Are sinister fruit fly attacks going under the radar?

Are sinister fruit fly attacks going under the radar?

You know how life just gets hectic sometimes and there is nothing much you can do about it but rest, wait and go to appointments. That is what has happened to us the past two months with some not-so-exciting pet and people health issues. We have not been doing anything fun, but we’re going to start trying soon no matter what.

I still have a ton of stuff — cleaning, paperwork catchup and cooking — I could be doing here at home, but with this lull in the action, I’ve chosen to focus on a peskier problem, a tiny problem I have been ignoring for a couple of years. This problem has been buzzing around the house, mostly just in the summer, but it seems like the last few years they are buzzing year round.

Of course, I’m talking about fruit flies. I finally decided to fight back, but, surprise, getting rid of fruit flies is not an easy fix, especially if you are trying to eat healthier and bringing more fresh fruit and vegetables into the house, which could come in with the added bonus of fruit flies and their eggs.

This problem seemed pretty easy to cure. For some reason I thought there was just one or two fruit flies in the house. But that was before I turned into a vicious, relentless killer, even using my bare hands to squish the pesky bugs. (Don’t worry. I washed them immediately after.)

I am really not the type of person to squish bugs at all, but those things are fast.

The first thing I tried was cleaning the sink and even put some baking soda and vinegar down the drain. The result reminded me of my old eighth-grade science fair project.

Then it hit me that it would be better to take some more direct action, rather than just waiting for the fruit flies to die of old age.

Got one, got two, got three — got 10 and 11. And there goes another one flying around.

Of course, I checked my phone for more information. It was frightening. For one, they can multiply faster than rabbits, much faster. They are putting rabbits to shame. A female fruit fly can lay as many as 2,000 eggs, and they hatch in about 30 hours and are ready to mate in two days. The average fruit fly only lives 8-15 days, so while I thought I only had one or two that were just hanging out, I’ve actually had generations of them — yikes.

They are attracted to ripe and rotting food, and they especially like stuff I like — bananas, tomatoes and apples. Rotten onions and potatoes are a favorite too, making me leery of my kitchen veggie bin. Going to have to keep a closer eye on that.

The worst part is the bugs can transfer dangerous germs like salmonella, E. coli and listeria from a dirty surface to a clean one. This would be hard to prove, so I wonder how many sinister fruit fly attacks have gone under the radar.

The good news is there are few ways to outsmart them in their short, little lives.

One place they like to procreate is the kitchen drain, so pouring boiling water down the drain can kill the eggs. But they also will lay eggs just about anywhere else because they are not picky.

You also can trap them by using the one thing they can’t resist — apple cider vinegar. Then mix it with a little dish soap and, viola, it draws them to a soapy death.

There are way too many other ways to trap the little buggers to mention, but one thing I found was a product you can pour down your drain to get rid of them. It sounds promising.

I took note of a few tips: Only buy what you are sure to eat so it doesn’t spoil, wash produce as soon as you get home, rinse your recycling, which we do all the time anyway, and a few more.

But if you think you’re going to get rid of them for good, just give it up.

They or their eggs will come in on your produce or in your front door if it’s warm weather, and the cycle starts again.

I really need to get out of the house. Writer vs. fruit fly? Much as I have tried, I’m waving the white flag.

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