Sunday, 11 July 2010

Fruitfly genocide

On return from France, we discovered that the house had univited guests. 8 billion of them in the form of the pesky fruitfly. Beloved of scientists on account of their easily managed reproduction and genetics, it is the same trait that makes them hated by me. Fruitflies reproduced within 8 hours. HOURS. And all it takes for them to do it is a merest trace of fruit juice or skanky water. Imagine how many "traces" there are in a house of toddlers (I'll save this bit of banana for later behind my playmobil.. I'll just see what my juice cup does upside down...etc etc). So, not wishing to live in a house resembling a horror flick, I commenced battle. Constantly walking around spraying chemicals is also out in a house of toddlers, so I had to do it by stealth.
Firstly, track them to their source. This is easier said than done. A teeny tiny trace of squished banana is sufficient for them to start their orgy of reproduction. So I cleaned the house, and I mean, cleaned. Then, I checked all the drains. Bleach down plugholes is NOT enough, these eggs are Nuclear war proof. Caustic soda is the order of the day. Then, take ALL food and drink away, and lock it up tight. Now you have removed food sources. Now it's a war of attrition.
Best tackled at evening and night, when the buggers settle. It is then that you realise the true extent of their numbers. Every time you sip your wine, there they are...... My best weapon was apple cider vineagr. Fruitflies are attracted to the yeast in fermenting products, hence the love of beer. So, get yourself lots of tumblers, and a big bottle of apple cider vinegar. It smells nicer than wine vinegar. Then pour an inch in each tumbler. Add 2-3 drops of washing up liquid and agitate. The soap prevents a miniscus forming on the vinegar, so when the little sods land to drink, they fall in and drown. I woke and found the previously pale cider coloured liquid to be absolutely BLACK with flies, a true indication of the problem. Of course, this method is useless if you are soppy about the sanctity of insect life, but trust me, if you have a true infestation, you wouldn't be.
Once you have your weapons, use them constantly. The war needs to be waged for at least 4 weeks, to catch any new hatches. And then, you must always, ever after, wash all your cans, bottles and cups of nice resides before recycling, move your bins FAR from the house, and never ever pour sweet residues of anything down the sink ever again. And even dry up immediately. The drippings of drying plates are manna to the fruitfly. And here is where the original source of infestation came from: bananas. When you buy them, bring them home and wash them. Fruitflies love them, will go crazy for them, and often lay eggs on them to hatch as you get them home. We had banana the few days before our holiday, although we'd eaten them, the eggs had been on the skin and hatched in the fruit bowl. They are so tiny you can't really see them. And then the skin goes in the bin and........9 trillion fruitflies. They also like flowers, and hitch lifts from the garden, wherby they feed off the sulphur in flower water. Plus, they can live on damp mops, sponges, flannels. Even damp houseplant soil. If you've done everything and they;re still coming, repot your plants, and give the roots a good wash.
And I hate their red eyes. I've got another 3 weeks to go before the all clear............

1 comment:

Jan said...

O.M.G Sheridan,it would be easier to move house Jan xx