Vinegar Fly Repellent

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Hand pouring liquid from large measuring cup into mid-sized glass jar next to napkin and other glass containers on slate grey countertop

Flying insects that move from mounds of fertilizer to the food on your table are annoying. They can also carry more than 100 pathogens which can transfer serious illness and dysentery as they flit from room to room.


Cutting down or repelling flying insects from your indoor and outdoor spaces allows you to enjoy the comfort of your living areas and not worry about shooing away disease-carrying winged pests. A vinegar fly spray or fruit fly trap is a fairly easy and quick project that will begin to work immediately to rid your space of flies.

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Fruit Fly Trap

Fruit flies are naturally attracted to apple cider vinegar. This gives them the common nickname of "vinegar flies." Since fruit flies are so tiny, they can be hard to trap.


There are a few effective traps for fruit flies in your home. Add a drop of dish soap to each trap if it is slow to attract fruit flies.

  • Vinegar bowl: A wide-mouthed small bowl of apple cider vinegar set out next to a bowl of fruit or in areas where the pests seem to gather will draw the fruit flies to their doom. This is the most basic way to attract the tiny flies.

  • Mason jar fly trap: This is the most effective way to attract and drown fruit flies for good. Set out a small-mouthed mason jar filled a quarter of the way with apple cider vinegar. Place a small piece of cut fruit such as a strawberry or banana in the jar with a cone of white paper set in the mouth. The flies can get in but have a hard time returning through the tiny hole at the bottom of the white paper funnel.

  • Saran wrap fly trap: This is the easiest fly trap you can make. Place old fruit or sugar in warm water inside a jar, glass, bowl or plastic container. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container and with a toothpick, poke holes just large enough for the flies to get in it.


Homemade Vinegar Fly Trap

There are a few ways to make a vinegar fly trap. Cut a soda bottle 2 inches below the neck and invert the top into the bottom to make a funnel-like opening. Fill the bottle about a quarter full with vinegar and watch as the flies fall for the clever trap.


For large house flies, you will need a bigger trap. Fill a wide-mouthed jar with water and a bit of fish bait or mince, which can be bought at outdoor supply stores or big-box hardware stores. Fill it at least a quarter or to the halfway point of the jar so the flies have enough room to drown.

Cover the jar with black plastic and use a rubber band or tie so the plastic stretches across the top of the jar. Poke holes in the plastic that are big enough for the flies to get into but not out of. This type of trap can attract hundreds of flies when placed outdoors.


Vinegar Fly Spray

If after placing fly traps in and around the home you still have the buzzing buggers bothering you in your space, use a homemade fly spray solution of straight vinegar and a drop or two of dish soap in a 24-ounce spray bottle.

With the setting on stream, spray the flies where they land. Even if you are just a mediocre shot, the vinegar and dish soap will stick to their feet if nothing else and cripple their flying abilities. Be careful around the garden if you are outdoors because this mixture can kill weeds and plants.



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