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From our sister blog, Panhandle Vegan:

Fighting the Battle of the Fruit Flies…

It’s that time of year… getting warmer outside but still not so hot that we have to close up the house and turn the Air Conditioning on. That’s something we avoid until the last minute.

The problem, however, is that, in this weather, the fruit flies start to swarm around the vegetable and fruit scraps waiting to go out into the garden and make our cooking area very unpleasant.

This morning we started our campaign which was 100% successful last year over a couple of days. We built fruit fly traps which draw the little devils in by the gross and get them out of our way.

We start with a small Ball jar. Into that we put about 1/2 cup of cider vinegar, a little water and a few drops of dish soap. Some people add a piece of banana to the mix – something fruit flies love – but I haven’t found it necessary.

On top of the jar we stretch tightly a piece of plastic wrap, or a small sandwich bag, and seal it around the neck with a rubber band. Then we take a toothpick and poke about 7 or 8 holes in the top.

That’s it.

Put the Jar (or 2 or 3 of them) in the infestation area and pretty soon the problem will be gone… and you can count the number of bugs either floating on top (new captures) or lying dead on the bottom. I’m up to around 60 with one jar which I set up about 3 hours ago.

A jar with the vinegar/soap mix lasts a couple of weeks and then can be refreshed with a new mix. Keep the traps going until the problem disappears or the start of heavy air conditioning season (you may have to overlap the two.)

Waiting for the refrigerator man… Fighting Fruit Flies.

The repair guy from GE is coming this morning some time (they said between 8 and Noon and we’re well into that now) to look at our noisy freezer that’s dripping water into the refrigerator section below. I tried defrosting (which on a frost free machine is hard to do) and that didn’t solve the problem. I have a feeling that there is a fan part that needs to be replaced. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, it is raining out, so I’ll have to get wet walking the dogs. They don’t mind, of course, but I do. It’s cold as well (my back deck thermometer hasn’t hit 60° yet), so this is going to be an uncomfortable walk. Still, of course, without a car until tomorrow when we go down to Linda’s to pick it up. So I’m trapped in the house again today.

I have been battling with fruit flies for the last week or so… they pop up everywhere… drains, fruitbowl, cutting board area… and, since we don’t use any poison sprays, getting rid of them was a real problem. Until I did my research, of course, and discovered how to make “fruit fly traps” which have worked so well that you hardly see any of the little bastards around.

How does one make a fruit fly trap? Simple. Start with a good, widemouthed jar (we always have plenty of old Ball jars around which we use for canning) and put in about an inch or two of warm water with a squirt of dishwashing soap. Then add a shot of apple cider and a shot of red wine. Cover the top of the jar with a piece of Saran Wrap and use a rubber band to keep it tightly sealed at the neck of the jar. Now comes the tricky part… you have to punch a few very small holes through the plastic wrap… small enough for the fruit flies to get in but not so large that they can go right out again. I use a nut pick to punch the holes, but a fork could do it, too.

Then all you have to do is put the jar wherever the greatest number of the pests have been spotted. I made four jars and put them in various places in my kitchen. Now all you do is wait. In about an hour or so you will notice a distinct reduction in the bugs. The next day when you check the jars you will find they are full of little drowned fruit flies. Amazing!

I change the liquid and reseal the jars every few days and my fruit-flies are now nowhere to be found (on the first refill day there were much fewer of them caught in the traps, so we are succeeding quite well.)

I think I’ll post this bit about my fruit fly traps over at Panhandle Vegan… I know my friends over there could probably benefit from the strategy.