Q: I’m not sure if my question is exactly a parenting question, but the problem is a result of my child! My middle school aged son did a science fair experiment on genetics and fruit flies. The project turned out great and he had lots to be proud of, but his project has left my kitchen filled with fruit flies! I can not seem to get their population under control! I don’t want to use chemicals, but I’ve got to do something. Any suggestions?
A: Just for the record, Growing the Whole Child is for ANY parenting questions and a parenting question is anything that has to do with being a parent. So, your offspring created fruit fly population control question most certainly counts as a parenting question. And you are in luck, I’m almost a professional fruit fly catcher!
My sweet husband thinks I first developed my fruit fly population control ability in our 10th grade Biology class. In that class we did experiments similar to your son’s science fair project. I was not greatly successful. It turns out too much ether and fruit flies are not a lively combination. Lesson learned.
Here is how to successfully control your fruit fly population without chemicals or 10th grade Biology class:
The first thing you need to do is remove all the items on your counters, which attract fruit flies: compost bucket, fresh fruit, etc. (Make sure your garbage and garbage disposal are empty and clean too.)
Next you need to concoct a natural fruit fly trap:
In a glass (I like to use a wine glass for dramatic purposes) pour about ¼ cup of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Add 1 Tablespoon of liquid dish detergent. DO NOT STIR. Set glass on your kitchen counter and be prepared to be amazed at how many fruit flies end up at the bottom of the glass!
It may take a week or so and a couple of batches of the vinegar concoction to get the population under control, but it will happen.
Perhaps next year your son science fair project could be an outside project!