Using Corks to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Note: The content of this blog was recently featured in Today – you can see the article here.

Recently, the conversation piece about corks in fruit bowls to ward off fruit flies came up. So we decided to move that conversation here on the blog!

Two things attract fruit flies: sugars and moisture. This is why you most often find them around ripe fruit and in or around sinks and drains. Natural cork is a perfect deterrent as the cork material absorbs moisture put off by the ripening fruit (that can also carry sugars ripening in the fruit), and activates a fragrance from the cork that fruit flies are none too pleased about. This cork deterrent was essentially an “old wives tale” at one point, being traced back to a French grandmother, but as more folks tried it, it began to catch on, because it actually works. Bear in mind, if you have an infestation of fruit flies, you’ll need a whole other process to get things under control, but once under control, this cork trick will help things never reach your problematic level again. There’s a few very important keys to this process: while it’s fun to essentially drink this problem away (how else will you collect the corks?), you’ll want to drink responsibly, and make sure you’re using natural corks, not composite or synthetic as they’ll be of no use, and lastly – and most importantly – don’t use corks that have residual wine on them, as that’s completely counterproductive and will attract the little buggers. You’ll want as clean of cork as possible.

There’s an amazing cork and ceramic bowl in the marketplace from the French company Emile Henry. While it isn’t cheap, it’s effective, and there’s just a certain je ne sais quoi to having a French kitchen piece that is understated, but somehow still stands out. It’ll set you back around $140 for their cork topped ceramic bowl, but you get what you pay for, and much like the Japanese, the French are masters of the culinary crafts and tools. This piece is an homage to that.

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