Battle of the bugs still being waged
The flies have abated, but the gnats and spiders are still going strong.
I wrote a column awhile back on the never-ending battle with insects invading my space. Several readers offered remedies, so I am now sharing them.
An email from one reader gave this hint: “This is a sure cure that has worked for us on porch all summer. Half fill a quart-size freezer/storage zip lock bag with water, add four pennies and hang outside on a clip. Have not used a fly swatter or changed the water all summer.”
I admit, I never got around to trying this since the flies I’d battled since last fall finally disappeared. You can bet good money I’ll be keeping the hint on file for the next skirmish, though.
A couple of tips were offered for getting rid of gnats, which are also known as vinegar flies or fruit flies. The little pests are attracted to rotten fruit and vegetables, over-watered house plants and compost piles, so the suggestion is to put some vinegar in a jar, poke holes in the lid and let the little buggers crawl in there. They can’t get out and they die. Another suggestion is to put about an inch of water in bowls with a couple of drops of dish-washing liquid and set the bowls in places where the gnats frequent. Again, they light on the water and, I suppose, get “stuck” in the dish-washing liquid and can’t get out. I’ve tried both these tips. They really do work.
I had a resurgence of gnats over the past couple of weeks so I immediately started looking for a rotten potato. Nothing. I finally found the culprit, though, a very rotten onion that had gotten under a newspaper in the kitchen and escaped my notice. Here we go again ... I also saw in searching the Internet that gnats can lay 200 to 300 eggs in their life span of just a few months ... and that you shouldn’t leave dirty dishes in the sink because they LOVE to eat the leftovers.
The lady who gave me one of the tips for the gnats also said that if you have ants coming in the house, sprinkle some grits along their path. They eat the grits and carry them back to their nest to share — and since they can’t digest them, they die. She said this works for fire ants as well as the little ants that come in the kitchen and the big black ants. Thank heavens, I’ve not had ants in the house, except for a few of the black ants. Yet. Besides, I don’t want to share my grits.
For spiders, I searched online and found several folks recommending spraying window sills, corners, etc., with water containing a few drops of oil of peppermint. Someone else said to put a walnut in these places. I like the idea of the peppermint oil and will have to try that.
My house may not be any cleaner or pest free, but it sure will smell delightful!
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Her column runs every Sunday in the Life section. You may contact her at 981-1168 or (email@example.com)