Food and Garden Dailies started as a way to record my family's favorite recipes. It has come in handy many times when I'm asked for a recipe. I simply email a link to the blog! But I couldn't just stick to recipes. The kitchen is tied to the garden in so many ways...and so I let you into my ever changing garden as well.

If you're interested in my all-time favorite recipes, check out this post first: My Favorite Recipes

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

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I really don't want or need to know where fruit flies come from.  They just magically materialize when fruit starts to rot.  They multiply like rabbits. Actually, I think they multiply faster than rabbits.  To get rid of them, you really have to stay on top of them and not let them get out of control.

When I first spy one, I quickly check my produce bowl.  Usually I just have to tap it, and a fruit fly or two (hopefully that's all....) will fly out.

Over the years I've tried different methods to get rid of them.  Slapping them together between two damp pieces of paper towel was the most fun and actually pretty darn effective.  It did take some time though, and I'm sure I looked quite foolish.

So when the last bout of fruit flies began, I started Googling to find out easier ways to get rid of them.  There's a lot of information out there.  Capturing them in a container with bait is a common theme.  But do you just poke holes in the container lid or do you make a cone-shaped funnel for them to enter?  Do you put rotting fruit, juice, apple cider vinegar, dish soap,  balsamic vinegar, or white wine and coriander seeds in the container as bait?  Do you suck them up with a vacuum cleaner attachment?

I tried a few things and quickly learned that more flies go to the cone-shaped funnel than to a random hole poked in a lid.

Going back to my science fair days, I set out three jars fitted with cone-shaped funnels.  One had a rotten piece of fruit, one had apple cider vinegar (seemed to be recommended most), and one had the fruit and the vinegar.   I placed the jars right near the source...the fruit bowl.

Those little bugger found my jars pretty darn quickly.  The most effective jar was the one with plain old apple-cider vinegar.  It caught twice as many flies as the other jars.  And it looked a whole lot better!  So, if you're looking to get rid of fruit flies, get a jar, a coffee filter, some tape, apple-cider vinegar, and a pokey-stick.

Fold the filter in quarters.

Put a few inches of apple cider vinegar in the jar.
Place the coffee filter in the jar, as shown.
With the cone inside, fold the top of the filter over the edge of the jar.  Tape in place, and poke a hole at the bottom of the cone.

Place the jar near your food source and wait for the fruit flies.  Change out the jars each day.  It's kinda' icky looking at floating fruit flies.  

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