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

    Hello, Neat post. There is a problem together with your site in internet explorer, would test this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a huge part of people will leave out your excellent writing because of this problem.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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! :)

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

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

    Do you have a solution for waterbugs?

  20. 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.

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


  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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.

  27. 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!

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

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

  29. 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.

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

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

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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?

  35. 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.

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

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

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

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

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. [email protected] 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!)!

  41. 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

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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!

  45. 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!

  46. 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.

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

    I love these tips, thanks for sharing.

  48. 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!

  49. 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.


  50. 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.