Thursday, August 23, 2007

fly infestation

I can't stand flies. In fact, I loathe them. Anytime I see a fly around my house, I promptly find a magazine, roll it up and kill it. However, a few days ago I got lax in my job as Fly Patrol and chose to wait it out. I mean, flies only have a 24-hour life cycle, right? I was tired of chasing them, so I decided to let the one or two flies buzzing around live out the remainder of their short lives and die on their own. This was where I went wrong.

Tuesday afternoon while walking from our front living room to our kitchen, I noticed several flies sitting on the window in our dining room. I started to count them and when I got to 7, I thought, "What is going on?" I then glanced into the kitchen and saw 4 more flies on the window in there, and then turned back into the living room to see 5 more flies on one of the windows in there. By this point, my blood was boiling so much is was about to shoot out of my veins and through my skin.

I went on a rampage and spent the next 15 or so minutes killing 19 flies. I had mercy on 3 flies that I ended up shooing out the door and then killed 8 more later that evening. I was only mildly comforted by my success at elimination all the flies (I could see at least) because I knew the reality was that some fly had laid a nest of a zillion eggs and that this party was long from over. I came home from work the next evening to find John swatting at flies. He said he'd already killed at least 15 (which means maybe 5 because he tends to exaggerate...and even he admits he's not good at killing flies). I killed 8 more that night. One was still buzzing about, but I'd nearly thrown my elbow out going after his siblings, so I decided to get him in the morning.

Today, I've killed at least 10 more; I'm starting to lose count. I just googled "fly infestation" and believe that our house has been taken over by bottle flies (also called greenbottle, bluebottle or blow flies), which are noted for their "metallic blue or green coloration." The good news? -- "Blowflies are scavengers who deposit their eggs on decaying meat, fish, garbage, fecal matter and dead animals." Now all I have to do is find and eliminate this source of decay. Fantastic. The really good news? -- "Complete development (from egg to adult) can require as little as 10 days or as much as 3 weeks." So I only have to deal with this for 3 more weeks. Stupendous! Too bad my husband will have to commit me long before then.

Actually, one good thing that has come out of all this is I found one interesting piece of advice on how to keep flies from entering your home:

"Many people swear that a zip-lock bag filled half-way with water and attached over entry-ways will repel flies. No one yet knows how or why it works, but there is speculation that it has something to do with the way the moving water refracts light."

If anyone tries it, let me know if it works for you. In the meantime, pray for my sanity.


Stephanie said...

Ugh! Flies are such a nuisance and Sydney has already been trained to spot them in the house and yell, "Grab your fly swatter Mama!"

The water bag in the doorway DOES work. My father-in-law does it for his coffee shop because he has the doors open all the time. It doesn't keep all the flies out, but it does keep a lot of them away. Remember to have the bag hang in the doorway, not perched about the door. The light needs to filter through it.

Stephanie said...

oops...that should read *above* the door, not *about* the door

lynne said...

kristin-this is really funny to me, because, well...i hate flies and they seem to come around those that can't stand them the most. here's my latest solution-fly tape. yes, the really sticky gross thing that you hang outside in the garage. well, it hangs in our kitchen just fine and works like a charm. it has actually become a hobby for me ("matt, i caught 8 flies in 4 hours"). the only thing you need to be aware of is...well..visitors. just doesn't look that attractive.

Lila Lohan said...

We have a serious fly problem on our back porch. I can't figure out what the food source is that is drawing them there (no dead animals/garbage/dog poop, nothing). We put the bag of water above our doorway to help keep them out because they're getting out of control in our house, but it did not slow them down one bit. I guess it's a good thing we're handy w/the fly swatter. Probably going to have to try the ugly fly tape or something.

owen and toby's mom said...

How did this story end? It's exactly what has happened to me today. Must have killed 50 then later tonight 10 more. I feel like they are appearing from inside. My skin is crawling!!

Yazzie Miss said...

I have seen this done at bars and restaurants too. For some reason they always put a couple of bright pennies in the bag too. I think it dazzles and confuses the flies so they don't approach the source of reflection. I want to know how to get the herd of flies that is always swirling in a circle on my front porch?! It is gross having to shoo them away just to get in the front door. My porch is shady and I suspect they like that. but is there anything natural that might repel them? any ideas at all?

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