IF you've spotted cups of vinegar lying around local businesses, here's why.

Fruit flies are on the up, with numbers skyrocketing in recent weeks due to wet weather and humidity promoting perfect breeding conditions.

Cafes, fruit stores and other businesses selling food are tackling the problem with an apple cider vinegar mixed with dishwashing soap, providing a simple trap for the nasty critters.

Jenni Aston from Tweed's Evergreen Pest Management said to make sure all food scraps were placed outside.

"And if you've got a fan inside, open up the doors and windows and turn it on to get them out," she said.

"They're breeding like crazy at the moment because of all the humidity."

Alison Trevor from Tweed Fruit Exchange in Murwillumbah had another smart and environmentally friendly solution for dealing with the flies.

"Lavender oil and water in a spray bottle is great. It can be sprayed on the fruit and it's completely harmless," she said.

"It deters them but won't knock them dead."

Miss Trevor agreed that weather conditions meant fruit flies were a problem for many store owners.

"It's all the rain we've had. Once it dries up a little they'll go away," she said.

"And you can also keep your cup of apple cider vinegar in the kitchen to deal with them there."

She explained that while there were commercial solutions safe to use on food, lavender oil and water was cheaper and proven to be completely safe for human consumption.

And as an added bonus, it smells pretty nice too.


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