Worm factories are great – they recycle kitchen scraps and turn them into great compost for house and garden plants. However…..
Many of the scraps in question seem to either attract fruit flies or are the source of the eggs in the first place. It is gross and disconcerting to open the worm factory only to see many, many flies crawling around and flying off. Not to mention the grubs and maggots on their way to becoming the next generation of flies – urghh!
After trying many solutions including spraying insecide into the factory (which I am sure didn’t do the worms any good) I found that the best way to get rid of the fruit fly infestation was to set up traps inside the worm factory itself.
I wondered if this would cause harm to the worms as well but they seem to stay away and after just a few days all the flies were gone and have never returned. It is a fantastic solution (although it needs small scale traps!)
Adding traps outside the factory itself also helps catch the flies that escape but putting traps inside is what did it – give it a try!
Here’s a step by step guide to building a simple, yet effective and cheap trap to catch fruit flies:
Most of us want to get rid of fruit flies when we see them – especially if there are a lot of them. This should indeed be the first thing to do. Trapped fruit flies can’t breed and repeat the cycle. There is also the satisfaction of seeing them trapped and not flying around anymore.
However it is also worth addressing the prevention side to fruit fly control at the same time. This is largely common sense but it is worth thinking about. Fruit flies will breed pretty much anywhere there is old food matter so:
- Take the trash (especially food waste) out every day
- Make sure you are not leaving out liquids (especially wine dregs) that fruit flies love
- Check to make sure you are cleaning out/putting cleaner down the drains – this will prevent them going in there to breed
With a bit of prevention as well as a trapping program, you should be able to control and then eliminate fruit flies pretty quickly.
For more on these techniques, Vanish Fruit Flies is a particularly useful resource.
If you go to Ebay, or even to one of the grocey stores in your area (produce section) you will see traps for fruit flies that you can buy. Typically they are made of plastic (often looking like fruit) and cost between $10 and $20.
These look pretty good and can be placed into your fruit bowl. In my experience they haven’t been as effective as home made examples to be honest. In addition, if you have an infestation you want to get rid of the fruit flies as fast as possible so you will need several traps. Buying them over the counter can become a costly solution!
So, by all means by them (trapping flies is the way to go in my experience) but larger, more effective traps can be made in a matter of minutes from home made items, and they can be made to blend into the decor of your home just as effectively.
Check out the resources on this site for more detailed guides that are available for the same or less than the over the counter traps, and include much more information on prevention as well as cures!
Let’s face it: when you have fruit flies you want to get rid of them FAST!
That means trapping them. They reproduce over a 10 day cycle so it may take a few days to get rid of them this way, but trapping the adults is a much more proactive way to remove them from the environment than just removing the places where they can breed (although you should do that too).
Traps need several things to be effective and here are the answers I have found to be most useful:
- Structure – have an place where they can get into, but impossible to escape from. There are many options and some of these are covered in the resources section. Some of these work better than others and may work better for you. A simple jar with a perforated lid works just fine, but take a look at some of the other suggestions which include funnels and soda bottle.
- Bait – something that will attract the flies in. Again, opinions vary but I have found balsamic vinegar to be very effective. Again, there are options explored in the resources section on this page
- Placement – experiencing problems with fruit flies in a worm factory that we use to recycle food waste, has been a long standing problem. Placing traps IN and around the factory removed all the flies in days. In a kitchen, where there are more places for the flies to go, place a few traps around the fruit bowl and wherever you see the flies congregating. You may need several.
Well designed traps can be made out of a number of difference recepticles – they can blend in with your decor!
For more detailed, step by step guides to building traps, as well as advice on preventing re-infestations check out “Eliminate Fruit Flies” and “Vanish Fruit Flies” – they provide more detailed and illustrated guidelines.