Invasion of the Fruit Snatchers

One rogue onion was my undoing. 

A rotten onion that rebelled at the bottom of a bowl full of its otherwise healthy friends, this black sheep traitor decided to be a beacon to every fruit fly in the immediate area, and possibly the entire state of Maryland. 

When scrubbing down my kitchen counters last week, I discovered this putrid veggie, and when I removed it from the bowl, a cloud of black swarming bugs was released on my unwitting kitchen.  Fruit flies dispersed throughout the room, landing on my fruit bowl, in the trashcan and over by the garbage disposal.  Once they were all spread out, it wasn’t as obvious that they were even there.  But that was their devious plan.  To make you think they were just a few little bugs just hanging out not hurting anybody.  But they were plotting.  And worse than that, they were fucking.  It was a fruit fly orgy going on in my kitchen, and just a few dispersed flies became A BAJILLIONTY MILLIONTY FLIES.  Within a few days, they were every-fucking-where.

After a few days of their multiplying and generally annoying the bejeesus out of me, I figured that I would have to call in the professionals.  A call placed to Terminix revealed that the first appointment they had available was a full week and a half away.  Apparently, summer is a big time for bugs.  Who knew?

Knowing that I would not be able to withstand the onslaught for that long, I looked into some alternate solutions while I was waiting for the bug men to come to my rescue.  A friend suggested a home remedy that consisted of Cider Vinegar and dishsoap, which was presumably supposed to attract the little buggers and then drown them.  It worked . . .

Picture 9334

A bowl of death. Beautiful, beautiful death.

. . . at first.  But, just as I began to fall into a soft blanket of false hope, it appeared that they regrouped and came back even stronger!  Even with THREE bowls in the kitchen, you still couldn’t open the trashcan lid without getting a face full of swarming black menace.  My kids refused to throw anything away.  I had to reexamine my options, so back to consult the great and powerful Oz of information I went . . . Mr. Google.

Based on a comment on one website about homemade fruit fly traps, I decided to get proactive.  I got out the vacuum cleaner.  Now, usually when my family sees me with the vacuum cleaner, they can only assume that we are having guests for our twice yearly social gatherings.  But this time, I planted that sucker in the kitchen, set up the long pole-like attachment thingy, and basically just started sucking those things right out of the air and into their deaths. 

I may have looked like a crazy woman, waving a wand of suckage around the kitchen, banging on the trashcan lid to release my enemies, and jabbing and poking at counters and bowls.  But rather than insane, I like to think of myself as more of a warrior.  And with my trusty weapon, I was eradicating this invasion of pests that were plaguing my home.  I would not be bested by a beast the size of half a grain of uncooked rice!  I was bigger, I was stronger, and I had modern technology on my side.  Sure, I was outnumbered.  But that would not deter me.  I would prevail.  Victory would be mine! 

And if not, I still have my appointment with Terminix on Saturday.



72 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. RichD
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 08:53:08

    Take a small bottle (or three) and put a piece of a fruit or banana peel inside and place it on your kitchen counter overnight. Prescription bottles work great. The next morning sneak up on it and slap the lid on that sucker. Then you can either toss them away and start anew or deposit them outside. Do not open the lid in the house to see if you got any!


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 11:50:28

      Good advice, but I fear I would need to have ninja skills in order to sneak up on and trap those suckers without them being aware. Oh, wait . . . 😉


  2. Brown Road Chronicles
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 08:58:05

    Ha! That’s hilarious, waving the vacuum tube around in the air! We’ve been there too, it’s definitely that time of year. They’ll typically go away on their own pretty quickly though, if you can stand the wait.


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 11:51:27

      Yes, the visual was quite amusing. At least my kids thought so. But that’s the thing . . . they are driving me nuts, so I can’t wait. And it’s been WEEKS. So, I had to call the pros to eradicate them.


  3. bluzdude
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 09:28:06

    I would have put the onion back, but on a paper plate. Then when the troops assemble again, slap a cover over the whole thing and take it outside.


  4. Fresh Ginger
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 09:50:10

    May the force be with you. (yuck!)


  5. Is Everyone an Idiot but Me?
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 09:52:36

    Did the vacuum work?


  6. renée a. schuls-jacobson
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 10:24:13

    A bowl of death. I gotta get me one of those! 🙂


  7. Go Jules Go
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 10:32:31

    Oy, more power to you for trying multiple methods! The first year we had the house, I was all, “organic spray, la-dee-da” (inside, with the bugs, and outside, with the weeds), and now, our 4th summer? I practically need a hazmat suit for what I’m willing to spray.


    • Vanessa-Jane Chapman
      Jul 16, 2013 @ 11:24:47

      Hey Jules, I used to be like that, many years ago we had a problem with ants and I had a book of natural solutions to household chores, and it said that cinnamon was a great deterrant for ants and that you should sprinkle it along doorways and near any possible ant entrance points, which I did, while my ex-husband (he wasn’t ex at the time!) laughed at me. Of course he was right, and it didn’t work, but it was funny because for years afterwards, if ever we saw an ant anywhere, my ex would freeze and say in a hushed whispered voice “Hurry, I’ll keep an eye on him while you get the cinammon!” Ha!


      • mistyslaws
        Jul 18, 2013 @ 11:57:33

        Oh my god, that is hysterical! I would have tossed Cinnamon in the air and danced a jig beneath it if I thought it might have gotten rid of the bugs, so don’t feel bad about your attempts. 🙂


    • She's a Maineiac
      Jul 17, 2013 @ 12:44:50

      This comment killed me, JD.


      • mistyslaws
        Jul 18, 2013 @ 11:59:19

        I’m picturing her in a cloud of death right now. 😉

        I wasn’t really trying to be environmentally safe. Just trying to use things I had on hand, per the “home remedies” advice. I’m sure the Terminix traps are horrendously lethal and bad for the environment. So don’t worry, I’m right there with you in that suit! 😉


  8. thoughtsappear
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 10:46:50

    Yikes! Those little suckers were a regular occurence with my old roommates.


  9. Melissa
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 10:53:40

    Ugg, I’ve never had a fruit fly problem like the ones I’ve had in Maryland. Even my dirty college apartment in Missouri didn’t get as infested. Luckily I’ve been fruit fly free for a few years now. Lots and lots of cider bowels. Wash the sink and trashcan with white vinegar. And I started putting all food trash out on my back deck for awhile, to avoid it being in my house and them laying eggs everywhere.


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:01:19

      Yeah, I was scrubbing everything down. And taking out the trash like 4 times a day, but eventually I had to stop that, because seriously. It’s a trashcan. It’s supposed to hold TRASH. So, the other methods prevailed. Are you saying it’s a distinctly MD problem? Cursed state!


  10. Vanessa-Jane Chapman
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 11:28:08

    I’ve had to deal with various infestations in the past – ants (as per my comment to Jules above), the fruit flies (we just hung up lots of fly paper, which is SO unattractive), mice (we got a cat that was an excellent mouser, and within a couple of days of getting the cat, we found 5 decapitated mice around the place! And then no more mice, so either there were only 5, or the rest got the hint and left!), and also fleas, I’ve had to deal with a few infestations of those over the years with various cats I’ve had, but thankfully, the last two years, no fleas!


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:03:01

      So with the cats, you get rid of the mice but add fleas. Hmm, not sure which is worse! I like the visual of the other mice seeing their headless compatriots and being like, “screw this, guys. Let’s roll!” 🙂


  11. The Byronic Man
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 11:50:03


    I’d heard about a bowl of vinegar, and of wine. Also, you know what works? Flamethrowers.


  12. The Cotton Floozy
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 12:07:27

    The vacuum cleaner idea is brill. I use it on box elder bugs. There are so so many box elder bugs here. I pay my kids according to their kill counts: a dime for a box elder bug, a quarter for box elders bugs ‘having the sex’, and fifty cents for killing baby box elder bugs.

    If your problem persists, start paying the kids bug-assasination fees.


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:05:36

      I know! I never would have thought of it, but it is so elegantly simple.

      Are you kidding? My boys are the biggest wusses when it comes to bugs. Seriously, they refused . . . REFUSED to even go near the trashcan, just because when they lifted the lid one time, a small swarm flew up. I mean, I get it, it sucks, but just deal with it for a minute. You are boys. Aren’t you supposed to like disgusting things? Ugh.


  13. andrea-maybe it's just me
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 12:51:09

    Can’t remember if you tried the fruit in a bowl with a perforated lid or saran wrap, but definitely did NOT know about the vacuum cleaner strategy! You go warrior woman!


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:07:07

      I didn’t, because at that point I had eradicated my house of any items that might have even thought about being over ripe! Yeah, I was quite the site with my vacuum wielding. Might have even been better than your elipticalling. 😉


  14. Don't Quote Lily
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 13:40:17

    Lol, waiving the vacuum cleaner like a crazy person…been there, done that.j
    So funny…except, not really. I really hope you got that taken care of. They’re so tiny, but HUGELY irritating. 😦


  15. Maggi Shelbourn
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 14:34:06

    I just love the term “wand of suckage”. Love. It.


  16. PinotNinja
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 14:36:00

    You show them who’s the boss! Your massacre will go down in fruit fly lore.


  17. joeinvegas
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 14:50:20

    Yes, please, a report on if it worked or if Terminix did it.


  18. Valerie
    Jul 16, 2013 @ 21:40:45

    OMG… This happened to me once! But… I just stopped going into the kitchen until the matter took care of itself. Like magic!

    Also, wtf ONION! They’re called FRUIT flies! Stop pretending to be fruit, you asshole… And sprout weird onion minions like the rest of them!

    Hugs time the Power of Infinity!



    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:10:09

      I know! Damn fruit imposter.

      I love how you were just like, “well, I need to eat, BUT there are bugs. Ok flies, you win this one . . . but I will return, and when I do, you best be gone!” YOU are the magic! 😉


  19. Vesta Vayne
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 09:47:23

    I don’t mean to laugh at your problem, but the whole death by wand of suckage thing cracked me up.

    Good luck!


  20. mamarific
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 10:31:07

    “fall into a soft blanket of hope”…I love that. Hope you or Mr. Teminix can fix your pesky problem!


  21. Dr. Google
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 10:52:28

    Excuse me, counselor, but it’s Dr. Google. Glad I could help. I want you to know that I know when you cheat on me with Mr. Bing and Ms. Yahoo. Don’t do that.


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:14:10

      Why hello my friend. It’s been a while, yes? 😉

      And I am shocked and appalled that you would even suggest that I would stray and cheat on you with those other sites! I am a one search engine woman. I have never strayed with my searches before! You should be ashamed that you even thought I could use another site besides you.

      I will expect my apology roses any time now. Just search for “proflowers.” You know . . .


  22. icescreammama
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 12:32:35

    ha! that has happened to me as well… neglected fruit and then the invasion!! sooo annoying. i hope you suckaged them all up!!


  23. She's a Maineiac
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 12:46:25

    I can’t say I’ve ever witnessed a fruit fly orgy. We saw two of them floating around our bananas yesterday and my daughter promptly started screaming nonstop. She’s not a big fan of bugs in general. But my fruit flies must have been married too long as they chose not to procreate.


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:16:21

      Oh, you just wait. That’s all it takes is 2! Unless they were both the same sex. Does that matter with fruit flies? I don’t really know enough about the fruit fly reproductive processes to know. I hope you escape my fate, though. But if not . . . you know what to do. Get the suckage wand!!


  24. cynkingfeeling
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 13:56:42

    “Wand of suckage”-HA!
    My son doesn’t handle flying insects well, so this has been a valuable cautionary tale about keeping an eye on outdated onions.


  25. nataliedeyoung
    Jul 17, 2013 @ 15:53:03

    I’m laughing so much at the image of you in the kitchen waving around the vacuum hose! Good luck getting rid of the plague – we have a plague of flies outside, and I’m sort of afraid to even open the back door for fear they invade…


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:17:46

      Oh yes, it was quite the sight. My kids thought so, anyway.

      Well, maybe open the door with the suckage wand at the ready and just zap those suckers up! 🙂


  26. Janelle Weibelzahl
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 00:05:12

    I shouldn’t have read this while eating lunch. Good luck with your battle!


  27. The Cutter
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 10:12:50

    Any chance you could take a video of your attempts to vacuum the bugs?


  28. weezafish
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 10:24:04

    Are they gone now? I’ve had exactly the same thing happen so I feel your pain. And I’m SO using the hoover next time.


  29. Mimi
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 11:36:02

    OMG they invaded my bathroom for an entire summer. I tried poison, I mean clorox, down the drains. I tried the bowl of death, Finally settled on a hangy thing from Home Depot. I left it up about 6 months. They seem to be gone. Sneaky little turds.


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 12:20:20

      They ARE sneaky little turds! Well, if you see any more, get out the vacuum. It helped for a bunch of them anyway.

      And why the bathroom? Do you keep fruit in there? Weird.


      • Mimi
        Jul 30, 2013 @ 12:59:56

        I got all kinds of good advice, like “they come thru the drains.” Or, “they come because you may have rotton wood in the window.” They just come the little turds.


  30. From Novels to Board Books
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 19:25:08

    You’re definitely a warrior. I loved the humor here, although the situation does sound dire. By the time you “set up the long pole-like attachment thingy” I was dying with laughter.


    • mistyslaws
      Jul 18, 2013 @ 21:52:32

      Thank you so much! And yes, it was definitely funny. If you had seen me standing in the kitchen, attacking almost invisible enemies in the air with the vacuum, you really would have been dying! My kids were highly entertained. 😉


  31. scorpionglow
    Jul 19, 2013 @ 16:54:03

    I thought this was just happening to me!! They’re driving me insane. There’s something about them that just plain makes me feel like I’m doing a bad job as a woman with her home. Plus, the mosquitos making their way inside thanks to all this humidity don’t make me feel much better. I know I must look insane too.


  32. bschooled
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 20:15:27

    Please tell me you’re filming a dramatic re-enactment of this post that I can download on YouTube. kthx.


  33. Carrie - Cannibalistic Nerd
    Jul 24, 2013 @ 12:55:23

    The movie based on this story is going to be a huge horror box office smash in the fruit fly community.


  34. JM Randolph
    Jul 25, 2013 @ 12:34:37

    Nice work there, Terminator. It’s a bit like going up against a never-ending stream of the undead though. Their little eggs are already in your produce, waiting to take the place of whatever hapless counterparts just got their souls sucked up in the vacuum. Might be time to live on Twinkies for a while, since they’re coming back and contain no organic material.


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