Monday, July 29, 2013

A Homemade Fruit Fly Trap that Actually Works

Seriously - who else is struggling with fruit flies this season? I swear they're getting more and more ballsy everyday over here. They've started perching along the handle of my refrigerator door, thinking I'm not going to notice them there and that I'm going to just let them right into my food supply. We've tried several different homemade fruit fly traps, but none of them were working to both trap and kill the bugs.

I finally found the solution!!

Homemade Fruit Fly Trap

Here's what you need:

Tape (I used packaging tape)
A 1- or 2-liter plastic bottle
Apple juice
Dish soap
Scissors or a serrated knife
5 fingers to pat yourself on the back afterwards, because this shit is going to work.

Step 1:  Use your knife or scissors to cut the top portion off of the bottle:

Plastic bottle with top cut off, homemade fruit fly trap
Step 2: Pour about 1" of apple juice into the bottom of the bottle. Add a squirt of dish soap and stir:

Plastic bottle with apple juice and dishsoap, homemade fruit fly trap
Step 3: Take the top part of the bottle that you'd removed and flip it upside down. Insert the upside-down top of the bottle into the bottom of the bottle so that the two pieces fit together snugly. Use your tape to secure the two bottle pieces together at the top edge:

Homemade Fruit Fly Trap

Now all you have to do is place this bottle somewhere that fruit flies like to gather in your home. You can make additional traps and place them in different rooms if need be.

So why does this fruit fly trap work?

WELL let me tell you.

The flies are attracted by the smell of the sweet apple juice, so they fly down into the bottle. The dish soap in the liquid breaks the surface tension of the apple juice, preventing the flies from being able to stand on top of the liquid like Jesus. Thus, they sink into the liquid and drown. Another reason this bottle thing works is because I've read that fruit flies aren't great at flying straight up, so once they get into the vertical chamber of the plastic bottle, they're kind of screwed.

Some other techniques I tried that did not work:

- Covered half an empty watermelon with plastic wrap and poked holes into it. This seriously attracted the fruit flies and they did fly into the holes in the plastic. However, there was nothing in the watermelon that would kill the flies, so rather than drowning they just flew around and around inside the watermelon long enough that most of them were eventually able to escape. Fail.

- Mashed up some blueberries in a glass jar, added some water and a bit of dish soap, covered the jar in plastic wrap and poked holes into it. No idea why, but the flies never even went near this one. I don't get it - who doesn't love soapy blueberries?? Fail.

My only hope is that someone finds this helpful. I've definitely heard some other "fruit fly" rumblings and grumblings around Facebook and Twitter lately, so I'm sure I'm not the only one with the problem. The several dead fruit flies at the bottom of my plastic bottle are the best proof that this trap works better than any others I've tried.  Now go forth and kill those little sons of bitches.

Also, I'm a featured guest blogger over on Much Ado About Somethin' today. Head over to check out all of the nail care and nail polish basics I'm sharing with her readers!

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  1. I've tried this with bees as well!

    1. Oh man, don't kill bees. We need them.

  2. I love this! I've tried it with vinegar and it works, but it also STINKS. This looks like a MUCH better solution! Smart girl. :)

  3. Nice! Hopefully I won't have to use this this year, but if so I got it bookmarked. Thanks for sharing!

  4. i created this little contraption just a couple days ago and it has snatched up at least 20 little pests so far! used apple cider vinegar instead of apple juice and added a bunch of extra sugar to make it extra sweeeet :) thanks @akabailey

  5. Just made this and it's sitting in the kitchen. Hopefully those little buggers find their way in soon!

  6. My husband and I totally did this back when Mads was born! It 100% works. He's obsessed!

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  8. so far…..looks good!!!

    1. I've got every confidence that it'll work great for you! I made one again this year and it was a success :)

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