Our eek-o Bait Booster Powder is no longer for sale; we made it OPEN SOURCE instead. With a few tweaks, the new open-source recipe contains only ingredients commonly found in most kitchens.
The Bait Booster Powder is for use with ripe fruit lures like banana. Using it makes the fruit a more effective fruit fly lure in three ways:
It makes your fruit more attractive to fruit flies so you will catch more; Fruit flies are in search of a good place to lay eggs, and fermenting fruit or something similar is their preferred environment. They have evolved to seek out and recognize the characteristics of fermentation which is always the presence of CO2 and in some fruits, Acetic Acid. Fermenting fruit will produce CO2 on its own but to help it along; you just need to add a generous pinch of instant baker’s Yeast. That will get the fermentation going quicker making sure your fruit flies get a good whiff of the irresistible ripe fruit in your eek-o fruit fly trap sooner.
Our Bait Booster Powder also contained Acetic Acid which is one of the main components in many vinegars, also something that results from fermentation. You can add a few drops of Apple Cider Vinegar to your fruit, but you are probably better off switching entirely to Apple Cider Vinegar as your lure if you go that route.
It preserves your fruit so it will last longer; fermenting fruit is a living organism and can be a bit unstable over time causing your fruit to take on an unpleasant odor and an unattractive color. To prevent this, we added a pinch of a common food preservative, ascorbic acid; commonly known as Vitamin-C. You can grind up half a vitamin-C tablet or a pinch of vitamin-C powder and add that to your fruit to keep it stable for up to two weeks, possibly longer.
It sterilizes the fruit, so eggs that fruit flies lay will not hatch. Fruit fly eggs are protected by an oily substance so adding a bit of soap detergent (dish soap) breaks down this protection and keeps fruit fly eggs from developing.
Here is the complete recipe for our Bait Booster Powder to add to your fruit for one lure:
eek‑o Bait Booster Powder
Instant Dry Yeast – 1 Generous pinch
Ascorbic Acid – 1/2 Vitamin-C tabled ground
Detergent – One drop of dish soap
Acetic Acid – 1 drop of Apple Cider Vinegar
Yellow Food Coloring – That just makes it yellow. It’s unnecessary for catching fruit flies, and the Vitamin-C tablets and powder have coloring added already, so you’re covered.
With this recipe as a starting point, you can make adjustments depending on your needs. Adding a bit more yeast will make it work faster, some more vitamin-C power it will last longer. Tweak it until it is perfect for you!