Those Flippin’ Bugs

Luckily we don’t get many in the house but now and again there’s one lying on its back, wriggling its six little legs helplessly in the air. How do they flip over onto their backs and why aren’t they able to turn over again? Its a good thing they can’t because they’re much easier to catch upside-down. I just drop a sheet of toilet paper on top and – stamp! Don’t try to pick up a live one because it will then be able to right itself and dash away faster than you can run. Once it gets under the furniture, you’ve lost it. Darn, missed again.

We’ve been saying that in our kitchen for weeks now as we somehow left out some goodies for the fruit flies and boy did they come forth and multiply! I mean, they were buzzing around our heads, over the sink and counter and even got into H’s bathroom. We tried fly spray but all it did is make the kitchen smell. Eventually we found that with a loosely bunched up wet paper towel we could smash them against the cabinet doors – if we were quick enough. Which wasn’t often. You had to go straight and fast; at even a slight angle and they got away. Of course, as soon as you got one the others flew off and it was a lucky chance if you could get two at once. Never “Seven At One Blow” like the little tailor of fairy tales.

The house resounded with bang, bang, as we took turns hammering those tiny nuisances. Finally H said I should contact the BugMan of the Journal newspaper. Then (a bit late) I remembered I had a file on gardening and so forth and might have a past column on bug solutions secreted there. Happily, so I did.

We put the Mason jar, totally shrouded in masking tape (though I’m not sure why that was necessary) on the counter with the lid punched in several small holes. Inside we had a small bit of (frozen) mushy banana – Mr Hagerlund says banana peel but we didn’t have any to hand. I also added some sugary vinegar from my prize winning pickled onions. I had left out a small dish of sliced fresh chiles in this solution and when I looked at it, it was full of dead midges. So, I thought, add it to the banana and we couldn’t fail.

For a few days, nothing. Then I noticed a crowd on the lid top. Then fewer flying insects, and now it’s unusual to see one. Magic. I’m keeping a plastic stretch cover over the fruit bowl and most of the fruit in the fridge. Don’t want a repeat of those flippin’ bugs!


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