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Fruit flies

I've never had a problem with fruit flies before this year. From talking to friends it seems that I'm not the only one that's having a problem here this year. Does anyone have an effective solution?

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  1. Well, I've offered to donate mine to my SIL's genetic research lab (where she mutates fruit flies) but mine aren't pure bread fruit flies.

    They have seemed worse this year. I go with a juice glass with 2 oz of white wine vinegar and 2 drops of dish soap. Refresh daily, and don't use the good stuff, but our flies don't care for cider vinegar or distilled. A glass in the locations they frequent seems to keep them at bay. I have one near the kitchen sink and one on the dining room table (moved if we are trying to appear respectable).

    2 Replies
    1. re: autumm

      What does this do? Makes them stick to the juice glass? Kills them? Prevents them from reproducing? Where do they go if they are kept at bay?

      1. re: Steve

        They drown in the glass, so I then dump the contents down the drain and refill the glass with fresh vinegar and soap. After a couple days I generally stop finding dead flies, so I put the glasses away until they reappear.

    2. Ditto and arrgg...it is a mini swarm!

      1. I don't leave any food or fruit out. And am fastidious about wiping the counters down with vinegar. I have both ants and fruit flies going nuts and swarming in the kitchen. I try to block of the path of the ants with baby powder, which works, but it is a mess to clean up...the flies, though...I just try and keep stuff out of their way.

        I don't like keeping all fruit in the fridge all the time, and I hated to put the figs I picked off the tree into the fridge, but I don't see any other way to keep the swarm off.

        1. good god. I work in a winery and sheesh. Awful, awful, awful problems this year. Especially out in the vineyards, and I've even heard the COAST is really bad this year too.

          1. We use a glass jar, such as a mason jar... Put pieces of fruit in the bottom (bananas and oranges seem to work best) then we make a "paper cone" where the can get into the jar and to the bottom of the fruit, but then they can't find a way back out.
            The cone may have to be taped to hold its shape, but it's very effective for us. We no longer see them flying around, but sure enough-there will be 4-5 everyday. Just dump em out-outside!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Uniongirl

              Does the paper cone go over the top of the jar? How do you rig it so they can't get out?

              1. re: Steve

                Tape the top if the cone to the top of the jar. It's not detailed in Uniongirl's post, but you have to leave a small hole in the bottom of the come for the flies to enter. We use wine instead of fruit in the winebar where I work. Seems to do the job well.

            2. My home is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, and we are being plagued by the swarm too. I don't even have fruit sitting out and the little creeps are still partying in my kitchen. I don't have a solution but will try some of the ideas posted here. To quote my late Gram, "The worst it can do is not work." :-)

              1. Spray all fruits and veg that you bring into the house and don't refrigerate with a solution of 1 part vinegar, 3 parts water. Let the fruits/veg sit in a sink or tray with the solution on for ten to 15 minutes. Rinse off and dry. I keep a spray bottle of the solution under the sink, and do this for bananas, tomatoes, avocados, peaches, nectarines, and potatoes. It really helps to keep fruit flies out of the kitchen as a preventative measure.

                Once they're in the house, trap them with a mason jar half filled with apple cider vinegar, add a couple drops dish soap and fill with water to make it sudsy. Drape plastic wrap over the jar opening, poke a pencil-sized hole in the center and skim off the dead flies daily, topping with vinegar and water and stirring to create suds. Works pretty well.

                1. Follow up.....

                  So far I've used white wine vinegar plus dishwashing soap in a jar, then covered with a paper funnel taped to the opening of the jar. Most flies get trapped in the liquid, but the ones that don't can't find their way back up the funnel. I imagine the plastic wrap with holes might work as well......

                  very good success with this.

                  1. I live in Oregon and have never had problems until now. It's awful. I keep a small dish on my kitchen counter with apple cider vinegar in it, covered with plastic wrap, then poked with some fork holes. I seem to get a graveyard of those little suckers every day. It is ridiculous.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: boyzoma

                      I have a spray bottle that used to have Windex in it. It produces a very fine spray. I half fill it with about 10% white vinegar and 90% water. When I see a little bugger just a quick shot at it and it's 'down'. I get a nice feeling of satisfaction shooting them out of the air. I also use the vinegar/soap/plastic wrap tip. But knocking them out of the air helps 'get the day in' LOL

                      1. re: Puffin3

                        Brilliant idea! I seem to have had a problem with them this year too. I am currently trying the vinegar method but it's not working. However, they seem attracted to the vinegar so now these huge fruit flies are flying all over it and then darting at my face and I hover behind them as they fly around trying to get just the right angle to demolish them. I will use the sprayer method, seems much more effective.

                        Also, anyone still struggling might want to look here for more ideas http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/424640

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          The biggest problem I have with the sprayer is that I see them "all over the house now". If I'm having a glass of wine in the living room, THEY ARE THERE. If I am in the bathroom brushing my teeth, THEY ARE THERE. They like wine AND toothpaste!!! Dirty little buggers! I can't carry a spray bottle with me, and don't want vinegar all over my house!

                          1. re: boyzoma

                            They fly directly at the computer screen at night. In fact, sometimes I turn off the lights so that they will be attracted to it and i can assault my screen in an attempt to get them. We also seem to have fungus gnats which are as annoying and rather than hover and soar like fruit flies, seem to like to leap.

                    2. My brilliant Dad put a big jar on its side on the kitchen counter with a big sign saying..."fruitflies this way:" with a big arrow pointing to the jar! Then he was often seen standing there with 2 wooden planks to crush them on the way..yes quite eccentric! He invented Bananagrams! Great Man...try the game!

                      1. Legacy thread, but I just saw an interesting solution:

                        LPT: If you have a ton of fruit flies in your house, turn off all but one light source and wait 2 minutes. They will congregate there. Then, flick on a lighter and turn off the light source. The flies will burn their wings off trying to get close to the light source.