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Dave Jepson, AlamyDave Jepson, Alamy

How could such tiny creatures be such a big nuisance? Here are a few sweet solutions for warding off these summertime pests.

It takes a lot to rattle me. But fruit flies in my kitchen can make me start swatting around like a mad woman, cursing those little flying insects. Fruit flies are attracted to food -- mainly rotting food, fruit and sweets. And they're not just annoying; they also spread germs. Ick.

Minor Fruit Fly Problem
If the fruit flies have not completely taken over and you want a simple solution, try one of the following. I've tested each of these fruit fly tricks with some success:

-- In a bowl, mix 1" of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of liquid dish soap. Place the dish in the affected area over night. The flies will be attracted to the strong smell of the apple cider vinegar and will become trapped by the dish soap.

-- If fruit flies are feeding on something in your drain, try vinegar ice cubes. Simply freeze vinegar in ice cube trays (you might want to dilute the vinegar a bit with water to make sure it freezes), and drop the cubes down your garbage disposal.

-- In a bowl, pour 1 inch of red wine. Cover it with plastic wrap, and secure the plastic with an elastic band. Poke a few holes in the plastic so the flies can get in.

Major Fruit Fly Infestation
The last family of fruit flies that invaded my kitchen were particularly taunting. I tried all my usual solutions, but couldn't get rid of them. Then I discovered the mother of all fruit fly traps.

Before you can lure fruit flies into the trap, you'll want to make sure you clean away all other food sources (besides the one you're using to lure them). Empty the garbage (you should do this every day), put away all food in tightly sealed containers or the fridge, get rid of soiled dish cloths, and wash your counters, sink and dirty dishes.

Now you're ready to build the fruit fly trap. Here's how:

rotten bananaGetty Images

What you'll need:

-- Fruit, nearly rotten is best.
-- 250 ml. pop bottle
-- A piece of paper
-- Tape

Directions:

1. Place the rotten fruit in the bottle.
Squish it in -- the nastier the better. Use bananas, rotten berries, chunks of apple, a splash of red wine; the options are endless!)
2. Roll the paper into a funnel shape. Trim it if necessary and tape it together.
3. Put the funnel in the bottle. Seal the rim with tape.

The fruit flies will be tempted by the rotting fruit, fly in, and not be able to get out. It will take a few days to get every last one, but in time, it will completely rid you of the fruit fly infestation. Some people add a touch of dish soap so the flies die quickly; others let them finish their life cycle purging on the rotten fruit; still others choose to release them down the road. The important part is getting them out of your kitchen.

What's your method of choice for warding off fruit flies?



  • Leanne

    I half fill a wine glass with red wine, cover the top with plastic wrap and poke several holes in the top... they eat it up and get stuck every time...

    Reply
  • Chell

    I've been using the red wine trick for ages... never needed the saran wrap because the little buggers just got drunk and drowned themselves!


  • TMT

    We have a giant tropical pitcher plant in our kitchen. It works & it looks cool. It's called : Nepenthes x thorelli Highland Pitcher PlantWe


  • Rach

    @Vote upVote downReport [2.5 stars src=]

    7-21-2010 @9:34PM
    TMT said...

    We have a giant tropical pitcher plant in our kitchen. It works & it looks cool. It's called : Nepenthes x thorelli Highland Pitcher PlantWe
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Do you keep this inside? Is it safe around pets?


  • trish

    Those little bugger's are anoying for sure..but WHERE do they come from??? I have never seen an artical explaining where they come from. One day you don't have them in your kitchen, forget a piece of fruit on the counter and then the next day they are there!! Where do they come from??

    Reply
  • dena

    they come from the fruit you buy at the grocery store. From what i understand, they lay their eggs in the fruit and they hatch after they've been there for a while (usually when the fruit begins to ripen). I hate those little suckers.


  • Steve

    They come from the fruit you buy and bring in from the grocery store


  • Heather

    Decaying fruit gives off a distinctive odour that a fruit fly can detect from a very great distance and zero in on. Since the flies are so small, they can come through window screens.


  • Dawn

    Do they come from eggs/larvae on the fruit, then hatch and presto!! Fruit flies!! That's my theory. Also, I keep my fresh fruit in plastic bags, that way no fruit flies can escape!


  • Cheryl

    Vacuum the suckers up with a hose attachment. Seriously, they can't escape the suction, it worked quickly, and then I used some vinegar to get the stragglers.

    Reply
  • audey willmann

    We had them for the first time this year we bought fly paper from the hardware store and hung it in kitchen it took care of all the little critters fast.

    Reply
  • Terri

    I had a real problem with fruit flies for almost a year. I did the juice thing, i put plenty of rotten juice around in jars and finally most of them went in there and died. They would bite my head when i was watching tv. They were a real nuissance, I also sprayed my plants with raid that were for fruit flies, cause they also like to hide in house plants that have water in them, so you want to keep them dry as possible with alot of sand as well to keep them at bay. I also hear that if you put a herb plant of basil or rosemary on the shelf where your plants are they will leave as well :) Another story i read was to put slices of potatoe in your plants for they lay eggs on them and then die and you throw the potatoe away after that :) I have no problems now by doing all of these things lol.

    Reply
  • Jerry

    Place some play sand around the rim of a large plate. Put some red wine in the middle of the plate. The fruit flies will drink the wine and then stone each other with the sand. The last fly standing will die from exhaustion and serosis of the liver from all the wine it drank.

    Reply
  • Christine

    **********************
    Jerry, is this a joke?
    **********************
    Place some play sand around the rim of a large plate. Put some red wine in the middle of the plate. The fruit flies will drink the wine and then stone each other with the sand. The last fly standing will die from exhaustion and serosis of the liver from all the wine it drank.


  • abe

    Christine, it wasn't funny at all until you asked the question, now that's a joke!


  • Greg P

    Jerry - Your idea is hilarious (and I'm sure very effective), but unfortunately I think you already drank all the red wine!


  • Cheryl

    @Jerry.....hahahahahahaha now that was definetly comical. Thank you so much for the laugh that I so needed.


  • RobertaLynn

    Love your humor Jerry .... :o)


  • Anna

    For just a couple of flies, a quick spray of Formula 409 works great, especially if they are flying around. They fall right to the ground and they die quickly. Not an organic method, but since you have to clean the kitchen anyway I see no harm in using it.

    Reply
  • Sharon

    I learned this one from a bartender. Put some fresh basil in a vase near your fruit..it repels them for a few days.

    Reply
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