Fruit flies, house flies, ants and mosquitoes. 'Tis midsummer and the bugs have hatched out. Between some overripe fruit on the kitchen counter and a bin full of recycling, Enviro-Girl has a serious fruit fly infestation. Her children who were born in a barn refuse to close the door when trekking hither, thither and yon. They've let in swarms of houseflies and mosquitoes. No one is quite sure why the ants have started scurrying around the front entryway, but they've invited all their relatives and friends to the party.
Enviro-Girl took the trash and recycling to the end of the driveway this morning and had dry heaves when she saw the maggots crawling along the inside of the trash bag and barrel. The recycling bin brought a cloud of more fruit flies into the Momvan while she hauled it the quarter-mile to the road.
Everywhere Enviro-Girl looks, pestilence flies or creeps or hovers. Yet she's NOT using RAID or any other over-the-counter-poison. Instead, she's set traps with these charming little half-pint milk bottles she bought at a rummage sale yesterday. They're filled with cider vinegar and topped with a paper funnel--the stupid fruit flies are drawn to the sweet smell of fermentation and once in, they can't get out. Every piece of fresh produce is now in the fridge. Every window screen has been patched. She gave Team Testosterone a tutorial on door closing and killed more flies than the Brave Little Tailor with a rolled up newspaper. Finally, she has sprayed down the ant party with white vinegar and water. That seemed to kill their vibe and now they've moved on to another hot spot. Enviro-Girl doesn't care, so long as they're not in her house.
The trouble with RAID and the rest of the over-the-counter-poisons is that they kill both good AND bad bugs--predators, like spiders, die along with mosquitoes, wasps and flies. This upsets the natural balance of things because predators are fewer in number and take longer to reproduce, unlike mosquitoes or houseflies that are more abundant and fertile species. By spraying poisons around, you kill everything and when the mosquitoes and flies come back, there will be NO predators to help control their populations, making the problem worse in the long run. Bottom line: repel your pests naturally if you can--a few nontoxic household products will save you money and keep everyone safe while killing and destroying those insect invaders. By targeting your prey, you'll keep the predators safe and avoid bigger bug problems in the future.