bottle meet the straight sides of the cylindrical body of the bottle. Flip the top part that you have removed over an put it back in place only with the bottle spout facing down into the body of the bottle. Fill it with anything sweet and liquid (a bit of leftover pop works fine) and leave it on the ground. The hornets get in but can’t get back out and eventually drown in the liquid. Dish soap might help speed the process, but wasn’t required. It cleared our camp site within two hours.

  133. Melissa August 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    I was told by someone that fruitflies lay their eggs inside drains. I don’t know if that is true but maybe that is why they are in the bathroom.

  134. Bob August 3, 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Like your ant solution. Another formulation is boric acid (more expensive than borax, but borax would probably do) mix a couple of tablespoons full with peanut butter and honey. Put this mixture in some empty pop cans and place around the outside of the house and in the crawl space. Can be placed in the garden. It takes a month to finally get rid of all the ants, but it will work. It takes years for them to recover.

    In CA most of the ants are an exotic tiny army ant that makes long trails into the cupboards. I do not feel bad about killing the exotics since they have replaced most of the native varieties.

  135. colinnwn August 3, 2009 at 7:50 am #

    Spiders are very hard to kill because their long legs prevent them from being exposed to poisons. It is also better not to kill them unless you know it is a poisonous spider. They keep the bug population down.

    Fleas you need to stop whatever is bringing them into the house. If it is a dog or cat, bathe them and then apply Advantage or Advantix. After that is taken care of, to get rid of the home infestation vacuum all your soft furniture, mop all your hard floors, then sprinkle borax over every square inch of your carpet (pulling out all furniture). Let it sit for at least 2 hours, but preferably to the next day. Then vacuum up the Borax. Worked perfectly for me.

  136. Jan August 2, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Our house has been covered with fruit flies this year! We discovered the original source, an apple that had rolled off the counter and was rotting behind some tote boxes. But our fruit flies seemed to migrate upstairs into the bathroom also. No food up there and they were all over the bathroom drain. We got one of the fly strips you hang from the ceiling (NOT very attractive to say the least). I’m going to try this! Thanks!

  137. Mike August 1, 2009 at 9:13 pm #

    Being in the pest control business for 15 yrs I have to say nice job. Borax in your homemade bait, you in essence created a boric acid bait which we use professionally. However I am surprised it worked for Carpenter Ants as they are carnivorous and usually do not feed upon baits.

    Your fruit fly trap was again…great. We use professional traps made with apple cider vinegar as well. However fruit flies only live a short time and if the food source and/or breeding source is found and removed the flies will die off. REMEMBER…if you have Fruit Flies (true Fruit Flies) the is something fermenting. Find it and eliminate it. Be care not to leave your homemade Fruit Fly trap out too long because the vinegar will ferment and provide a possible feeding/breeding site for the flies!


    • Cori July 20, 2010 at 6:59 am #

      I have been using Raid ant baits for years with no visible reduction in carpenter ants.
      One year we heard them chewing the wood in the wall, and my husband ripped the panelling off to discover the nest, which we then sprayed with Raid ant killer. But I guess we didn’t get the queen, because we still have carpenter ant problems.
      I have long suspected that raid ant traps don’t work on carpenter ants, and am ready to try something else. I was just about to try the borax & sugar solution, when I read your comment about carpenter ants not usually feeding upon baits.
      Any new suggestions are welcome…except ripping all the walls out of my cottage!!!!

  138. serinadruid August 1, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    I love these ideas! Great! I’ll keep this in mind next time this issue creeps up on me! ♥

  139. serinadruis August 1, 2009 at 3:09 pm #

    I love these ideas! Great! I’ll keep this in mind next time this issue creeps up on me! ♥

  140. Gina August 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm #

    We’re trying the ant idea today…but my husband is unsure about it (as he usually is about more natural things). How quickly did it work for you?

    • Lindsay August 1, 2009 at 10:19 pm #

      They went away in a matter of days. I replaced the traps once as they tend to dry up a bit, but it was about a week before they all just disappeared.

  141. Diana Bauman August 1, 2009 at 11:59 am #

    Lindsay, Thank you so much for this. I couldn’t believe how well it worked! I was so excited that I posted about it on my blog.

    Thanks again!


  142. Marilyn August 1, 2009 at 8:02 am #

    I had a book that said you could spray vinegar in the corners of your room to keep spiders from making their webs there. I haven’t got around to trying it though.

  143. Ira July 31, 2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Do you have a way to make an attractive rat trap for inside the home? I need somthing that would not be out of place in my kitchen.

  144. cdc July 31, 2009 at 3:22 pm #

    I have been making these fruit fly traps for years; they work better than commercial lures!! You can also bait them with wine. To dispose of the flies, I put a couple drops of dish soap on the funnel, then run hot water in, it kills them instantly.

  145. thanks July 31, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    thanks a lot.
    now, is there any easy way like this to get rid of silverfish?

  146. Ruth July 29, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    My sis-in-law taught me this great trick: wash all fruit (especially what will be sitting out on counters, etc.) as SOON as you get home from the store (even bananas in their peels!!) This washes off the fruit fly eggs and then they never hatch!! As long as you truly wash your fruit, you will have NO FRUIT FLIES AT ALL!!!

  147. Karen July 28, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    We have problems with both of those pests…and the ingredients to deal with them! Thanks for the tips!

  148. Jenney July 27, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    Oh! I have had it up to my ears with fruit flies! THANKS!

  149. Janette July 27, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    Thanks for the info on the fruit fly trap. It was very timely information and really worked great! I like finding natural remedies that really work.

  150. Carmen July 27, 2009 at 4:35 am #

    Our fruit flies have been out of control!! I just tried your fruit fly trap and it worked AMAZINGLY! Thanks!

  151. Joelle July 26, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    Wonderful! I need to try that fruit fly trap. We’ve been having problems with gnats at my office. I will have to try it to see if it works. =)

  152. Jenn July 25, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    I forgot to add that I just used an apple core because I had one sitting there so just about anything the flies are attracted too will work in the trap.

  153. Jenn July 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    Ah, your timing is perfect. I’ve been trying all sorts of things to get rid of the fruit flies in my kitchen and nothing has worked. I set this trap up this morning and it is so full of little flies now!


  154. Susan July 25, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    Fruit flies LOVE kombucha too, so if you make that stuff it really works to attract them. Thanks for the tip about freezing them…I always killed them with bleach and felt very bad about doing it that way. Whenever I look at fruit flies I can only see “breeding machine” now, because I heard they have an extremely short reproduction cycle – something like 30 minutes. They also love sourdough or anything else that’s fermenting, which is why they love rotting fruit.

  155. Jenn July 25, 2009 at 7:45 am #

    I am all for natural remedies, but I am a bit surprised so many people are so excited about killing “pests”. Is it just me who feels this way? I really struggle with convenience vs respecting life.

    I can’t stand spiders, for example, but I can’t bring myself to kill one. I feel like they are a part of this world just like you and me. Granted, I don’t have a huge fruit fly problem – although we do have silverfish that are quite annoying. But I still can’t bring myself to do a mass extermination.

    Lindsay, you seem very thoughtful, as well as respectful of life and God – is this an issue you have thought of? I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts (no judgment – just curiosity and to get me thinking).

    • Lindsay July 25, 2009 at 11:44 am #

      Well, honestly, I love respecting all the lovely insects and bugs in God’s creation, but when they enter my home and are taking over, than I am all for their removal. Their domain is outdoors and not in my house. ;) We seriously had so many fruit flies that I hardly do my dishes without being swarmed with them. If you desire not to kill the fruit flies, another thought is to trap them in the trap and then take the jar outdoors and release them. I have done this before as well. IF you can carefully remove the spiders outdoors, than by all means! Sometimes they just get a bit overwhelming to manage indoors. Those are my thoughts.

      • Jenn July 26, 2009 at 12:08 am #

        Thanks for your thoughts. I also think their domain is outdoors (which is what I remind my husband of when I ask him to “rescue” a spider by taking it outside, since I prefer not to touch them! I always tell him they’ll be much happier there).

        I guess I was just surprised at all of the smileys and exclamation points in the comments about killing them off (although I definitely understand that they are a big pain!) But you raise a good point (with your fruit fly method) that you can choose to release them outdoors.


        • Jen July 26, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

          A Jenn after my own heart. :) I posted above that I leave spiders alone. If they can’t be tolerated, then relocate them outdoors without killing them.

  156. Ann July 25, 2009 at 5:49 am #

    Thanks for this post. We live in Okinawa and have terrible trouble with ants. I can’t wait to try this. :)

  157. Dixie July 24, 2009 at 9:41 pm #

    Love these ideas. How about spiders – any tips to share there???? Spiders are bad this year at our house.

  158. Kelli July 24, 2009 at 9:19 pm #

    Do you have any good ideas for fleas?

  159. Soccy July 24, 2009 at 7:52 pm #

    Thanks so much! This is exactly what we needed. We are being plagued by both of these little devils and no matter how many I splat, more just keep coming. I’m off to make this little mix right now. Thanks again!

  160. Alison @ Hospitality Haven July 24, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

    THANK YOU! This is such great timing. We just discovered ants yesterday…

  161. Emily July 24, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    THANK YOU! You have saved my life. And my summer fruits and veggies. And my compost bin (hubby would say get rid of it if we couldn’t control the fruit flies). Yay for you!

  162. Chelsea July 24, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    What a great idea? Do you have any natural way of getting rid of spiders??? Please? lol.

    • Jen July 26, 2009 at 11:53 pm #

      Unless they are truly out of control, I would leave spiders alone. They help control (trap and eat) all those other unwanted bugs around the house. Of course I’m a science nerd though, and love spiders. :) If I find them in a place that I can’t tolerate (near my bed, or food in the kitchen), I relocate them outdoors without killing them.

  163. Tina Wenger July 24, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    Thank you for your blog! I’ve benefitted from it in many ways! We also have had the seasonal ant problem, and I’ve had good success using clove oil. Also I wanted to tell you about a company called Sun & Earth. I just ordered a gallon of dish liquid for $13. I also get their hand soap by the gallon ($13) and put it into foam pumps to help it stretch further. We use it for hand and bodies and even hair! You can check out their products at

  164. Heather July 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Thank you so much! We have been invaded by ants and NOTHING seems to stop them! I will try the Borax trick when I get home; I’m so glad we can use stuff we already have on hand. Thanks again!

  165. Anna July 24, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    I know that cinnamon is also good at keeping away ants. Just sprinkle it around or where they are at and they won’t cross it! :)

  166. Emily July 24, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    We do the same thing as Jessica for the fruit flies. I just use an old baby food jar with about 1/2 in. of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap. The fruit flies are attracted to the vinegar and then once they go for it they get stuck in the jar and the dish soap kills them off. I just rinse the jar out about once a week and refill it because it looks pretty gross with all the dead fruit flies floating around in there!

  167. kate July 24, 2009 at 11:41 am #

    Wow! This is so great- and perfect timing! We have had both ants and fruit flies this year and it’s getting annoying, but I hate using expensive products that are unsafe for the children to be near. Thank you!!!!

  168. Evelyn July 24, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    I love the fruit fly solution…we did something similar one year when we got fruit flies really bad, but it was using a 2 litre bottle and was more difficult…the paper funnel really makes this an easy solution!

  169. Sarah July 24, 2009 at 10:30 am #

    Thank you, Lindsay, for this wonderful article! I have begun moving my family towards a more natural lifestyle, and have been battling with ants in my home for some time now. I’m definitely going to try the recipe today! I love your blog, btw. It’s so inspiring and really lifts my spirits when I am feeling the homemaking blahs. Your sweet spirit is evident in each article. Thank you!

  170. Emily July 24, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    Wow, thanks for the fruit fly trap! We are also plagued by these pesky little bugs in our apartment. I’ll buy a banana and try this very very soon!

  171. Jenn M July 24, 2009 at 10:14 am #

    Thank you! We have been invaded by ants and love your solution!!

  172. kileah July 24, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    that’s awesome about gettin’ those pesky fruitflies! i do something almost exactly like that, only I use an old canning lid and poke tiny holes with hammer and nail over the top-about 4 or 5..then screw the lid on-i usually use a pint-sized jar with a bit of apple cider vinegar in it too! they crawl in but can’t crawl back out! mom taught me that one! we get problems with ants every so often so thanks for the remedy:D

  173. Jennifer July 24, 2009 at 9:57 am #

    Great ideas!! I will be using these. Thanks for sharing, you are awesome!!

  174. Sally in VA July 24, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    AMEN~!!!!! We have fruit flies, and oh! are they a nuisance! Last year, I scoured the counter every day, put all good eats in the fridge (but bagged my ‘maters) to *attempt* eliminating invitation, but they STILL came! They are coming back, loving the outside of DH’s sourdough jar….I am on my way to try this now!!

  175. Sarah M July 24, 2009 at 9:26 am #

    This is EXACTLY what I needed to see today. I just stuck everything in the fridge to be done with them, yet to find them around the trash can…and we’re certainly not putting THAT in the fridge, lol

    What an awesome idea, Thank you!!!
    Sarah M

  176. lea July 24, 2009 at 9:09 am #

    We did just this for our fruit fly problem, my husband actually set the jar in the oven and after lots were in there he turned the oven on and that killed them. I also had read to stick the vacuum hose down the garbage disposal because they can’t stand up against the suction, that seemed to work as well. After all of that, we ended up with only a few left that eventually (surprisingly) died off. :)
    For ants I have used the coffee grounds from your past post (but outdoors) and it has worked marvelously! :)

  177. Kate July 24, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    We have more problems w/flies, then fruit flies. I notice fruit flies only when I have veggies out or fruits (usually only after a week tho, or if one of the children left something in their room too long.

    And once the fruit/veggies/old food are removed, no more fruit flies.

  178. sara July 24, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    I just wanted to add that I have done another similar fruit fly elimination that might be even easier. I just put acv in a glass with a couple drops of dish soap and it was very effective. However I did find I had to change the acv every 10-14 days, so maybe it’s not as cost effective.

  179. Heather July 24, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    That fruit fly trap is a lifesaver. For ants we sprinkle cornmeal on the ground outside around the base of our house. We had a very bad black ant problem in the years before we did that, and haven’t seen a single ant or spider since we started doing it. I can’t remember where I read about it, but it certainly works. I do it once in the spring and again in fall. I just dump a line of cornmeal along the house, where the dirt meets the basement wall and voila! I’m not sure if its killing the ants or deterring them though

    • Sandy August 4, 2009 at 6:40 am #

      The fruit fly trap sounds great, but I wonder if the cornmeal ant bait around the house might not attract meal moths. I start seeing them fluttering around in my house every year when the farmers around us harvest their corn. They love to get into unsealed containers and cocoon under wallpaper edges. Anyone have any ideas?

  180. Deborah July 24, 2009 at 7:42 am #

    It is amazing you can even make a fruit fly trap look pretty! Do you think this would work with house flies?

  181. Jessica July 24, 2009 at 7:37 am #

    Another very easy way to kill the fruit flies is this….I read it a few weeks ago & did not honestly think it would work but it did/does. Now I just leave the jar on my counter & we are not having anymore problems.
    All you need is a small cup, (I use a tiny canning jar), 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, & a few squirts of liquid dish soap (I used costco brand dish soap). Just put it all in the glass jar & sit it on the counter. The fruit flies will go to it & die. They will die right there. You don’t have to move this mixture to the freezer. Within 2 hours we caught a lot & by the next day all the fruit flies were gone. As I said we just leave the glass out now to catch any new ones. Since doing this we have not had anymore problems & this way is so quick & easy!

  182. Joyce July 24, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    The fruit fly trap is brilliant! Thanks for posting that. We’ve been having an unusual amount of the little pests for the last couple of weeks. My daughter has been vacuuming them out of the air, but that hardly seems to put a dent in the population.