Wherever fruits are harvested or stored in summer, fruit flies cannot be far behind. We’ll show you how to make your own fruit fly trap and eliminate your fruit fly problem in a matter of days.
It’s best to avoid chemicals whenever possible when dealing with pests, especially near the food you eat. One natural and effective alternative is a fruit fly trap that you can put together yourself with ingredients already in your home.
DIY Fruit Fly Trap: The Vinegar Method
- a shallow bowl, container, or cup
- 1 T vinegar
- ¼ c (apple) juice
- a drop of handwashing soap
Mix all the above items together; fill any remaining space in your shallow container almost to the brim with water. Place the container next to the fruit that has attracted the flies.
The intoxicating odor of your vinegar trap will quickly attract the troublemakers. The soap decreases the water’s surface tension so that the flies cannot simply land on the surface; instead, they fall through the liquid and drown. You’ll be shocked how quickly this trap starts to work!
Where Are These Fruit Flies Coming From?
As far as pests go, it could be worse – fruit flies don’t really DO anything, but they sure are annoying! Especially when they seem to explode at least once per summer in every kitchen in the land … There are many reasons why they suddenly appear:
- During the warmest months, they are attracted by the scent of ripe fruit and come in through open windows.
- Food waste in garbage and compost bins is irresistible to those flying nuisances.
- Ripe bananas or damaged apples are just two of many optimal breeding grounds for fruit fly maggots.
- It’s not uncommon to inadvertently bring fruit flies home with your produce – in larval form, developed at the grocery store, before hatching in your kitchen a few days later.
With up to 400 eggs per laying female and a development cycle of just two weeks, the population can become a true plague in a very short amount of time.
When a Trap Isn’t Enough: Preventative Measures against Fruit Flies
It’s clearly better to prevent a fruit fly outbreak in the first place than to try to trap them all after the fact. Of course, in the summertime that can be no easy undertaking! There are a few simple measures, however, which should always help minimize the risk:
- Eat or process fruits quickly; don’t keep them around in open storage
- Place extremely ripe or damaged fruit in the refrigerator, or simply turn them into a smoothie
- Take out your garbage and compost more regularly during the warmest months of the year
- Don’t leave out open bottles or glasses of wine or fruit juice
- If possible, install screens on your windows
- Don’t store bananas or apples near other fruits, as these hasten the ripening process
— By Katharina Bliem