Hundreds of hacks vow to banish fruit flies from your home, but a cheap and straightforward approach is not always guaranteed.
A Facebook user who goes by Lynsey Queen Of Clean took to the social media platform earlier this month to say: “Back to fruit flies quickly, apparently adding a cork to the fruit bowl prevents them, so worth a try if you are suffering.”
The little-known hack was greatly appreciated by people in the comment section, where many said they were eager to put the method to the test.
“Must try this, they are doing my head in!!!” wrote one person, while another joked: “Good excuse to buy a bottle of wine!”
One user who happened to have tried the method wrote: “Works for me, great!”
The good news is the hack is endorsed by experts too, including sommelier Ryan Watts, who says it works wonders for two reasons.
The expert explained the material in natural corks makes an ideal deterrent because it absorbs moisture emitted by ripening fruit, known as ethylene gas.
The fragrance of the cork itself is also a deterrent as fruit flies cannot stand it, and will therefore refrain from landing on nearby fruit, which no longer seems appetizing.
The sommelier told today: “This cork deterrent was essentially an old wives tale at one point, being traced back to a French grandmother.
“But as more folk tried it, it began to catch on because it actually works”.
Watts stresses corks should made of natural material, as opposed to composite or synthetic matter, and be completely dry before being placed in the fruit bowl.
Other hacks using kitchen scraps
The nuisance of fruit flies swarming around fresh produce is a plight shared by many, and nowhere is this more apparent than on Mrs Hinch’s Facebook page for Cleaning Tips.
In a state of desperation, one user recently took to Facebook to ask: “How can I get rid of fruit flies? It’s literally like [they’re] immortal. I’ve tried almost everything I feel like.”
“They live in the bend of your skin pipe,” answered one user. “Pour a large saucepan of boiling water down then close up the sinkhole.
“Kill the stranglers. They will go on the ceiling at night. I didn’t believe any of this, my French neighbour advised and it works perfectly.”
Another person suggested: “The best thing is to put a peeled orange in a bowl covered with cling film, put tiny holes in it and the next day you’ll be amazed.”
Garden expert Laura Ritterman has previously told Homes and Gardens the flying pests are repelled by the smell of citrus emitted by leftover peel.
For optimal results, Kevin Rodrigues from Gardening Mentor advises boiling a few orange peels in a cup of water for 10 minutes and straining the liquid into a strain bottle.
He added: “Spray this every three to four days to get rid of pests like slugs, aphids, ants, whiteflies, and fruit flies – and to keep them away.”