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Volume III
July 13, 2012

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Fruit Flies and Ants Be Gone!

By Alice Osborne

It's the season for fresh fruits and vegetables - oh joy! My fruit bowl is brimming with produce I can't get fresh any other time of the year (and "Thank you, farmers' markets!) Well, "Oh joy!" except for the pesky fruit flies.

Since so many fresh fruits and vegetables are better when stored at room temperature (in the fruit bowl, for instance), how do you avoid the fruit fly dilemma? Home experts say to put a few sprigs of mint close to the fruit and in amongst the fruit in the bowl. Mint is an excellent fruit fly repellant.

Of course, another way is to actually EAT the stuff before it gets overripe.

But hey, what about when I truly want overripe fruit - bananas for banana bread or muffins, for instance? They invariably attract fruit flies as they sit and darken. Unfortunately, with this fruit, mint leaves don't seem to do the trick. So to beat the flies this time, set out a small plastic container filled with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 6 drops of liquid dish detergent and 1/2 cup of water. The bugs will fly in, but they won't fly out.

Now, ants. They are so tenacious. But with a little no-how, we can beat them at their game, and in a non-toxic manner as well. First, figure out their main point of entry - windowsill, doorway, baseboards, etc. Then, sprinkle those places with any of the following:

cayenne pepper

chili powder



whole cloves

bay leaves

cream of tartar

salted cucumber peelings

dried peppermint leaves or mint oil

distilled white vinegar

lemon juice and peel - mix it with water and wash the kitchen floor

baby powder

By taking these simple steps we can first say "Fruit flies and ants be gone!" and then say "Fresh fruit and veggies, oh joy!" (without any qualifications)!

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