The Fruit Flies are Mocking Me

The majority of fruit flies are alcoholics.

It’s a fact… google it. I could line the kitchen counter with rotten fruit and still have them swarming my wine glass before I’ve had a chance to sip my merlot.

And they are judgemental.

I can hear them whispering in their condescending group voice. “When you finally make banana bread, we will get out of the fruit bowl.” “If you wiped the cabinets down now and again, we would bugger out of your kitchen.” “If you stopped watching Coronation Street and did your dishes, we wouldn’t be a problem.”

I am confident that somewhere there’s a woman so clean and so efficient and so good at sealing things in plastic wrap, that her kitchen is fruit-fly-free, but it isn’t me.  It might be my mother-in-law.

They inspire my husband into insane DIY projects.

Added to the clutter of the countertops are half a dozen homemade fruit fly traps: the cider vinegar trap, the squished banana trap, the watered-down honey trap, 2 versions of the apple-slice trap (sugared and unsugared), and the most insulting of all… his famous “wine” trap. Seriously?!? Deliberately sharing the last of my wine with the micro-monsters in the hopes that they will eventually drown in a cabernet? Seems more reward than punishment, if you ask me.

Ants bite and bees sting and those weird things called silver fish kind of creep me out, but nothing drives me crazy like fruit flies. They are the only insect that actually mocks its prey.   And make no mistake. They may be dining on the tomatoes and clinging en masse to the sides of the butter dish, but humans are definitely the target. They are after our sanity!

Tonight, I spent an hour wiping down every surface with moistened, scented paper towels. 3 drops of peppermint oil to half a cup of water. Got the recipe online. Theory is that they hate the smell. Hmmm…. starting to hate it myself. Whole damn house smells like candy canes and it’s started to make me think about buying Christmas presents, which is doing NOTHING for my sanity.

I can’t tell if it’s working. It feels like they are just following me through rooms, laughing at my amateur attempts at extermination. Did I mention that they are super smart and possibly able to predict the future? They are always one step ahead of me.

At this very moment, as I am lurching through the house with my paper towel roll and a teacup filled with peppermint water, they are laughing behind my back.  In my mind, they sound like the Bee Gees on the old Stayin’ Alive Soundtrack… simultaneously rhythmic and annoying.  For a moment, I feel victorious because the swarm of flighted minions has lessened. Then my heart sinks. I know what has happened…

They have picked up on my desperation. Smelled it just like they smell the bananas rotting.   They have predicted my next move and moved on ahead. They will be perched on the wine bottle cork when I get downstairs. Waiting…. mocking me!

Author: Kim Scaravelli

Kim Scaravelli is an entrepreneur, marketer, content consultant, and author of “Making Words Work”. The best way to keep in touch is to subscribe to Kim’s popular newsletter. Every second Wednesday, she shares practical writing tips, timely insights, and resources to make your work easier and your content better. To learn more about Kim, visit her website.

17 thoughts

  1. This is the funniest post I’ve read this week, Kim. We have ants and spiders, but fortunately not fruit flies. After reading your post, I think I would go ballistic if I saw one – and I hate peppermint (but I do love wine).


    1. What?!? NO fruit flies? None at all??? Where is this paradise? Because I could live with some pretty big, hairy spiders and some relatively aggressive ants if I knew that there were no fruit flies.


      1. The only reason I don’t have fruit flies is I don’t have fruit (can’t eat it) or anything fresh out on the counters, and I don’t have any house plants (I definitely do NOT have a green thumb). And there’s no such thing as a partially finished bottle of wine.

        Having said that, however, I’m sure I’ll go home today and find the kitchen full of fruit flies, and I will think [fondly] of you.


  2. Ah yes. Fruit flies. I catch most of mine on the computer. They apparently love reading email, so they land on the laptop screen and I squish them. It’s slow and relentless, but eventually, they are gone. Maybe your flies aren’t literate? Or they aren’t fans of blogging?


  3. I can sure empathize with you. The little bastards have been driving me nuts all summer. One flew into my ear and I thought I was having a stroke as it buzzed and flapped until it died. Some folks say the come from the drains, others say from ill-fitting air conditioners. I don’t care where they come from, I just wish they’d leave. I have been told growing basil helps as they don’t seem to like it.

    But one thing I know for sure is missing Coronation Street to deal with fruit flies is over the top. What if David hits Callum, or Rita slugs Norris while your swatting away in the kitchen? And just as an afterthought, while I’m not overly politically correct, I do believe the proper term is Gay Flies, not fruit flies ….


  4. We had so many this year. I had a bottle of apple cider vinegar and a glass of wine on the counter for a week. It was like a mass murder scene, the flies made it to the little hole in the bottles, but couldn’t come out. My kitchen smelled terrible, but after one week..they were almost all gone. Haven’t seen one ever since (knock on wood)


  5. Great post! Oh yes, I’m not sure if they’re fruit flies, but there are little flies that come into my house and seem addicted to wine too. And they’re so small that the cat doesn’t notice them. They’ve made me so paranoid that I’m constantly checking my wine glass for them (hmm, on second thoughts maybe if I drank less wine I wouldn’t be so paranoid?).


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