12:30 PM — Fruit Fly Trap Instructions
Every so often, even for the most conscientious people, you get a fruit fly infestation. For me, I wasn't being conscientious, I had a banana in a smoothie, and made the stupid mistake of putting the peel in my worm compost bin. I think they're breeding.
Here's instructions for a environmentally friendly, humane, pet-safe, cheap, and easy fruit fly trap that you can make to help solve your problem. It also makes for a good science fair project for kids, as they can then experiment on the fruit flies and even watch their life cycle.
- banana peel
- 20-oz plastic soda bottle (16-oz works in a pinch) with cap
- package tape
- thick needle
Take the cap off the soda bottle and using the thick needle (whatever you've got in a sewing kit will do) and the thimble to push, poke a hole in the top of the cap. Take a close look at this hole. In the finished trap this will be the only access fruit flies will have to get in and out. As tiny as the hole seems, they really can squeeze in through it, but since you've made a little heaven for them inside, they feel no need to get back out. Believe it or not, you're making them happy.
Screw the cap back on the bottle, and peel off the label if you want a better view of the future fruit fly farm. Use your scissors to cut off the top part of the bottle, where the sides stop tapering out and become straight. When you cut the two halves apart, the top part should be smaller, and look like a funnel (upside down), and the bottom part has straight sides.
Stuff your banana peel in the bottom half of the bottle - this is your bait / fruit fly food. Making sure the cap is back on the top half, flip it upside down and nestle inside the bottom part of the bottle like a funnel in a glass. The sharp edges from where you cut before should line up. Tape these edges together SECURELY. Clear packing tape is best for a good view, duct tape is most secure. DO NOT allow any gaps in the tape, and press the tape firmly against the bottle so there aren't any wrinkles going all the way through. If your trap ends up not working, this is what you screwed up.
Your trap is now done and should look something like the picture that I have yet to post on the right. ;) Place your trap anywhere you've seen fruit flies, though if you've weak stomach I'd suggest away from where you'd see it while eating. In a couple days you'll see your new fruit fly pets crawling around inside the bottle. If you're just trying to solve your problem, you can throw out the trap when your problem is solved (do NOT crush the trash until outside of the house or you'll release them all), or take the bottle outside and release them. Throwing them out won't actually kill them, unless you use an incinerator, and they'll probably be taken to the city dump and live happy lives there.
If you're curious or want the kids to learn something, keep the bottle for longer. In a week or two you'll also see little white grubs wriggling along the sides of the container as they breed. *ick* Dispose as above when school's done, or you get too grossed out.