Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fruit Flies Don't Bother Me

Yes, I know I should be working...

But I'm sure you're breathlessly awaiting the latest fruit fly bulletin. Actually one just flew past me, so I guess the fruit flies are awaiting the latest fruit fly bulletin as well.

A couple of days ago, Begins With M, after consulting with her mother, suggested placing a banana peel in a bag and tempting the fruit flies with that. My immediate and ridiculous response was I hate bananas (well, I do, I mean really really really hate bananas).

But the next morning I came to my fruit fly senses and realized one fruit fly's banana peel is another fruit fly's mango peel. I have plenty of those. So I placed a mango peel in a plastic bag, and the fruit flies loved it. Just as much as they would have loved a banana peel (bananas get a real bad rep when it comes to fruit flies; most everyone I've mentioned the fruit fly issue to have responded, Oh Bananas!).

I have a feeling bleaching the living daylights out of Cujo The Garbage Pail probably helped as well. It's back in the kitchen and so far seems uninfested.

I took yesterday's mango peel bag and put it on the patio. I'll try to remember to throw it out when I go for my mail. I put a brand new mango peel in a brand new plastic bag (I have finally found a use for the plastic bags my newspapers are delivered it), and left it on the kitchen counter as an enticement, but when I checked a couple of minutes ago, it was fruit fly free.

Then again, since I did see a fruit fly by the computer just now, maybe they've all migrated to the den in search of new excitement.

They can search to their hearts' content, but they're not going to find any bananas!


Margaret said...

We have great success with an easy-to-make fruit fly trap. Start with an empty bottle (like a juice or pop bottle).

Bait the trap by putting a bit of fly-attractive fruit in the bottom of the bottle. Or a tablespoon of cider vinegar.

Make an upside-down cone that will fit into the mouth of the bottle. If it's a plastic bottle, you can cut off the top, turn it upside-down, and replace it into the rest of the bottle. Or else take some paper or plastic (any material that's a bit stiff but easy to bend) and tape it into a small cone shape that fits (small side of the cone pointing downward) into the mouth of the bottle.

Tape the cone in place. Or in the case of the cut-up bottle, tape the top section to the bottom section.

The flies fly in, attracted by the scent, but they can't find the way out.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Margaret and thank you-

As of the moment, I seem to be fruit fly free (or at least free enough). I think the combination of white vinegar, fruit fly killer, bleach, and mango peels convinced them to find a happier hunting ground.

I can't say I miss them, but now I can no longer hope they'll write my book for me!

Amanda Leigh said...

Oh yay! I'm so happy it worked for you! She was so sure it would work when she told me that she actully laughed when I looked confused. Like it was common fruit fly knowledge. She was worried when you said you didn't like bananas because fruit flies can multiply like CRAZY but mangos obviously work just as well. Apparently she is content.

And how fun to get a mention! I actually forced her to read the moon books so she was excited she was mentioned too.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hello Begins With M and The Mother Of Begins With M (and Mother Begins With M but that's a whole other thing)-

Hey. Mangoes begin with M too. There's a theme here.

Anyway, I did notice a few fruit flies have converted and become Cat Food Flies, but as far as I'm concerned, Scooter can just deal with it. Or maybe I'll put a mango peel in a bag in his room and give the fruit flies a dessert option.

But they do seem to be out of my kitchen at least for the moment, and I am very grateful to everyone for their Down With Fruit Flies suggestions!

Jenny said...

Best and easiest way to get catch and kill the dang things is to leave out a glass of red wine and put a couple drops of dish soap. Dish soap breaks the tension of the liquid and they sink.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Thanks Jenny-

I tried a variant of that, with red wine vinegar and dish detergent.

It definitely killed off any number of fruit flies, but it was kind of disgusting to have to throw out (into the bleached out kitchen drain).

Oh, I went to ShopRite yesterday and almost bought a mango until I saw their pile of them was fruit fly infested.

Clearly that's where my collection of them came from (and no, I didn't buy one of their mangoes yesterday- lesson learned!).

Karen ShamaLamaMama said...

Just started your second moon book, and LOVE them!

What I do with the fruit flies is leave some strawberry tops in a tupperware with the lid off near my fruit bowl. Then, when there are a few sitting in there, I pop the lid on, take it outside and open it, and tap on the side a couple times, and they fly away. Then, I just bring the bowl inside and start again.

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi to Karen ShamaLamaMama-

How nice to learn a humane fruit fly removal system. Although I doubt the fruit flies have any such kindly intentions towards me.

Actually, I'm relatively fruit fly free (which is a nice tongue twister- fruit fly free and could be an interesting airline promotion- Pay for spinach and fruit fly free), and because I'm a pathological optimist,I'm convinced I'll stay that way for the rest of the summer.

When that turns out not to be the case, I'll let everyone know!