Saturday, June 23, 2012

Pesky gnats

We've ended the season of crab spiders... the last crab spider I saw was a couple of weeks ago, and well, looks like we're getting some gnats. Gnats are easily confused with fruit flies which are bigger and cause damage to the fruit. Gnats just like to hang around the fruit or veggies - and in this time of ripe mangoes and other tropical fruits, the gnats somehow get into the house, and are mildly irritating.  Other bugs somehow get in too...which reminds me of a comment I overheard this weekend, "A screened-in room in Haiku is heaven."  Having a deck outside exposed to the elements means there are always various bugs flying and wandering around. 

A gnat, not a fruit fly, next to a jalapeno (that was stung by fruit flies).
The wings are hard to see in this pic. 
The gnats are not too terrible - they don't bite, they just flit around the kitchen and anywhere that has ripe fruit. I don't have a good solution for them, other than maybe using some of that environmental bug spray (comes with a green label, they sell it at Home Depot) and it uses cedar oil or some kind of essential oil to kill bugs. It doesn't work well in a large outdoor area, like a big yard, at least not where I live, but in a smaller area, may be okay. I'm also not sure if it's ok to use inside or not... so read the label. I've wondered if spraying some tea tree oil scented vinegar in the air would also keep them away, but haven't tried that yet.

Other than that, just put up with the bugs. They will pass. 

Same gnat, not happy this time.  Wings are clearly visible. 

This past week has also been rather rainy for June, almost like Oregonian weather... overcast with heavy showers. Haiku has a reputation for rain but even Hali'imaile and upcountry was kind of wet on Wednesday.  Yesterday was the first sunny day in Haiku, but then it rained again last night and today looks murky. The nightblooming cereus have also been blooming right now!  We captured one to put in a jar at home, and it still remained open, although not as wide, as it was the first night. 

Another tip we heard about: put vinegar in a bowl to deter gnats. I can't vouch for the effectiveness of this yet, since the gnats haven't been too bothersome lately. Another friend recommends adding a little dish soap to the vinegar and water, saying it breaks the surface tension in the water and the gnats will drown.


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