Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Good Day... For Gnats

I could hear the birds sing in my backyard.  I smiled as I opened my eyes, and took in the wash of warm and welcoming colors throughout my room.  I woke up early, yet I was completely awake, and it was of my own volition.  Something like this doesn't happen as often as I'd like.  It's a good feeling.

It was still morning, so the day was cool.

Today will be a good day, I thought.

I walked downstairs and into the kitchen to make my morning juice.  Orange, carrot, celery, mint, and apple are my staples.  I often throw in a small amount of some sort of additional fruit, just to change up the taste a bit.

I think I'll use some fresh raspberries, I thought, a smile on my lips as I approached the kitchen.


Something hit my forehead.  Whatever it was, it was quite small.  I shrugged it off, then walked through the entryway of the kitchen.

It was then that I noticed.

I forgot to clean out my juicer, yesterday!!!  I was so distracted by the heat, that I just kept forgetting.  I'm easily distracted, after all.

Now, we all do this from time to time.  We all make mistakes.  Unfortunately, my mistake just happened to occur in an old, leaky house during a very hot time of the year.

Humans aren't the only ones that look for a way to beat the heat, so I had some happy visitors in the kitchen.

Gnats were flying about the kitchen.  Not just a few, but TONS of them.  They came in to take advantage of the decomposing fruit and veggie buffet that I had blindly ignored.  The gnats were joyfully flying about the area, completely oblivious to the fact that they weren't supposed to be there!

So what did I do?

I rushed to the computer, of course, and did a search for gnat trap recipes.  The gnats just had to go.  Don't get me wrong... I'm not squeamish about them, or anything.  They're actually pretty fascinating.

I mean, how can you not be fascinated by a a creature that reproduces by means of a single sperm cell that also happens to be larger by far than those of any other known animal on the planet?

Talk about bragging rights...

Anyway, I clicked on the first recipe I found that had a 5 star rating attached to it.  It was a simple one, and I had the ingredients:

3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 drops of dish soap were placed into a glass jar (I reused a spaghetti jar that I had lid the lid from).  I slowly swirled it around to mix it a bit.  I then rolled a piece of paper into a funnel shape, taped it closed, and placed it in the jar ensuring that there were no openings along the rim.  The tip of the funnel did not touch the vinegar solution.

I honestly didn't think it would work, mainly because I remembered an old adage -

"You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."

I mean, gnats are flies, so it seemed plausible that it wouldn't work out.

Well, it did... and fast!  

The vinegar drew in the gnats, then the soap weighed down their wings so that they couldn't fly back out.  I walked away from it to help my daughter out with something, and when I returned to it around ten minutes later:

Five gnats had already met their vinegary death.  

That's not good enough, since I had TONS of gnats swarming about the kitchen, right?  I thought so, too.  These things take time, though, so I waited a few hours before checking in on it, again (don't worry... I washed the juicer).

Yeah, I'm totally not counting them this time.  Suffice to say, that's a lot of gnats.  This recipe was a good one, and I'm grateful that it was online.  Even though humidity caused the tape to become unattached to the paper, the trap still did its job.

Once I saw that it was working, I breathed a sigh of relief.  It was time to start that good day I was looking forward to.  A few hours late, granted, but better late than never!

Have you ever had a serious problem with gnats?  How did you handle it?


  1. Swish an inch of water around in an emptied-but-not-cleaned soup can and then get them with the vacuum hose. If you approach slowly, and move briskly when they start to scatter, you can get most of them on the first pass. A few minutes later when the escapees re-gather you can get them again.

    Gnats aren't the most hateworthy bugs, but they are annoying, especially when they get in something you're about to eat or drink.

    Incidentally, you can type people by their response to a gnat floating in their beer: type 1 (normal) -- remove gnat with finger, drink beer; type 2 (fastdious) -- use a spoon, drink beer; type 3 (military) -- drink beer; type 4 (engineer) -- pour beer through tea strainer into other container, drink beer; type 5 (hypochondriac) throw away beer, get another beer, drink beer -- there are other types too.