If you have spent any time of your life cooking or handling food, then the chances are good that you have dealt with fruit flies. These miniature pests can sneak inside through screen doors, make their way to your home through infested produce, and bother you in many other ways.
The good news is that you can capture and try to eliminate your fruit fly invasion with a homemade trap. There are several variations that you can try. Today, we will tell you a bit more about fruit flies and how you can make them a thing of the past.
The Issue of Fruit Flies
First, a little information. Fruit flies can seemingly come out of nowhere, especially during the late summer/fall months. Although their source can often be a mystery, they typically congregate around the tomatoes, bananas, and other fruit that you leave sitting on the counter. They are also attracted to trash cans, drains, and empty soda bottles.
The problem is that fruit flies lay their eggs on these items, and the larvae typically hatch and become adults within a week. If not quickly handled, the problem can quickly escalate from there. Although they don’t bite, a female fruit fly can lay 700 eggs at a time, so time is of the essence.
How to Construct Your Own Fruit Fly Trap
There are numerous ways to create different fruit fly traps. However, we find the tactic below to be the easiest. The main idea is to have a container and a substance to lure in the fruit flies, so they get in, but they can’t get out. Here is a simple fruit fly trap you can make with items you have at home.
To start, you should compile the following supplies or buy what you need from the store or online:
- Empty Water Bottle or Mason Jar
- Rubber Band
- Plastic Wrap
- Liquid Dish Soap such as Dawn Dish Soap
- Box Cutter or Scissors
- Apple Cider Vinegar
The Steps to Build the Trap
1. Create Your Container.
If you are using an empty water bottle, then use your scissors or box cutter to cut it into two pieces. You can typically cut 4-5 inches from the bottom of the bottle. If you use a mason jar, then just open the lid.
2. Create Your Bait
Next, you need to add bait to the trap that will attract the fruit flies. The idea is to replicate the sweet aroma of the fruit that they tend to migrate towards. Instead of putting rotten fruit in the trap, you can add apple cider vinegar. Fill your container about an inch and a half with the cider.
If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, then you can try white vinegar.
3. Create a Platform With Liquid Dish Soap
While the apple cider vinegar will attract the fruit flies, if you leave it as is, then they will be able to land on it, realize it isn’t what they need, and then fly away. To ensure that they have a harder time escaping, you need to break the surface tension with some dish soap. Pour 2-3 teaspoons of dish soap to cover the vinegar.
4. Cover the Trap With Plastic Wrap
Next, you will cover the top of the water bottle or mason jar with a piece of plastic wrap and wrap a rubber band around it to secure it in place. The surface must remain tight.
5. Poke and Place It
Finally, you should use a sharp toothpick or similar tool to make very small holes in the plastic wrap. Even if they are tiny, they will be large enough for the fruit flies to get in, but it will be harder for them to get out.
Finally, place the trap near where your fruit flies typically congregate. Be patient. You should expect to wait a few days for it to work. Once the fruit flies stop coming, discard the trap in an outdoor trash can.
Other Ways to Eliminate and Prevent Fruit Flies
While the trap is a good way to eliminate your current fruit fly problem, the real solution to this common issue is to prevent fruit flies from congregating in the first place. Consider these tips:
Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Fruit flies will gather where you have sticky spills and rotting food that may be on your counters or hidden in drawers and under the refrigerator or other appliances. You can be proactive against fruit flies by constantly cleaning your kitchen from top to bottom. Hire a house cleaner near you to keep your kitchen sparkling and fruit fly free.
Clean Drains and Garbage Disposal
Since many people put old food and scraps down the garbage disposal, fruit flies often make that their home. If you find that you have fruit flies in your disposal, try pouring boiling water to eliminate the issue. You can also tape a plastic sandwich bag over the disposal and leave it overnight. The next day, you will find the fruit flies in the bag, and you can dispose of them.
If your fruit fly problem is outdoors, then consider using a bug spray or fog to soak the areas where they congregate. Remember to follow the instructions on the label.