Monday, September 20, 2004

You catch more fruit flies with coffee than you do with fly paper

My house has been taken over by fruit flies. It bugs (pun intended) the hell out of me because I keep my house pretty clean. My mom would have kicked my ass if I hadn't kept the house clean as a kid growing up and that mentality carried over to my early married years. I mopped every day, I always did the dishes, I swept and cleaned bathrooms almost daily. It's a wonder my kids got fed. :-) I've mellowed in the last few years, but still don't like a messy house.

In the last few weeks I've noticed an ever-increasing number of fruit flies in my house. My kitchen and my bathroom are severely afflicted. It's annoying, especially when you reach for your toothbrush and at least four fruit flies flutter away.

I cleaned my bathrooms, kept up on the dishes, dusted, short I've done everything. I even thought I found the fruit fly breeding ground when I discovered some old garlic in a cupboard. I threw that away, but the problem got worse.

So, Saturday I was cleaning the garage. I brought out my winter bedding, was doing laundry and putting away the camping gear that was strewn about from my husband and son's camping trip. While rearranging things, I found an old lunchbox that I thought had been given away with the Goodwill stuff from this last summer. It was one of those soft, foamy lunch boxes that has Velcro on the lid.

I picked it up and looked at it and what seemed like hundreds of fruit flies erupted from the crack in the top lid.

And like a total idiot, I lifted the flap and looked inside....only I couldn't see right away because again hundreds of fruit flies came at me. My daughter screamed and ran.

Inside this damnable lunch box was a nest of eggs and larvae and little clear fruit flies crawling about and mature fruit flies waiting for room to squeeze out of the small opening.

It smelled horrible and no longer resembled anything fruit-like.

I went right out to the hardware store and bought fly paper, the sticky stuff, and I tacked up fly paper all over the house. The garage (right at the source), the kitchen, both baths, hallway, etc. I was a madwoman. Then I grabbed a towel and proceeded to snap at every little one I saw. I walked from room to room, checking the fly paper and cheering if a fly was stuck to it.

But then I noticed something really gross. My coffee mug, that was sitting nicely on the kitchen counter was rimmed with fruit flies. They didn't want the fly paper, they wanted my coffee. So I surrendered that cup of java to the hoard and set the cup directly under some fly paper I'd hung off the range hood.

And wouldn't you know it, I caught about 10 fruit flies in an hour. I did a little happy dance.

It's been two days and their only remaining stronghold is my bathroom. They are on my towels, my toothbrush, my hair gel and all over the windows.

If they aren't gone by tomorrow, I'm buying bug spray.

The moral of this tale: Always check your kids lunch boxes at the end of the school year for bananas, you'll need lots of coffee and fly paper if you don't.

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