Fruit fly dilemma

Asked October 22, 2020, 1:19 PM EDT

Hello... I'm a master gardener from Idaho and we don't have much of a problem with fruit flies. However, in transitioning to Toledo, OR and maintaining a garden here, using composting strategies and such, I am overwhelmed with these darn gnats. I have boxes of Asian pears but can't can them as I can't find canning jars and lids. I have a dryer back in Idaho but will be here until after the first of November. Fruit perishes so quickly here...Anyway, we bought some traps for the gnats but they don't come with the lure bait. I was going to see if Shonnard's in Corvallis carries anything. I could try to dry them in the oven? We don't have a freezer but if I can get my husband's attention on that, maybe I could go that route for now...Any suggestions for bait? My daughter says try red wine????

Lincoln County Oregon

1 Response

Fruit flies can becomes a problem in compost that's too wet. Add plenty of dried/brown materials on the pile. Dry glass clippings work well, so start saving up for later. Straw also works; perhaps you can locate a free source or may need to purchase it at the local farm store.

The flies hanging around the pears are a different matter -- the pears are over-ripe and starting to spoil. You need to either process the pears as soon as possible or refrigerate them.

Yes, you can dry fruit in the oven but only if you can set the temperature low enough - 150F. And, if the oven has a fan, turn it on.

Or you may be able to locate a source which will rent a food dryer. Try the local Extension Service office as well as the farm stores.

As far as a 'lure' for fruit flies, the red wine will help decrease the population if you add a drop of dish soap to the wine. Other things that can be used include any fruit juice, also cider vinegar. But, again, add a drop of detergent.

That said, realize that trapping the fruit flies won't stop spoilage of the pears.