Let’s talk about: Fruit Flies

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!

26 thoughts on “Let’s talk about: Fruit Flies

  1. I just LOVE stories of clever people researching problems and finding solutions, Huntie ! Thank all the gods we have none of these little buggers because there are neither fruit trees nor markets within coo-ee; but if I ever come across anyone who does, I shall pass this on !

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  2. The war of the fruit flies! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Did you feel like a mrdurer? (I know how to spell it.)
    One time I left a almost empty glass of wine on the kitchen counter. The next morning a battalion of kamikazes (no offense intended to anyone) at the bottom of my glass. Through trial and error. I got a jar, poured in my cheapest wine to cover the bottom and covered the top with plastic wrap. Then I poked holes in the plastic and next day, I caught some more.
    Geez, I hate those little beggars.
    A week ago it was an ant infestation. Lady G. put me on to them. Ant traps work wonders. Everything is behind a month this year. πŸ˜€

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    • Tess, I did not feel like a murderer. The apple cider was as close to a 9mm semi automatic as I could fashion! Grin.

      If you end up with ants outside coming in, if you sprinkle cinnamon in a path – they won’t cross it. πŸ™‚ I hope you gave Lady G a big treat for such fine security!

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  3. Huntie, Now not only are you my go to for anything political, you have suddenly become my go to for all things fruit fly. I am continually amazed by the depth of your abilities, and the things you manage to get yourself involved in. Smiling, it is always a pleasure to learn something new, and should we encounter that problem, this post will be the 1st thing I dig out. I am still amazed by their reproduction rate, and how you managed not to go totally insane while figuring out how to rid yourself of them. Take care, Bill

    PS – LOL – I guess a fly swatter wasn’t the answer.

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    • Bill, they seem to have some inbuilt sensor that knows you’re coming for ’em and are superb at evading – must be all those generations of learning….! Mine are now all gone or in hiding. πŸ™‚

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  4. I can’t wait to try this! Every trip from the commissary results in a new invasion. I bustin out the big guns now!

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