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How To Make Fruit Fly Traps | Homemade Natural Recipes

To protect the fruit from pests and obtain a higher yield with quality fruit it is important to set traps on the trees. Pests can cause damage to the plants and are responsible for the loss of a large part of the production. In extreme cases, even total loss. Fortunately, in organic farming there are several ways to fight pests naturally. In this post we will show how we make homemade traps to fight fruit flies in the orchard. At the end of the post, you can also watch our educational video with step by step instructions on how to make these traps.

What Fruit Fly Traps Are Made Of

Fruit fly traps consist of a liquid mixture of sweet smelling or strong smelling ingredients so that the flies are attracted to the smell of the liquid and not the smell of the fruit. The traps can be made at home using natural ingredients, making them a simple and economical way to fight pests. 

Some examples of attractants are:

  • Fruit juice (the riper the better)
  • Rotten fruit juice (can be from the tree itself or other fruit), i.e. fruit that has fallen and rotted or has been attacked by insects and can no longer be eaten
  • Vinegar
  • Water with sugar
  • Water from cooking codfish or other fish

The traps can be placed in bottles, which you can buy at gardening stores, or you can use plastic bottles. This is also an excellent way to reuse these bottles. Both types of bottles have holes that allow the insects to enter. These bottles are then hung on the trees to catch the bugs that attack the fruit.

When to Use the Traps

These traps should be set when the fruit is ripe and begins to release its sweet smell that attracts fruit flies and other insects. 

There are many possible recipes and in this post we will share the two that we usually make at home.

How to Make It

Part I - Preparing the Bottles

We start by preparing the bottles. For these traps we use 1.5L PET bottles.

  1. We start by placing a yellow tape near the top of the bottle. This step is optional but useful, as the yellow color helps to attract the insects.
  2. Under this tape we open four holes with approximately 1cm in diameter. For this task we use a drill, but a hot iron can also be used.
  3. To hang the bottle on the tree, we cut two more holes near the mouth of the bottle, through which we then pass a string. Some people use wire, but we prefer to use a string, because the wire can open wounds on the bark of the tree, for example if the orchard is located in a windy area and the bottle is constantly shaken by the wind. 

Thus, the bottles are ready to receive the insect-attracting liquid. 

Part II - Preparing the Liquid

Now we move on to the attractive liquid recipes. 

Recipe 1 (Made with fruit from the tree itself)

  1. We start by extracting the equivalent of 250ml of fruit juice.
  2. In a container we add 200ml of water + 50g of sugar + the 250ml of fruit juice + 4 TBSP of vinegar.
  3. We mix everything together.
  4. With the help of a funnel we pour into the bottle.

Recipe 2 (Made with banana)

  1. In a blender, we start by mashing one large or two medium bananas. They can be mashed with or without the peel.
  2. Then we add 200ml of water + 50g of sugar + 4 TBSP of vinegar.
  3. We mix everything.
  4. Finally, we pour into the bottle.

The amount of liquid should not exceed 1/4 of the bottle's space. Each of these recipes has sufficient quantities for just one bottle. If you want to prepare two bottles at once you should double the quantities. 

How Traps Work

Flies and other insects are attracted to both the smell of the liquid and the yellow color. They get in through the holes and can no longer get out. Thus, they end up drowning in the liquid.

How to Use the Traps

The bottles should be hung:

  • At least 1.5m high. It also depends on the height of the tree, as the traps should be about the same height of most of the fruit, meaning they should be high enough to catch the insects.
  • South-facing (if you live in the northern hemisphere). When exposed to heat the liquid in the bottles rots faster and the smell becomes even stronger and more attractive.
  • Changed weekly. It is important to keep an eye on the traps, because over time the volume of the liquid, as well as its efficiency, diminishes and becomes less attractive, so it needs to be replaced with new liquid.

The number of bottles to place depends on factors such as the size and configuration of the orchard. Some people place only one or two traps per hectare. Some people place a trap for every certain number of trees. We like to set one trap per tree, since our orchard is small and the trees are more protected. Also of note is that these traps we do, do not stink at great distances so as not to disturb the neighbors. If you make traps that are too smelly you can place fewer traps in the orchard.

A week after setting the traps, the amount of bugs caught can already be seen.

This is how we can keep our orchard fruit healthy and tasty!

For a better understanding of all these steps, take a look at our educational video now, and if you haven't subscribed to our YouTube channel yet, take the opportunity to do so, if you don't want to miss any of our videos.

We hope you find it useful.

Xo Xo from the gardeners!

How to Make Fruit Fly Traps | Homemade Natural Recipes

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