Friday, July 25, 2008


I know my bugs. I've survived a nearly six-month ordeal with those hideous bed bugs a few years back. So, this latest infestation really was more of an annoyance than a crisis. Still, when I awoke one morning last week to find hundreds, maybe thousands of fruit flies swarming and crawling around my kitchen I was horrified.

I had a big party the week before. The back door to the deck was open most of the time. Grapes grow on vines outside the house. Crumbs of food were everywhere and some bottles of sweet liquor were still open. I'm sure one, if not all of those factors contributed to the infestation.

These bugs were everywhere, mostly though in the kitchen and back room, which connects to the deck. They covered my stove, counter top, they were crawling on the floor, stuck between paper towels, flying overhead and congregating on virtually any gadget and surface in my kitchen. Dozens of them, for instance, covered my bottles of cooking oil, which sit on top of the stove. I found 20 or 30 of them gathered around the back ends of my knives in a butcher block.

In the back room, it was even worse. I have four big windows that stretch from about waist level to about 14-feet high. Three of these windows were covered with so many fruit flies, I could barely see outside. What's amazing about these little buggers is that they tend to crawl more than fly, so when I pulled out my trusty vacuum cleaner and started sucking them up, they just stayed there, rather than scatter. So, yes, fruit flies are dumb. Good for me.

After sucking up as many as I could find, I began an intensive two day extermination campaign, starting with a simple can of RAID. I sprayed in crevices around my kitchen, around the circumference of the back door, along the edges where the walls meet the floor and below and above the back room windows. I then began a total scrub down of the kitchen, taking all of the small appliances off the counter top, using germ killing cleaning materials to wash and wipe down every exposed surface. I continued this to my butcher block kitchen island. Then, I went out to the hardware store and purchased a few of those sticky fly strips. They managed to snare any of the remaining fruit flies. I continued to be vigilant with my vacuum cleaner, walking around like a maniac searching for any errant fly that I could find. I would suck them to their deaths.

Compared to my bed bug problem of a few years ago, this took just over 24 hours to control. Suffice to say, I hate bugs. I have no tolerance for them. Forgive me for saying this, but FUCK groups like PETA (The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Some of their more fringe members have been known to come to the defense of insects, which by definition are NOT animals.

Believe it or not, there is a group that has befriended bugs of all kinds, "The Insect Rights Association" (IRA). I'm not making this up. Here's is their stated philosophy, direct from their website:

"For earth to be a planet of harmony and peace requires a loving attitude among all its creatures. This means all, no matter how small. There are not degrees of loving kindness and compassion. Where would we draw the line? The moment we try to set parameters on regard for other beings, the lines begin to blur, and someone always gets hurt. Insects get hurt a lot, and not for any good reason.
Practice love for all beings on small creatures first, and this attitude will grow toward all of life in general

Now how does the IRA suggest we deal with these pests. Again, a snippet from their website:

* When you find an insect in your home, hold a piece of paper nearby for it to walk on . Then carry it outside and release it gently back to nature.

* Open your door and shoo flying insects out, instead of smashing them with a fly swatter.

* Leave spiders alone. They won't hurt you. They build beautiful webs and make lovely friends.

* Let the little ants have their way. They will only explore your kitchen for a short season. They don't eat very much.

* Love the dear little creatures, and see how your whole life changes.

Let me just say this, had I not sucked the life out of those fruit flies, my whole life would have changed. I might have had to stay at a hotel, dispose of much of my food, awake in the middle of the night to bugs crawling in my nose and ears and worse yet, checked myself into a mental hospital to deal with my psychotic reaction to the flying beasts. No, I'm sorry, IRA, I believe I made the right decision and will continue to kill, in as a painful way as possible, God's annoying little creatures. I hate bugs.

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