A Guilty Pleasure

I am watching creatures die, and I am actually enjoying it.

Yesterday evening, I had a sudden infestation of ceratopogonidae. That is a very big name for very tiny insects also called midges or no-see-ums. They arrived in my living room through the kitchen sink drain.

A quick visit to Lord Google advised me to trap them using a small amount apple cider vinegar together with a few drops of dish soap. So, I set up two glasses containing this mixture and went to bed.

This morning, I found that one of those glasses had trapped one ceratopogonida, and the other had caught several. Not only were there quite a few in repose at the bottom of the glass, there were about ten others circling the rim.

This glass is placed close to where I normally sit on the couch, so I have been watching ceratopogonidae behaviours for the last hour. While they are obviously attracted to the smell of the vinegar, many of them seem reluctant to venture too close. They keep circling the rim, sometimes climbing over each other. I wonder if they suspect it is a trap.

Once in a while, one will crawl inside the glass part way down and then crawl back up. Sometimes there will be a flurry of activity with all of them moving about, and at other times they will all be very still for a long time.

Occasionally one or two will crawl down the outside of the glass but, presumably, become bewildered at being able to see and smell the vinegar but not actually get to it. So, they climb back up to the top.

As fascinating as the behaviours of the ceratopogonidae are, I really don’t want them in my home. I have poured vinegar down the drain and put the plug in to stop the exit of any escapees. At present, all the active ones are in or on one of the two glasses and not flying in front of my face, so I think I am winning the battle.

And, no. No regrets.



  1. Ants are my problem. So far they’ve stayed outside, but it’s an ongoing issue. They don’t like vinegar and won’t cross the line where I spray it, so I’ve been able to keep they away from the house.

    • There is an ant problem at my condo, too. The last time it happened I had to bring in an exterminator. The ants gained access through the vents and had nested in the space between the walls.

      The exterminator was able to feed them something that they took back to the nest to eradicate the problem.

  2. Presently I am attempting to catch a fly that seems determined to drive me crazy! It has been flying all around where I am and landing on me and my computer screen again and again. I was attacked by another fly (or maybe same one?) in the living room last night. Ugh.

    Oh yes, the condo ant problems. OMG, Frank and I battled literally volumes of ants in our condo. Dark waves of ants would move across our dark hardwood floors. Horrible. And then it stopped. No explanation. So weird.

    Good luck with your irritating critters!

  3. Well, it was not a ‘flu’ but it was a fly, teach me not to proof read! My quick-with-a-fly-swatter daughter had quite a time finally catching the now deceased fly. He was tenacious.

  4. Maybe if you filled your glass up to the top with vinegar those teeny tiny pest would use the rim of the glass as a diving board and slide right in. I am with Marybeth… ants have plagued me for all the years I have lived in San Jose. Finally we hired a pest service. They come four times year. no more ants inside the house. YEA,

    • That’s a good idea, Vera! I don’t know why the advice was to put just a little vinegar in a glass. It seems to take them a long time to find it.

      I have also found that they spend less time on the rim of the wider juice glass than they do on the narrower wine glass. I’m sure there is a reason for it.

      I’m glad you got the exterminators in to control your ant problem. I have asked M to call them in to make sure our problem at the condo goes away.

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