Red Wine Vinegar for Fruit Flies: Does It Help?

Fruit Flies are tiny nuisance pests that belong to the Drosophilidae family. These species have been studied for their unique properties and ability to learn and adapt. They have learned and adapted to infest countless kitchens throughout the world, as they love to infest overripe fruits and vegetables.

Fortunatley, fruit flies are not particularly dangerous, they’re just annoying. When they infest your kitchen, you need to act fast before it gets out of control.

Can we use red wine vinegar for fruit flies? Fruit fly traps are a common solution, typically made by combining vinegar with dish soap. And this can work well… but it doesn’t always.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to use vinegar to combat fruit flies, and what you might be doing wrong.

Reasons to Prevent Fruit Fly Infestation

Fruit flies are the most common pest in commercial and residential kitchens and can infest in a matter of days. It is possible as they tend to multiply and breed quickly. Moreover, they can lay their eggs in any moist area of your home, including pet food bowls, garbage cans, refrigerators, sink drains, compost bins, and toilets. 

Fruit flies typically live for about a week and lay about 500 eggs during their lifetime. Infestations can quickly get out of control, and it may take a few weeks for them to completely disappear from your home.

The presence of a fruit fly is an indicator of food spoilage and contamination.

You might eat contaminated fruit that contains eggs of fruit flies, yuck! Toss overripe fruit, and watch out for bruised veggies.

As mentioned above, fruit flies aren’t particularly dangerous, though theoretically they could carry disease. They are mostly an annoyance, but one you want to deal with quickly.

A fruit fly trap baited with red wine vinegar is considered the most effective way to prevent fruit fly infestation.

Effects of Red Wine Vinegar on Fruit Flies

There are many myths and tales about vinegar and fruit flies. Yet, there is no scientific evidence that red wine vinegar completely kills fruit flies, but many have found success with these traps. 

The idea that it can kill fruit flies comes from a myth about the color and smell of the fermented vinegar. It was determined that since red wine vinegar has a higher alcohol content than white vinegar, it should be more effective in killing insects around it.

Red wine vinegar is made from red wine and has a sour, acidic flavor that comes from the fermentation of grape juice.

It is often used as a condiment to flavor dishes such as salads, sauces, marinades, and mustard. 

Experiments on Fruit Flies and Red Wine Vinegar

In a recent study, researchers tested the effectiveness of red wine vinegar as a natural deterrent against fruit flies. They found that the vinegar effectively reduced fruit fly infestation by suppressing their reproduction.

The experiment was conducted using a glass jar with a lid featuring two small holes. Initially, The researcher filled the transparent jar with 5 milliliters of red wine vinegar. Then, the fruit flies were introduced to the jar through one of the two holes. 

The experiment lasted for three weeks, and each week, 50 flies were introduced to the jar to observe whether they would reproduce or not. Surprisingly, the results were positive, and the number of fruit flies seemed to drop.

Hence, Red wine vinegar can be used as an effective means of reducing fruit flies since it contains acetic acid and ethanol, which are toxic to insects.

Red Wine Vinegar Trap for Fruit Flies

The most common way of using red wine vinegar is spraying it on fruits and vegetables and then placing them in the refrigerator. Red wine vinegar is often used as an alternative to other household cleaners, such as bleach or ammonia because it has natural antibacterial properties that can also be useful in fighting mold and bacteria. 

The red wine vinegar trap is a homemade fly trap that you can use to eliminate fruit flies and other flying insects from your home. It is made with a red wine vinegar, dish soap, plastic wrap, and a sharp object to make holes. 

fruit fly trap that works
Homemade Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap

The red wine vinegar trap is considered both economical and effective. All you need to do is grab a transparent jar and seal its top with plastic wrap or a lid. Next, poke small holes in the entire plastic wrap or lid, and leave the jar next to the fruit basket, compost bin, or whatever.

Eventually, the fruit flies will be attracted to the fermented liquid and drown in the red wine vinegar mix. The dish soap makes it more difficult for them to fly out. 

The traps are effective at catching fruit flies because they are attracted to the smell of alcohol and sugar. Moreover, this homemade trap also works well as they are very convenient to make. 

You can dump all the ingredients into an empty bottle and let them sit for a few hours before using them as bait for trapping flying insects. However, If you don’t see the fruit flies entering the jar, immediately widen the holes so they get a reasonable amount of space to get in. 

How Is Red Wine Vinegar Made?

Red wine vinegar consists of red wine, water, and acetic acid bacteria. The acetic acid bacteria are found in the air and soil around vineyards. Generally, they help the grapes to ferment into wine.

When the grapes are harvested, they are crushed and mixed with water to produce red wine vinegar.

Making red wine vinegar starts with crushing the grape skins on a fine mesh screen that separates the seeds, stems, and other solids from the juice. The solids get collected in a large vat called a pomace (the leftover pulp) which is then pressed by heavyweights to extract juice from it and create vinegar. 

In addition, the resulting liquid is fermented by adding yeast and allowed to age for at least three months. The aging process helps develop more flavor in the vinegar by slowly allowing its natural compounds to break down over time.


Red wine vinegar is a great and proven way to eliminate fruit flies. Red wine vinegar will successfully inhibit the growth and multiplication of fruit flies by disrupting their metabolic function.

Whether you use it to make a trap, or create a vinegar cleaning spray, red wine vinegar is a natural, cheap, and organic way to eliminate these pesky pests. Just be sure to use the cheap stuff, no need for the aged balsamic!