Sunday, September 08, 2013

my gnat problem

I've got gnats in my place.

The little fuckers always seem to find a way in. I bought a can of F-Killer to blast the gnats whenever I see them, but I'm rarely fast enough to catch them, and the F-Killer doesn't seem to have the potency that I remember it having. Either that, or the particular type of F-Killer that I bought is more effective against other flying insects, like mosquitoes. As things stand, when I shoot a gnat with F-Killer, the gnat gets blown far off course, only to return, annoyingly, within a few minutes.

The worst is at night, when I'm sitting in my darkened studio, with no illumination but that of my monitor. A gnat will pass between me and the screen, silhouetted and insouciant; I grab my F-Killer... but by then, the bastard's gone.

Much more effective than F-Killer, I've discovered, is Windex. Not only that, but I've also discovered that, as attracted as the gnats might be to the carbon dioxide from my breath, they're even more attracted to the gases emanating from ripe bananas. I killed four or five gnats, just today, by trapping them inside my kitchen, where they'd been circling my recently purchased package of very tasty mini-bananas.

Windex doesn't kill a gnat instantly, but it does bring the gnat down. Once the gnat is crawling on the floor or on my counter, its wings soaking wet, squishing the beast is an easy matter. I realize I'm supposed to be nicer to these fragile, agile little beings, but if it boils down to who lives in this space, then it's either the gnats or me. Unlike roaches or beetles or other crawlies, I can't simply toss a gnat out a window and expect it not to come back. So: death it is. Terminate with extreme prejudice. As long as I can catch the offending creature.

Cold weather, for whose arrival I fervently wish, will do much to reduce the number of unwanted arthropodal intrusions. Meantime, I and my Windex stand ready.

UPDATE: Elisson writes in to suggest I might be dealing with fruit flies. A quick Google Images search indicates he may be right—about most of my invaders, anyway. In that case, Dear Reader, I need to prep the ultimate fruit-fly trap.



Elisson said...

Are you sure they're gnats? Maybe you are dealing with fruit flies. Ecch.

Kevin Kim said...

I think you may be right. Fruit flies have fatter bodies than gnats do, based on a quick Google Images comparison, and the creatures I've been gunning down generally have plump, tiny bodies as well. Not all of them, though: I may have a mixture of unwanted guests, and I'm in no mood to celebrate diversity.

Charles said...

Fruit flies are kind of a fact of life in Korean cities in the summer. Just wait until the skeeters kick in.

hahnak said...

if you have a corner of your apt where you can keep a water bottle undisturbed for a while, then do this: take an empty PET water bottle (clear is more satisfying since you can see all the dead fruit flies), fill it with an inch or four of cider vinegar (사과식초. fruit flies in korean are CHO pa-ri), add a drop of dishsoap and put it in some corner where you wont knock your bottle over.

i have read that white vinegar does not seem effective. dont know how easy it is to obtain 사과식초, but googling says that wine works.

i have been canning recently so there have been large amounts of fruit from the market here. it brings in a lot of fruit flies, unfortunately. i add a bottle of the cider vinegar trap and place it next to our microwave and find much satisfaction in all the dead bodies i see in the morning.

hahnak said...

ah. i just watched the video you linked to.

i simply add the vinegar to an uncut small 1/2 liter water bottle. but im going to have to try that inverted top trick and see if that works any better. i could have saved myself a lot of typing if i had seen that link you added at the end of your post!

Elisson said...

Of course, another method is to just crap in the corner and bunch 'em.