What Are Fruit Flies?
One such domestic pest is the fruit fly. Although they resemble gnats when in flight, these little creatures usually have brown or tan bodies and red eyes. They’re tiny, ranging in size from an eighth of an inch in every state in the United States.
Doorways, windows, and garden produce are entry points for fruit flies. They find food and habitat in organic matter that is both moist and edible. Although they aren’t fussy eaters, their preferred fare consists of ripe fruits and vegetables. Anywhere you can find decaying organic materials, like:
- Empty bottles and cans
- Garbage cans
- Garbage disposals
What Is a Fly Trap?
Anything that can catch and, occasionally, kill flies is considered a fly trap. There is a wide variety of fly traps available, each designed for a specific kind of fly and suitable for use either indoors or outdoors.
A common method for capturing fruit flies is to use a pleasant-smelling substance to attract the flies, and then to use a liquid solution or flypaper to trap them. Paper or a panel with adhesive sides is called flypaper. Once the flies land on this spot, they won’t be able to go out.
You can buy these kinds of traps, but you can also create your own using common household items.
How to Make a Fly Trap for Fruit Flies
Make-it-yourself fruit fly traps are not only adaptable, but also remarkably simple to construct. You most likely already have the materials on hand to construct these DIY Fruit Fly Trap.
Supplies you’ll need:
- A container made of plastic or glass. You can see how it’s doing and when to replace it with a clear container, which is ideal.
- An airtight cover. A plastic lid or plastic wrap secured with rubber bands will do. The standard glass jar lid won’t cut it because you’ll need to punch holes in it.
- To secure plastic wrap, you’ll need rubber bands.
- Thin, pointed objects, such as toothpicks
- A Fruit Fly Trap-attracting liquid. Water containing yeast or apple cider vinegar are great choices since fruit flies are drawn to fermenting substances.
- Flypaper (optional)
How to make a fruit fly trap:
- STake out your container. Be sure to fill it up to a few inches deep with apple cider vinegar. To make yeast and water, measure out 1/4 to 1/3 cup of warm water and combine it with one package of dried activated yeast. To activate the yeast, whisk with a teaspoon of sugar. You will see the foaming of the mixture in a short while. As expected, this is happening.
- You have the option to include a piece of flypaper inside the jar if you choose. This ensures that the bugs can’t get away by trapping them.
- Put a plastic lid on top. Be certain that the plastic cover fits snugly if you’re using one. Be sure to use a rubber band to fasten any plastic wrap or bags you may be using. A canning ring is another option for use with glass jars.
- Make a few little holes in the top. The flies might be able to get out if these holes are larger than a quarter of an inch. You can use anything sharp, like a pencil or a toothpick, for this.
After a week, remove the trap and make a new one if needed. Outdoors is the ideal place to dispose of these traps. If you really must empty the traps, flush them with water for at least one minute thereafter to ensure that no fruit flies or larvae remain. You should construct a new trap in case the Fruit Fly Trap persist.
How Do Fruit Fly Trap Work?
Fruit fly traps are pretty simple.
The first step in the fermentation process—in which yeast breaks down glucose into alcohol and carbon dioxide—is that it attracts fruit flies. This carbon dioxide byproduct in particular is what draws the flies. Both yeast and apple cider vinegar—basically fermented apple juice—make this when combined with sugar and water.
They find their way into the trap by following their noses, but once inside, they have a hard time getting out. Additionally, fruit flies in a fruit fly trap could end up caught on the flypaper or drowning in the liquid.
How to Keep Fruit Flies Away
A fruit fly trap can help reduce infestations, but if the flies are still finding other places to feed, you will continue to deal with them.
To eliminate a fruit fly infestation, you also need to eliminate anywhere they might be feeding and breeding. You can do this by:
- Preserving perishable produce by storing it in the fridge or other sealed container.
- Is there a bag of potatoes in the back of the pantry somewhere? I’m looking for any neglected produce.
- Removing any potential accumulation of food waste from areas such as garbage disposals and trash cans.
Make sure you aren’t unintentionally allowing fruit flies to enter if you’ve followed all of these steps and they persist after a week or two. Before bringing any produce inside, check that all the doors and windows are securely closed.
Then you might want to think about contacting a professional exterminator if the fly problem persists. While fruit flies can be mistaken for other flies, such as drain flies and certain species of gnats, you’ll need to employ various methods to get rid of them.