This summer, my sister and I had a bad run in with some small flying bugs. We still haven’t completely gotten rid of all of them, but their numbers seem to be dwindling. Fruit flies, most of you are familiar with, especially if you were once a college student. Typically fruit flies will follow you into the house via some fruit, or other mysterious methods I cannot figure out. They are harmless, for the most part, but they will wreak havoc on any fruit you have lying around. Viv and I also had a gnat problem, which is another, entirely different species of small obnoxious houseguest. Gnats appear when you bring home a new herb plant, or when you overwater your current house plants. Gnats love damp soil and will breed there and then start killing your beloved plant-babies.
Both species are very hard to get rid of, because they are so small and hard to catch. The fruit flies will hang out around your trash (or compost, in our case), and the gnats hang out in the shower or on your plants. I would find myself getting very, very angry with the fruit flies especially, because after you’ve taken out the compost and hidden all of the fruit in the fridge, they don’t know what to do with themselves, and spend the day bumping into your face.
For some reason, resting on the towel by the kitchen sink seems to be another favorite place, because when you go to dry your hands they all swarm out to greet you.
Or they get very curious.
We’ve tried a few things, including putting out small cups filled with apple cider vinegar or soapy water, but for as dumb as they seem, fruit flies don’t fall for these tricks very readily. The gnats were fairly easy to get rid of- I just stopped watering my plants for about a month (most of my plant-babies survived! hooray!) and that destroyed their damp soil habitat. I’ve also stopped composting now that it’s getting colder, so I’m hoping that will help, too. If anyone has any ideas, they’d be much appreciated.