Fruit Fly Control for Gardeners
Fruit Fly Control – Make Your Own Fruit Fly Traps
Many orchard owners and garden owners are affected by the damages done by the fruit flies to the fruits and vegetables. As more and more farmers are turning to insecticide and pesticide free garden management practices, it is necessary to find a safe solution for the fruit fly problem. Fruit fly traps are an effective way of controlling this insect, which will spoil the fruit produce. The fruit fly traps will attract, trap and would kill the fruit flies. This insect lays its eggs inside the fruit by puncturing the skin. The eggs hatch into grubs, which will feed on the fruit.
Where do fruit flies come from?
Earlier people believed that fruit flies were formed spontaneously. However, the truth is that the overripe fruits start to ferment and produce alcohol which attracts the fruit flies from long distances. These flies have a fast life cycle, which is completed in 8 days. So, any fruit or vegetable left outside of your refrigerator can cause a swarm of flies within 8 days. They can thrive in your kitchen, even without feeding on the fruits. Any damp or moist areas like a kitchen sink, garbage drains, etc., are sufficient for them to survive and reproduce.
Fruit fly trap
There are different types of homemade traps which can be used to capture and kill these insects.
- Apple cider vinegar and dish soap trap – Take ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and pour it in a wide mouthed glass bottle. Add 2-3 drops of dish soap liquid into it. Take a paper and roll it into the shape of a cone or funnel and place it over the bottle with the pointed end towards the bottom of the jar. The flies will enter into the jar through the funnel attracted by the fermented smell of vinegar.
- Red wine trap – Take a bottle with a little bit of red wine at the bottom. Keep it in the garden. The flies get drawn towards the wine and get intoxicated by drinking the wine.
- Pheromone traps – In large orchards and gardens, you can use pheromone based traps. The sex hormones, which attract the male flies are used in this trap. It will kill the male flies and thereby reduces the chances of reproduction. They can attract flies from long distances and are highly effective.
- Protein-based traps – This trap attracts both male as well as female flies. Simmer a mixture of 1 pint or 1/2 litre milk, four oz of sugar and 2 oz black pepper powder and pour it into a shallow dish and place it in your garden. The flies will get drowned in the mixture after being attracted to the mixture.
- Home Made Recycled Drink Bottle Fly Trap – You could also have a go at making this simple fly trap from scratch, using a used large soft drink bottle, you need to cut the soft drink bottle off one third towards the spout with scissors or a knife, screw the lid off the coke bottle, then insert and position the top part of the bottle inside the bottom two thirds of the bottle so it looks like a funnel in a container, this is where the flies will enter from, down the neck of the bottle into the fly trap. Secure the two cut edges at the top with strong tape, staples or glue the cut edges together. By making a hole in each side to thread through wire using a coat hanger, you can cut and bend the coat hanger wire in such a way that it can be used to hang the fruit fly trap on a branch of the fruit tree. Then you would add the bait to the trap. You can use any of the above fruit fly trap bait recipes to add into the bottom of the home made fly trap. The good thing is, once the fruit flies approach the fly trap and enter to feed they cannot escape.
Do fruit flies bite?
The common fruit flies prefer fermenting fruits as their food and hence they do not bite humans or feed on animal blood. Fruit flies do not have any biting mouth parts which will help in biting.
How to prevent fruit flies?
- To prevent the fruit fly invasion, remove any over ripened fruits and vegetables from your garden and kitchen.
- Keep the garbage bins covered and properly cleaned.
- Keep the drains in your kitchen free from fruit flies by cleaning the drains and rinsing them using a mixture of boiling water and white vinegar.
- Practising good hygiene in orchards by removing and mulching of excess fruits.
Recycling Soda Bottle/Soft Drink Bottle
A tip when the fruit fly trap is not in use, you can recycle the fly trap for a self watering planter seedling pot or plastic bottle planter here is how:
- You will have to find the lid of the drink bottle.
- Make a hole in the lid.
- Thread some fibre such as rayon, acrylic, nylon cording or yarn, the strand would act as a wick it would need to be 6 or 8 inches long.
- Wet the strand of fibre, now the wick, then thread the wick from the soil to the water reservoir below, you can thread and use several thread strands, not just one.
There you have your own do it yourself self watering seed/seedling starter pot or mini wick bed and they are very water efficient! This is the perfect and the ideal container to grow african violets in if you could not afford to buy the correct wick watering system.
Did you know the energy saved by recycling one plastic drink bottle can power a computer for at least 25 minutes