Earlier this week, the house was suddenly and aggressively overrun by fruit flies. Primarily the kitchen, but also a few found out about the living room, and took up camp there. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself an OCD germaphobe, but I am non-uniquely able to turn a blind eye to my own foibles, so perhaps I am. Anyway, long story short, I flipped out. Wikipedia assures me that these little blighters don’t bite (or sting), but that they do lay their eggs in plant tissue. First, I don’t like bugs. I just don’t. I know they’re fascinating to some people, and I recognize that they’re very important to our entire planet as a whole, but they are not my cup of tea. Second, anything that lays eggs inside of things that I could potentially eat really, really creeps me out. Really. I trace this back to Goosebumps.
So I ran a Google search on how to get rid of them. WikiHow to the rescue! I set up a “trap” consisting of a glass with a half-inch of balsamic vinegar in it, and a few drops of dish soap. Apparently, the dish soap breaks the surface tension of the vinegar, so when the little rascals try to cruise around on the surface for a drink – curtains. It worked. Someone suggested I cover the top with saran wrap (or similar) and poke a few holes in it, so the bugs that are attracted to the vinegar smell get trapped, even if they don’t drown. So I did that, as well. It seems to have worked really well so far. I also cleaned every surface in the kitchen like a fiend, and put literally everything I could think of into the fridge, including the olive oil (so I hope that doesn’t affect it).
With as many fruits and veggies as we routinely have in our house lately, keeping the flies at bay might be a chore, but preventative measures (refrigerating everything, washing dishes immediately, wiping surfaces compulsively, taking six showers a day) go a long way towards a solution. Bob’s been taking the garbage out every day, and that’s been tremendously helpful, too. I pour white vinegar down my sink drains, too, since apparently they like to live in the drain (gross, am I right?) Interestingly, the couple of fruit flies that migrated to the living room escaped the purge. Since there’s nothing in there for them to feast on, I expect to see less of them in about one more day (based on life span).