Don’t get me wrong, I’m the last one you will ever hear complaining about the weather being too hot. But the 80 degree temps seem to have caused an explosion in the fly population. Anybody that’s ever visited our house already knows I have an aversion to all things fly related. The minute one gains entry, I’ll break off a conversation, leave the dinner table, etc. to chase it around with a large net liberated from its usual perch on the fish tank. The fish net makes a great snaring tool – you can just swipe them right out of the air, then step on the net, or hit it with a book, depending on the level of violence you wish to rain down upon the unfortunate flies. Any fly inside our house has an approximately three-minute life expectancy, the countdown for which starts the minute I lay eyes upon it.
Outside it’s a different story – no matter where I look, I see flies cavorting, or resting, or dating. I went to the hardware store yesterday to peruse the pest-control options, and was disappointed to find they don’t have any sort of incendiary, fly-seeking, carpet-bomb type solutions. I was tempted to go for the Raid fogger, but after reading the warning label (which includes the admonishment to under no circumstances breathe said fog in, but how do you avoid an aerosol mist?) I decided I didn’t want to run the risk of the chickens eating the flies which dropped dead onto the ground. I avoided the “fly baits” for similar reasons, since unless the little bait bits hang suspended in mid-air, there’s a good chance the critters will eat them as well. They had a spray which kills flies on contact, which I seriously considered, but ran into the same problem – the chickens can get to pretty much any place the flies land, which means they’re absorbing poison through their feet. Plus it will only work if you spray EVERYWHERE the flies land, and they seem to like resting on my strawberry plants, along with a million other areas, so coating our surroundings in poison didn’t seem like the way to go.
I ended up with those long strips of sticky fly paper, which I promptly festooned around our yard. It looks like I was trying to decorate for a party, but bought the most hideously disgusting streamers they had. So far they seem to be working; I love waving at the flies in the chicken coop, fanning the swarm towards their sticky demise. One of the articles on fly control I read suggested buying “beneficial” predators such as mud dauber wasps in bulk, then releasing them in the yard to hunt the flies, but that reminded me too much of Australia and the cane toads – we all know how that one turned out.