Summer is almost here, and is bringing with it all the glories of summer fruit! The fruit flies are also arriving: swarming in your kitchen after any bit of ripe fruit they sniff out. There are many tricks to get rid of fruit flies in your kitchen that involve chemicals or lot of hard work. Could making an all natural fruit fly trap get rid of the buggers instead?
- Better for You – all natural ingredients you already have in your kitchen make this trap safe to use around you, your kids, and pets
- Better for the Earth – less chemicals in the waste stream, and reuse of at least one glass or plastic container
- Saves Money – this homemade trap can be put together for free with things you already have in the kitchen
- Saves Time – no time spent swatting flies, because they are already dead in your homemade trap!
- Easy – so easy, even your kids could build it
- The smell of vinegar lingers in the area near the trap
- You have to clean out and reset the trap regularly before the flies start multiplying inside
We are on the verge of summer here in Southern California and the summer fruit season is gearing up quickly. During the past couple weeks, local CSA boxes have been overflowing with yummy stone fruit: peaches, nectarines, apricots, etc. With fruit bowls full to overflowing with sweet, soft, perfectly ripened fruit, the fruit fly party has begun. Now is the time to build a simple, all natural, and wonderfully effective fruit fly trap.
Collect the following from around your kitchen:
Empty jar or bottle with a round mouth
A piece of paper formed into a cone (tape works well to secure in the right shape)
A small piece of ripe fruit
Apple Cider Vinegar
Place the fruit in the bottom of the jar
Add one drop of dish soap to the jar
Add a small amount of vinegar (about 1/2 inch in the bottom, or 12 mm)
Place the paper cone in the mouth of the jar
Place the trap near your fruit bowl, or other place that is attractive to your unwelcome flies
That’s it! The flies will smell the ripe fruit, fly into the funnel and be unable to find their way out. They will end up drowning in the vinegar. Every few days you can dump the contents of the jar down the drain, and start again with a fresh vinegar bath. This trap works really well! You might always have a stray fruit fly around your kitchen, but the swarm should be contained. I’m always amazed by how many are in the bottom of the jar after a couple of days! Where do these things come from…?
A couple of tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way: 1) Be sure to empty and rinse out the jar every two or three days. If you wait too long the flies will glue fly eggs to the side walls of the jar, and they are impossible to scrub off. 2) You must use apple cider vinegar – white vinegar does not work here. Malt and red wine vinegar work, but not as good as the apple cider vinegar. 3) If your paper cone is not fitting quite right, moisten your hands with water, then carefully manipulate and press fit the now damp cone into the mouth of the jar. And don’t worry if it’s not a perfect fit – the trap will still get a lot of flies.
What are your tricks for combating the summer fruit fly invasion?