Bug battle

I have become a vigilante. Normally I am so non-violent that even spiders get left alone in my house, as long as they keep to themselves, but it’s a different story with this fly infestation. (I’m unable to identify them; the most I can say is that they are neither house flies nor fruit flies.) I am ruthless with them, because I need to be: they multiply like crazy, swarm across my kitchen, and crawl out from cracks and crevices just when I think I’ve wiped them out. They’re very small, and they don’t bite or get into my food, but they are unbearable.

I’ve been fighting them since I moved in here. I believe they were stowaways in the produce boxes I’d taken from the grocery store, which I had foolishly left sitting out after they’d been unpacked. That gave the flies just enough time to escape, settle into invisible breeding sites, and start reproducing before I gained enough sense to throw the boxes out. Now I’m stuck with the consequences.

It was rather horrifying to come home from running errands today—which I’d allowed myself to do only after spending a few hours in battle with the bugs, because leaving the battlefield means letting them win—to find that I couldn’t cross the kitchen floor to put away groceries without stepping on scores of flies. And when I saw that they were also swarming over the window, flying about the room, and crawling over the few dirty dishes I’d left in the sink, there went my desire to cook dinner.

My kitchen is the base of operations for this ongoing attack. I’ve spent several hours scanning the floor and the walls with a rolled-up newspaper in hand, ready to swat the next fly that reveals itself. I’m ashamed to say that in desperation, I’ve also sprayed poison. Then, today, I brought out my biggest weapon yet: the vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment. It takes up too much space, which is partly why I typically store it in the basement, but it accomplishes in a few minutes what takes me an hour to do with newspaper and balls of Kleenex. These flies are pretty hardy; I hope that they don’t survive inside the vacuum bag. If they do, I’m really in trouble.

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