NAPLES — The Frankens are punching pesky flies off of food.
But what Mathew Franken and his wife, Jodi, use to get rid of those tiny, little flies isn’t a flyswatter.
After discovering fruit flies in their home about six years ago, Franken said he and his wife, who consider themselves “nerds at heart,” developed a nontoxic, environmentally friendly formula to extinguish the pests.
“We are excited about the impact that we can make to prevent foodborne illness,” said Mathew Franken, 34, who grew up in Naples.
Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch! was created in 2012 and is expected to go on sale to the public in two months. Dr. E. Brown Enterprises LLC is a holding company for Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch!, which has a patent pending.
Mathew Franken said developing a solution to eliminate the nuisance insect became the couple’s mission.
The couple, who have two children, 9 and 7, created an all-natural formula that attracts and kills fruit flies and helps reduce the possibility of E. coli in homes, restaurants and supermarkets.
Franken, a Naples seasonal resident from Greenville, S.C., where the product is currently produced, said creating an all-natural product that eliminates fruit flies was crucial for them.
We are excited about the impact that we can make to prevent foodborne illness.”
The cider-based, liquid formula is intended to be used in a 4-ounce, stand-up pouch. Customers will have to tear off the top portion of the small pouch. The product then could sit on top of the counter where flies are either going to drink it or drown in it.
Because flies are strongly attracted to the cider-based punch, Franken said flies are going to go to the punch before they are ready to reproduce. So the formula, which he wouldn’t disclose, also stops the reproduction cycle.
He said the formula isn’t intended to be sprayed on fruit or put on anything. The cost will be $3.99 per unit.
Franken said he doesn’t publicly provide sales projections, but based on current levels of interest, he anticipates the product will be sold in at least three national food stores this year.
“The momentum we have seen in a short period of time has been extremely exciting,” he said in an email.
Mark Kirby loves the fly punch product.
Kirby’s family used to constantly have a problem with fruit flies in the spring and summer. Franken offered them the product last summer.
“It works fantastically,” said Kirby, a friend of the Frankens who was given the product before it becomes available to the public. “I was just blown away with it. I could not believe it when I first tried it because we had experimented with so many different things (products).”
Kirby, 46, of Greenville, S.C., said his fruit fly problem was gone within 48 hours of using the product. The family had used other products that didn’t eliminate the fruit flies. He placed Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch! in a wine glass.
Kirby said he is waiting for Aunt Fannie’s FlyPunch! packages to be sold to the public so that he can buy the product and keep it in his cabinet for when his family needs it.
More information on FlyPunch! can be found at www.FruitFlyPunch.com.