The fruit flies arrived a little over two weeks ago. I’d like to blame the potted tomato plant I brought in from the patio, but there was a bag of garbage I didn’t know was leaking and the old onions and potatoes on the kitchen island I can’t in good conscience eliminate as suspects.
I had, in fact, inadvertently gone out of my way to breed fruit flies, according to University of Kentucky Extension Entomologist Michael F. Potter, who writes, “Tomatoes, melons, squash, grapes and other perishable items brought in from the garden are often the cause of an infestation developing indoors. Fruit flies are also attracted to rotting bananas, potatoes, onions and other unrefrigerated produce purchased at the grocery store.”
Five days ago, they made their way into the bathroom, giving me moving beauty marks as I stared into the mirror. I wondered if leaving the hairs above the corners of my mouth would result in a fu manchu, eliminated every one of them, and then turned my murderous gaze to the fruit flies.
If you have 250 fruit flies in your house, putting out two bowls of apple cider vinegar covered in plastic wrap with little holes cut out will result in capturing exactly 12 of them. An uncovered bowl filled with apple cider vinegar and a splash of soap will kill three more. At this point, there are only 235 more fruit flies to deal with.
I sat on the couch, looking over the pile of dishes on the coffee table and surveyed the state of my home. As far as I could tell, in the past month, I’d developed two problems:
1. I’d clearly graduated from secret slob to public pig, and
2. Fruit flies
It seemed that solving both problems might occur if I focused my attention on Problem No. 1, so I took out the garbage, gathered the dishes from all over the house, cleaned out the refrigerator, ran soap down the disposal, and filled another bowl with soap-spiked apple cider vinegar before sitting back down on the couch.
Suddenly, the rest of the house seemed a breeding ground for some new trouble. Every horizontal surface was littered with paper. The bedroom was full of clothing I wouldn’t or couldn’t wear. The kitchen cabinets were packed with devices such as the Yonana, which turns old bananas into ice cream if you put the bananas in the freezer instead of leaving them out for the fruit flies. It shouldn’t surprise you to learn I currently can’t park my car in my own garage because it is full of chairs. Why a woman who lives on her own possesses no fewer than 14 chairs is a mystery, albeit a boring one.
Then, while lazing about in bed last Sunday, the laundry room flooded so badly the water travelled down the hall to the storage closet filled with bits and pieces, odds and ends, and now swill and sewage. It is high time for a massive purge, a do-over, a cleansing of everything, a fresh start. So I’m going to join Marie Kondo’s cult, read “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and see what happens to the fruit flies.
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