Help! My summer CSA fruit is proving irresistible to fruit flies and they are driving me crazy. I know you are not supposed to refrigerate stone fruit before it is fully ripe, but how else do I get rid of these guys?
Try soaking all the fruit in a 1part white vinegar 3 part water bath for 5-10 minutes as soon as you get it home. A little dishsoap in the mix can't hurt either. Then rinse well, and dry thoroughly in a single layer on kitchen towels before piling into a bowl (or whatever). Stone fruits refrigerate fine in my (hopefully) humble opinion, last longer that way, and are more satisfying & refreshing when eaten cold.
The bad news? The flies come with (don't think about it too much) –read: 'in' – the fruit.
If your fruit is showing up riddled with flies & not ripe enough to refrigerate, you might want to report that to the CSA management to be addressed, and/or try a different supplier next season. Bummer :(
Another alternative that works really well in my kitchen -- find a small jar or something similar, place about 1/2 to one inch of vinegar in the bottom. Add about 1 t sugar. Place plastic wrap tightly on top, the punch through in a number of places with a toothpick. Place the jar next to your fruit (I typically ripen my fruit on a particular place on the end of the counter, so the jar goes right there too -- and, I actually use a small, vase instead of a jar as it is prettier). The fruit flies find the sugar/vinegar mixture even more attractive than ripening fruit and check in to this "hotel California" where they can never leave. I use balsamic vinegar only because then I don't have to contemplate why my clear vinegar is suddenly dark (all those little dead bodies add up...). Periodically (like every couple of months) check to make sure the vinegar hasn't evaporated, and refill if it has.
Works like a charm. Can't tell you how excited I was to learn this from a Science teacher friend.
Thanks for the details -- I will upgrade my trap. Ultimately, the best remedy is cold weather, though.
Agreed that cold weather is the only thing that stops a fruit fly! I've never had success with poking holes in plastic wrap for my fruit fly traps -- I just use a deep, shallow mug with an inch of vinegar and a single drop of dish detergent (makes the vinegar sticky so they can't get out).
The satisfaction I get from watching the dead flies add up is creepy, but huge.
A cap full of sweet fruit juice i.e. apple, grape etcUsually they just drown in it.
I find the best way to get rid of them is to vacuum them right out of the air before I spend time in the kitchen and try to ignore them the rest of the time. Fruit fly season doesn't last terribly long and they tend to congregate around the food waste bucket in my kitchen rather than anything unripe and unblemished. If you have a in-sink food disposal you should definitely keep it super clean (use ice and rock salt) 'cause they'll breed there too.
My variation on the fruit fly trap is to take a small jar, pour in apple cider vinegar about 1/3 of the way up and add a good squirt of dish soap (ideally Dawn, but most any will work). I set a couple of those jars around the fruit, and I catch scads of flies, even when the fruit is ripening.
I put a 1/4 cup vinegar on the counter. Has always worked for me.
1/4 cup vinegar + a couple drops of dishwashing liquid in a small bowl. No need to cover bowl and poke holes. The addition of the soap to the vinegar breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, and the little buggers sink right in!