There are a few things that have happened to me since I moved to the South. First and foremost, I got over my fear of bugs. Okay, I didn’t get over my very rational fear of bugs, but I can deal with it like the quasi-adult that I am.
This is not to say that they don’t eat me alive if they can because apparently my pheromones are exactly what the want and need. However, bug bites aside, I can now kill them with a murderous rage that has no hesitation. Barehanded sometimes. (Of course only if they are inside and a threat to humanity/mental health – I guarantee you couldn’t sleep at night if your roommate didn’t know about the termite invasion and left the front door light on and the door ajar and thirty of them set up camp underneath your lamp on your bedside table until they were all dead.)
Flash back to 2006. Katrina just ravaged the city and I’m pretty sure there was a larger population of rats and cockroaches than humans. My mother, being the amazing human that she is (and also former city dweller) taught me the pro tips about lights. Turn them off when you leave a room to not be wasteful, but keep them on when it’s important. Meaning – don’t do anything in the dark that you wouldn’t do in the light. (She was talking about sex.) And then later, “If you turn on the lights and give them a minute, they will go away.” – in regard to kitchen roaches and whatever the fuck else lives in my dilapidated but very cute kitchen.
When I was 19, I had to put on a special outfit to kill roaches. In the south they fly. No one warns you that. I’d take my white faux leather belt with studs on it (so Emo) and put on rain books and attempt to wreak havoc by wildly swinging the belt through the air. And then miss repeatedly. Not very effective; better is to turn on every light and leave for a while so it goes back to wherever it was hiding.
Five years later I was crushing them barehanded, with adrenaline pumping and a meat tenderizer or even underfoot without hesitation. The other day, I killed a bee on a beer can with one hand while everyone else ran away.
But you know what. Regardless of my dexterity with the scary bugs, the fruit fly (and termite) situation here might be my undoing. Sure they are tiny, but your roommate doesn’t take out the trash when you are away one weekend, and next thing you know you lift a plate and mushroom cloud of tiny bugs erupts, I can’t deal.
I mean LOST. MY. SHIT.
I scrubbed, I cleaned and still, they resisted. Fortunately the roommate is pretty chill and responded quite well to my note (we have different schedules!) asking him to please MacGyver the bartender-style fruit fly traps in some shot glasses around the kitchen.
Seriously, it doesn’t matter how many times I tried his magic trick of red wine vinegar (we didn’t have apple cider) topped with a little bit of Palmolive and sealed with plastic wrap with holes. Oh yeah, you also put a piece of fruit in the bottom. **My traps were a complete and utter failure. As a matter of fact, I think I made them a snack**
However, I am not happy to report that the fly population is zero. (Or close to it.) And I found joy in wiping their fallen carcasses from the bottom of the refrigerator when I cleaned it the other day. And even more so when I peered into their final fluorescent bath. So much so, that I took a photo!
Also, in case your roommate can’t solve the problem he created, find out how to cure yourself here.