Getting Rid of Gnats/aka Fruit Flies

The fruit fly population is booming. I took care of part of the problem today. There was a box in my food storage room that had some past-its-prime fruit in it. When I took it out to dispose of it, a cloud of gnats (do you ever want to pronounce that “ga-nats”?) ascended. Oh, dear. That’s something I don’t need.

Several years ago when DD and merm came to spend a few days, the gnats/fruit flies about drove merm crazy. It was swat, swat, slap for hours on end. A couple of my jars were pressed into service and traps were created. They did little to relieve the population. The battle raged on.

Apple2I tried just about everything. I even bought one of these fancy little “apple” traps that looks pretty sitting on the counter but doesn’t do much else.

That was before Facebook became so popular with the “recipes” that go viral. That was then, this is now.

There have been a few gnats/fruit flies around but most of them succumbed to the lure of the bit of water kefir I left out for them. I mentioned them in my Memorial Day blog post and my sister left this comment:

“To stop the fruit flies put 1″ of apple cider vinegar in a dish, add 2 T. liquid dishwashing detergent and leave it out overnight. Smells pretty awful, but maybe that’s why it gets rid of those pests!”

Two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid seemed a bit much to me so I didn’t try it. Then I saw this on Facebook:

Natural Gnat Killer
What you will need:

1 small jar or bowl

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbs water

1 drop of mild liquid dish washing detergent such as Dawn.


Pour apple cider vinegar into the jar/bowl. Add water then add just one drop of mild liquid dish detergent. Set the mixture in the area where gnats are a problem. The gnats are naturally attracted to the vinegar and the drop of soap kills them.

Since I use Seventh Generation dishwashing liquid, this was a much better ratio. It’s bad enough that I’m having to use my Bragg natural organic ACV. I mixed it up and hoped for the best.

It worked! The gnats/fruit flies swarmed the container and there are lots of little bodies in a watery grave. That would make DD sad but I don’t know how to catch them to put them outside.

I emailed merm the recipe and said, “This works. You don’t have to make holes in jar lids and set straws in them with hot glue, either.” She emailed back, “How long have you been using it?” I told her two hours. It didn’t take much time at all to convince me this is the answer.

When I was still gainfully employed, I complained about the pest population to one of the bank tellers. She brought me something she guaranteed would work. It was a No Pest Strip. She excitedly told me it did away with all the fruit flies in her kitchen. I brought it home with me but after I read the warnings on the package and how it should be used, I took it back to her. I don’t know if the pest strips she used had anything to do with it but she later had some serious health problems.

There is nothing toxic about this mixture except to the critters that decide to go swimming in it. It’s made a believer out of me.

3 Responses to Getting Rid of Gnats/aka Fruit Flies

  1. Inge Anderson June 18, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    That pest strip sounds really creepy!!!

    Thanks for the recipe. Apple cider vinegar and natural dish-washing soap sounds so much better!

    • Tommie June 19, 2013 at 7:37 am #

      If you look up the active ingredient, 2,2-dichlorovinyl dimethyl phosphate (that’s a mouthful), it is truly scary. It’s used to keep the insect population down in stored products and is even fed to livestock to control botfly larvae in the manure. I’m sure it doesn’t all end up in the manure so some is most probably absorbed into the flesh. I’m soooooo glad I’m a vegan person. Humans and pets aren’t supposed to be in an enclosed area with it for more than four hours a day but it’s fed to animals?? I agree. ACV and dishwashing detergent plus a bit of water is preferable.

  2. Cassie September 25, 2018 at 2:48 pm #

    I bought the apple shaped traps, left one the way it is and added a drop of Seventh Generation to the other. I put a bowl of the ACV mix to see which works best. So far, the flood es seem to be just hanging around the outside. I hope they eventually fly into the liquid. This is so annoying!

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