Monday, August 31, 2009


Someday You Will Find Me ..

... caught beneath the landslide.

I'm still here, poppets, it's just been mad. You see, I've been fighting in the trenches.

A few days ago my home was invaded. Nonono, not by the dreaded m*ths, or even worse the dreaded relatives. No, we've been attacked by fruit flies.

We have no fruit, and yet the flies seem to be in no way discouraged by this and are flitting about merrily all over my house; even in rooms where there is not now and never has been any food.

It's quite festive. No, really. If I did drugs it would even be amusing, however I do not and therefore it isn't.

I'm beginning to suspect that they think that I'm applauding them, as my leaping about and clapping has produced a very disappointing number of tiny corpses. My only hope is to have "Fruit Fly Whapping" declared an official Olympic sport.

And if it is, baby, you can bet that Team Lapin will be there, clapping for Canada.

Tales of the Summit, Gibsons and the impending Oregon Flock and Fiber (which I am doing mainly because if you say it really fast it sounds dirty and I'm secretly a 12-year-old boy) are being written as we speak. Look for a "real" post tomorrow.

You may not find one, but I encourage you to look anyhow.

And now ... I hear the wild fruit fly calling my name -- TTFN and all that.

I just battled fruit flies as well. Take some apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar, or hell, old wine) and pour a little in a cup, then make a funnel out of a piece of paper and set it in the cup. The flies will go down in the funnel, attracted to the vinegar, and they won't be able to get out. If they land in the vinegar, they drown. You can also add sugar to the vinegar to increase the attraction.
We have had the fruit fly invasion on occasion (usually when we bought fruit from one of the local warehouses). Best way to get them? Use a shop-vac or a vaccum cleaner with a long hose. Move slowly and you can suck up a lot of those critters in a short time.
Have you put out soda bottle traps? The kind where you cut off the top, and invert it and tape it on, like a lobster trap, then put a bit of fruit in the bottom? It does get a bunch of them out of the air!
Like this:

Wikipedia has lots of useful info, too...
Put a little wine in a small glass, bottle, whatever. Take a piece of paper and roll it into a cone, with a small opening at the bottom. Stick it in the container. The flies will come running, so to speak, and crawl down the paper to get to the wine. They will crawl up the glass to get out, and will never figure out how to get past the paper. (You could substitute fruit juice or a hunk of banana, or even some yeast in sugar water for the wine.) When the liquid is littered with tiny corpses, replace it.
Ugh, fruit flies! We get them when we let the guinea pig cages go too long between cleanings. This homemade trap works really well:

I actually use a bit of cheapo white wine instead of the piece of fruit.
Build yourself a fruit fly trap. No really, it works and it's cheap and easy. Put some ripe fruit pieces in a bowl. Cover the bowl very tightly with plastic wrap. Poke a bunch of very small holes in the stretched taut plastic wrap. The fruit flies figure out how to get in, but not how to get out. I used one of those quasi-disposable plastic bowls, put a few pieces of watermelon in the bottom, stretched the plastic wrap over it and secured it with a rubber band, then used a pin to poke the holes. (Of course this only works if you keep all other fruit and soft vegetables out of reach.)

Good luck!
Small sauce dishes of water with cider vinegar and a few drops of dish soap set around the house will attract and drown those li'l buggers.
A vacuum cleaner with the wand (or "sucking things out from between the couch cushions") attachment works pretty well at sucking fruit flies (and horse flies, wasps etc) into the dusty void. The added bonus of no bug guts to clean off your hand is nice too. (And if you have a vacuum with a clear dirt cannister it's kind of fun to dance around chortling "die, die you little bastards" while you watch the bug swirling around with the dirt tornado in the cannister.) (Not that I've ever done that.) (Much)
Sorry to hear about the infestation. When our house had an overabundance of these beasties, we used a bowl trap like the one recommended here:

Best of luck.
I had them really bad a few months ago. Take some bottles and put about an inch of cider vinegar in each one, and add a few drops of liquid dish detergent and shake. The smell of the cider vinegar attracts them, and the detergent breaks the surface tension so when they land on the liquid they can't fly off. Leave the bottles sitting out and they'll be full of dead fruit flies in no time.
They may be drain flies:

Even clean houses can get them.
I had an awful fruit fly problem once...and no fruit (but trash cans below my 2nd floor window) and became ninja like in my ability to smack my two hand together to kill some.

Then I got a bright idea. I dragged out the vacuum, attached the nozzle, and sucked those little f*ckers up in astonishingly good time. They die a dusty starving death that you will never see.
Clapping for Canada. Snicker. I SO needed that just this minute. Thanks!
You have lots of great fruit fly suggestions. Let me just chime in to say: I am so psyched that you'll be at OFF (I know I love its name too). I'll looking for you, as on of your lurkers. (I'm hoping to be the one with the dark green hair by then.)
I have used the vacuum trick myself!!

But i have also left a drizzle of wine in the bottom of the bottle, this seems to trap them, as well as I have one of these traps. I just wine or red vinegar, not the fancy fly mix. On amazon: Spring star glass fly trap

I actually found on at ross labeled as a candle holder!!
I can vouch for the fruit vinegar traps, although I covered mine with saran wrap with holes poked in it.

I was also incredibly perplexed about where my fruit fly infestation was coming from, until I realised my ex was not rinsing things (like juice containers and cans) before putting them in the recycling bin. Once I corrected that and the current generation had gotten vinegared, the fruit flies cleared up. They are attracted to a lot of things that don't necessarily twig as 'fruit' to us, so look carefully around where they congegrate most heavily.
Another thing fruit flies love is the dregs of the mead (DH is a mead brewer).

Also: hic
I had fruit flies all summer too. They are extremely annoying not to mention disgusting. It amused me to see them congregated around my daughter's "mango" shampoo. Stupid flies.

Meanwhile... I'm listening to Oasis too :-)
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