Fruit Fly Free Guarantee


For the longest time, I had a picture of a fly-covered lemon sitting in my computer’s “Blog” folder, waiting.  But for the life of me, I couldn’t think of any reasonable excuse for posting it.  Now I do have an excuse, but the picture is nowhere to be found.  Consider yourselves blessed.

Ever since Amanda and I moved into our new house, the fruit fly population of Papua New Guinea has declared itself Public Enemy No. 1 of the Halbrooks family.  Anything and everything that approximates food in our house is fair game for these insects.  Now don’t get me wrong:  old, soggy bananas – I understand.  If I were a fruit fly, I’d be right there with them.  But uncooked potatoes?  Unsqueezed lemons?  Unsalted crackers?  And we were powerless to stand against them.

Powerless, that is, until our friends came along for dinner one evening and shared their “Five-Day Fruit Fly Free Guarantee.”  The recipe was simple: take a cup, fill it with half an inch of balsamic vinegar, cover the top with plastic wrap, poke some holes, and viola!  A fruit fly massacre.


Of course, we don’t have fly paper here or any of the other commercialized versions of the fruit fly massacre, but that just forces us to be all the more resourceful.  We had, indeed, tried a similar method before – just with a lemon instead of the vinegar (thus, the aforementioned picture).

The trouble with the lemon approach is obvious in retrospect: 1) lemons do not kill flies, they simply attract them, and 2) the contrast of bright yellow and splotchy black is revolting at best.  The vinegar, on the other hand, is a work of genius.  Not only does it hide the flies, it ends their merriment.

Next, we need a home remedy to solve our dirty dish problem.  And, no – a dishwasher doesn’t count.  Any ideas?

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