War Stories: The Great Fruit Fly War of 2010

So this post is a little retro.  It’s about last year’s time vampire.  You see, at the moment a fair amount of my time is being taken up by a war against the inch worms that have infested my poor basil plants.  (I hate inch worms more than Cammy hates squirrels.  That’s a lot.)  I don’t want to file a full report on said war until it’s over.  So instead we’ll turn to a past war.  Which I won!

Last year, shortly after I moved to my current Midwestern college town of residence, I developed a fruit fly infestation.  A bad one.  What had happened was my mother, who graciously helped me move, had brought along a giant tub of cherries.  Her plan was to leave the cherries with me, (clearly I would not be able to buy my own fruit out here) but by the time she and my father were getting ready to leave the cherries had started to… well not look their best.  Ever helpful my mother volunteered to pit and slice the remaining cherries so that I could freeze them easily.  She put the pits and any bad spots she’d cut off in my nearly empty trash can, thus creating a fruit fly banquet and breeding ground.  I, in my infinite idiocy, then waited until the trash was actually full to take it out.  When you’re one person, that takes a while.  While the cherry goop was there the fruit flies were content to stay in the garbage, so I didn’t even realize they were there.  Until I went to take the trash back off and they all flew out.

With their smorgasbord/orgy parlor gone, I now had a whole bunch of evicted fruit flies everywhere around my apartment.  It was disgusting.  Clearly I had to remedy it.

And I did.  After some googling and some soliciting advice from friends I created two Fruit Fly Death Traps.  The first was a bowl containing sweet vinegar (most sources recommend apple cider vinegar, but although this is a bizarre concept to Cammy, I didn’t have any ACV, so I used white wine vinegar) and dish soap.  The vinegar attracts them, but the dish soap breaks the surface tension.  Once they land they can’t get out.  The other variety is basically the same thing only you use a tall skinny glass.  Don’t fill it up all the way, just about an inch.  Then wrap the top in plastic wrap and poke a few holes in it, securing it with a rubber band.

Then you wait for the bastards to die.

And in my case you constantly update Twitter with the current body count until your friends delicately suggest you get a life.

Oh, I know, they’re living creatures and I should feel compassion.  But I don’t.  Not with fruit flies.  I don’t remember my actual numbers, but I killed a whole bunch of them.  I found both traps work just as well, but the glass method uses up less counter space, so it’s my current go-to-trap.

And, no, perhaps it wasn’t the best use of my time.  But it did take a lot of my time.  And it solved the problem.  Wish me just as well in my current war.