September Horticulture Tip of the Month

img_1398What is 3-4 mm in length, has red eyes, tan thorax, black abdomen, goes from egg to adulthood in 8-10 days and reproduces at a ridiculously fast rate, with females laying up to 500 eggs!  If you guessed Fruit Fly-you are correct!  Fruit flies are common house flies that get their name because of their strong attraction to ripening or rotting fruit, which serves as a food source as well as a place to lay their eggs.  Fruit flies became the bane of our existence this summer when, unbeknownst to us, we had brought in the little buggers (we think on some flowers) and then left for a long weekend only to come home to a full blown fruit fly infestation!  It appeared that they had babies, and the babies had had babies and probably the babies of the babies had had babies!!  UHG!  The only thing that made us feel slightly better, was after “Googling” Fruit Fly infestation, we found out we were not alone.  Late summer and fall are prime seasons for Fruit Flies due to the abundant fall harvest of luscious melons, peaches, apples, just to name a few.  So here is my word to the wise…if you see ONE fruit fly-go on the offensive immediately!  After trial and error and money spent on commercial products, we found a sure fire DIY solution that was easy and really worked!


Before you panic about your fruit fly invasion, start with t simple trap and some apple sider vinegar.  Fruit Flies can’t resist the smell of fermentation, and since apple cider vinegar is from fermented apples, it’s a dream drink to them.  Heat the vinegar beforehand to release more of its irresistible fragrance.  Pour the vinegar into the jar and roll up a piece of paper and insert it into the mouth of the jar to form a makeshift funnel and tape it in place.  The flies will go into the jar to get the vinegar but won’t be able to figure out how to get out and will drown.  If you need a little extra temptation, drop in a ripe piece of fruit and let it breakdown.


Lemongrass spray works great as a deterrent.

What you need is:

10 drop of Lemongrass essential oil

A clean spray bottle

2 oz.  of hot water


In a spray bottle add 10 drops of lemongrass essential oil to 2 oz. of hot water and shake well.  Spray along windowsills and doorways, directly on flies when you see them oil anywhere else you see fit.  It leaves a nice refreshing scent but the flies don’t like it!