The great fruit fly experiment

We are currently engaged in a fruit-fly-killing experiment in our home that has recently been infested with fruit flies given that each of us forgot there was still something left in the compost container after we stopped using it several weeks ago. That was a fantastic run-on sentence in perfect compliance with pretentious scientific prose. This is going to be fun.

I will post — ahem, I mean publish — the results tomorrow after the fold.

The Experiment
So we wanted to see if “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. We didn’t have honey, but we did have grenadine so we used that in one solution and vinegar in the other solution. So I guess what we were actually testing was “do you catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar”.

Vinegar. Hands down.

Overall, the sugar solution caught 5 flies and the vinegar solution caught almost 100 flies. So that contest was over like a Mount Allison football game. However, we also found out that there’s a variety of fruit fly called the vinegar fly, so that’s not altogether surprising.

To get rid of a fruit fly infestation:
1) Try to find the breding ground. It’ll be in something moist and/or decaying and/or smelly.
2) After the breeding ground is gone, it would suck if they found somewhere else appealing. Clean where they have been breeding then empty all garbage cans in the house (wash them out if necessary), put all shoes away in the closet and make sure they are deodorized somehow (an air freshener like Febreeze or something should do), check house plants, and get rid of any old plates or food that might be lying around (bananas are the worst).
3) Set out some commercial and/or homemade traps. We used a combination of items. We filled a glass with vinegar, some dish soap, and water. This makes a sudsy layer at the top of an attractive liquid that they get stuck in. They seemed to outsmart that a bit by climbing only along the edge of the glass so we bought a commercial fly paper that they stick to when they land (sticky yellow paper — although reversed or double-sided tape would work, too).
4) Monitor the amount of flies in the house. Try to keep a vague count of how many flies are caught each day. Fruit flies live about a week, so if the breeding ground is gone, the numbers should taper off in a few days. If they are not, then the real breeding ground might not have been destroyed.
5) Enjoy your newfound fly-free existence.

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