Tips: Repel Fruit Flies with Rue

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We recently noticed that our herb lady at the farmers' market has been selling rue. Our only familiarity with the plant was from lines in Shakespeare (Ophelia used it in her garland), so we asked for recommendations on what to do with it. She told us that rue has traditionally been used in folk remedies, but that most people find it too bitter to eat. She also had another intriguing suggestion.

posted originally from: AT:Kitchen

Put it in the kitchen, she said. It will keep flies at bay! So, we grabbed a bunch and found the perfect opportunity to test its effectiveness when we brought home a stem of fresh dates. Hung by the window to ripen, the dates soon attracted a small cloud of fruit flies. We tucked a few sprigs of rue between the fruits and, lo and behold, the flies quickly lost interest. In fact, they disappeared altogether. (One might even say they rued the day they entered our kitchen!)

Although flies hate the strong aroma of rue, it's fortunately rather pleasant to humans. We will definitely be keeping the herb around our fruit bowls from now on. Have you ever used rue or other herbs to repel kitchen bugs?

Related:
Fruit Flies! What They Are and How To Get Rid of Them

(Image: Emily Ho)

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Emily Han (formerly Emily Ho) is a writer, recipe developer and educator on topics such as food preservation, wild food and herbalism. She is author of Wild Drinks and Cocktails (Fall 2015), co-founder of Food Swap Network and creator of Miss Chiffonade