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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Who Are You, Who Are So Wise in the Ways of Science?

After trying to salvage what was left after some neighbor boys knocked most of our nectarines off the tree, I had a box of fruit on the counter for several days.

Do you know what happens when you have a box of fruit on your kitchen counter for several days?

Fruit flies happen.

After a bit of research on the marvelous interwebs, I had come across three different suggestions for a homemade fruit fly trap. So, thought I, Why not try them all?

My highly scientific conclusion: If you have a fruit fly problem, forget the funnel or soap suds traps, and go straight for the plastic-wrap-with-a-few-tiny-holes-poked-in-it variety. And conventional homilies notwithstanding, you'll actually catch more flies with vinegar than honey.

OK, so I didn't properly control for variables since the middle bottle is the only one that has red wine vinegar and a piece of fruit in it, while the bait in the other jars is just white vinegar. But I'm convinced that it was the plastic wrap that made the difference, since the little guys were all over the drops of white vinegar I spilled on the counter.

If you try this at home, I'd recommend trapping them in a few quicker batches rather than leaving them in the jar for too long. You don't want them to lay eggs and start to breed, a process which takes -- if my recollections from 10th grade biology class genetics experiments with Drosophila serve me correctly -- about 5 minutes.

Sorry if this post grossed you out, but I will not be restrained from furthering the cause of Science.


hannah said...

Sorry about your tree. Those darn boys! I shake my fists in their general direction.

Bryan Weight Family said...

love this tip! thanks! We have always done a paper funnel thing--but I like this much better. I'm glad you have a nectarine tree--they are so yummy.

Shane's Angie said...

I actually very much enjoyed your science experiment. It just cemented my own findings.
Yes, I also had a fruit fly "issue" one year when I left some banana's on the counter and went off to Disneyland for a week.
When I came home, the kitchen was swarming, and I was beside myself.
Asking my good friend google for help, I too constructed the plastic wrap trap. Which, by the way, works just as good with tin foil, and I'm just all thumbs with that plastic wrap stuff.
Another little known scientific tidbit: the smashing of fruit flies can be quite the engaging activity for toddlers. "Let's see how many you can clap!" Try it for the few stragglers...

Happy-Hardings said...

Hi, I got to your blog through Lili, I don't know if you remember me, I'm Kerolann and Julie Cardon's sister. I appreciate the fly trap tip. I also love your blog. You make so many cute things!

Julie said...

love it!! i fear the solution Mads would come up with before I could stop him would be running around relentlessly swinging the fly swatter at all the fruit flies and making contact with none of them.

babalisme said...

How contrary, I love your blog!

Oh I have fruit flies all over my house wherever there's a bunch of fruits lying around. I never think of them as problem since they come and go easily and don't stay for too long. But hey, I'll try it for fun's sake :)

Grettir said...

We had this problem just last week and, thanks to you, we were rid of our fruit fly infestation in two days.

Of course, we used balsamic vinegar, because we're classy like that...