The Organic Oklahoman

July 18, 2007

Death to the Fruit Flies

Filed under: catalogs, Pests — Josh @ 2:50 pm

The story so far:
Fruit Flies grrrr
Fruit Flies grrrr grrrr

Death to the Fruit Flies. No seriously…

The first thing I did was remove my composting bucket from the kitchen proper. We’ve always had fruit flies in the spring and summer but they are particularly bad this year. It’s so bad that I have also noticed swarms of them on my tomato plants in the garden. They’re ‘Super Sweets’ and probably have enough sugar to attract the little buggers. (It’s past time to bust out the neem but that’s another story altogether.)

The reason I removed the bucket was that it was covered with fruit fly maggots. Ick. We eat a lot of fruit this time of the year and even dumping the bucket didn’t deter the flies for long. I’ve put it outside and have suspended composting indefinitely. This was a major step for me as I have not thrown so much as a banana peel into the trash for the last three years. The flies were that bad though.

This removed a great amount of their ready food and as far as I could tell, their primary reproduction site in my house.

The second thing was to get place fruit fly traps. Granted, they are little more than fancy containers of apple cider vinegar but they work well and when you’re done you can toss the mess into the trash. Frankly Ryan’s method of a dish of cider vinegar probably works just as well but the fruit fly traps seem to deliver a knock out punch due mostly to their design. Since I removed the compost bucket and placed the traps (three of them) I have seen a huge reduction in the number of actual flies in my kitchen. For example, the remains of a nectarine now only collects two or three flies while waiting to be disposed of as opposed to fifty like before.

So removed the food and go on trapping/extermination overdrive. I am always leery of spraying pesticides in the kitchen but it seems that cleaning it from top to bottom is a good step. The trick for me has been to make the place as inhospitable as possible.

Having said all of that I have to admit that I have reached the conclusion that it is impossible to get rid of them as long as I continue to bring in large amounts of produce from Walmart. It seems like every time I do so there is an upsurge in the population.

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