Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Simple Suggestion #268... Make a simple fruit fly trap

Every fall when I bring in garden produce, and sometimes midwinter if I buy bananas, more fruit flies than people live in my kitchen. Tiny flies can be quite an annoyance, but they aren't hard to catch with the right trap.

Unfortunately, marketers have come up with mostly plastic but snazzily-designed traps that you can find in many hardware or department stores. But don't buy more stuff when it's really easy to make a trap of your own with common items around the house!

The one pictured is just an emptied beer bottle (any bottle will do) now holding about 1/4 c wine vinegar (you can also use cider vinegar), a little splash of water, and a few drops of dish soap. Some people just leave the mixture in a dish for the flies to drown in, but I find the bottle takes less counter space and can be moved without spillage. I like to shake it up every so often -- it seems to strengthen the vinegar fragrance that attracts the flies and they get trapped in the bubbles, which eventually dissipate until I shake the bottle again. The whole thing is simple, harmless to the environment, and it sure cuts the fruit fly population. The vinegar/soap mix can be poured down the drain when I'm done with it and the bottle recycled, unlike the plastic traps sold in department stores. And bonus: there are no sticky plastic chemical strips.

Our garden has been put to bed and, sad to say, my summer beer stash went with it. The snow is falling, we're eating our last few tomatoes, and fruit fly season is pretty much over for this year. But I'll keep at least one empty beer bottle on hand in case those pesky flies make a comeback somehow. How about you?

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