Monday, October 10, 2011

How to Remove Fruit Flies without Pesticides

It has happened again: you brought home some bananas or maybe some peaches, and they brought a swarm of fruit flies with them.  You threw away the offending fruit, scrubbed your kitchen within an inch of its life, but still they linger.  Perhaps you (like me) have pets or small children who make using poisons unsafe.  Perhaps you (also like me) don't like the idea of using chemicals designed to kill in the place your family's food is made.  Finally, perhaps you (always me) want a solution which is fast, cheap, and readily available. Whatever your reasons, don't despair! I have a tried and true method for getting rid of those nasty little house guests.

If you have read my shampoo free entry, then you already know that  apple cider vinegar is a multi-use product.  Well, here is another application.  Take a small bowl or cup, and pour at least a quarter cup of  apple cider vinegar (or any old wine that you might have handy, which also works great) into it. Then grab your dish soap, and touch your finger to the top of the nozzle.  Squeeze ever so slightly (you want even less than a drop, just the littlest bit on your finger).  Stir the vinegar with your soapy finger, and leave the bowl sitting in a high fruit fly traffic area.  You should start catching fruit flies in no time.

The Science:
Why does this work?  Well, the vinegar attracts the fruit flies to come eat it. Normally the surface tension of the liquid would be enough that they could land and drink without a problem.  However, adding soap breaks the surface tension.  Instead of landing and drinking, they drown.  Nothing toxic about it - heck, it wouldn't even make you sick to drink it (but don't - eww).  That makes this method idea for those who are, for any reason, looking to avoid dangerous chemicals.

Not working?  Try the following:

  • Maybe you added too much soap.  If you did, it will smell wrong to the fruit flies and they won't go near it. Try again with less soap.
  • Heating up the vinegar in the microwave for 10 seconds before you add the soap is supposed to make it release more "I am delicious" scent.
  • Is your kitchen clean?  You won't ever get rid of all of the fruit flies if there are other easy sources of food around.
Click here to see more of my eco-friendly alternatives. 

Keywords: pesticide, fruit flies, non-toxic insect killer, organic pest solutions, apple cider vinegar

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