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Date: 15 August 2020. Apple Cider Vinegar VS Fruit Flies.



A few years back during one of my many forays into growing food aboard Seaweed I had an extremely horrid fruit fly invasion. That disaster was mentioned in the Upside Down Tomato Plant How-To article. Suffice it to say, mistakes were made. Since then I have been looking for a solution. Recently I have discovered one that requires little storage space and affords me a non-toxic protection from those nasty little bugs.

I cannot tolerate bugs. The critters carry diseases, and I think they are gross.

It all started when once again I had a tiny flying bug infestation. Eventually I discovered an apple that had gone bad. The fruit flies were so small that catching and killing them was nearly impossible. Then I remembered from my youth "better living through chemistry" and went shopping.

I was pleased to find Fruit Fly Traps by Terro available on Walmart. A 90-day supply seemed okay too.

I found this item on Walmart for a lower cost than Amazon.

Side Note regarding online shopping via Walmart: Although for years I have been a proponent of Amazon, of late I have become more impressed with Walmart. Prices are often better at Walmart. Additionally, I have seen a vast expansion of available goods.

For quite some time Amazon was the only game in town. That's not true any more. I would encourage you to explore the online  Walmart.com site now. It has improved. I have become a Walmart fan.



On the other hand, when folks buy via my Amazon links I do earn a small rebate which does help support my life aboard Seaweed.

affiliate link

Terro Fruit Fly Trap



Each of us picks our own poison. After receiving my kit I did more research. Frankly, I should have researched, and then made a buying decision. Some lessons are learned by experience. Smart folks educate themselves first, and then make a choice. In my defense, I do not tolerate bugs at all, ever!!!

What I discovered is that apple cider vinegar and Dawn dish detergent is a perfect bait for fruit flies. Taking that knowledge one step further, I remembered seeing apple cider vinegar powder at the Dollar Tree on the medication aisle. Thus I went exploring for dehydrated apple cider vinegar.

Walmart had 200 pills for $8, or about four cents each. That meets my budgetary concerns.

I specifically chose these as they are not gel tabs. I worried that gels might deteriorate too quickly in a hot locker.

I added one pill in the Terro Fruit Fly Trap  with about 1/2" (1.5cm) of water.

Nothing happened. It did not dissolve.

So I squished the pill. I had to do this a few times over a couple of hours before it actually melted.


The next step is to add a couple drops of Dawn Platinum Dish Soap.
Amazon Link provided however it is far less costly on Walmart.

Then I set the Terro apple shaped container at the back of my sink. A couple of days later I noticed there were no bugs flying any more. Could this really have worked?!?

Yes, the apple cider vinegar tablet, water and Dawn detergent killed the critters!

The BLOBS are dead fruit flies. There were a lot more at the bottom when I dumped the container contents overboard.

Please also note the tunnels in the top of the Terro Fruit Fly Trap. That allows the bugs to fly in, but not fly out.  When they land on the water the Dawn causes them sink to the bottom.

Although ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) is well regarded as a fruit fly bait, my experiment has proven that the pills do the same thing. Of course the normal bottles of apple cider vinegar are available at the grocery store. Look for it on the condiment aisle near the mayonnaise.

Side Note: The Terro Fruit Fly Trap sold online does come with a container of bait. Refills are sold though I will definitely utilize my own apple cider vinegar concoction.

I would far rather have a bottle of ACV pills in my locker.
This is far more compact than storing bottles of liquid Apple Cider Vinegar.

Add one pill to water, smush it until it dissolves, then add a drop or two of Dawn dish detergent.

Though on one hand I wish I had not spent the $6 at Walmart for the Terro traps,
I am pleased by the appearance. Most would not know what the little red gizmo is.

Frankly I could easily use the ACV pills, water and dish soap in any other container and it would work the same. When a friend had a problem with fruit flies near his bananas, I poured some real Apple Cider Vinegar into a bowl, added a drop or two of Dawn and called it Good. Two days later his bug infestation was gone.

Free advice: Go online at Walmart and purchase a bottle of Puritan's Pride Apple Cider Vinegar, 600mg, with 200 tablets. I paid $8, which works out to four cents each. That's a bargain, especially if you ever experience a fruit fly invasion.



Recipe: Fruit Fly bait (guaranteed to kill 'em quick)


When fruit flies invade our home we need to get rid of them quickly. This bait works, though it sometimes takes two to three days for total annihilation.


The Normal recipe: Pour 1/4" (1cm) of apple cider vinegar into a bowl. Add one or two drops of Dawn detergent. Leave near where you've seen the infestation.


Or, buy a bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar tablets. Add one pill to 1/2" (1.5cm) of water. Smash the pill. It takes a couple hours for the hard pill to soften. After the pill dissolves, add a drop or two of Dawn detergent.


In these days it is important to be prepared. I consider
 ACV pills a part of my safety net of items aboard Seaweed.

So that's life from the boatyard. Thank you for reading.

Have you ever experienced a fruit fly invasion?
Are there any items you have in your lockers "just in case" that others might miss? Please share.

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2020, 2023

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