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A plague of fruit flies is upon me. MoonPie and I parted to visit our respective families. His travel involves a long pricey flight so his stays are much longer than mine. I returned looking forward to a week alone in my oven/apartment only to discover a mass of fruit flies where my kitchen used to be. This is what happens when one of us (MoonPie) takes the liberty of changing where certain items (bananas) are stored. FYI, the bread box is not the best place.

Have you ever seen a liquified banana? Me neither. I threw a bunch of towels over it, swished it into a plastic bag and sprayed every kind of cleaner we have until my lungs burned. Probably should’ve opened a widow first, but with the heat index over 104 degrees opening a window is a last resort.

Welcome home, me. I didn’t really mind. At least I made it home. The return trip from my sister’s – driving to the train, train, subway – usually adds up to about 4 hours. Yesterday it took twice that. My other sister and I were 20 miles from the train station when that awful tire squealing glass shattering cars crashing sound stopped everything. The accident happened less than a mile in front of us. As we watched ambulances and tow trucks squeeze past cars clogging up the shoulder, I decided to stop being annoyed we were stuck in traffic on a hot day missing my train because we so easily could’ve been in what sounded like a bad accident. Had I not dropped the toll change on the floor and needed to dig up more change, we might have passed through the toll booth slightly sooner. This is why I don’t miss driving.

Returning home to a plague of fruit flies wasn’t the worse thing that could happen, but they had to go. It was kill the flying gross or seal up the kitchen till MoonPie’s return. Tempting as living with bugs for a week may sound, the problem was mine to get rid of regardless of when I did it. My boyfriend doesn’t practice his religion UNTIL it’s time to kill a bug. Then he goes all I-cannot-kill-a-living-thing on me. Spiders I try to trap and release out the window, but fruit flies must die.

First I closed myself in the kitchen. Just them, me, a fly swatter (race swag, by the way. Has anyone else ever gotten a fly swatter in a race bag?) and everything breakable we own. Hunger and heat makes me slow and cranky so that worked as well as you might expect. I killed zero and broke the handle off a lid. It’s hard to act strategically evil on an empty stomach so I turned on a pot of water to boil for some pasta.

Then I set a trap mafia style. This is something I’ve seen in lots of friends’ places but never bothered to try. We keep most of our fruit in the fridge and usually gobble up bananas before they turn so fruit flies are rarely a problem. People say it works but people also say kale chips are good and I disagree. Still, it was worth a try. I took a mostly empty dish soap container, added some water and apple cider vinegar. Then made a cone from a piece of paper and stuck it in the bottle tip down. The idea is the cone makes it easy for flies to get in, but hard for them to check out. Plush the dish soap water coats their wings like a nice pair of cement shoes.

The water started boiling so I dumped in my pasta excited to see if the trap would work. Brown rice pasta takes about 12 minutes to cook and I forgot it was on so about 15 minutes later I returned to drain the gooey shells, but first I had to check my trap – dinner was already mush. To my delight, at least 8 fruit flies had already fallen victim to the lure of vinegary dish soap. I was looking close, counting the bodies when for some reason my hand knocked the trap over and slippery dish soapy water spilled all over the floor.

This was a Final Destination moment, when the scene slows and you can see how Death contrives an environment to take out those who’ve recently skirted death. I had the slippery mess to clean and gummy pasta to drain. Naturally I reached for the pot of boiled water first. Luckily my foot slipped right away and I fell before the pot of water was in my hands. Lucky is an understatement but I’ll take it.

FYI, the trap does work. I set it up again and most of the gross is already gone less than 24 hours later. Drive safe. And cook safe, too.

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