Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fruit flies buggin' you?

This homemade trap, introduced by my co-worker, really works. I have to confess that I'm a lazy composter. I compost everything. I have good intentions. I just don't go out and dump the bucket into the compost pile often enough. Inevitably, there are fruit flies.

Last week I tried one of those electronic bug zappers that look like tennis rackets and almost had a heart attack. My idea was to be able to press the button and do a slow swipe, electrocuting all fruit flies in one controlled range of motion. Unfortunately, it came too close to a new water bottle and sent a shock of electricity out (really makes me wonder what that seemingly plastic water bottle is made of!). I tried to be more careful and the next time I held the button down and swiped (away from the water bottle), the racket came too close to the metal range blower, and I was almost struck down. I carefully placed the racket down and decided to try less violent methods (such as death by low-tech drowning).

This fruit fly trap is simply apple cider vinegar in a cup with a piece of plastic wrap rubber-banded around the top and holes poked in with the end of a paper clip. What you can't see are the 15 fruit flies trapped and drowned in the vinegar. We did try this at work, but I don't think it was as effective. There are two possible confounding variables. At work, we used the Press and Seal type of plastic wrap, but the trap below uses regular plastic wrap. Also, at work, the level of the vinegar was lower, in the trap below, I've used more vinegar.

If the fruit flies are buggin' you, this trap will cost you little to nothing to try, and it really works for me!


  1. I have done a similar thing in the past with a cup and funnel contraption. They adore most vinegars and adding fruit juice helps too.

    Great post!


  2. This is a clever idea :-) TQ for posting this info. Will try one day.

  3. Wendy, here's what I use to trap fruit flies. I put an old banana in a bowl and pour in vinegar, dishwashing soap, and some water to raise the level. I cover in plastic wrap, seal with a rubberband, then poke holes in the top. It works incredibly well. Haven't tried using just plain apple cider, but I will. Ack, be careful with that bug zapper!

  4. am so going to try this! We have fruit trees, so the invasion of the fruit flies is just beginning.
    thanks for the tip!

  5. You mean you don't just run around smacking your palms together? Instant gratification to killing those pesky fruit flies! Of course, dead guts all over your hand...ew! Lady, just empty your compost bucket more often..HA!!

  6. This is good to know. I had a run in with fruit flies last year and I couldn't seem to find where they were coming from and it seemed to take forever to get rid of them. I laughed out loud when I read the part about the raquets that zap bugs. I have seen these raquets and I think they zap anything with moisture. And it is a big zap! Too funny. Thanks for an entertaining and informative post. ps I am working on the meme you gave me. Thanks by the way for the kind words!

  7. Me again, ok, my Meme post is puttin' it together...thanks again, Wendy ;)

  8. I use this same trick, only I poke holes in the lid of a small jar filled with cider vinegar. It looks gross, so this year, I covered the jar with a piece of paper. I'll keep my eye out for Hillbiilly tomatoes next year, they sound tasty! I couldn't be angry about my delphiniums turning out white instead of purple. They were clearance, and unmarked!

  9. oooh. Covering the jar with a piece of paper would be a great idea! The traps usually do have a sort of urine-sample kind of look!

    Don't know about you, but I do look at that compost bucket often and think, "I really should dump that thing before I start seeing fruit flies". And I think this every day as I glace at that bucket.

  10. It was so fun to read about these ideas. I have fruit flies buzzing around my iguana's food dish. I was going to try my racket zapper until I read your post. LOL!

    I also find a great deal of satisfaction clapping my hands together and smashing them, but I'm usually too slow! I then try stalking them but the buggers seem to totally disappear so fast!

    Today I tried your trick but had to make my own concoction of red wine vinegar, some sugar for good measure, and a splash of water to get the level to the top of my jar. We'll see how it goes!

  11. It worked! It totally worked!!! Three little fruit flies who hopefully died happy drowning in goodness. Thanks again for sharing the idea!

  12. So, you are a bug femme fatale -entice them over and then snuff them out!

    When I talk about your blog near my garden, I see the insects quiver.

  13. I'm so glad to know about this extra use for apple cidar vinegar. A great tip which I'm going to try out.


My awesome gardening friends...thanks for leaving a comment! I don't typically repond here, but I love knowing who you are so I can visit your blog as well.

btw - if you're trying to show me nude Miley Cyrus photos, sell me nikes or viagra or antibiotics, or encourage my lovely garden readers to visit your site on solar panel construction, or seo-whatevers, sorry, but I'm not publishing your comment. If you want to moderate my blog - well, I can't keep you too busy, and the pay would be horrible. And lastly, no. I'm not interested in Club Penguin cheat codes. Thanks anyway.

Related Posts with Thumbnails