Every once in a while I’ll bring home a bunch of bananas that carry with them an invisible pest that is sure to plague me for weeks to come. Fruit flies.
I can usually keep them at bay even with the regular supply of fresh (and overripe) fruit, but this time it was out of control. I scoured the internet and found nothing but the regular suggestions of apple cider vinegar and fruit peelings. Well, three days of that and having only two enemy casualties to speak of, I was afraid I was going to have to get out the vacuum and suck those suckers up and release them into the wild (I’d rather they just died, to be perfectly honest). Upon careful observation it seemed as if the flies preferred my freshly scrubbed and disinfected countertop and walls to the vinegar trap I had laid for them.
Then I was making bread and noticed that the little buggers were swarming the rising dough that I had covered with cling wrap. These things love the carbs just as much as I do! I thought. So I decided to have myself a little experiment and stumbled upon the very best way to rid yourself of fruit flies.
- Clean your house. Your mess did not cause the flies, but it might be keeping them there. Mop your floors, scrub your counters, and empty and scrub all trashcans in the house (including bathroom trash cans… and make sure there isn’t any food under the couch, ehem).
- Scrub out your kitchen trash and recycle bins and put them outside overnight. The goal here is to make it so no other stink can be attracting these things.
- Mix together 1/2 cup of warm water, a couple tablespoons of sugar, and a couple tablespoons of YEAST in a bowl that seems much larger than you need (I had to fill up multiple jars for multiple rooms, so I made an especially large batch).
4. Let the yeast proof and then skim off the foam and throw the foam away. I guess you don’t actually have to do this, but proofed yeast gets HUGE. This step keeps it from overflowing.
5. Pour the yeast water in a mason jar or other glass container you won’t need to use right away. The yeast water will continue to foam over and over again. That’s ok and normal. Since you took most of the foam off already it shouldn’t overflow.
6. Place cling wrap on the mason jar and poke holes with a skewer. Make sure the holes are big enough for the flies to crawl into.
7. Place the jar of yeast water where most of the flies congregate. Gross.
And just for comparison’s sake, this is the difference. 48 hours of apple cider vinegar, 1 night of yeast water. Can I get a collective eeeew!!