I have a fruit fly problem. Ever since I planted the strawberries, my balcony has been inundated with a never-ending stream of the little monsters. To make matters worse, I’ve got a mosquito in my bedroom as well, which has been keeping me and my poor little rats up at night every night for the past three months at least. I’m currently averaging at one mosquito slapped to death every three days.
Since I have pet rats, I’m not a particular fan of insect sprays a most of them are pretty bad for the environment and humans too. Ultrasonic mosquito botherers are also right out of the question since they tend to drive animals crazy with their high-pitched whining and apparently don’t have a very good track record. has a pretty good success rate at driving mosquitoes away, but has to be reapplied quite often.
No, I’m in the market for a more permanent solution to my flying insect blues. Thus, the plan.
Step 1: Penny
This is Penny. Penny is a very hungry and very thirsty little pitcher plant that I purchased from Newtown Garden Market. Right now, practically all her pitchers are filled with a combination of drowning fruit flies and some sort of insect slurry, which is good because it means that Penny is eating well.
When choosing a carnivorous plant, I really wanted to go for quantity over quality, and pitcher plants really have one of the highest fruit fly killing rates. Being a swamp plant, they’re very thirsty and also need plenty of shade, but are otherwise ridiculously easy to care for – just mix up some peat and sphagnum moss, stick them in a self-watering pot and Bob’s your uncle. As a plus, there are also pitcher plants native to Australia, though Penny isn’t one of them, which is unfortunate.
Step 2: The Dip
In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Dip is a nasty greenish mix of turpentine, benzene and acetone guaranteed to kill any toon that it touches. On my balcony, the dip is a mixture of apple cider vinegar, soap and water placed in a wide-brimmed container. This mixture is guaranteed to drown fruit flies in the tens of thousands.
Fruit flies are attracted to the dip because of the apple cider vinegar, which basically smells of fermented fruit. However, landing on the dip results in instant fruit fly death as the decreased surface tension of the water causes them to sink right into the mixture, drowning horribly while I cackle in glee.
For best results, use a lemony soap, but don’t overdo it on the vinegar or the mixture won’t work.
Step 3: Electrical Mosquito Sucky Trap Thing
This electronic marvel comes to me courtesy of Droo, who discovered it on the Jaycar website and brought it to my attention.
This fantastic device comprises of a fan, several UV lights and a titanium dioxide ring. Titanium dioxide reacts to UV by breaking down organic matter like bacteria into water and carbon dioxide. The lights create a small amount of heat. The heat, water and carbon dioxide attracts passing mosquitoes, who being weak and slow flyers, are sucked into the device by the spinning fan.
Once inside the device, they can NEVER escape again, and will spend the rest of their (brief) lives in the bottom of the device being swirled about by the cruel crosswinds of fate until they die from dehydration. Mwahahaha.
Seeing as there’s about 10 mosquito corpses in the thing, I do believe it actually works.
 RIP little shoe guy. You didn’t deserve your fate.