‘Come in to my parlour’

What is it about fruit flies? Are they hiding in sink drains and behind the fridge—waiting to pounce the moment I leave a tomato on the counter?
Do they have scouts that send word back to the “herd” to invade?
Do they organize fruit fly conventions when they know I am having company that may or may not include a stranger; a stranger who undoubtedly will judge me harshly when they have to wave off a swarm of fruit flies as they traverse my kitchen.
Judge me for my horrendous coffee, judge me for the kitty paw prints on my patio door, feel free to complain about the dog hair that swirls about in every corner of my house, but I can’t be held responsible for the fruit flies that are swirling in epidemic proportions in my kitchen.
It’s not my fault. Well, okay, it might be my fault.
I have my fruit fly traps set: the glass with an inch of cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap to break the surface tension of the vinegar so the flies can’t just have a drink and fly off.
The soap and the liquid have something to do with viscosity.
I like that word. Viscosity. Makes me feel somewhat educated (I need those little reassurances to make up for the bad coffee and dirty patio door glass).
I have a mason jar sitting on the counter with a bit of red wine in it—a fruit fly favourite—and a paper funnel. The flies fly in but they can’t fly back out.
They’re not exactly smart these fruit flies, though I shouldn’t resort to name-calling even though the name-calling and derogatory comments come in proportion to my angered frustration.
Fruit flies lay 500 eggs at a time—eggs that will hatch in 24 hours. If half of those 500 eggs are female and they lay 500 eggs as they reach adulthood, well, you do the math. It’s fair to say that’s a heaping pile of fruit flies in my kitchen.
And they can live for eight-10 days. They can wreak a lot of havoc in eight-10 days.
I have removed the offensive tomato from the kitchen counter. Plus, I have scoured every nook and cranny in, around, and beside my kitchen and there is nothing these stupid fruit flies can feed on, so why don’t they go home?
Or if they don’t want to go home, why don’t they have a sip of my cider vinegar and red wine. It’s free.
I’m a bit like the spider inviting the fly into her parlour. Wait a minute. Maybe it’s the spider’s fault; the invitation.
Look at the calendar. November has arrived by the time you read this. Why are flies the size of helicopters coming to life in my windows just when I’m at the breaking point with fruit flies?
Why? Why?
Shouldn’t bug season be over? Isn’t that the reward for having to face a severe drop in temperature and the accumulation of white precipitation?
Shhh. I don’t want to use the real words. Not yet. I’m not ready for that season.
wendistewart@live.ca

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