Thursday, November 8, 2012

Let My People Go

I read about the plagues God sent onto the Egyptians and they seem bad, but until recently I didn't have an idea of how bad it might have been.

Since June we have battled flying insects by the droves.  Houseflies were particularly bad in the summer months.  We would have up to sixty at a time plastered to the windows Amityville horror style. Seriously gross. Our neighbors were having the same problem, so I didn't feel particularly singled out by God. One friend suggested sucking the suckers up with a shop vac - handy little trick there.

At night the dirty little bugs would congregate in the bathroom causing our toddler's potty training to back slide a little. "Da flies is gonna get me,"  our little Liam would lament.

We bought fly swatters, rolled up newspapers and would got to town fly hunting. My daughters thought it was particularly funny to blast the William Tell overture while I wildly rampaged.  Talk about needing to clean the windows.  Fly carcases are disgusting. I felt that we should leave one or two smashed against the glass as a warning to any others that felt brave enough to venture into our home.  The kids thought that was disgusting.

We bought fly traps, made homemade fly traps, and bought fly paper.  The fly paper worked the best, FYI, but was the least attractive. Well, except for the store-bought fly trap that was intended for outdoor use only.  It's main ingredient was putrified something or another. The smell was as horrid as you would expect.  The fly paper was the worst because flies can apparently live for 72 hours with their wings stuck to the sticky stuff. We'd check on the twitching legs or buzzing wings every now and then.

Maccabre, I know.

As if the houseflies weren't enough, fruit flies soon followed.  I started keeping all fruit in the refrigerator but hundreds would still congregate about the kitchen sink.  I couldn't figure it out. Then one morning I opened the pantry, only to be greeted by thousands of the red-eyed flies.  I followed the source to a bag of potatoes.  Need I say more?

More fly paper, more homemade fly catchers (apple cider vinegar and a drop of dish soap worked best).

Finally cooler fall days came and our flying pals' numbers were thinned. The houseflies are forgotten and I finally felt like I could inhale without swallowing 20 or 30 fruit flies. I got out the fall decorations, put some pumpkins on the mantle and enjoyed the insect free life again.

One morning last week I came downstairs and my sniffer knew something was wrong. Then my eyes spied a cloud of fruit flies over the sink again. What the what?

I searched for the source.  I knew it was not potatoes as I had not bought any since the last mishap.  I walked toward the fireplace, where the odor was the most offensive.  That's when I saw the ooze dripping from the mantle onto the floor. Pumpkin ooze. Rotten pumpkin ooze. I picked up a pumpkin and the whole thing disintegrated sending up hundreds of fruit flies.

I won't lie. I screamed. I shouted. I may have cursed.

I disposed of the pumpkins and their ooze, vowing never to have live food in the house again.

Unashamedly, I cry to God, "Let my people go!"


  1. you must continue to battle on & don't give up the fight, you must become The Lord of The Flies & let not the conch-shell shatter !!!

  2. Really drives it home when you have to go through it yourself!

  3. Kara, the same thing happened to us, except we had bananas instead of pumpkins. I thought the hard freeze would kill them off, but I wonder if our house has become a breeding ground for fruit flies since it will never be cold enough or devoid of food which they need to live! It is for that reason, I am buying a blow torch. I will just start scorching them in mid air. We will see who has the last laugh.