How A Cork Can Help Get Rid Of Pesky Fruit Flies

Few things in the kitchen are worse than a hoard of fruit flies swarming around a bowl of your precious fresh fruit. They feast on the same sweet sugars we savor and reproduce with near-lightning speed. According to Wide Open Eats, one female fruit fly can lay 400 eggs in a single week. Welp. It's no wonder that an unchecked infestation can quickly get out of hand.

You may be familiar with a handful of home remedies for fruit fly extermination. These usually involve setting a trap with a glass jar partially filled with one of the fly's favorite beverages. Wine, apple cider vinegar, and milk sweetened with sugar are common fruit fly lures. Sometimes, these traps involve a makeshift paper funnel or piece of punctured plastic wrap to keep the flies from escaping once they take the bait. In any case, a watery grave of fruit flies isn't the most appealing sight on your kitchen counter.

Fortunately, there's a fruit fly hack that's even easier. You can say goodbye to DIY traps, and you don't need to break out the big guns and grab insect repellants or chemicals. Wine corks are the simple solution to a fruit fly frenzy in your kitchen (via Today).

Cork deters fruit flies by absorbing moisture

We've already established that fruit flies are attracted to sugar, but they also crave moisture. That's why fruit flies flock to sinks and drains as well as juicy fresh fruit. Sommelier Ryan Watts told Today, "Natural cork is a perfect deterrent as the cork material absorbs moisture put off by the ripening fruit and activates a fragrance from the cork that fruit flies are none too pleased about."

You simply place fresh fruit in a bowl with clean, dry corks and — just like that — the flies are deterred from landing on your succulent peaches or ripe tomatoes. It's crucial to use natural corks and not synthetic or composite corks. Corks saved from dry white wines work better than those from reds, but both are fine to use.

This trick, attributed to the ingenuity of a French grandmother, requires that you have several corks on-hand. If you're not a wine drinker, the classic French cookware company Emile Henry offers an alternative: a natural cork and ceramic bowl designed especially for fruit (via Food 52).

Food & Wine reminds us that keeping fruit flies away from fruit is just half the battle. You also need to handle the source of the problem. For that, practice a first line of defense. Be sure to wash your fruit with an all-natural cleaner before placing it in a cork-filled bowl.