Since we started composting our fruit and vegetable scraps, I’ve noticed that the amount of garbage our family generates per week has decreased from about five grocery-size bags to one. I’ve also noticed that we have a significant fruit fly problem. We put our fruit and vegetable scraps into a plastic container and dump the container out into our compost when it gets full, or about every other day. The container has a tight-fitting lid but it still attracted fruit flies, so many of them that even Caroline said to me one day, “We have a fruit fly problem!” I hate to kill bugs of any kind but seeing the tiny flies buzzing round the kitchen all day really gave me the creeps. So, I started poking around the internet. How do you get rid of fruit flies? The most obvious way is to remove the source, or in my case, the plastic container. But I’m a busy mom and I like to save myself trips to the compost if I can. After another minute or so on the internet, I came across on-line stores that sell a full suite of fruit fly eradication options: pest control sprays, fly traps, gels, baits, traps that use pheromone sexual attractants. For about $100, you can even buy your own professional ultraviolet fly trap. I passed on all of these options and opted for a simpler trap made of materials that I had on hand: plastic food wrap, rubber band, small glass jar, apple cider vinegar. I put about a 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar in the jar and covered it with a piece of plastic food wrap secured in place with a rubber band. I then poked several holes into the plastic food wrap (using a fork) and placed the jar on the kitchen counter. The fruit flies, attracted to the apple cider vinegar, quickly made their way through the holes in the plastic food wrap. But they couldn’t get out.
Our family returned from a 10-day vacation on Sunday night and I’m pleased to report that we came home to a kitchen free of fruit flies.