Pretty, isn’t it? If you think our southern border is a problem with a surge of illegals, don’t leave any fruit out, especially in the summer heat. I did and found myself invaded by a gang called Drosophila melanogaster, known as the common fruit fly. They are small black innocuous creatures that multiply at a staggering speed, quickly moving from the kitchen to all over your home. They can come in on fruit you bring home from the market or, detecting the intoxicating smell of fruit, commit breaking and entering through window and screened doors. They don’t need fruit to create progeny either. A good slime in your sink pipes does ’em just fine. Female fruit flies can lay up to 500 eggs on or near the surface of fermenting foods or organic materials. Life cycle: egg to adult takes about a week.
So, how to get rid of these annoying pesky flyabout creatures? I had a vague memory that they were attracted to a small amount of wine or apple cider. Both are shining, fragrant examples of fermentation. So, I poured some apple cider into a small glass candle holder and waited eagerly to see if it worked. Well… kind of. Many came to inspect my offering and sat on the edges getting high off the fermented fragrance. But, they didn’t fall in and drown as I had hoped. Now what?
Time to do some research. The internet gave me an answer immediately and showed me where I’d gone wrong. Take a jar, pour a small amount of apple cider wine in, add a drop of dish soap (breaks up the surface and facilitates trapping and drowning ’em). However, here’s the critical piece. Take a piece of paper and make a paper cone or funnel of out of it. Trim it to match the width and depth of the jar, tape the edge of the funnel so it maintains its shape. Insert it into the jar. (warm the apple cidar and soap for a few seconds in the microwave – it sends a siren song through the air to the fruit flies.) The funnel within the jar seals the entrance to the intoxication, causing the flies to clamber down the inside of the funnel, trapping them. It looks like this:
I skipped adding a piece of fruit into the jar. It worked fantastically!