Thursday, October 4, 2012

Got Fruit Flies?

What the heck is it with the fruit flies this year? 

I know people that aren't having any problem at all, but I also know people who are like me who have swarms of them inside the house.

These nasty little creatures get in my face, land on my counters and are generally disgusting. My house is not dirty. You'll never see my family on an episode of Hoarders. So why have these vile things invaded my house?

I always have bananas on my kitchen counter. My husband and I eat one every day (insert halo here). We don't have a garbage disposal so the peels, along with scraps from breakfast, dinner, snacks, etc. go into the trash. Trash gets emptied every day or two (if it's stinky it goes outside right away). The flies like the trash. The flies have only been a problem for a week or two, so it must be fruit fly season.

Plan A. I was desperate so I went online looking for a solution. I found all kinds of information along with several DIY fruit fly traps. Did you know the lifespan of a fruit fly is about one week and they can lay up to 500 eggs during that time? Eew. That's a lot of ickiness. I was on a mission. I did a deep clean of the kitchen by wiping down all surfaces (counters and cabinets) with hot, soapy water. I also cleaned the inside and outside of the trash bin, then threw the sponge out when I was done. I found an old parmesan cheese jar in our recycle bin, washed it to remove the cheese odor, poured about a half cup of orange juice, a little dish soap and a little bit of water. I covered the jar with plastic wrap, put a rubber band around top and poked a few small holes in the plastic (they can get in but they're too stupid to get back out). The next morning I found....nothing. The flies apparently weren't interested in orange juice.

On to Plan B. I cleaned out the jar, dropped two slices of my breakfast banana in it and sealed the top the same way as before. I put it on the counter near the empty trash bin (all trash was brought outside) and left for work. By the time I got home 8 hours later the jar had collected quite a few fruit flies. I guess they like bananas. :) A few managed to escape but most of them died. 12 hours after setting the trap I noticed a big difference in how many were flying around the kitchen as opposed to being stuck in the jar.

This morning I emptied the jar outside and threw the contents in the outdoor trash bin, filled it with hot soapy water to get rid of any eggs, dumped the water outside (so they don't hatch in my drain) and started the process all over again. So far, as I type this, I've captured one lonely fruit fly. I'm patiently waiting for the others to join him.

I should have taken a pic before I dumped the jar just to show how many I captured. It was kind of gross but I'm glad they're not in my face anymore. Oh and by the way, what I thought was a thick, red rubber band from our junk drawer is actually one of those bracelets with a saying on it. It says Discover. So to all the fruit flies flying around my kitchen, come and discover a whole new world at Hotel Banana. You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave. :)

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