Fruit flies are a pain in the ass. If you're like me, you hate finding them in your drinks, buzzing around you at restaurants, and there's little worse than walking into a cloud of them in your kitchen when you go to get a banana.
In 2013, like many others I gave juicing a shot, and one of the most notable changes it made to my life was the ridiculous number of fruit flies that accompanied all the fruits and vegetables I had around the house.
I tried the home remedies and continually watched the fruit flies walk right out of the them, and the same thing happened when I tried the commercially available traps. Thinking there must be a better way, I did some research to better understand my quarry, and this is when I learned that fruit flies were not only a nuisance but they were also devastating to agriculture the world round. Now I was determined.
While trying all the other traps I saw that fruit flies would often gather near the trap but not enter, or enter only to exit a few minutes later. These traps are all passive and rely on the fruit flies to kill themselves so I decided I was going to offer a helping hand. I had to create the first active fruit fly trap.
My first design from August 2013 worked very well when tested at a friends brewery, but it relies on a vacuum to operate which proved to be too loud for the majority of applications. My second design solved the noise issue but added some complications found while developing it for market. Then on August 3rd, 2015 I was in my kitchen when the third design came to me. I built and was testing a working model within the week, refined it over the following two weeks, and this model I am introducing to you today is a result of all this time and testing. It is simple, reliable, and incredibly effective.
Active vs. passive, and why it matters:
Whether you are using a trap you bought at a store or you configured one yourself, it doesn't really matter, they all work the same, and they are all passive. Bait is located behind an entrance that is supposed to make their exit difficult, and then they can possibly be captured by glue paper if they happen to walk on it, or they can drown in vinegar or wine if they take a swim. The fact is, fruit flies can walk on walls and ceilings, and if they can get in through a hole, they can get out through it too. It was this realization, two years ago in my kitchen, that led to the creation of the first trap with Patent Pending active capture technology, the ActiveGreen Fruit Fly Trap!
The first thing you do after unpacking your trap is bait it. Our design gives you many options for baiting the trap, you can place solid baits on the bait tray, and the liquid that runs the trap can be water, apple cider vinegar, wine, beer, and a whole host of other things. Apple cider vinegar works very well for Drosophila melanogaster, and we have been having pretty good success using red wine for Drosophila repleta. We will investigate appropriate baits for other species as we get the opportunity.
Once you have selected your bait, you simply close the lid and plug it in. The trap does a collection cycle every ten minutes, allowing the fruit flies to gather and then washing them out of your life for good. It's that easy. Around once a week, depending on the number of flies you are catching, you unplug it, dump out the bait fluid, rinse it under warm water, refill it, put the lid on, plug it back in, and you are on your way to being fruit fly free! One ActiveGreen Fruit Fly Trap will protect the average size kitchen, and you will want one at each end of a busy bar.
While designing the ActiveGreen Fruit Fly Trap, we kept in mind the variety of places it would be employed. It had to be subtle enough to blend into it's environment in bars and restaurants and other businesses, and yet pleasing to the eye and distinct enough to stand alone on your kitchen counter at home. At only 6.5 inches tall with a 4.5 inch diameter, you won't lose much counter space at all. Through testing we learned things that helped shape the design. For example, a light colored top made the fruit flies that landed on the trap before entering much more noticeable, and that is why we started with black, and in the future, the trap will only be available in darker colors.
The ActiveGreen Fruit Fly Trap uses less electricity than a florescent light bulb and is only drawing power for 24 minutes a day, so it is very energy efficient. Because you can reuse it year after year and it requires no toxic chemicals for operation, you can use it guilt-free without filling the garbage dumps or poisoning the environment as you would with the other options available. When caught, the fruit flies are contained in the bait fluid which means cleaning only requires pouring the contents of the trap down the drain, a quick rinse in warm water, a refill with your chosen bait fluid, and you're catching fruit flies again.
To do this in a more traditional manner, I would have to manufacture product, try to get it on shelves in stores, and then try to inform the public that it is on those shelves in those stores. A tremendous and incredibly expensive undertaking.
Utilizing Kickstarter to introduce the ActiveGreen Fruit Fly Trap to the public will allow us to cover the large upfront costs of manufacturing while getting the ActiveGreen traps into the hands of those that need them.
Hitting our goal will allow us to begin production and satisfy all of our reward commitments. However, this is manufacturing, so the more we make at one time, the better. Part prices go down, shipping costs per part go down, and the added cash will allow us to manufacture traps to fill orders for stores that pay with terms after delivery. Additional backing beyond our goal will also enable me to hire some help, and possibly even do some marketing!
Thank you so much for taking the time to check out our project, we get great satisfaction in knowing how much you will enjoy being fruit fly free!
Check us out on WIVB Channel 4:
Check us out on Buffalorising.com!!
Check us out in the Buffalo News!!
Risks and challenges
Clearly, one of the biggest obstacles in this project is taking the ActiveGreen Fruit Fly Trap from prototype to product. Manufacturing anything is a large undertaking. To mitigate these potential problems, I have hired a competent and experienced Industrial Designer, and among my many talented friends I have found people with experience in the different areas involved that are ready and willing to lend a hand.
It takes a village!
We have already sourced parts and suppliers, assembly facilities, and fulfillment services, so we should be ready to go. And, delivering in Spring allows us to use this time to continue perfecting the design before committing to molds for the parts, so we can deliver you the absolute most effective fruit fly trap on the market.
- (37 days)