September 5, 2010

Death to the Fruitfly Invasion!

For the past few weeks, loner 654er and I have been waging war against an invasion of fruitflies. At first we thought the fruitflies were coming from our garbage nook, the corner cupboard under the kitchen counter where we keep the trash. We disinfected the plastic bin and left it to dry outside while we also scrubbed the inside of the cupboard. This was a couple weeks ago and the decline in the fruitfly sightings had us feeling good about finding the source... but of course, we had not found the source at all.

We noticed the fruitflies were still hanging around, but could not figure out where they were coming from. Honestly, we were not particularly proactive since we'd only see one fruitfly at a time and were unaware there was larger population brewing in the shadows. Then last weekend, while putting away groceries I opened the corner cupboard opposite the garbage nook and one fruitfly casually flew up into my face. I called to Mr. Loner who was sitting with his girlfriend on the couch, "Hey, do you think they're coming from in here?" "Where?" he said as he got up from the couch. "Maybe these potatoes?" Famous last words.

I gripped the bag and lifted it up out of the cupboard, letting out a girlish scream of horror as my brain processed the terrifying sight my eyes were taking in. A colony of fruitflies had taken over the potatoes, flitting about the air pocket of the bag, hovering around my petrified hand, and crawling all over the rotting spuds. I immediately leapt back, "IT'S DRIPPING, IT'S DRIPPING!" and Mr. Loner (also shouting in horror) swung open the front door as I gingerly ran out to the outside garbage bin, leaving a dripping trail of liquid potatoes. Though grossed out ("OH GOD, THE SMELL!"), I was quite impressed by our speedy action response time from the time of discovery through cleaning and disinfecting phase. Girlfriend on couch was less impressed. We even discovered two other bags of unfinished potatoes and thus, two obvious yet now official policies were firmly established on the spot:
i) No Storage of Potatoes in that Cupboard
ii) No New Potatoes until Old Potatoes are Gone
For the past week, we've been hunting down and murdering the lingering survivors. I read about a simple yet surprisingly effective fruitfly trap that involved an empty bottle (a just finished bottle of BBQ sauce in our case), some balsamic vinegar in the base, and a paper funnel stuffed in the top and taped. See, once the flies go in, they're too stupid to find the exit or they may even drown in the vinegar. I'd occasionally empty the bottle and reset the trap, eventually catching fewer and fewer flies until I triumphantly dismantled the trap today, which has remained empty for at least the past 24 hours. I personally had the satisfaction of manually dispatching the final fruitfly with a well-placed judo chop yesterday afternoon. VICTORY!


  1. Great trap! I'm going to try that as I am in an epic battle with fruit flies too!

    I heard that they build nests in your sink's drain pipe. I'm not sure if that's where they are in my house.