Saturday, January 16, 2016

Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me!

Dishwashing liquid and vinegar?! What on earth can I concoct with those ingredients?

Have you ever had a problem with little fruit flies or, as they are also known, vinegar flies? If fruit in our fruit bowl becomes overripe or our compost bin becomes so full that the lid can't be screwed on, we might start to see one or two fruit flies flying around. And if we don't act quickly to find the source, they can quickly multiply.

I would scald the compost bin to disinfect it and scrub into all the crevices to remove any eggs that might have been laid, but unless I could get rid of the adult flies, the chance of infestation remained. Fly sprays didn't seem to work and squashing the flies individually was difficult and time-consuming. I also didn't like using fly spray on the kitchen surfaces and around food.

So I turned to Google to look for a solution and found a number of articles related to ‘vinegar traps’. I can't find the original article but my vinegar trap comprises a small container, equal proportions of apple cider vinegar and water, and a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Easy!

The original article said ‘vinegar’ but I found apple cider vinegar better than white vinegar. Other people also recommend apple cider vinegar and some suggest using apple cider vinegar without water. The dishwashing liquid is needed to lower the surface tension of the liquid so that when the flies land on the surface they fall through the surface and drown.

More importantly, the trap worked! I find that most of the flies are gone after a couple of days. If needed, I will refresh the trap with a little more vinegar or completely renew the trap.

Now I just have to find a way to get rid of pantry moths.

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