Monday, December 3, 2012

A Buggy Blog Post

This week, in Wyatt's kindergarten work, he is studying insects. As you may remember, we are using My Father's World, and are doing a different letter each week. (Check out this craft for "O is for Octopus") This week is the letter "I", and I will admit that when I scheduled this lesson, I figured the actual insects and spiders to study would be sparse... Little did I know!

Last month we found our first Black Widow since moving to the farm. I'd rather not have made this discovery in the name of school science, but since she was here, we swept her into a jar. We have been feeding her other spiders and house flies ever since. She is definitely on top of the arachnid food chain around here. Once this week of studies is over (yes I know she is not an insect, but she eats them!), I'm not actually sure what we will do with her. "S" for was for "S"un, and that was back in "S"eptember...  So no waiting around for the "S"pider lesson.

But for our main Insect exhibit, this week we had an outbreak of fruit-flies (thanks to a fruit bowl on the counter and a forgotten banana). It seems once they get going, those things are everywhere. I'd seen a picture somewhere online about how to make a fruit-fly trap, so Tyler helped me and we disposed of the banana and used the peel for the trap/bait.

Basically, you...

  • put some very ripe smelling fruit in a jar, 
  • make a cone of paper with a very tiny opening at one end, 
  • tape around where the cone meets the jar,
  • and wait for the fruit-flies!

They can go in, but they can't get out. Amazing. They are pretty much all gone now. We did dump this mess and reset the trap with a few orange segments. It is catching the last few. It's been great for Wyatt to observe live insects anyway! He has had a great time peering into these two jars on the table, watching a spider eat flies, and watching flies eat banana. Strange things you see in a homeschool house...


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  1. eww, black widow!! creepy! but nice going on the fruit fly trap, some day you'll probably get a random question from me on how to do that -- the next time we have an outbreak here!

  2. We have fruit flies all the time. I should have Lily make one of these!

  3. Fruit flies are so annoying; how did I never hear about this trap? Thanks for sharing!

  4. Filing this away since have only marginal success with red wine vinegar & dish soap. For your sake, i hope she's gone, but i wonder how it would have worked to put the spider in the fruit fly trap? :)

    1. I thought of that actually, but couldn't think of a way to safely get her in there without releasing all the fruit flies...


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