Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Science Project

This is a little icky, and I hesitated whether or not to post it; but everyone else around here seems to have the same problem, so maybe someone will find some use in it. Every year about this time--late summer, early autumn--fruit flies suddenly appear in the house. I usually find a few of them buzzing around the bananas, and they hang around for a few weeks or so, then they're gone for another year. They seem to be pretty harmless, but this year they've become a real irritation.

This year there seems to be so many more of them, and I've seen them in a couple other rooms in the house too. We have tried some different things to discourage them, like moving the fruit to a different counter in the kitchen, keeping the kitchen trash bag closed, and scrupulously cleaning the counter tops, but nothing has worked.

Last night while we were eating dinner, a few of them kept flying around in front of my face, and I finally got so aggravated that I googled 'fruit flies' to see how I might get rid of them. What I found was an incredibly simple, highly effective, environmentally friendly solution that worked like a charm!

In a tall glass, I poured enough cider vinegar to just cover the bottom of the glass; and it must be cider vinegar--regular white vinegar won't work. Heck, they're tiny, you don't need a lot. Next I added a couple drops of dishwashing liquid and swirled it around in the glass. This breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, so they'll fall in and drown. Then I took a half size sheet of printer paper (or whatever paper you want), shaped it into a cone and taped it together. I left a small opening at the bottom of the cone, about the size of a pencil. The idea here is that the bugs will crawl down into the glass through the opening in the paper; and, because bugs are stupid, they can't seem to find their way back out. Eventually they either land or fall into the vinegar and drown.

I placed the glass near an area where I saw a few fruit flies, and within seconds a few landed on the white paper. Within minutes there must have been a dozen or more flies trapped inside the glass. I'll bet I sat there 20 minutes and watched, with morbid fascination, as they buzzed around and crawled down towards the opening in the paper. The little buggers just couldn't seem to resist the intoxicating aroma of that vinegar. Within a few hours there wasn't a fly to be seen anywhere. They were all trapped inside the glass. In the morning I simply emptied the glass and its contents down the drain and rinsed it all away. Gee, I wish I could get rid of all my problems so easily!

Repeat as often as necessary until fruit fly season is over!

8 comments:

Gina said...

What a great idea. I wonder if it would work for the flies we get over here. I'll have to give it a try.

Love and hugs Gina xxx

Beth said...

Thanks, Sue, I'm going to try it! Now do you have a similar trick for flies? Doesn't it seem this time of year the flies try to move in to the house? Other than entertainment for the cats, I can't think of any reason to not swat them and I'm don't have good aim.

Margo said...

How neat...they are around ...yes what about flies?? one of our pastures for the cows are in the back of the house and there are always extra flies waiting to get into the house when you open the door...especially now as they want the warmth..oh well, will just keep swatting....

Barb D said...

Absolutely ingenious!!! Isn't the internet GREAT!!! Don't you just love Google?

Elaine Adair said...

Hey, you cud make a million bucks selling that! LOL

Mary said...

What a great solution. I don't have problems with fruit flies but when we lived in Marietta, every year we'd be invaded by ladybugs and not just for a week - for at least a few months. So far I don't notice many bugs/pests here in MN.

Sue H said...

It seems like it's just a couple of times a year we have the problem, and now I can't wait for the next time so I can try this! Don't you wonder about who was the first person to try this?

Tracey said...

Wonderfull idea,
Great blog , Thankyou