Does Vinegar Attract Bugs? (Flies, Ants, Gnats, Etc.)

Vinegar, which is found in almost every household as it is a very prevalently used cooking ingredient. However, along with being a cooking item, vinegar is quite popular for its ability to attract, kill, and repel different types of insects and bugs.

Since vinegar is an easily available bugs/insects repellent/killer, you might want to know whether vinegar can attract bugs such as flies, ants, gnats, etc., or not. 

Therefore, let us check further to get a detailed insight into this topic. 

Does Vinegar Attract Bugs? (Flies, Ants, Gnats, etc.)

A solution of vinegar and liquid dish soap attracts flies as it’s used in the fruit fermentation process, so the smell of vinegar attracts the flies and gnats. But vinegar repels ants as it halts the tracks of pheromones by its strong odor so ants panic and step back as they can’t find the traces.

Does Vinegar Attract Or Repel Bugs, Ants, Gnats, And Flies?

One can’t know which bugs or insects are lured by the odor of vinegar or which bugs and insects are repelled by the vinegar.

So here short explanations are included over some of the most common bugs and insects regarding whether these big and insects are attracted or repelled by vinegar.  


Any kind of flies such as drain flies, lanternflies, etc. find the odor of vinegar incredibly attractive as vinegar is an ultimate item that is used in the formation procedure of fruits, therefore, vinegar effectively attracts files. Especially, a solution of vinegar (particularly Apple Cider Vinegar) and liquid dishwasher highly attract the flies flying around the home. 


Vinegar makes an amazing ingredient that both attracts and repels bugs. However, know that vinegar repels only some specific bugs such as ants, spiders and attracts most of the bugs such as flies and aphids.

Vinegar also repels bed bugs and stink bugs and if sprayed directly vinegar kills these bugs too. 


Vinegar is excellent in attracting and killing aphids. The smell of a bowl of dish soap and vinegar solution is irresistible that attracts aphids in your home and when the aphids are trapped, they can’t go out. similarly, if you spray a mixture of vinegar, white, and soap on aphids hiding in your flower plants, they will die instantly. 


Vinegar, especially 100% white vinegar absolutely repels ants. Vinegar has an awful tangy and strong smell which ants despise as the powerful smell incredibly irritates them, therefore, these pesky insects are repelled by vinegar. 

A large amount of 100% white vinegar can even kill ants. 


Vinegar repels mosquitoes as it works as an excellent natural insect repellent on mosquitoes as well.

Mosquitoes don’t prefer the taste and odor of vinegar, so even if they slightly come in contact with vinegar, mosquitoes leave the area. 

All types of vinegar repel mosquitoes except for white vinegar because white vinegar needs to be blended with water to work 100% effectively on mosquitoes. 

Fruit Flies:

Fruit flies are the ones that get attracted by the smell of vinegar the most.

Just leave a container filled with vinegar and dish soap mixture near the fruit fly-infested area or fruit bowl and you will see the fruit flies get attracted and drown in the trap. 


Vinegar surely does attract and drown gnats, also works as a gnat repellent.

But vinegar alone doesn’t do it, a mixture of sugar, vinegar, and dish soap does it. Sugar and particularly ACV tempts gnats and the trap of dish soap ultimately makes them drown. 


Roaches neither will be attracted nor repelled by vinegar because vinegar is totally an ineffective item when it comes down to repelling or attracting roaches. 


Vinegar functions as a powerful spider repellent as the acetic acid of vinegar is really harmful to the spiders and the strong smell is strong enough to make spiders stay away from your home.

Just spray vinegar and water mixture in spider-infested areas to keep them away. 


Vinegar repels earwigs, in fact, it works as a good earwig repellent. Take a mixture of vinegar and water in an equal portion and spray the solution in areas where earwigs have infested. 

House Flies:

House flies are attracted by vinegar as much as any other type of flies such as fruit flies. Because house flies also get tempted by the smell of vinegar. 


Vinegar on centipedes will work more like a centipede killer than repelling or attracting them. Spray 100% vinegar or vinegar+water solution directly to centipedes to kill them. 


Vinegar and water solution will also kill crickets as soon as they come in contact with the solution, rather than repelling or attracting them. But yes, vinegar does repel crickets. 


Vinegar attracts hornets as hornets get enticed when they smell the odor of vinegar, mainly when vinegar is mixed along with sugar. 


The powerful acidic odor of vinegar effectively works to repel moths from the infested areas. Also, cleanses the areas from moths’ larva and eggs. 


Vinegar mainly kills termites than repelling or attracting. Because the acidic substance of vinegar is highly harmful to termites to tolerate it and run away.

Do These Vinegar Attract Bugs, Ants, Gnats, Flies, etc.?

As vinegar comes in different varieties, so which type of vinegar attracts bugs, ants, flies, and gnats you might not know. 

Therefore, for your information, here clarifications over different kinds of vinegar’s ability to attract bugs and insects are included below. 

White Vinegar:

White vinegar lacks sweetness like apple cider vinegar, rather it has a too pungent odor which practically isn’t so helpful in attracting flies. However, white vinegar attracts gnats as much as any other vinegar. 

Also, white vinegar works effectively in both attracting and repelling bugs and it doesn’t attract ants, rather repels them. In fact, white vinegar kills ants.

Any other kinds of flies (except for fruit flies), aphids, and gnats are attracted to white vinegar. 

Malt Vinegar:

Malt vinegar doesn’t attract bugs, flies, ants, or gnats, it rather works as an excellent repellent on these bugs and insects. 

Rice Vinegar:

Rice vinegar isn’t the perfect solution to attract bugs or insects as effectively as apple cider vinegar but it just works work finely to attract flies and gnats.

It also attracts some bugs too and like any other vinegar, it repels ants rather than attracting them. 

Along with flies and gnats, rice vinegar attracts weevils which are known as flour bugs. 

Balsamic Vinegar:

Balsamic vinegar is the other powerful vinegar that functions as a strong bait to attract bugs, any type of flies, and gnats.

Balsamic and dish soap solution will trap bugs, flies, and gnats by attracting them with its smell, and then will kill them as the bugs, flies, and gnats are drowned in the solution. 

And as usual, balsamic vinegar doesn’t attract ants but repels them. 

Fruit flies are attracted to balsamic vinegar, other types of flies are attracted to balsamic vinegar as well. 

White Wine Vinegar:

White wine vinegar will work well to attack some specific bugs and gnats.

But white wine vinegar isn’t so helpful ingredient in attracting flies, though fruit flies can be attracted by the smell of white wine vinegar. 

And know that, ants are not attracted by white wine vinegar as well because the smell of vinegar is too strong for them to stand. So white wine vinegar repels ants. 

Fruit flies somewhat are attracted to white wine vinegar. 

Red Wine Vinegar:

Red wine vinegar is also a pretty much incredible ingredient that effectively works to tempt most kinds of bugs, flies, and gnats to fall into its trap.

Red wine vinegar has fruit sugar in it and the smell of fruit sugar helps to attract bugs, gnats, and flies. 

And like other vinegar types, red wine vinegar is also beneficial in repelling ants, instead of attracting them. 

Flies like house flies, fruit flies, and others plus aphids and gnats are attracted by Red Wine Vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is the strongest among all types of vinegars that work the best in captivating most types of bugs, insects, and flies. It also successfully attracts gnats. 

The strong fruity smell of apple cider vinegar is irresistible to bugs, flies, and gnats, so they are drawn to the odor of Apple cider vinegar and fall into trap. However, ACV repels ants. 

Fruit flies and aphids are attracted by the smell of Apple cider vinegar the most. 

Distilled Vinegar:

Distilled vinegar is a cleaning object mainly, so it’s not that effective in attracting bugs, gnats, or flies. Therefore, a solution of distilled vinegar might not catch bugs and insects. But it can repel ants. 

Final Thoughts 

Almost all types of vinegar attract bugs but apple cider vinegar most effectively works on attracting bugs such as flies and gnats because the smell of Apple cider vinegar is compelling to flies and gnats. However, all kinds of vinegar will repel ants as ants can’t tolerate vinegar smell.