Ok, not my rhymingliest best, I admit. And I even had to look words up that rhyme with “flies”, on www.Rhymezone.com. Because….really super-tired.
Aside #1: That reminds me, I am updating my “Weird and Wonderful” section later today, where I list websites that I like. Check it out sometime!
Blair County – heck, maybe even more parts of Pennsyvlania, I don’t know – is experiencing a fruit fly invasion. I know this because yesterday Nancy and I went to several different stores, looking for Terro Fruit-Fly Traps in order to supplement our “vinegar-in-a-shallow-glass-with-plastic-wrap-over-the-top-that-you-punch-holes-in” homemade traps.
Aside #2: This really does work. You take a shot glass or something similar, fill it with apple cider vinegar, cover the top with plastic wrap, and use a toothpick to punch holes in the plastic so they can get in but not out. (Nancy, ever brilliant, is using an empty grated cheese shaker because the tops already have fruit-fly-sized holes)
Some people also put a drop of soap in there but I haven’t found this makes a difference. Set the traps near sinks or other places you see fruit flies, and soon you will have glasses of dead fruit flies. Also works as a diet aid – yuck, don’t drink it EWWWW – as the sight of these traps effectively kills the appetite for some people.
So, anyway, Nancy and I went first to Walmart – sold out. Hmm. Then to Lowe’s – sold out. And then to Home Depot – sold out.
“At least it’s not just us,” Nancy pointed out. See, that’s the difference between us – she sees that stuff being sold out as vindication for our housecleaning skills. I see it as “dammit, they’re sold out!!” She’s a much more mellow person.
In the Home Depot parking lot, I called Walgreen’s, and asked if they had fruit fly traps. After being put on hold for a few minutes listening to Sinead O’Connor, the woman came back and stated that they had 2 left.
The price? $1 more than everywhere else we just looked. Typical Walgreen’s. Their prices are not competitve for most things anymore.
So, we raced over to Walgreen’s and bought the last 2.
Then we went back to Hollidaysburg to the feed store (which the guy at Home Depot suggested). This place is across the rr tracks from where we live, and it didn’t even occur to us to look for this product there (which would have saved time and gas).
But they had 4. And we bought those, too.
So, with 3 for her and 3 for me, we went to our separate apartments and got to work. And I have to admit, the Terro traps are worth the $6-$7 each just for the fact that they look like little apples, and are opaque so you don’t have to look at the awful, disgusting creatures as they climb down to their doom.
Aside #3: Well, they hang around the rim of the apples until they figure out where the lure is, and watching that is gross, but once they fall in you can’t see them unless you choose to look in the handy little window on the side (I guess so you can be assured it’s working).
I saw a great term on the internet the other day that describes the feeling I get when I see the congregation of fruit flies anywhere…”squicked out”. I saw that made-up phrase on a site about “trypophobia” (not an official phobia, actually)…I don’t have it, I was just curious…if you saw the lotus plant pics photoshopped onto peoples’ skin…it’s that kind of teeth-clenching, skin-crawlng,”oh-my-goodness-get-those-seeds-out-of-those-holes-RIGHT-NOW” reaction that the person described as feeling “squicked out.”
Aside #4: Don’t Google the pics, unless you are absolutely sure you’re not going to react badly to them. Many people find the pics disturbing, which is why I have not provided a link.
For me, it’s just the skin-crawling, I-want-to-squish-every-fruit-fly-on-there kind of reaction. Not fear, just “MUST DESTROY”! Pretty violent for a vegetarian, I must admit. In fact, had my high school biology teacher used fruit flies instead of frogs for her evil “hurt/kill life forms” assignments, I might have actually not failed that class (I used to skip it and go down to the “feeshing hole”, an area behind Falls Church High School where the “freaks” went to smoke weed).
Pfft, even my parents backed me up on the refusal to pith frogs, due to being a vegetarian. But back in 1971, no one cared. So I got an F.
But killing fruit flies? I wouldn’t have had a problem with that – though no doubt some of my “friends” back then would have tormented me for killing fruit flies as some kind of moral equivalency to killing cows. Because they did that to me on a regular basis, to make fun of me.
But I digress.
In my battle against the grossness that are fruit flies, I had to buy those disposable medical masks you can get at the Dollar Tree because they kept trying to fly in my face – a “squickable moment” if there ever was one! Makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.
Aside #5: And to think, this is the same kind of reaction as “frisson”, what idiots pay people to induce in them via the internet. Of course, attractive young women induce a nicer frisson than do fruit flies, which is why my “Fruit Fly Frisson-Fest!” idea is doomed to fail.
The monster population is smaller today, but still giving me the willies. I have been through this apartment with a fine-toothed comb (not hard, as it’s only 800 sq ft) and I still cannot find where they are coming from. I even closed the windows in the back room, where the kitties like to sit and watch/listen to birdies, just in case the enemy was getting in through the screen somehow.
So now the kitties are unhappy, too.
I called the Penn State bug people, and they told me to look outside. For compost heaps, for uncovered garbage, and other potential breeding places.
I know Nancy and I don’t have anything like that. What am I supposed to do if I find a neighbor who is contributing to the problem?
“Excuse me, you don’t know me but…uh…I notice your garbage seems to be breeding fruit flies. Do you think you could do something about that? Because our house is infested and we think maybe your property is the source.”
I don’t know, that just seems kind of rude and intrusive. Plus, the most likely offender lives 2 doors down, is armed, and every summer can be heard screaming at our other neighbor in a dispute over whether or not he has the right to play Lynnard Skynnard, outside, full-blast, at midnight. I notice he has a lot of stacks of…stuff…in his yard. He owns some kind of business that requires a lot of equipment and wood and barrels on his property, and who knows if it breeds anything?
Nope, I think we’ll just have to continue to battle them here, and try to defend our house against more invaders. I really hope they’re gone soon, because I am sick of wearing this mask and eating at break-neck speed, one-handed, while using the other hand as a fan to ward off any stray bugs. EWWW!!!