Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fruit Fly Trap - Cheap and Chemical Free!

Our homemade fruit fly trap. 
 Isn't it gross?  Can you see all those little buggers in there?
At least they aren't in my kitchen anymore!

I hesitated posting this because I'm basically admitting we've got bugs all over the kitchen here on the Little Farm.  It makes me seem like a pretty poor housekeeper...but here it is anyway.

We've got fruit flies.  In a pretty big way.  Ugh.  I hate these things. 

Every so often throughout the year, it seems we get a few fruit flies here and there, but not in August.  In August, when the weather is warm and we've got garden produce all over the kitchen and back porch, the things just seem to swarm.  Especially, when I've been out of town for a few days and one of the sons who was left behind, cuts off half of a banana and leaves the other sitting on the counter.  Um...not good anytime during the year, but fruit fly season it means a fruit fly convention.

A couple of years ago in August, while I was elbow deep in canning tomatoes, the fruit flies were driving me crazy.  I actually had a couple of kids come into the kitchen and try to swat them.  FYI- this doesn't work at all, but it is fun to watch.

When swatting didn't work, I turned to my good friend Google.  A quick search for "fruit fly traps" turned up my solution.  I didn't want something which used chemicals since the trap was going to obviously be in the kitchen around food and Young'uns.  Thankfully, the trap I found was chemical free, cheap and I could make it myself.  Music to my frugal, do-it-yourself ears.

So, just in case you've got a few of these little things driving you to distraction at your house, here's how to make your very own Fruit Fly Trap.

This photo was taken before we put some apple into the jar.
The shot above has the apple pieces.

Materials Needed:
-glass or jar of some sort
-sheet of paper (I used some from the recylcing)
-apple cider vinegar
-piece of fruit - apple or banana work best

What to Do:
Pour about an inch of vinegar into your glass or jar.  Place a couple of pieces of fruit in also.  Make your sheet of paper into a funnel and tape it in place.  Making the funnel is the hardest part of this whole deal.  You want the bottom opening to be large enough for a fly to crawl into, but small enough that it's hard for them to figure out how to fly back out.  The top of the funnel needs to be large enough to rest on the top rim of the glass and keep the bottom of the funnel about an inch or so above the vinegar and fruit in the glass.  Make sense?

Don't feel bad if it takes you a whole lot of attempts at making the funnel.  I've been there.  If you get really frustrated at making it.  Just call in one of your sons and they'll whip out a funnel that fits the glass perfectly in about 10 seconds. 

Once the funnel is made, set it into the glass and put the whole thing on your counter or wherever the flies congregate the most.  Let it set for a few hours and then be amazed!  Your jar will be full of the little pests.  It's exciting and gross all at once.  My kids always like to look at them.

Obviously, to get rid of the flies in your glass you don't want to take out the funnel in the house.  We take it outside - far far away from the back door - and pull out the funnel.  (Word to the wise - make sure you are VERY specific in these instructions if you let one of your kids take the glass outside to release the flies.  I know this from experience.)  The vinegar, fruit and funnel can be used several times.

Happy Hunting!


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