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Thursday December 20, 2007 // By Sarah

Grave of the fruitflies

A few weeks ago we had a major outbreak of fruitflies and it was really gross. I scrubbed the sink and the counters with my new favorite magical cleaning and laundry product to no avail.

So, to the internet I went, copying some search terms from Defective Yeti’s similar battle back in August. Though I enjoyed the hostile tone of the first fruitfly trap listed on this page (“Crush each [fruitfly] with your fingertips.”), I ended up going with the extremely-popular-on-google, and less hands-on, “funnel trap.”

Basically, you take a jar and put some apple cider vinegar and a few drops of soap in it. The soap apparently breaks the surface tension of the vinegar to make it easier to fall into. Create a cone out of paper and tape it closed. Put the cone in the jar, cutting off its tip so that it’s open and clears the surface of the vinegar. Apparently the flies go into the tube, chasing the yummy aroma, and then get confused and can’t fly out, drowning in the vinegar.

This contraption did not look promising, nor did it smell good. But lo and behold, after several minutes, fruitflies were crawling all over the cone. After just one night, the bottom of the jar was littered with the little buggers. It was awesome.

Strangely enough, Sandy checked in on his favorite geeky web comic that same week, and found this verification that we had chosen the right strategy:

XKCD, by Randall Munroe
XKCD, by Randall Munroe

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