Shoo, fly, don’t bother me

by Jane Green
Special to the Farm Forum

Shoo fly, don’t bother me

Let me tell you — there are just some things in this world that I cannot tolerant! Namely, I hate bugs, insects, flies, and creepy crawlies!! But, I especially can’t tolerant those pesky teeny-tiny, itty-bitty, dive bombing little varmints known as the slippery sly fruit fly. These abominations of nature drive me wild and cause me to construct and initiate new methods for their annihilation. Read on for my latest adventure…

Why? Why? Why?

From the time I start canning and freezing peaches in late July until the final jar of canned tomatoes is placed on the shelf in November, I daily chase these flying fruit fly buggers from the kitchen area wildly brandishing a metal handled flyswatter. Last year, to add a little flair to my endeavors, I tried to loudly shout- sing the old song, “Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me.” It didn’t faze the fruit flies one iota. On second thought, maybe, just maybe the beat of the song made them fly even faster. Hm?

Try as I might, every summer the dear little flies still always seem to sneak into my kitchen and then take up permanent residence for several months. Why? Why? Why can’t I get the best of them? I’m a hundred times bigger than they are, but the little squirts out power me every time. These flying dervishes are quick as a wink, faster than a speeding bullet, and so tiny, tiny, tiny—it’s hard to swat them because there’s not much body mass to swat.

Have you ever really looked closely at a fruit fly? Trust me, you will need a magnifying glass to see its body and in order to get a magnifying glass next to a fruit fly, it will have to be a dead fly, and in order to have a dead fly, you have to kill it, but first you will have to be able to see it in order to kill it, and, and… No wonder they are so hard to deal with. Humpf!

Why, dear Lord, did you create these critters? Why? Why? Why? I realize you know best, but couldn’t I win against the lowly fruit fly just one time? Please? Maybe I could win the battle next summer?

Yuck! Yuck Yuck!

I’m still waiting for a response to that last question. So…

So, this year, I vowed things would be different. I was very, very careful with all the fruits and veggies brought into my house. I kept a very close eye on everything. And actually, things were proceeding quite well until sweet corn season ensued. Then, I awoke one morning to the kitchen humming with the dirty little scoundrels. They were back—in full force. Yuck! Yuck! And more Yuck!

What could I do to rectify this situation? How was I going to get rid of the fruit flies this year?

Spray like crazy. Get a bigger fly swatter? Move to a different house? Quit canning and freezing veggies and fruits? Quit eating?

None of these answers solved my problem. And then I remembered some advice that I had heard on a recent morning talk show. The country lady on the program gave a simple, easy to follow solution to the problem of the abominable fruit fly.

I tried her recipe and it worked!

The recipe

She said to take a small bowl like a cereal bowl or a plastic whip cream bowl. Pour some apple cider vinegar into the bowl, add a squirt or two of dish soap, then add some water to finish filling the bowl, and finally squeeze in a drop or two of honey. Stir the mixture a couple of times and then place the bowl on the kitchen counter and wait for the results. I placed my bowl close to the kitchen sink because that seemed to be where the most fruit flies were congregating.

The results

Fantastic! I put the bowl out before going to bed one evening and the next morning, I found lots of dead fruit flies at the bottom of the bowl. It worked like a charm.

Shoo fly, don’t bother me

Her solution was a simple safe recipe that not only shoos the flies away but also gets rid of them for good! Try it and see if it works for you.