Getting Rid of Them Pesky Critters

Bugs! It's summertime and they are here. What to do?

Well, the former Mrs. herself would probably have something to say about getting rid of pesky critters. But this is about bugs. Not about things and people who bug you.

Insectivores. We’re looking forward to the coming Brave New World where we will have science rid the universe of all those pesky little buggers. We know, we know… the ecosystem and the balance of nature stuff. Who expects anything substantive, notwithstanding the liberal/progressive/New Age/Sierra Club/countless-other-sane-voices and their hand wringing and pile of words about how we are speeding up the death of the planet. No, the fix is in. So, while we have a few years left, let’s get rid everything on the planet that interferes with our march to amuse ourselves into oblivion.

Whew! Cooky Cat can scratch and growl. Huh?

So now, what to do about the bugs?

In our home we live rather al fresco. Air conditioning, only in extremis. Mostly windows open in the summertime. Even a door ajar to let in the cool night air. The automobile is air conditioned, but we mainly use the 4 X 44 method (four windows down at 44 mph). But, as you might expect, when the door is open little creatures seek the light. We assiduously wrangle bees and spiders and beetles. There have been a few salamanders coming up through the plumbing in Arizona. And, once, a scorpion. We go through great efforts to return unwanted visitors to their own realm. Even so called house flies, if they would cooperate. And they don’t. The method of choice currently being employed is to darken a room where Mr. Fly is cruising and put the light on in the bathroom. Once he flies into the light, he is dispatched into The Light.

(A friend once told us that once she was in the woods being annoyed by all kinds of flying insects. She happened to be under the influence of LSD at that time, and she told the critters in a forceful tone to “leave me alone”. She claimed to have never been bothered by insects ever again. True story. Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation for anyone to use LSD. It does, however, suggest that there is a language that might be learned with which we can communicate with all God’s creatures. Whether they heed our requests is another thing, though.)

But fruit flies, they’re another thing altogether. We like to have fresh fruit on the table and we do get some fruit flies in the bargain. There’s nothing more irritating than watching your favorite TV show and have a fruit fly cruise in and out of your visual field.

Maybe you (and, of course, Martha Stewart) don’t have this thing with fruit flies. We live in Montclair, New Jersey and we moved here because there are not supposed to be any flies in Montclair, New Jersey. A staffer at the local grocery was seen holding a fly swatter. We reminded her that there are no flies in Montclair, New Jersey. She rolled her eyes. The irony was lost on her. (And if irony is dead in your neighborhood too, it’s a reference that the town is too good for such pesky things as flies. Our neighbors probably feel similarly about us. But we’ll stay until we have a throng outside our door with burning torches.)

OK, fruit flies. Here’s what you do. Get a nice sturdy 12 oz. drinking glass and pour in about an inch of cider vinegar. Seems the fruit flies like cider vinegar. Then make a narrow paper cone with a ½ inch diameter opening at the tip. Make it wide enough at the other end to prevent it slipping all the way down in the glass. That also ensures a seal between the top of the glass and the cone. No escape! There should be some space between the surface of the cider vinegar and the narrow tip of the cone when it is inserted in the glass. Place the catcher in a strategic spot and watch them gather in the glass. They don’t leave until we take the whole thing outside the house and release them into the wild.

So, that’s it. You are welcome.