We had a fruit fly invasion this week at the office. And it was maddening. One Stir staffer spent the day with a squirt bottle of soapy water, shooting it every time anything flew near her. No doubt about it, those little bugs are annoying. How do you get rid of them -- without setting off a toxic bomb of bug spray everywhere?
There's that trick of putting vinegar or something sweet in a jar and covering it with punctured plastic wrap, but that didn't do the trick for me last time I got an invasion. So I'm looking for other non-toxic, DIY fruit fly traps.
Soda Bottle Trap
- Take an empty, two-liter soda bottle and cut off the top third.
- Fill the bottle with a 1/4 inch of juice, wine, tequila, or apple cider, and squirt in a little liquid soap. The liquid soap is supposed to create surface tension so the fruit flies don't just hang out on the surface of the juice, but actually drown in it.
- Invert the top of the soda bottle upside-down and set that in the bottle.
- Seal the two parts together with duct tape.
- Enjoy as your fruit flies fly in and fail to escape.
Alternatively, you can curl a piece of paper into a funnel and insert that, point down, instead of the inverted bottle top.
Fruit flies can't handle the smoke. Rather than set your kitchen on fire (in a fury, we understand...) light some incense -- a handful of sticks, maybe more than you'd ordinarily use at once.
1. Combine 1 pint of milk, 1/4 pound of sugar, and 2 ounces ground pepper in a saucepan. Simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Pour liquid into small, shallow bowls in affected areas. Collect bowls after fruit flies fall in and drown.
Destroy Breeding Grounds
Once you've killed off the fruit flies you could see, clean areas where they were breeding with bleach (your fruit bowl, for instance). Fruit flies often breed inside drains and garbage disposals, so pour some bleach down the sink as well.
How do you kill off fruit flies?
Image via John Tann/Flickr