From Times staff researcher David Turim
What’s wrong with this picture?
Anyone living in Seattle wouldn’t dare do this right now: Leave a nice bowl of succulent, juicy blackberries, or a box of raspberries on the counter uncovered. And you wouldn’t even think about leaving the lid off the counter-top compost bucket. Now is the season of the lid, the covered container, even the dreaded plastic wrap on any edible, or especially sweet, juicy surface. Not even a glass of red wine is safe, without a napkin draped over the top. Unless, of course, you prefer your wine with a sprinkling of drowned fruit flies, and your kitchen abuzz.
Lynda Mapes photo
The season of the fruit fly is upon us, and the clouds of berry-loving drosophila that await us in the kitchen each morning transform some humans into towel-snapping Ninjas of drosophila destruction. How do they appear? Are eggs in the fruit? I’ve been eating bug eggs?
Nope, that’s not it — they arrive from the great outdoors, tiny enough to get through window screens, and once inside, they can live on just about anything… even a diet of alcohol fumes, just like my old roommate. But unlike him, they seem to most prefer good old wholesome fruit.
Other fascinating features of these maddeningly persistent bugs include:
— Their gorgeous intestines — move over Chihuly!
— The lusty ladies of drosophilia, whose indiscriminate promiscuity is key to species survival.
— And fruit fly brain mapping — while the flies’ brain has about 0.0001% the amount of neurons as yours, the human brain is likely to consist of “similar basic operation units.”
— Also, let us not forget Tin Man, Cheap Date and Out Cold
So let’s all love the fruit flies!
Unconvinced? Ok, then. Here’s how to get rid of ’em:
— Take a small shallow cup or bowl
— Put malt liquor, vinegar or meat juices in it
— stretch plastic wrap tightly over it
— poke some holes in the plastic wrap, just a few; flies will get in but they won’t come out.
You should have several dozen in there within a few hours.