General Question

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Can anyone help me get rid of these annoying little bugs (see details)?

Asked by shpadoinkle_sue (7188points) July 9th, 2010

I’m trying to watch Blade Runner right now for the first time and I can’t concentrate because all these little bugs keep flying around me and the screen. I’ve been squishing them for about 20 minutes now and when I turn the light on, there’s more of them. They look a bit like fruit flies. They might be gnats, I don’t know. I don’t have any bug spray I can use on them. I’ve been spraying Febreeze because it’s all I have. This happens pretty much every year and when it’s a warm night at the drive in. It’s usually not this bad.

It’s a fairly warm tonight and I am annoyed that I have to shut the windows. So, please any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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15 Answers

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Usually something is attracting them. Could it be your trash can? Do you have fruit or veggies out on the counter or out of the fridge somewhere? Eliminating the temptation will usually eliminate the gnats – but not always.
We had this problem last year, and we absolutely could not figure out what was attracting them… so we hung some fly paper. It works.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Yup, I checked and there’s nothing rotten. Everything’s still fresh.
This has been the first really hot day for us and I’m sure that it’s the humidity. At least I think it is.
I’ve tried leaving vinegar out, vinegar with Dawn, and vegetable oil out to catch them. I’ve tried hairspray, as well.

MissAusten's avatar

If you have fruit out on the counter, it doesn’t have to be rotten to attract fruit flies. Same with your garbage. Put the fruit in a covered container and take the trash out daily, even if it isn’t full until the flies go away.

You can also make a trap for the fruit flies to get rid of them sooner. Invert a funnel into a glass or jar, with something sweet at the bottom of the jar. A piece of ripe fruit, some red wine, or whatever you have. The flies will find their way into the jar but not be able to get out.

We’re going through the same thing right now because one of my kids ate a slice of cantaloupe and threw the rind in the bathroom garbage. By the time I noticed it the next day, the flies had moved in. They are annoying when you’re watching television, but they’re even worse when you’re trying to go pee!

john65pennington's avatar

Same problem in Tennessee with the fruit flies. wife and i leave our coffee cups out all night with a little coffee in the bottom with some sugar. next morning, the cups are loaded with dead fruit flies. they seem to be more abundant this year for some reason. keep counter food tightly covered and empty your trash each day. this, also seems to help. their days are numbered, so keep on swatting.

JLeslie's avatar

They are attracted the light in your house probably is it dark outside where you are?

SmashTheState's avatar

They sound like fruitflies. The primary source of fruit flies is drains, particularly sink drains, since they require moisture to breed. Fortunately getting rid of fruit flies is easy. Boil up a big pot of water and pour it down every open drain in the house. This will kill the eggs and larvae. Then create a fruitfly trap by doing the following: get a large, clear glass cup and half-fill it with wine. (Apple juice should work in a pinch, but wine is better.) Add a tiny bit of dish detergent to the wine. Get a piece of paper and curl it into a cone such that the smaller opening is in the cup (but not in the wine) and the larger opening is outside the cup. The smaller opening in the cone should be tiny, no more than a centimetre or so. Tape the paper so it retains its shape. That’s it! In a few hours, all the fruit flies should be gone, and you should have a cup full of dead fruitflies floating around in your wine.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Don’t waste your time trying to squash them. Suck them up in a vacuum cleaner.
Clearly they fit between your screen mesh. Spray the screen with “Off” when the wind is blowing in the right direction.

SeventhSense's avatar

Do you live near a river or body of water? It may be a type of mayfly or other insect hatch. Billions may emerge on the right evening after being laid months before. They should disperse, be eaten etc shortly if that’s the case. Meanwhile get screens.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

@MissAusten We do have fruit out on the counter, but I never really thought it was fruitflies because they’re nowhere near the fruit. Only in the bedrooms and bathrooms. I’ll try the funnel tonight.
@john65pennington It’s good to know that it’s not just me right now. It felt like it last night. Thanks!
@JLeslie Yeah, it’s about dusk when they come in. we’ve only got a couple hours before the windows have to be shut.
@SmashTheState Thanks a bunch for the suggestion. All I’ve really been trying is vinegar and I don’t see any dead fruitflies. Maybe some wine will work. :)
@worriedguy They’re fast little suckers. It’s the middle of the night when they appear the most so sucking them up would not make me the favorite person in the house. But thanks for the Off! suggestion, I’d never of thought of that.
@SeventhSense I do have screens on the windows, I guess I left that part out. :) Yeah, there’s the Columbia river nearby.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Sorry, my brain went bleh for a second. :) Thank you to everyone for your help!

Aethelwine's avatar

We had this same problem. We finally found a hidden rotten potato that was attracting the bugs. Fly strips got rid of them. Very attractive, I know, but better than a bunch of irritating bugs flying in your face.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I tried the funnel thing and I still had some, but it didn’t seem as bad. :)

SmashTheState's avatar

Remember to put boiling water down your drains. That’s where they breed, and you’ll just keep getting more until you do.

JLeslie's avatar

@py_sue It’s gnats probably or some other annoying insect, I coubt its fruitflies. Dusk is when most insects come out like mosquitos, and similar, as opposed to bees and wasps that are out during the day. Here are some tips. You can buy yellow light bulbs, which do not attract insects as much as a typical light bulb. Also, consider buying a secon screen. You can buy ones that fit in windows that are adjustable, the slide in under the window. If you have never seen one, I can try to search the web. Home Depot or Lowes should have them. Or, just buy a role of screen and rig something for the summer months maybe?

SeventhSense's avatar

I hear DDT is swelloh my bad wrong century

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