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Monday, 28 October 2013

How to make a fruit fly trap

Two species of fruit flies, the Medfly and the olive fruit fly are responsible for the most serious agricultural damage in Cyprus. Causing significant crop losses for fruit and olive growers. With the Medfly mainly attacking citrus, stone fruits, pears and apples.

Mild winters and the large numbers of fruit and olive trees on the island make ideal conditions for the two species to breed. The Medfly are can produce 6-8 generations per year, whilst the olive fly can have 4-6 generations. The main control method for both flies is based mostly on insecticides. For small time growers who prefer an organic approach, the following homemade fruit fly trap may provide some element of control but will not totally eliminate all the pests.

The traps are simple to make using plastic bottles which still have caps. Simply cut a small hole about 2 cm in diameter towards the top third of the bottle which acts as an entrance for the fruit flies. Attach some wire around the cap to allow the bottle to be hung on a fence or onto a bamboo cane and hang about 2 meters away from trees needing protection.

Before hanging mix and pour into the bottle: a cup of water, a few drops of washing up liquid (which breaks the surface tension and so the flies drown in the water, 1 tablespoon of bleach and 2 teaspoons of sugar. It is also useful to put a piece of banana into the bottle which apparently attracts the flies by its colour and smell.

The bottles will in no time be filled with hundreds of drowned fruit flies and new bottles can be hung to catch more.

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