Went for a short hike yesterday on Kings Mountain, a national Military Park rich with history. According to the National Park Service and other sources, Thomas Jefferson called it “The turn of the tide of success.” during the Revolutionary War. History buffs in the house? You can read more about it here, here and many other places.
November just isn’t acting like November today. It’s seventy degrees outside, bright and the sun is shining. Seems like such a waste to stay cooped up indoors since it has been cold lately and more inclimate weather is on the way in coming days. If you’re north of me, sorry.
So, after a nice four and a half mile hike up the beach, I came upon todays office: a sandbar overlooking the Chesapeake Bay.
I’ll be here until my batteries die, or the high tide forces me to relocate. The tide thing may be happening sooner than I had expected..
Catchy title eh? It’s not click-baiting, I promise. All shall be revealed by the end.
You’ve left the house for an extended period of time, perhaps on vacation or a business trip. When you return home, you notice a little bug in the kitchen. Must be a gnat or something. Kill. Die. Oh, but wait. There’s more. Not just more to the story, but actually more bugs. Fruit flies. They’re everywhere, a small colony has invaded your place. How’d this happen?! You left something out, that’s how.
There’s got to be a simple way to deal with this, like a home do-it-yourself project that’s been forced on you. I mean, who wants to run back out to the store and buy something after just getting home. Not me. To the internet, it knows everything! I mean, if you can find instructions to build your own levitating death star online, dealing with some fruit flies should be childs play.
Most of the solutions were simple, put some some vinegar in a glass, wrap it in cellophane and punch some holes in the top. This attracted the bugs, but didn’t keep their attention long enough to venture into my death trap.
Revenge by swatting
While running around the house and swatting at anything that moves is a satisfying way to spend my free time, it’s not ideal. It gets a little messy with their tiny bug carcases lining whatever surface they were foolish enough to rest on for a short while.
Most of this involved me slowly lurking around in the kitchen as not to arouse suspicion from my new guests. Which intrigued the cat to follow me around, subsequently giving up my position.
Revenge by vacuum
A very satisfying alternative to swatting, though slightly noisier. Watching these little guys almost get away, only to be sucked back to their doom will almost certainly put a smile on your face. Unless you like bugs.
In fact, if you are a bug fan, you likely won’t like the rest of this post. And frankly, I’m amazed you made it this far. It doesn’t get any better, so you may want to find something else to read, or put you to sleep.
First shot at commercial products
Bought some cute little traps shaped like apples. Basic premise is that the bait inside attracts them, they go inside and are stuck. Worked about as well as the home remedy.
Oh, and fly paper- is really for full sized flies. Doesn’t work on fruit flies. So unless you just like using those to spice up the home decor, or enjoy watching the cat frantically trying to leap for them, skip those.
The next bad idea
They keep landing on the counter next to the sink, why not put down some double-sided tape on the counter? They land, they get stuck.
They land. Then walk or fly away.
Not to mention, that after having been applied for a few hours, the adhesive power of the tape is rather incredibly difficult to remove. After an hour with a razor blade most of it was up. Goof-off took care of the rest. I don’t recommend this technique. Especially if you tell your spouse beforehand that you’re sure this will do the trick.
This is when you realize they’re organized
Despite being small and annoying, I truly believe they’re intelligent. And working against me. Once I’ve given up for the day and resigned myself to the couch to watch a tv show or read a book, they emerge from their hiding places. Buzzing the tower, so to speak, relentlessly flying around us or the room.
This has to stop.
Why not just fumigate the house
Well, I could. But we have animals in the house. I work in the house, and I don’t know how much cleanup would be required once the whole house has been sprayed. Plus, if that was the first thing tried, you wouldn’t be reading about bugs in my place.
Switching to another commercial product
I found another type of trap made by Raid at the local grocery store. These are similar to the cute, yet useless little apple traps that were tried before. Same general premise, bait inside, but sticky paper all around the bait. This actually worked well enough to warrant placing a few more around the house.
While this was pretty effective, not all of the bugs would enter the trap. Pretty sure the ones stuck inside were warning the others to stay clear.
Decided to experiment with some other household liquids that seemed to attract them. Turns out cider and orange juice are enough to get their attention, but not to draw them in. Apple vinegar just smells bad.
Almost under control
Until…something was left in the microwave. Apparently the younger fruit flies are just small enough to slip into the microwave with the door closed. That’s what I’m assuming anyways. The microwave gets opened, and here comes swarm version 2.0. Shit.
Enough to make you drink
It’s absolutely maddening. So I do. And I notice the fruit flies do to, they seem to be attracted to liquor. Pour a few drops on a paper towel (waste not, want not) and within minutes, here they are checking things out.
Time for another experiment
Let’s replace the stock bait in these Raid traps with Rum. Seems like a painful waste of Rum if you ask me, but I’m willing to try anything at this point. The results are impressive to say the least, they’re immediately drawn to it. Bonus points: I have a catchy title for a blog post! Although I don’t recommend leaving fruit out as a cure for writers block.
Don’t leave fruit on your counter and leave for a week. Right now everything is pretty much under control, but has been a colossal pain in the neck. Next time, I’ll just fog the house. :)
And that’s my rant.