Nov 01

Fruit Fly Plague

I don’t gen­er­ally air my ver­min and pest con­trol prob­lems in pub­lic, but in this case, I will con­sider it a pub­lic service.

We have been besieged this fall by fruit flies. They are EVERYWHERE. They par­tic­u­larly come out in the evenings, for some reason.

When I was a kid in the South, we called them gnats. Now that I’m all sophis­ti­cated, I call them fruit flies just like all my sophis­ti­cated friends.

It’s not the first time this par­tic­u­lar plague has vis­ited. But some years just seem to be worse than oth­ers. I recall one year—before I fig­ured out all the ways to avoid and trap fruit flies—I resorted to sit­ting on the couch to read armed with the vac­uum cleaner, which I had to turn on from time to time to suck up the fruit flies that had con­gre­gated near me. It was really ridiculous.

Since then, I have tried water-starving my plants (which they do not like). I have also tried the paper cone trap, the wine trap, the potato in the plants trap and, as men­tioned, the high-tech vac­uum cleaner trap. If you are sim­i­larly besieged and favor home-grown solu­tions, here’s a handy roundup of gnat, errr, fruit fly traps you can make yourself:

Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Frankly, the best option I have found is not a home-grown trap at all. Although they are mar­gin­ally effec­tive, the BEST traps are from Gardener’s Sup­ply. They are nat­ural fruit fly traps. You can also buy these lovely, dec­o­ra­tor soap­stone trap hold­ers that I am sure you will want to keep on view year-round, even after fruit fly season.


Even as I write, I have a glass of wine at my desk. Also on my desk is one of these traps in a lovely soap­stone holder. Instead of going for my wine, they are flock­ing to the trap. Sweet!

So where have I been?

I have been absolutely immersed in home repairs. Now that I can take some time from work to look around the house, I see how much has been neglected. Wal­ter, my handy home repair guy has been here from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for two weeks straight fix­ing, paint­ing and spruc­ing things up. You would think I lived in a hovel of des­per­ate pro­por­tions with all he has had to do. And when I’m not spot­ting him on a high lad­der, answer­ing ques­tions, peer­ing at paint col­ors, fetch­ing sup­plies or doing my own home improve­ment projects, I have, in fact, been work­ing at my real job.

The guys are going for a col­lege visit to Harry’s alma mater, The Citadel, this week­end, so for me this week­end is gar­den cleanup time. I might finally get those bulbs in the ground too.


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Here it is Octo­ber 24. The win­dows are open. I have to sleep with a fan because of the heat and humid­ity. I still have robust bunches of basil. I can’t EAT all the darned green pep­pers that are grow­ing. And the toma­toes keep going and going and going.

Do you sup­pose this can pos­si­bly last through to Novem­ber 1?


It has been a strange, strange fall–and not just the weather. Many changes in many strange ways. I am thank­ful that I have had the time, finally, to slow down, take stock, reeval­u­ate and just attend to the home fires–and my men­tal health–for a while.

Speak­ing of home fires…

If you’re in a bak­ing frame of mind, try this Dou­ble Choco­late Bundt Cake with Ganache Glaze.


I first read about this cake a cou­ple of days ago on Cream Puffs in Venice. Since we had just fin­ished our Ital­ian Creme Cake, this was like a sign from God that I should make this fab­u­lous choco­late cake this morning.

I also made home­made bread using the whey from my hard cheese mak­ing efforts. The Cheese Queen was right. Sub­sti­tut­ing the whey for the water makes a fab­u­lously fla­vor­ful dif­fer­ence in the bread.

Of course, based on the com­ments to my cheese mak­ing exper­i­ments, none of you will actu­ally HAVE any whey to be bak­ing with since no one else seems inter­ested in mak­ing cheese–just in eat­ing it. I sup­pose I must have some sort of reces­sive peas­ant gene that makes me want to do things like make cheese, raise chick­ens and weave.

Oh, and did I tell you my handy­man, Wal­ter, is installing a new out­door clothes line for me? I can hardly WAIT to do laun­dry tomor­row! I’ll post photos!

(Per­haps these are signs of an impend­ing breakdown?)

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Garden and food writer Robin Ripley is co-author of Grocery Gardening. Her new book, Wisdom for Home Preservers, is now available from Taunton Press. Bumblebee is about her life in rural Maryland, her garden, cooking, dogs and pet chickens. She also blogs about food and chickens at Eggs & Chickens. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. Thank you for visiting.


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