Gut Rumbles

December 24, 2007

Fruit flies

Originally published June 5, 2006

Somebody gave me a Christmas present a couple of years ago that came in an Indian River Fruit Company cardboard box. I don't remember what the present was, but I kept the box because it's a heavy-duty, double-thick, built-to-last container, perfect for storing potatoes, onions, grapefruit, oranges and other such edibles that don't require refrigeration.

Just don't leave 'em in the box too long.

Two days ago, I started noticing fruit flies buzzing around in various rooms of my house. The little bastards don't bite, but they are annoying as hell. I killed a bunch of them, but I kept finding more of 'em every day.

I checked my kitchen garbage can. Nope. No fruit flies there. The kitchen sink had a few dirty dishes in it, but no fruit flies. I wondered where the pestiferous bastids were coming from, and I thought about the box of fruit in the corner.

I grabbed a can of Raid, walked over to the storage box and gave it a swift kick. Fruit flies came boiling out of there. I gassed them with Raid, then searched for their home base.

It wasn't the potatoes or the Vidalea onions. It wasn't the grapefruit or the oranges. It was a got-dam PINEAPPLE I bought at Kroger's a couple of weeks ago when they had a Two-For-One sale in the produce department. I ate one of the pineapples and totally forgot about the other one.

Bejus! That pineapple became slightly... uh... over-ripe and gave birth to a bumper crop of fruit flies. I stuffed the squishy pineapple into a plastic bag, which stirred up ANOTHER swarm of fruit flies, so I gassed them, then I took the rotten over-ripe pineapple outside and threw it in my garbage can.

I still have a few stray bugs flying around the Crackerbox, but I got rid of most of 'em. I'll pick off the rest one by one.

Think about THIS the next time you eat "fresh" fruit from a grocery store:

The reproductive potential of fruit flies is enormous; given the opportunity, they will lay about 500 eggs. The entire lifecycle from egg to adult can be completed in about a week.

You've probably eaten the larvae without noticing them. And if you store fruits and vegetables in a cardboard box in your kitchen, you're asking for trouble.

Trust me on that one.

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