It’s summer, and summer means fruit. Lots of fruit. Lots of fruit means lots of fruit flies. Have you ever noticed that as soon as you see one or two fruit flies you suddenly have 50?
I have tried everything to get rid of them in the past. One of my more pathetic moments happened when we had a massive fruit fly plague in our kitchen one mid summer. I had all sorts of traps out and the A.C. happened to be broken so its was a nasty scene. I was so irritated by the ever growing swarm that I resorted to chasing them around the kitchen with a vacuum. The vacuum sucked up maybe 10 and then those 10 escaped as soon as I turned off the vacuum. My kitchen was quickly becoming the scene of an apocalyptic fruit fly battle, and I was losing.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Enter the fly trap. I may not be able to take full credit for the traps I made, but I learned some valuable tricks to make them effective against my tiny nemesis:
- One fruit fly becomes ten almost overnight! Fruit flies reproduce at a crazy rapid rate, so if you do not get them right away you are doomed.
- Check your kitchen sink disposal! The buildup and odor in the sink is one of the leading reasons why fruit flies deem your kitchen a worthy place to procreate. To get rid of the odor and residue in your drains, try using a drain cleaner. Our favorite is Biokleen’s Bac-Out Drain Care (here).
- Place your fruit in the fridge until the victory in the war against the demon flies is yours. This will reduce another source of smell that attracts the fruit flies.
- Make traps and place them (not surprisingly) next to the kitchen sink.
Here is how I make my go-to fruit fly trap.
DIY Fruit Fly Trap
You’ll need a cone for the fruit fly trap. You can either use a party hat (here or here) or take the party hat apart and use it as a pattern, as I did for this fly trap. You can use any paper, but a thicker paper holds up better.
In addition to the cone-shape cutout, you will also need:
- 1 Mason jar. You can use a regular or widemouthed jar.
- Washi tape. Get a good washi tape, it will stick better. In a pinch, regular tape will work.
Cut a strip of washi tape long enough to tape the two side seams together with a little extra at each end to wrap around the edges of the paper. Tape the seams of the cone then firmly press the tape and paper together along the length of the tape.
Note: When you tape the cone together make sure it is as wide as possible. This will help it fit into the mason jar better.
Snip off the tip of the cone. You don’t want to take off too much. You want just enough of a hole to allow a few fruit flies through. Place the cone into the jar and make sure the opening isn’t touching the bottom of the jar. You want at the least a 1/2 inch clearance between the bottom of the jar and the tip of the cone. A longer clearance is just fine.
Note: If you are using a party hat instead of the paper cone, take off the hat strings, secure all the seams with tape and snip off the tip. Also, don’t forget to check for the 1/2 inch clearance!
Once you have the cone height right, set the cone aside while you add the bait to the jar.
For the bait, place a piece of fruit at the bottom of the jar and against the jar wall. Banana, peach or nectarine work the best. The more ripe the fruit is, the better it works!
Add a small amount (about 2-3 tablespoons) of white wine, beer, cider, apple or grape juice or another sweet, strong-smelling juice to the bottom of the jar.
Secure the paper cone to the jar using tape. You will want to make sure that there is no way a fruit fly can escape from the jar. They will look everywhere for a way to get out of the jar, but they won’t be able to figure out how to get out the same way they came in. Tip: Use several overlapping layers of tape to seal off any escape route around the rim of the jar creating a wide tape seal. Firmly press the tape, jar and paper together.
If you have removed all other fruit smells and odors from your kitchen and cleaned your drain and disposal, this trap will become the only fruit fly attracting source and will work wonderfully. Happy trapping!
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