Friday, October 16, 2009

Insect invasion

Thanks everyone for tips on getting rid of fruit flies. We tried the plastic bag with mashed fruit, but the flies didn’t want to get in there. The overturned slightly propped up glass dish with a bit of bait underneath attracted a few, but transferring the flies to a killing field without losing them was too much for me. Obviously, the funnel and jar was a bust. Someone suggested a can of cheap beer mixed with detergent - the soap breaks the surface tension so when their little feet hit the liquid they are just sucked right in and quickly drown. That was the trigger. I’ve seen how they love red wine, the little drunken sots. So instead of beer, I just poured the wine in a glass, added a squirt of detergent, and it worked. I sent dozens and dozens of flies to their graves. It’s over now, anyway. The weather is cold and they have disappeared.

It’s probably some other kind of cosmic justice that made me feel a tickle under the sleeve of my shirt the other day. Thinking my nerve ends were a little jumpy, I scratched. A few seconds later, again, a sensation like tiny feet running up my arm. Then something pinched me hard. That's when I knew it was no nerve end. A bug was crawling around inside my sleeve. Screaming, I threw my shirt off in the living room, not caring about anything except salvation from the creepy thing that was biting me. I know Denis thinks I’m totally crazy, and was glad it was only the two of us. I ran upstairs and shook out my shirt over the bathtub and an EARWIG fell out. It BIT me with its ugly dangerous pincers. I KNEW it. I forced myself to pick it up in a tissue, squeeze it to death and I took it back to show Denis. I made him look because even though he said he believed me, I knew he didn’t. And there it was.

I’m glad I don’t know any state secrets, cuz if threatened with earwigs, cockroaches or centipedes I would tell all and not be sorry.


Austin Storm said...

You may already know this, but Earwigs don't bite you with those scary things on their butts (called cerci), they bite with their mouths. So, maybe not as scary

Margie Haack said...

Austin, you're right they don't use their cerci?, so I guess he used his mouth.

Kate said...

Hi Margie,
Glad to hear the fruit flies are gone. I brought some into my house this year on fruit I purchased in Michigan. I live in Minnesota. I swear they were the biggest and most reproductive fruit flies I have ever had. Did something similar to what you did but used 1/3 vinegar to 2/3 water, a tablespoon or so of brown sugar, a squirt of dish soap to break the surface tension, and made sure the mixture was to the top of the small bowl. I witnessed the first drowning and it almost made me sort of sad to see the poor thing sink while moving its wings, trying to get out. So, I didn't look at the bowl again until later when there were over fifty floating around. I changed the mixture every morning and soon they were gone!

Margie Haack said...

Kate, wonderful to get another method. Surely, despite my memory loss each year, I will now have a vague notion of what sort of killing pool I'll need for next year's crop.

Anonymous said...

Oh I just have to comment...even though I don't know you personally.I read Notes From Toad Hollow for deep thinking, and this blog when I need a little inspiration.
I am so glad I read today. I had no idea that dish soap works in such a way. I was plagued with fruit flies, and so embarrassed when a friend brought over an expensive bottle of wine, and we had to cover the bottle and our glasses, or just drink the little buggers. Next time, I will give them a glass as well...with a dash of soap.

Margie Haack said...

Cassandra, so glad to be of help, you know? Us wine drinkers gotta stick together.