Neutralizing Unwelcomed Guests & Tip of the Day

Gnat swatterIt’s that time of year again, when gnats and fruit flies invite themselves into our homes through cracks in window screens and open doors.

Once inside, the uninvited guests become the worse enemies, brazenly flying everywhere; especially around food and even in our face. Unless your swing is faster than a speeding bullet, and your eyesight sharp as a hawk’s, forget using a swatter to try to kill the pests.  And while a can of flying insect spray will neutralize some of them, if you are like me you want to avoid contaminating your home with pesticides. After searching several websites, I found a perfect solution for getting rid of them. Try it. If it works for you, you can thank me later.

Take an empty jar or bottle, I prefer a container with a wide mouth, like an orange juice bottle. Pour about ¾ to one cup of apple cider vinegar (ACV) into the container (you can also add a few drops of dish detergent to the vinegar, but plain ACV works just fine). Place a piece of plastic wrap over the mouth of the container, make sure its taunt, and then secure the plastic wrap with a rubber band. Using the tip of a toothpick or a meat skewer, punch 2 or 3 holes through the plastic wrap, this will enable the gnats/fruit flies to crawl into the container. Place a few containers of the solution around your home wherever the pests are prevalent. In a short time, you will see dead insects floating in the vinegar or flying inside the container like drunken pilots about to crash land. Although the insects impulsively crawl into the bottle, apparently they cannot figure out how to retreat. After a few days, you should discard the old vinegar, and if you are still having the problem, set out a fresh solution.  If you don’t have ACV, white vinegar can be used, but reportedly the latter is not as appealing.

According to Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, “Fruit flies can be a problem year round, but are especially common during late summer/fall. [The insects] are especially attracted to ripened fruits and vegetables in the kitchen. But they also will breed in drains, garbage disposals, empty bottles and cans, trash containers, mops and cleaning rags.”

On another subject — Tip of the Day:  Many veteran FGC members already know this, but some newer residents probably don’t. Constantly pouring used cooking oil (or grease, as some folks call it) down the drain could ultimately result in a clogged kitchen sink. Solution:  After frying meat, potatoes or whatever, let the oil cool, then, using a funnel poor the oil into an empty jar or bottle; cap the bottle and dispose of it with your trash.

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