You've seen the adhesive fly traps swinging from patio beams, displaying many insects caught in flight. However, these traps are unsightly and must be replaced periodically. A homemade option is naturally a better selection, but its effectiveness is often questioned. Catching flies with vinegar is a widespread story across the Internet. Clegg's Termite & Pest Control wants you to know if this trap is effective or not.
Most vinegar fly traps use a mixture of vinegar and dish soap to attract flies, but it doesn't bring in every fly species. There are dozens of fly species in nature, even in North Carolina. They are all attracted to different scents. The fruit fly, in particular, senses sugar and sweet tastes wafting from fruits. When you use the correct vinegar fly trap recipe, you'll trap fruit flies, but not other types.
Choosing The Right Vinegar
The Saint Louis Science Center performed this fly trap experiment with two different vinegars: white and apple cider. The white vinegar is too pungent, and lacks sweetness, to attract fruit flies. However, apple cider vinegar brings in fruit flies by the dozens. It's crucial to have a sweet temptation to make the fly trap work. Otherwise, the flies flock to nearby fruit bowls and other kitchen treats.
Adding Dish Soap
Fruit flies are extremely small, allowing them to balance their bodies on the vinegar's surface tension. The fly trap is often a cup filled with vinegar and dish soap with plastic wrap covering the top. Small holes are created in the plastic to allow flies into the mixture. If you forget the dish soap, flies will enter the cup and drink the vinegar as they perch on the surface. The soap forces the flies to fall into the liquid, trapping them perpetually.
An Interesting Alternative
If you don't have apple cider vinegar in the house, you can try adding a piece of apple to a cup filled with water and dish soap. You create the same sweet temptation and reduced surface tension to trap the flies. However, the decaying fruit may be unsightly and produces a foul smell over time. Choosing apple cider for the trap is a smart choice.
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