Back in 1984, I did some basic genetics research on drosophila melanogaster, aka fruit fly. Mostly this involved looking at them under a microscope while they were anaesthetized with ether and breeding them in different combinations to see how various characteristics got passed down to children.
I though it was all innocent enough — they were just fruit flies. Obviously I was wrong, as this year the fruit flies have finally gotten around to exacting their revenge by reproducing in great numbers and spreading their armies throughout Charlottetown.
This summer you cannot mention the species in this city without sighs of tired resignation from all around. The fruit flies have taken over, and there doesn’t appear to be anything we can do about it.
Catherine has tried these gizmos from Lee Valley Tools. They work, but they simply can’t keep up with the exploding population.
No matter of cleaning, putting everything remotely attractive to fruit flies in the fridge or in sealed canisters, or any other maneuver we’ve taken has had any effect at all.
Much of the problem extends, no doubt, from the hundreds of these compost containers that now populate the city. Alas the Island Waste Management System has a waste video game, but no advice on their website as to how to control the raging drosophila.
You may want to try trapping the flies by inserting a paper or metal funnel into the mouth of a quart jar baited with bits of overripe fruit. The flies will get into the jar, but they will not be able to get out. To decrease the number of fruit flies outdoors, promptly get rid of any “dropped” fruits or vegetables and keep all garbage cans tightly closed.
Perhaps that’s what we’ll try next.