An Annoyance of Flies

Didn't you hear? It's all the buzz.

Didn’t you hear? It’s all the buzz.

The weather has turned hot and the garbage has turned ripe: a perfect combination to curse our apartment with a plague of flies. When the weather is hot like this there is little chance of swatting the wily little buggers: they’re just too fast to get a bead on. They seem to multiply by eye contact: you see one of them and suddenly there are two; you see two of them and suddenly there are four. And so on.

Soon you have an annoyance of flies.

It seems to be a seasonal thing as much as anything else. There are just some times of the year when flies are plentiful and right now is one of those times. The ones inside the house are annoying enough, but I’ve seen enough outside as well to know that they aren’t just a problem of us having an overfull trash can or insufficient ventilation. It’s a small comfort, though, since it means that every time we open the door we are at risk of a new flock of them migrating into our home.

Cats, as it turns out, are not good hunters of flies. Crickets, yes. Flies, no.

So the past few days have turned into a series of fly-repelling experiments. The most generally successful way to get the flies out seems to be to lure them to the sliding screen door then close the main glass door so that they can’t get back in, then open the sliding door from the outside to shake them off into the outside world. Tedious but effective. Luring the flies to the screen door means turning off all the lights and closing all the other blinds in the house so that the only light comes from the sliding door, and it takes a while for the flies to find their way there, which means spending a certain amount of time in the dark.

A new technique that I’m testing out is a jar full of water mixed with fruity smelling dish soap (or, in our case, hand soap) along with a bit of cider vinegar. Apparently the smell lures the flies in so that they drown in this homemade fly trap. If it works it will be fun to know that you CAN catch flies with vinegar. Test results are still pending.  I’ve also heard that dryer sheets are quite effective as deterrents. That will be the next test we try.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on July 24, 2014.

One Response to “An Annoyance of Flies”

  1. You must be in a part of California that the detective in my mystery novels hasn’t touched, yet. She never mentions swarms of flies though she’s done her job in all seasons and several types of weather. I get the impression that California–being as large as it is–has a diverse range of circumstances for its occupants to face not unlike the islands of Japan can display every season at once if you fly from north to south (or south to north).

    Cats can hunt crickets? I suppose. Of course, flies would be too hard to catch. Though, I think I saw a cat try to eat a fly once. It didn’t go well.

    I like your screen door strategy…provided one can exit safely through another door and open the troubled one from the outside. In what you describe, I am not sure how one does that. It seems the flies–like our “river fleas” here are everywhere.

    Let’s hope the walls don’t start bleeding, clown dolls don’t come to life or the trees don’t come to life and pull you from a window.

    I like the idea of hanging bags of water by the door (however that works without properly anchored hooks in the eave if you have one). If that keeps them from even coming in, count your blessings. Otherwise, I am thinking…some kind of sweet-smelling sheet stretched over a square frame with a sticky–well, fly paper–side to catch the buggers before leaving the square outside. It seems futile to try swatting/killing them all. And, you never know; some might be old relatives:P

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