Battle of the Fruit Flies

We have been invaded!  I don’t know how it happened (I suspect the bananas, though), but it happened overnight.  Those sneaky little pests, in a covert operation, found their way into our kitchen several days ago and attacked us in a cloud of wings, dive-bombing this way and that, causing us to run for cover in confusion.

It happens every summer, at some point.  But this year was the worst ever!  One wall was literally covered in little black dots.  Ugh!

So, I went on the defense and pulled out the apple cider vinegar and dish soap.  It works, believe me.  I poured the apple cider vinegar into a small bowl and added a drizzle of dish soap.  I placed the dish in the corner where they seemed to have the majority of their troops assembled and stepped back to watch.  Sure enough, some of them starting circling the bowl, a few scouts daring to take a step or two down the steep sides, as if to prove they weren’t afraid.  I left the kitchen and took the kids out to play, confident that our trojan horse would do the trick.

When we returned, I checked the bowl.  There, floating away, having succumbed to the sweet smell of the apple cider vinegar, were at least twenty little fruit flies.  I smiled to myself.  I had won the battle.

But not the war.

That evening, I entered the kitchen, checked the bowl and was immediately bombarded by another cloud of fruit flies.  They were not happy about the fate of their brethren and were as vicious as they could be, flying into our faces, making their presence known.  What had happened?  I thought, surely, I had defeated them and the few that were left would die out soon.  After all, they have a life span of only 24 hours, don’t they?

Nope.  It turns out that not only do fruit flies lives about forty days, but they also lay several batches of eggs in that time.  Not to be outdone, I put out a fresh dish of apple cider vinegar and dish soap.  They fell for it the first time, why not a second time?

When I checked the dish in the morning, I smiled.  Once again, I had won the battle.  Once again, I turned around and discovered that the war wasn’t over.  There, waiting in the corner by the window, were fresh troops awaiting orders.  ARGGHH!!!!  I put out a second dish and went hunting for the fly paper that I knew I had in the junk drawer somewhere.

Of course, now the kitchen stunk of vinegar and you had to be careful what you touched.  I had fly paper everywhere.  I was going to put an end to this once and for all!  Even if that meant I spent the rest of the day with fly paper stuck to my head.  Sometimes you have to make sacrifices.  War is not pretty.

This went of for three days.  I had resorted to chasing them with a can of hairspray.  I was desperate.  The fruit flies had expanded their territory to the dining table, the living room and, finally, down the hall to the bathroom.  What on earth could the attraction in the bathroom be to entice them to set up camp there?

I needed to resort to the ultimate desperate measure… I needed to clean.  Deep clean.  I needed to find the headquarters,  and take out the breeding ground.  I headed back to the kitchen and began to clean off the counters, actually move things and wipe everything down.  At this point, my husband was home from work and we were standing in the kitchen discussing our next course of action against these tiny terrors.  I pulled out the extra drying mat I had tucked away behind the food processor and a rotting banana popped out and dropped to the floor.


Wide eyed, my husband and I stared at this vile fruit on the floor for several moments.  I was waiting to see if he would pick it up, he was probably doing the same.  Finally, sheepishly, I picked it up and tossed in the garbage.  Then, I realized, I had found headquarters!  I was going to banish these pesky pests once and for all!  I quickly tied up the garbage bag and threw it away.  I laid out fresh dishes of vinegar and soap, rubbed a little onion on the fly paper, and allowed a myself a moment to feel victorious.

We were on our way to winning the war!

Or so I thought, until we sat down to dinner and one launched a full-on frontal attack and dive-bombed into my nose.

In the words of Captain John Paul Jones – “I have not yet begun to fight!”


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