Monday, September 18, 2006

Uninvited Guests

My very small apartment has fallen victim to a sudden and fierce attack of fruit flies. Part of me understands why they are here: it is early fall and while the days are still warm the nights are starting to be cool. I imagine they are probably cold. Plus they are lured inside by the fruits of the season-- fresh peaches and tomatoes filled my fruit bowl yesterday. And in the garbage? Other good things I imagine they might enjoy. Delicate peach skins, beet greens and peels, some stray juices from a nice piece of steak.

The problem is that my apartment is small. You can trip over the bed trying to get to the table. You can make coffee, put on make up in the morning, and watch the Today show all at the same time. No need to run up and down the stairs when the coffee timer rings, and don't worry about being late because you've paused to watch something on the tube.

The petite-ness of the apartment leads to big problems when the small bugs come to play. The counter space is so compact that when they swarm, they swarm everywhere. And last night they migrated to the computer screen, likely enticed by the glass of Pinot noir that was sitting next to the computer.

I covered the fruit bowl knowing that the tiny beasts were most definitely small enough to crawl underneath the corners. Sure enough, when I reached for a peach this morning a swarm appeared. They seemed to have multiplied over night. This fact was confirmed by my internet research: "fruit flies reproduce at an alarming rate!"

Now I am stuck with fruit flies producing at an alarming rate, feasting on the foods I want to be enjoying (and not fair that they get to do this all day while I am at work!) But I am armed for combat. The solution, the internet bug experts say, is to take out the garbage daily, put the food you can in the fridge, and rinse the sink with bleach. Done, done, and done. Fairly simple stuff, though it will take effort to remove the trash every single morning and I am not putting my tomatoes or my olive ciabitta bread in the fridge. The bleach however, is fine.

But while that bleachy-clean small is permeating everything in the apartment, exterminating my tiny fruit fly foes, I might just go out to eat.

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