Introduction: Fruit Fly Annihilator

Picture of Fruit Fly Annihilator

PROBLEM:
Have you ever had a problem with fruit flies. It seems once they get started they don't know when to stop. They come in on fresh fruit we buy and hatch off as the fruit ripens. Or in my case they are attracted to my worm compost.  Beside fruit fly traps cost money, why spend money when you can make a trap for pennies.

THOUGHT PROCESS:
I've built and bought many fruit fly traps with little success. Starting with simple jar and stretch wrap with slits in the top. to funnel traps with large funnels. The ones with the slits didn't seem to let out the attractant enough to draw the flies in. Then when they found their way in they sometimes found their way out. The funnel design seemed to work better but it wasn't supper effective. Besides that they where difficult to build and look bulky or where to small to attract the fruit flies.The ones I've bought didn't seem to work either but I couldn't see in them to confirm my victory either. They also cost more money and couldn't be reused.

WINNING THE FIGHT:
I finally took all my research some reading and some experience. I then combined multiple bug trap elements to create my own version of a fruit fly trap. I call it the "Fruit Fly Annihilator."

BEST OF ALL IT WORKS!

Here is the video tutorial.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h7Zb9LmPIMw

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Picture of Gather Supplies

1. Decorative Jar
2. Plastic Straw
3. Stretch Wrap
4. Scissors
5. Lighter
6. Apple cider vinegar
7. Nail or metal Rod (shaft needs to be able to slide in straw with wiggle room)

Step 2: Don't Forget the BAIT!

Picture of Don't Forget the BAIT!

Ok, so I'm putting this up early so you won't forget to add the Apple Cider Vinegar in the Jar before covering it with the Stretch Wrap.

1. I put about 1" of  Apple Cider Vinegar in the Jar.
2. Then I cover it with 2 layers of Stretch Wrap.
3. After that you want to use your Scissors to cut the Stretch Wrap that hangs past the bottom rim. (This is just to make it more attractive.)

Step 3: Making Mini Funnels

Picture of Making Mini Funnels

This is my version of a mini funnel. I'm not sure what made me think of this but, feel free to make your own if you have a different idea.

1. Take a Plastic Straw. Cut your straw into 4 equal pieces. I had a straw with the flex bend. So I cut it above the bend, then used that as my rule to cut the other pieces. (I used the ones you find in a package at the grocery store. Not the real skinny ones. And not the reusable kind. Some Straws do better then others.)
2. Now cut your straw up the belly, leave about 1/4" or more uncut.
3. Next cut a small slit (1/8") perpendicular to your last cut, where you cut stopped.
4. Now Hold the cut straw piece with two hands. Using your thumbs and index fingers. Hold the cut side firmly and twist with the other hand. As you twist the cut end will form a funnel. Tighten you grip on the cut end as needed. DON'T WORRY THE MELTED PLASTIC ISN'T HOT AND SHOULDN'T BURN YOU, IF YOU DO WHAT I DID.
5. Continue to hold the funnel shape with one hand. Use the other hand to grab your lighter. Now this is the hardest part. You are going to melt the seam of the newly created funnel into it's self. Start at the wide part and work you way toward you fingers that are holding the funnel together. Take your lighter flame and bump it lightly into the straw multiple time, until you see it melt. It should only take two or three bumps. (I say bump the flame because if you hold the flame on the straw it will melt to quickly and most likely melt a hole in it.) After you have melted and sealed the seam down to your fingers holding the funnels shape. The funnel should hold its shape, so you can remove your fingers. at the small end of your funnel you will have a little tab left where the straw needs to be finished sealed. Just do the same as above.
6. To finish off the funnel you may need to trim the end of the funnel. Sometimes it melts together or the hole maybe to small. Use your Scissors to trim the tip. You want the hole to be about 1/8" in diameter, or as big as the body of your largest fruit fly.

Step 4: Funnel Flutes

Picture of Funnel Flutes

This is my third trap. So I've made modifications and experiments through the process. On my last trap I fluted one of the straws and left the other two with plain cut tops. The fluted straw had way more fruit fly action. So now I have fluted all my straw. Here is how I did it.

1. Take the wide portion of your funnel. Bump the flame into it a couple times until it frills. It took me about two bumps.
2. As soon as it frills, push it down on to a flat surface. It will create a flowery looking top on the straw.

Step 5: Reinforcing the Entry

Picture of Reinforcing the Entry

Through out my experimenting. I found that just cutting the plastic and poking the straw in didn't make for a great seal around the straw. If there was a little gap, those little buggers would squeeze their way out. And before long the hole would get bigger. They also didn't hold up well. My improved way is a lot better.

1. Decide where to make you funnel, so you know where to place you entry points. you don't want them close to the edge!
2. Take a Nail, that will fit into your straw with wiggle room. Hold the nail by the hammer end, Heat the pointed tip with a lighter. When you feel it get warm by your fingers it should be ready.
3. Steady your hand and slowly poke the spots you chose with the hot nail. One spot for each funnel.

Step 6: Finishing It Off

Picture of Finishing It Off

Now Just wrap it up by adding the funnels. Push them down until they are snug. I like to keep mine up about 3/4" or so at varied heights. Fruit flies like to perch on high spots. This will keep them off the stretch wrap and put them on the funnels.

Good luck!

If you are overwhelmed with fruit flies. A vacuum works the best. Just run around with the wand and suck those buggers up. the trap will help maintain the area.

Comments

1ofakindwork (author)2013-08-31

Thanks for the extra advice.

mfrontuto (author)2013-08-30

I just cut the top off of a two liter soda bottle, flipped it upside down into the lower.bigger half of the bottle and added liquid dish soap to the vinegar, worked like a charm. once they get in and go to the vinegar the soap kills them even if they manage to get out

1ofakindwork (author)2013-08-30

I meant I built the cider vinegar and soap trap. It worked ok.

1ofakindwork (author)2013-08-30

I had my worm composter in my basement over this last winter. Needless to say I had a fruit fly infestation. Hundreds of fruit flies were every where. I built every trap I could find. I built the one you mentioned, I built one different variation that just poked holes in a metal lid. I built funnel traps and I built the cider vinegar trap. All the traps did ok,but they didn't take care of the job. So I built this trap, I left all traps out as I continued making new ones. I noticed this trap attracted more fruit flies. I'm not sure if it was the straws looked like fruit or the jar was able to breath in fresh air and out the sweet smell of the cider vinegar. Well hundreds of fruit flies can only be tolerated for so long. So I vacuumed them up before my traps could finish them off.

1ofakindwork (author)2013-08-30

Thanks for the extra advice.

VadimS (author)2013-08-29

Balsamic viniger works well too.
I never bothered with the fancy funnels, just poked a few holes with a sharp pencil.

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Bio: I've always been intrigued by coming up with new ways to accomplish task. I am an entrepreneur at heart. I've owned my own ... More »
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