Saturday, August 22, 2009

Catching Fruit Flies Organically, Creatively, and Free

I think I have about 20 too many house guests. These guests weren't invited, snuck in unannounced, and don't give a tip after each meal.

No, they aren't people. They are fruit flies. I used to think that fruit flies only visited people who didn't have the highest of cleaning standards. Well, I don't have the highest of cleaning standards, but I'm not "dirty." I don't leave food out for extended periods of time. I wash my dishes. We take out the trash.

I think it is the nature of having a lot of fruit in the house . . . and a compost bucket.

A few months ago, I explained to you one way of getting ride of fruit flies. I am pleased to announce a new and improved method that I will be trying. This suggestion comes from a fellow blogging friend, Beth.

My mother in law taught me the most amazing fruit fly catcher and it doesn't require beer. And it WORKS. Take a narrow-mouth glass quart jar, and put a piece of fruit in the bottom. Actually even a coil of fruit peeling, particularly peach or tomato, work well. Peach pits do, too. Then take a sheet of ordinary paper and roll it into a cone, with the tiniest possible opening at the bottom of it, and place it in the jar. It's very important to have the sides of the cone completely touching the neck of the jar all around. The tip, where the tiny opening is, can actually be touching the fruit/peeling/pit. It may take an adjustment or two to get it just right and you can even tape the cone if the paper won't stay rolled, although it will if it isn't too stiff. Set the jar where you know the problem is, like next to your fruit basket.

The flies will go in the cone, drawn to the bottom and the 'lunch' there but they CANNOT get back up and out. You will be amazed at how quickly the jar fills with them.

What I like about this is that it is all organic, and completely free. When it's filled, you just remove the cone quickly and run hot water into the jar, swirling, to kill the flies, and down the drain they go. You can reset this jar as many times as you need, and during canning or preserving season you can have several of them around. And don't worry if the fruit is beginning to mold--that just makes it work better.

Try it. Seriously, you just won't believe how well this works. :)


And if Beth's trap doesn't work, then try The Passionate Homemaking's fruit fly trap. You have to have a freezer for this one!


Steve g said...

20? The last time this happened to me, I think the number was more like 20,000...

I found that some apple cider vinegar at the bottom of a bowl or jar worked really well. I covered the bowl with plastic wrap (anything able to stretch tight over top would do) and poked very tiny holes with a pin into the wrap. The flies get in, but have no idea how to get out. Sure enough, I had to change out the traps every couple days b/c they worked so well!

Sarah said...

will you post a pic when you do it?

Kari said...

Just what I need. They get on my nerves to no end. They won't get off my bananas and we always have fresh fruit and veggies - and some of it does better when not refrigerated, so we leave it out. Thanks!

Natalie said...

I made a mix of crushed cloves, mint and basil. I just sit it in a jar and it got ride of the flies.

Shari Schwarz said...

Hi Jodi,

I don't know if you remember Christian and I from Joshua's Crossing days but Steve just gave me the link to your blog and I was so excited... just a few months ago I was asking people if they knew of anyone who had young children who was trying to live a more intentional lifestyle. And here you are! I've been reading some of your posts tonight and can't wait to learn more from you. How many kids do you have now?

Here's my blog:

Take care,

Groovy Mom said...

Hey Granola Mom. Since yesterday I've been experimenting with what your 2nd poster did (except I've got wine in the glass).

Thanks for the tip/link. I'll check out your other post, too.

Julie said...

doing this now! they are multiplying. i think it's because we've been eating so many bananas and using the dehydrator. i hope this works because i have company tomorrow and I want these annoying little things gone! lol