Ah...summertime. The pinnacle of the produce season means amazing things for your palate: sun-ripened fruit, homegrown vegetables, and fresh herbs for days.
Unfortunately, ripe produce also invites other guests to the flavor party: fruit flies. These little monsters (drosophilidae), with their big red eyes and kneejerk-wave inspiring flight patterns, aren't terribly harmful (they have a lifecycle of around ten days)...they're just really, really annoying. They tend to dig on ripe (or overripe) fruit, stale water, uncovered trashcans, etc.
But, even the cleanest homes can fall victim, especially those who buy organic-method or local farm raised produce, or have their own gardens and fruit trees. But, no worries, you can take them out overnight with about a minute of work.
- One medium sized jar with lid - or - one drinking glass/bowl and some plastic wrap
- Hammer and nail
- 1/2 cup beer
1). Since we wanted to use and reuse our trap all summer, we opted for a Mason jar. If you don't keep any on hand, any food jar will do, or you can use a drinking glass, and a piece of plastic wrap as the lid.
2). Punch a series of holes in the lid using nail or awl. Make them big enough to allow the fly in, but not so big that it will be easy for them to escape.
3). Fill the container with about a half cup of beer, or to whatever fills the container halfway. If you'd rather not use beer, try fruit juice or apple cider vinegar. Update: Adding a single drop of dishwashing liquid breaks the surface tension on the liquid, resulting in an immediate drown and no swarming around inside the trap. (Thanks, Mo!)
4). Screw on the lid, then take to the place where they flies are a-hovering...your fruit bowl, pantry, etc. Move any other sweet smelling things to a different location (like the refrigerator), making sure no fruit flies have hitched a ride.
5). Wait. Overnight, the flies will smell the beer, and eventually fly in. They'll hover around above the liquid, eventually falling in and drowning. Every few days, pour out the flies and some of the liquid, and add more to give it a fresh aroma. Repeat as necessary.