Do fruit flies tend to beat you to the fruit bowl? Once they settle in, these uninvited guests know how to overstay their welcome. Luckily, there is one easy way to rid your home of fruit flies and keep them from returning.
Trapping Fruit Flies with a Paper Funnel Trap
1. Choose a tall jar, wine bottle, old soda bottle or vase to serve as the base of the trap. Almost any jar will work in a pinch.
This method is probably the most effective, efficient way to trap a larger number of fruit flies.
2. Add fruit fly bait.
Fruit flies feed on anything sugary, so you have a lot of options at your disposal. Any type of fruit, juice, soda, or other sweet item will provide a great incentive for fruit flies to fly into your trap.Try one of these bait ideas ranked from most to least effective:
- Chopped up pieces of over ripe or rotting fruit. For example, a few slices of bruised banana, a soft strawberry or squishy peach will work great.
- Honey, maple syrup or corn syrup.
- Any flavor of fruit juice or soda. Make sure to use the regular kind; diet soda won’t work.
- Apple cider vinegar or soy sauce.
- The dregs from a wine or beer bottle can work in a pinch. Fruit flies are attracted to the sugars in alcoholic beverages.
3. Roll a piece of paper to create a funnel and put it on the container.
A funnel with a small hole will allow the flies to enter the jar, but they won’t be smart enough to fly back out. Tape the funnel so that it keeps its shape. Rest the funnel inside the mouth of the container so that the narrow side is pointing down. The tip of the funnel should not touch the bait.
- Any piece of scrap paper or a page ripped from a magazine can easily be made into a paper funnel.
- You can also make a funnel by using a toothpick to poke a hole in the bottom of a coffee filter.
4. Set the trap in a fruit fly-infested area.
Put it near the kitchen sink, the garbage can, or the fruit bowl. If you’re dealing with fruit flies in multiple parts of the kitchen, you might want to make more traps to set out.
- Leave the traps out overnight. By the next day, you should see fruit flies happily eating the bait.
- If you didn’t trap any flies, try new bait and make sure the hole is big enough to let the flies into the trap.
5. Kill the trapped fruit flies.
Pour a mixture of warm water and dish soap into the container. The soap works to reduce the surface tension of the water and cause the flies to drown. Wait a minute or two, then discard the contents of the jar.
- If the trap is still buzzing with fruit flies, take the trap outside before removing the funnel.
- Rinse the jar thoroughly with hot water when you’re finished. You can reuse it to make a new trap.
6. Repeat until the trap remains empty.
Fruit flies tend to multiply quickly. Their life cycle can be as short as eight days. It’s likely that you’ll have to repeat the trapping process several times to fully rid your kitchen of adult fruit flies.
- Fruit fly eggs hatch eight to ten days after they are laid, so you may need to use the trapping process every day for a week or two. You can stop when you no longer see flies in your trap after leaving it out for several hours.
- To fully rid your kitchen of fruit flies as fast as possible, take measures to get rid of the eggs, too.
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