Death to Fruit Flies!

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2013 • all rights reserved

Death to Fruit Flies

If you’ve ever had a bit of overripe fruit or veggie, you’ve probably had fruit flies.  It happened to me recently as a friend gave us a bag of tomatoes and peppers from her garden.  I set it on the counter and we talked for about half an hour.  After she left, I went to take things out of the bag and discovered that she hadn’t just given me some veggies, she’d also given me some fruit flies courtesy of a tomato with a bad spot.

Serendipity?  When I looked on Facebook a few hours later, Belinda Wolfe had posted a note on The Boat Galley’s Facebook page about getting rid of fruit flies.  So I tried it — and it worked for me too.  And, like Belinda, I discovered that I had more fruit flies than I thought.

Here’s how Belinda described it:

Put apple cider vinegar in a flat dish. I use a candle dish. I like a flat dish better than a glass because the vinegar needs to be close to the rim. A full glass of vinegar would surely get tipped over!

Then add one drop of dish soap. Mine happens to be fruit scented which I think is also a plus. Mix it with your finger.

Set it out in the galley and wait. I seem to catch more at night with a light on in the galley. The fruit fly will first land on the rim, but be patient, they will go for a swim. The soap is sticky enough to trap them.

Yesterday I thought I had three fruit flies. I put out my trap, came back in four hours and found I had caught eight.

The first time I tried this I had a really bad case of fruit flies – I trapped 52 overnight. But if I put out my trap when I think I only have 3, I will never get to 52 again.

I love it — a really simple solution to a problem many of us have, and with cheap ingredients that you probably already have on hand.

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Comments

  1. Oh, for sure this works! I learned this from a produce worker at a local store when I live. I noticed a dish of liquid and asked him what it was for. He said it was filled with vinegar(white), and a drop of Dawn Dish Liquid to kill off fruit flies which were feasting on over ripe tomatoes. I recently had fruit flies in our sailboat, but no fruits or veggies were on the boat. So I prepared the dish but used Palmolive instead of Dawn. The next day I checked the bowl and the buggers had avoided the death swim. I went out and bought Dawn, refilled the bowl and within hours the “pool party” was in full swing. By the way, it works with white or apple cider vinegar.

  2. This very morning I was wishing I knew of a safe way to eradicate the fruit flies that are circling my sourdough and water kefir jars. Since they can cross contaminate, I have to keep them in separate spaces. That means annoying visitors around the counter AND in the pantry. Iʻd totally forgotten about this trick. My grandmother used to set it out while making sauerkraut.

  3. MaryMarie says:

    I just learned a variation on this trick a couple of weeks ago: it’s the same principle . . . put a short glass (i.e. juice glass or rocks glass) with cider vinegar (fill to about an inch). Put a piece of cling wrap across the top of the glass and, to be sure it’s tight, put a rubber band around it. Then punch small holes in the cling wrap – they should be slightly larger than a toothpick. The fruit flies go through the holes looking for the vinegar, but they can’t get back out and are trapped. (Not very smart, those fruit flies.) After I have a good collection of them, I swirl the vinegar around in the glass to get the ones close to the top and throw the liquid overboard. I like this suggestion with the dish soap too,and will try it to see if one works any better than the other!

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