Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gnat Cool, Gnat Cool At All...

Maison a la Redondo Beach is under attack.

Nope, not by California earthquakes.

Not by drought.

Not by masked gunmen.

Not really by weapons of mass destruction (although this is arguable, considering).

But by these guerrilla bio-weapon holding terrorists:

Yes, it's the common household fruit fly.

And it ain't pretty.

It happens to the best of us. You leave a banana out for a day or two later that you should have, and before you know what happened, you have four or five maddeningly quick-to-avoid-attack gnats buzzing around your kitchen.

The best thing to do is to put out a cup of a vinegar/water/dish soap solution. They'll be drawn to it, drown (the soap breaks the liquid's surface tension), and all you have to do is pour their remains down your food disposal (or give them any other type of burial service, up to you), and you're good.


In my house, we have produce-loving roomates (one of us is vegan, two are mostly vegetarian, and the last one loves to buy fruit and never eat any of them, rather opting to leave them in a bag, leaning against the wall in a not-so-often frequented corner of the kitchen until one of us discovers where the smell is coming from....sorry M, love you, but it's true).

This means that, although we have waged warfare and killed many of the little buggers, they lay eggs (where? I don't know. It's a mystery, but they are somewhere in the skin of produce and invisible too), and come back quicker than we can get rid of them.

I think it's safe to say that you have an infestation when there are 70 of them dead in your vinegar trap, in a bathroom, upstairs, and in the opposite corner of the house. (yes, there were really 70. It was M's bathroom, and being the inquisitive engineer she is, she counted. Gross? Yes. True? Yes.)

I'm cool with having four of us living there, but once the number of roomates go up into the triple digits I think we've gone too far with our hospitality. I'm not cool sharing my living space with winged creatures either....
So now it's all out battle.

Which, really means, that we're having to be quite OCD about the kitchen. Down to all of our fruits being in sealed ziploc bags.

Note: not a good idea.

Pretty gross, actually. They went in yesterday, and this morning the fruit was already starting to go south. Dark spots on our apples (and a rotten core on one already, GROSS), and my 3-day-ago-purchased banana is spotty and soft. I think it's because gasses get released in the airlocked bags, then make the rest of the fruit rot.

So I'm not a fan of the ziplocs. However, I also think my roomies would veto my veto of their use, so I'm SOL on the rotten bananas. Sigh. Ah, how I miss the days of living alone sometimes.... (and I never had one fruit fly...)

But c'est la vie. Cheap rent and company is worth sharing space and sparking personalities and the like, right? Ummm, we'll say it is.

So the fruit flies have won the banana battle.

But I'll be back. Governor-style.

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Everything nourishes what is strong already."
~Jane Austen
(hopefully the fruit flies don't qualify....)


Adorably Distracted... said...

This may not work but one time we had an ant issue in college... it was horrible!! they were everywhere. The only thing we had was pledge.. but it worked and we never had issues after that!

good luck!

Elizabeth Marie said...

A. You're in Redondo Beach?! OMG.
B. Roommates are great, arent they? haha I'm usually the one who buys the fruit and never eats it. I hope the flys get to steppin!!!