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Rotline Question: Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me!

Question: I love my new Solana Center composting kitchen caddy, but I’ve recently noticed an intruder that’s even more excited about my kitchen caddy than I am: fruit flies! The flies swarm around my caddy, especially when I open it to add scraps to my caddy. I’m worried that they’re reproducing and will become a greater nuisance than they already are. Do you have any advice on how to battle these uninvited guests?

Many of us here at the Solana Center feel your pain! Because of the fruit fly’s innate ability to detect rotting fruit from a long distance away and their quick reproductive cycle, fruit flies are a common nuisance near our compost bins and caddies. The good news is that as persistent as fruit flies are, getting rid of them is as easy as making a homemade fruit fly trap.

The trap can be thrown together quickly with materials you already have hiding in your kitchen cabinets. It requires a small jar or bowl, apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and plastic wrap. Simply fill your bowl or jar with about 1” of apple cider vinegar and add a couple drops of dish soap. Next, cover the jar with a small piece of plastic wrap, secure it with a rubber band, and poke a few holes in the top that will allow the flies to enter but make it difficult for them to escape. Now your trap is ready to go! Make sure you move your kitchen caddy outdoors and set out the trap in its place. Before you know it, your trap will be filled with fruit flies. Replenish the trap as necessary until all of the fruit flies have been captured.

The reason the trap works is because fruit flies are attracted to the smell of the vinegar, but the dish soap breaks the vinegar’s surface tension, causing the fruit flies to fall in and drown. Any sneaky flies that avoid landing in the vinegar are trapped by the plastic wrap. Say goodbye to those pesky intruders!