How To Get Rid Of Fruit Flies With A Homemade Fruit Fly Trap
By Carole Nickerson
Anyone who has ever left a few bananas sitting out or forgotten to change their garbage knows all too well the problem with fruit flies. It seems that once they've invaded your kitchen, you can't get rid of them. You can scrub, clean, remove tempting fruit and spray the garbage can with disinfectants, but they always come back. You can't help but cringe just looking at them.
We have always had problems with fruit flies, with one of the main reasons being that we live in an apartment and by law - must recycle. Because of where we live, we have to keep our recycling containers inside until they can be disposed of once a week. If the recyclables aren't cleaned well enough after being used, they make a perfect breeding ground for fruit flies. They love bits of rotting food remnants and seem to thrive in even the smallest amount. When fruit flies move in, they just don't want to leave and will lay eggs in and on anything they can find - fruits & vegetables left on the counter, sink drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles & cans, garbage bags, and even mops and rags.
A Few Fun Facts About Fruit Flies:
- Can lay up to 500 eggs at a time
- Their entire lifecycle is complete in about a week
- While considered mainly a pest, they have the potential to contaminate food with dangerous bacteria
We all know that removing the food, getting rid of the garbage & cleaning up plays a big role, but we also know what it's like to move a piece of fruit and have a swarm of fruit flies fill the air only to escape your attempts at killing them. Where are they gonna go? Obviously the ones flying around can't be easily captured or killed, so they'll linger about until they find some other place to lay eggs and the whole cycle starts again.
In all my attempts, I found the best way to capture and remove the ones that escape is to create a simple trap using a jar, plastic wrap and a piece of food. Here's how it works:
1. Get a small jar you don't plan on using again ( like a baby food jar or something similar ) and wash it out well. Make sure it is not a jar with a funky smell such as a used pickle jar or anything that use to have strong spices. You want a clean, odorless jar.
2. Take a chunk of banana and place inside the jar. This is why you want a clean, odorless jar - so that the banana smell won't be overpowered by other not-so-tempting smells. Banana seems to work the best, but you can experiment.
3. Fit a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the jar, making sure that it fits tight and well sealed around the edges. Then take a pen or pencil and poke 4 to 5 holes in the plastic, just big enough for a fruit fly to fit into. Once a fruit fly crawls in, it can't get out. You would think they would just fly back out through the holes, but they won't!
4. Place the jar in an area where you have seen the most fruit flies. Depending on the amount of fruit flies you have, you can expect to start seeing the jar fill up within just a few hours. After 24 hours, you will discover just how bad your fruit fly problem is!
This simple, inexpensive & safe method works perfectly and if you don't want the jar on public display, you can always slip it behind the garbage can, in the cupboard or even under the sink (Just don't forget about it!). You will want to empty the jar every 3-4 days before any eggs have a chance to hatch. While adult fruit flies can't easily escape through the holes, their maggots can very easily, and besides that - they are disgusting to see crawling around in the jar. You don't want to see these things crawling on your counter!
Cleaning out the jar shouldn't be a problem. If you have a kind heart, you can choose to let them go outside. Personally, I spray the little buggers with bug spray, wash out the jar and start the whole process over again if I think there are still some fruit flies left to capture.
For bad fruit fly problems, you will want to use this method for a good two weeks to make sure you've captured the majority of fruit flies. You might even want to use a few jars in different places. Before long, your kitchen will be back to normal.
Carole Nickerson has been a web developer and internet marketer since 1998. Visit http://www.thenetter.com for more free articles, tips and software.
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