I’ve tried more complex traps that involve making a funnel or inverting plastic soda jugs into each other. Those techniques take more work and don’t do as good a job as this straight forward Death By Drowning solution. The trick is the drop of soap, which breaks up the surface tension of the cider vinegar and allows any fly drawn in by that yummy fermented fruit smell of the vinegar to slip to the bottom of the glass.
I’ve found these traps work for about two days and then the vinegar needs to be refreshed. I think as the vinegar volatiles dissipate the trap just doesn’t smell as good to the flies. Also, at a certain point that many dead bugs in the bottom of a glass is just gross and needs to be dealt with.
Whatever you do, do not mindlessly take a swig of your vinegar-dead-fly concoction thinking it’s apple juice or something. That would be even more terrible than a fruit fly infestation.3
My husband thinks it very strange that every morning I skip to the kitchen to see how many fruit flies have fallen victim to my devious cider vinegar trap. It's a small but major part of my day.
My husband and I have fruit fly competitions to see who can kill the most, with bonus points for multiples in one shot or getting them in the air. This sounds a whole lot easier, though.
We just got through an infestation, and I did some incredibly (hah!) scientific comparison using different liquids. Between Bragg's cider vinegar, store band cider vinegar, and red wine, the Bragg's came out the winner. If by winner you mean "contained the most dead fruit flies in the morning."
I also did the trap where you put a piece of fruit in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the wrap. Yes, fruit flies went in. Then I suspected they bred in there until the bowl was FULL OF THEM. When confronted with how to dispose of the bowl, I put it in a plastic bag and stuck it in the freezer. Which I realized is still there and I need to empty it outside, far from the house. Eww.
Tanya @ Lovely Greens says
Eeeeeww! Brilliant trap though 😉
Brilliant PICTURES! Best dead fruit fly pictures on the web, I'm certain!
Tried the plastic wrap over the jar and a lot went in but a lot cam out too. Also tried the paper funnel – I still think they escaped. >:( Damn flies.
Annie Jones says
Although some would consider it alcohol abuse, I've found that a little beer or wine with the dish soap works better than the vinegar.
thankyouthankyouthankyou! i've got the worst fruit fly infestation in my hoop house with the tomatoes and i'm even losing green ones. little fuckers! i put up a fly strip, but i think these traps will do the trick.
Carolyn Renee says
I've taken part in fruit-fly-flaming by taking a can of Pam & a lighter and buring the little bastards to a crisp in mid air. Not very effective at reducing their numbers, but it's fun! Oh yeah, and a little dangerous. Haven't done it since DD was born though; I blame it all on youthful ignorance.
Green Bean says
I really really need to do this. Too many fruit flies due to me not being able to quite keep up with all the harvest.
My house is swarming with the little bastards right now and if it's anything like last year they will move from the kitchen once all the produce is gone and TAKE UP RESIDENCE IN THE BATHROOM! Seriously , they lived on our toothbrush holder for months even after last frost. I washed it, bought new brushes and even resorted to bleach to no avail. I think they finally died out about Feb. I bought a different brand of toothpaste this year that includes tea tree- hopefully that repels them.
My Suburban Homestead says
love it! thanks!
Well my red wine hasn’t done the trick in drowning very many fruit flies. (I drink 3/4 of the bottle and leave the rest in a couple of glasses so maybe I’m the one drowning!) It’s off to the store for apple cider vinegar today! Thanks for the FYI!