Make Your Own Fruit Fly Carrousel

Perhaps it is the cold weather that brings them indoors in droves or a last push to procreate before the end times come, but the fruit flies are taking over my kitchen right now as they do every single fall. They are everywhere. They settle on anything that doesn’t move (edible or not) and alight like a cloud of horrible little monsters when the cupboards are opened or a light wind disturbs them.

I invoke the spirit of my grandmother and shake my fist at no one. “I cast yee out foul things! Satan, I rebuke you!

Not surprisingly, it doesn’t work. What does work is a homemade system invented by Davin that we call “The Carrousel”. Its name is inspired by the classic Sci-Fi film from 1976, Logan’s Run. In the film, citizens of a Utopian/dystopian future who are over a certain age are entered into a death machine called the Carrousel under the guise of reincarnation/rebirth or “renewal.”

In our version of The Carrousel, fruit flies are lured into a jar of no return via a funnel system that leads to an intoxicating lake of old red wine. To make your own simply:

  1. Choose a Mason jar that is deep but not wide on top.
  2. Fashion a funnel from a piece of scrap paper. We used junk mail. The funnel should be wide enough on top to touch the sides of the jar and just a few millimetres at the bottom, thin enough to allow fruit flies to enter easily without escaping. Tape it shut.
  3. Pour a thin layer of old red wine in the bottom of the jar.
  4. Set the funnel into the jar so that the bottom hovers a few inches over the red wine but does not touch it.
  5. Secure the funnel to the jar with masking tape so that the flies can not escape (i.e. Run).
  6. Set The Carrousel in a spot where flies are congregating. Near a bowl of garden produce is usually a good spot. Disassemble and start over before the wine evaporates or the jar becomes incomprehensibly disgusting.
Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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12 thoughts on “Make Your Own Fruit Fly Carrousel

  1. I use cider vinegar too, and if you add a little dish soap (trick I saw on YouTube) they can’t get out of the liquid and it’s even more effective.

  2. I’ve had to do this several times recently, but I just used plastic wrap with some tiny holes and the flies get trapped easily. Works great!

  3. I have always used a small bowl with cider vinegar and a couple of drops of dish soap. The fruit flies flock to the bowl!

  4. I LOVE Logan’s Run. It is one of the very few DVDs that I own. I have used this method in the past but always just called it a fruit fly funnel. I am not sure if I will ever be able to look at a fruit fly again the same way. I will be looking hard at their little hands for red glowing gems.

    • I realized it was in the shot when I was editing the photo. I try not to be too PDA so I hesitated to post but was too lazy to retake the shot.

  5. I do this too! I also put peppermint oil in a small plastic container and it seems to work really well.

  6. Yeah I just put some juice in a glass and mix in a few drops of dish soap – It works without making a funnel because they get trapped in the oily soap floating on top.

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