By now, we all know the 3Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. In addition to complying with those goals, many of us also compost. But as virtuous as composting makes me feel (and maybe even a little self-righteous), there is downside to the last of the list: drosophila, the mighty fruit fly. These little critters swarm in and around the compost bin, making me want to don a hazmat suit every time I need to go near it.
We’ve tried the vinegar in a jar trick courtesy of a Google search. It didn’t work, so I went online and ordered a plug-in fly zapper. It still hasn’t arrived.
Desperate, I went back to Google, where I learned that fruit flies like banana peels. That news could explain the infestation both in our outdoor compost bin and in my kitchen counter bin. (We forgot to empty the latter before heading out on vacation and returned two weeks later to find a truly disgusting mess).
Back to business: J put a banana peel into an empty applesauce jar, covered it with plastic wrap (yes, I still have some of that stuff around), put a rubber band around the neck of the jar to seal it, and then poked a few holes in the top with a pin.*
By the next morning, dozens of fruit flies were inside the jar. The day after that, hundreds.
It’s not attractive, but if you have fruit flies in your home, the banana peel is the way to go.
* Use only a pin. Anything larger, like a toothpick, and those little flies can come right back out of the jar. In retrospect, that could have been the problem with the vinegar set-up.