July 24, 2013 at 5:06 PM ET
Ugh, fruit flies—those little flying bugs that seem to make your whole kitchen feel filthy, even when it's not. The small flies that appear near your room-temp fruits and other kitchen items multiply quickly, laying hundreds of eggs, which become adults (and nuisances) in only days. Gross!
The good news is, there are easy ways to get rid of fruit flies—and several are totally organic and achieved using stuff you already have in the house. Get rid of fruit flies cheaply and quickly with these easy tips.
This tip stands to reason, of course, but the first step you can take in your fight against fruit flies is to banish any over-ripe fruit from the kitchen. Throw out anything that you don't plan to eat, and refrigerate anything else (or at least cover your fruit bowl, suggests WikiHow). Furthermore, make sure breeding grounds like recycling and garbage bins are free of traces of remnant food or spilled drink, Real Simple advises.
A commonly known—and super easy and cheap—trick for eliminating fruit flies is to create a cone-shaped trap. It takes only a minute! Just wrap a piece of paper into a cone shape. Then, cut the tip so the bottom is open, and place the trap into a jar or glass so that the open tip remains above the liquid inside. That liquid should consist of apple cider vinegar, a splash of water and just a few drops of dish soap as bait. For a tutorial on this method, head on over to the Urban Farming Guys.
Apartment Therapy came up with an alternative to the cone trap, which works using the same principle. Use some form of liquid like apple cider vinegar or fruit juice as a bait to attract the flies, with a tiny bit of dishwashing liquid to keep them trapped. Then, cover the top with a piece of plastic wrap in which are a few toothpick-size holes. Use a rubber band to secure it if need be.
Got a better way? We want to hear it! What's your best method for eliminating fruit flies?
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.