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

IMG_6140This post was originally published July 24, 2009. We have recently been attacked again with large ants around our house, so I knew it was time to bring out our successful ant trap and share with you all our success again!

We 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 summer 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.

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.

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

  1. April W. October 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    I tried this at my house in Costa Rica, where we’re all plagued by ants year-round. We had both large ants and tiny sugar ants and this recipe killed both types. Thanks so much for a GREAT solution to the ant problem that is not expensive or laced with very harsh chemicals. I love it and recommend it to others.

  2. glenna October 13, 2010 at 8:32 am #

    I tried the fruit fly trap for the crazy amount of gnats I’ve had lately. I CANNOT believe how well it worked! Why in the world don’t they fly back up the funnel??? It works GREAT!

  3. call2write June 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm #

    I just found your blog and have enjoyed reading your posts, and I’ll definitely be back. Thanks for the natural remedies and healthy living info!

  4. Megan June 2, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    I just put my fruit fly trap out a few minutes ago. They’re already gathering on the outside. I subbed a peach slice in for the piece of banana ;)

  5. Jocelyn May 31, 2010 at 5:27 am #

    I love your ideas, especially the fruit fly one. We get them horribly while canning in the summer.

    Another thing that works fantastic for ants is cornmeal. We get them in our basement each summer. It is annoying. We take cornmeal and put it along the path the ants eat. They take it back to the nest and eat it and die.

  6. Sherry May 29, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Thanks for sharing the idea! I just “stumbled upon” your site. I new there was a trick to catch those fruit flies. They are driving me nuts!! Everytime I get to the kitchen sink I spray it with bug spray, and sometimes I’ll catch a couple and sometimes I won’t. Thanks again! Oh and oh so cute blog!!

  7. Lisa Beth W. May 26, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    I do the apple cider vinegar and dish soap thing, too. I put it in a pretty container. It works very well!

    I think I’m going to try the borax on my ant hills.

  8. Stacy May 26, 2010 at 5:57 am #

    The ant trap worked great. Less than 12 hours and no ant sightings today.

    For fruit flies, I tried your jar method last year w/ limited success. For a similar (and smack your head, why didn’t i think of that) approach, I did this with great success:

    Put canteloupe in a plastic container that has a lid (like gladware).
    Leave the lid off
    Put it on the counter
    Wait until all the fruit flies are happily feasting
    Put on the lid
    Take the fruit flies outside.

    It may take a few times to get them all, but they’ll be gone!

  9. Katie May 26, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the ant trap recipe!!! We have been fighting ants for 5 years in our kitchen. I hate putting chemically things on our counters (out of the way of dog and child) and nothing “homemade” (peppermint, vingegar, etc) worked until this! I placed several dishes out for most of the day Sunday and I have never SEEN so many ants in my house before happily noshing on their “treat”. That night I cleaned everything up, wiped the counters down really well and we are going on 3 days without a sighting so far!

    • Katie May 26, 2010 at 5:20 am #

      Oh, and I forgot to mention that I added in a ton more sugar than the recipe called for. A total of about 16-20 tablespoons. I wanted to make sure to entace the little buggers. :)

  10. Karen May 25, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    Hurray! I’ve bought Borax tonight and will try this first thing in the morning. Thank you!

  11. Natural Mama May 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    Just when I was getting crabby about all the fruit flies flying around in my kitchen, I remembered seeing your post in my blog list! I have never had a problem with fruit flies before. Ugh. Thanks again. I would love to see you post about something natural that *works* for roaches. We live in an old house and pests can just get in. There is no way around it. :) I hate, hate roaches and would love to see some suggestions w/o using Raid! Thanks!

  12. Pam May 25, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    Quick question about the ant solution–about how long does it take for the ants to be gone? Is this something I should leave out for several days and continue to wipe down the counters to rid the ants that are there or should I just let them do their thing around/in the solution and wait until they eventually stop coming?

  13. Christi May 24, 2010 at 5:20 am #

    Thanks so much for 2 great tips! I’ve used something similar to the fly trap, but without the funnel.

    Your previous post on this is why I found your blog a few weeks ago. Rather randomly actually, but I’m loving it now. My favorite new blog to read.

    @Jenn I love the idea of the tea towel over the fruit, that’s so simple. Why didn’t I ever think of that?!

  14. Shannon Hazleton May 24, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    I was just thinking about this tip that I originally read when you posted it last year. We have some pesky regular flies that have gotten into the house and won’t seem to die. I wonder if this trap would work for them too. I was thinking I’d have to peruse your blog to remember how to make it, but how wonderfully convenient that you posted about it again – thanks!

    ~ Shannon

  15. Amy May 24, 2010 at 3:41 am #

    Just wanted to share some info about the carpenter ants…if you have them, you may want to do a thorough inspection of your house to make sure you don’t have any rotting wood anywhere…since that’s what draws them. We had carpenter ants here for the first 2-3 years after moving in until a friend told us that. So we searched and found a pile of (scrap) wood in the rafters of our basement. After we got rid of it, we didn’t see another ant again…it’s been 3 years. Just a thought.
    I also have an issue with fruit flys around the bucket to go out to the compost container…one day of being lazy and leaving it too long, and you have those stupid things flying around forever it seems! I’ll try this tip soon.

  16. Flo May 23, 2010 at 5:37 pm #

    Cinnamon sticks for ants. I used to use different potions until I heard about this. Works like magic!

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  18. Jenn May 23, 2010 at 6:33 am #

    I had a tough time getting rid of fruit flies last season until I covered my fruit. I used a light weight tea towel and completely covered the bowl of fruit. The material is thin enough to let air pass through but not bugs. Also, sometimes fruit flies can breed in the sink drains, even if you don’t have a garbage disposal. So if you’re having a tough time getting rid of them, try cleaning your drains.

    This spring our kitchen pests are of the furry, four-footed variety. So my weekend has been filled with putting all my pantry goods into mouse-proof containers.

  19. heidi @ wonder woman wannabe May 22, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    Awesome! can’t wait to try out the ant repellant! Found my way to you via a link at Inspired to Action – I’ll be back!

  20. candi durbin May 21, 2010 at 8:28 pm #

    what a good idea, I just used a glass bowl and plastic wrap with holes punched in it. And a strawberry in the container and it worked, but it looks like yours worked better!

  21. heather May 21, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    I really need this ant trap- thanks for the tip!
    And to Amy that has the problem with the ant hills outside. Try diatematious earth (don’t know if I just spelled that correctly or not!) You can “pour” it right down the ant hill and that should do the trick. I got ours from our food co-op but I think you can get it at most feed stores or nurseries.

  22. Kris Mays May 21, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    You gals with fruit fly issues should be aware that they are also called vinegar flies and if you clean with vinegar, that will attract them. Also, getting rid of whatever fruit they came into your home on helps to take care of the problem.

    Good luck!

    Kris in Oregon
    Homemaker & Pest Control Operator

  23. Amy May 21, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    Do you know if the borax solution might work on ant hills too? We have a yard full of anthills and I am reluctant to use sevin dust all over our yard with little kids running around. If you are anyone else knows, I’d love to hear. Thank you!

    • Kris Mays May 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm #


      We own a pest control company and my husband says he would pour the borax powder on the ant hills if you want to try somethign yourself. Don’t bother diluting it with water or anything like that.

      Of course, if these are fire ants, please don’t handle them yourself. Call a professional.

      Kris in Oregon

  24. kara bagley May 21, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    I have used both of these off your blog and they are both highly effective

  25. Rachel May 21, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    I actually posted about this fruitfly trap last summer. I love it! It does work really well. I haven;t started a new one this year because it has not been an issue yet, but I noticed a few flies around by bowl that needs to go out to the compost.

    I will have to try this one for ants. This year we have had issues with ants. I have been able to keep them at a minimum by making sure that I clean after each meal and spraying with vinegar every couple of days but there are always a few explorers around. Since I have no idea where they are coming from it might be nice to get rid of the colony. I also have a colony of ants that lives in my garden. I’m trying to think of a safe way to get rid of or move them.

    Thanks again!

  26. Kelly G. May 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm #

    Thank you for posting this! I am having trouble with ants right now!!! I didn’t want anything chemical to get rid of them. I was going to try peppermint essential oil on the counter as I recently read that may work. So, hopefully one of these two things will work! Thanks again.

  27. Nadja May 21, 2010 at 1:40 pm #

    I actually use slawebb’s method for the fruit flies, and it works. You can actually use a pretty dish and it looks unobtrusive.

    Everyone seems to be having the worst time with the ants. I will try wiping things down with vinegar first (suggested to me this morning), and if that doesn’t work, I’ll give this a go!

  28. Shawn May 21, 2010 at 11:52 am #

    Thanks! We live in Vancouver too and have been fighting sugar ants. I can hardly wait to try this!

  29. Morgan May 21, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    THANK YOU! We’ve had ants in the kitchen for months and I was sick of being scared of whatever was in the ant killers we had posted around the appliances.

  30. Jana @ Weekend Vintage May 21, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    Genius-I love simply fixes!!

  31. SaraR May 21, 2010 at 6:17 am #

    Thanks for great ideas. We don’t have fruit flies but we do have ants. They haven’t invaded yet this year but I’m just waiting since they’re already all over the side walk. It’s weird, every day there’s a bunch of dead ants on the sidewalk.

  32. melinda May 21, 2010 at 6:02 am #

    Perfect timing!!! We just found a mess of ants in the basement bathroom!!!
    Did you ever come up with a laundry without using borax?? You mentioned you were going to try a few, but I never heard if you found one.

  33. slawebb May 21, 2010 at 5:52 am #

    for fruit flies I simply pour some apple cider vinegar in a small dish and then put in a few drops of dish soap. When they get close they fall in but the dish soap makes their wings not work and the drown. I’ve tried that method you use, but like the simplicity of this one a bit better. Just thought I’d share with you and your readers.

    Thanks for the recipe for the ant bait. I need it right now too!