Hope you like bug carcasses… cause today’s post has got ’em! Apologies in advance. Do you know what is amazing? Fruit. I know that’s kind of a ‘duh’ sentiment, but think about the myriad of varietals out there. As someone who was recently introduced to the awesomeness that is durian/jackfruit, I am all about fruit appreciation. One of the amazing perks about living in Southern California is that fresh fruits and veggies are abundant and there are farmer’s markets urvrywhere. One of the problems though of fruit/vegetable appreciation is that sometimes, in your gusto to eat ALL of the fruits and vegetables, some get left by the wayside- dying a slow death as they languish on your countertop. I hate wasting fresh produce, but sometimes it happens.
Unfortunately, while your fruit sits there, it begins to ferment, secreting the yummiest of smell lines to any and all fruit flies in the area. Disgustingly, some fruit flies even come in the door with you and your produce, having already laid eggs on your fruit pre-purchase. As they are so small, they can crawl through screens, and crevices. It is really pretty gross, but it is the price you pay for those sweet, sweet bananas.
I found myself a few months ago, with a fruit fly problemo. Not only were they in the kitchen, but they were also lazily floating around our start-up herb garden on the porch. Next thing I knew, they started showing up in our bathroom, of all places. Uggh, right. So, I took to the internet/Pinterest where the prevailing was method for fruit fly removal was to create a fruit fly trap. Again, duh. What was interesting, however, was how varied the debate was on MAKING a fruit fly trap. There are two prevailing camps- both utilizing apple cider vinegar as bait. What is funny though is the other offshoot factions in the fruit fly trap debate. The funniest touting beer-soaked bologna as the ultimate fruit fly lure. All trap instructions start with finding a vessel (mug, bowl, glass, etc.) to serve as your trap. Since I had three separate areas for which to create a trap, I decided to use this occasion to do some experiments. For science. Not really. But, I did use three different internet-suggested methods with varying results.
I chose three coffee mugs from our collection for the traps. Please note the ISIS mug is from one of my favorite television shows Archer and not as a pledge drive gift from terrorist funding. Additionally, check out my sweet old-school, pre-movie-franchise Harry Potter mug!
The first trap suggestion was to cover the lip of the mug with the clipped, inverted corner of a Ziploc bag with several tablespoons of apple cider vinegar serving as bait. The idea being that the fruit flies would smell the bait, crawl through the cone into the trap and then be too stoopid to escape back through.
The second trap/suggestion was to cover the trap with minutely-perforated Saran Wrap. Again, relying on the stupidity of fruit flies to smell the lure, crawl through the small holes into the trap, but to be too brainless to climb out. Which, if you think about it, if fruit flies can find their way into our homes and survive, then maybe they aren’t as stupid as we’ve suspected, right? In this trap though, I used apple cider vinegar with the addition of a few drops of Dawn dish detergent. The Dawn dish detergent apparently breaks the surface tension of the apple cider vinegar, drowning the fruit flies as they are sucked beneath the surface of sweet, sweet cider-oblivion.
The third trap cut out all plastic funnels or coverings and went straight for the jugular, using the apple cider vinegar with Dawn mix. The first was placed on the kitchen counter, next to my fruit bowl tower. The second trap went to the front porch baker’s plant rack. The final mug went into the bathroom. I peeked into the traps daily and waited a week. I wasn’t expecting the smell to be a factor, but, y’all… open containers of ACV smell. It’s not tuurible, but it is a thing.
After the first week, the data was fascinating. The kitchen trap had one fruit fly carcass, swollen at the bottom of the mug while his brethren floated around my face every time I did the dishes. The second, porch trap fared better though the sunshine warped the Saran Wrap top. There were three. The winner though was the third bathroom trap, with no plastic impediment to hinder the fruit fly catching 5. Reasoning that the third method was the most successful of the trio, I rinsed all three mugs, and then reset them without the plastic element and waited.
And waited. This is the part of the story where I went home to Georgia, completely forgetting about the traps. So, imagine my dead fruit fly surprise when I returned back to SoCal. The traps were packed and the live fruit flies gone.
Gross, right?! But, effective? Hope so. Did the experiment work or did Jojo not eat fruits and veggies while I was gone? I haven’t reset the traps, though I did see professional traps at Home Depot recently. Regardless, we will keep you posted on this ongoing experiment as it progresses.
Do you know the secret to a fruit fly-free life? Have you ever had durian wrapped in sweet rice paste? As always, let us know!