Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fly Control in the House

These past couple of weeks the house has become the residence to a large number of flies and vinegar flies. Not my idea of nice house cohabitants. Because I didn't have the time to go fly stalking, I hit upon the thought of the old fashioned flypaper. To tell you the truth, I didn't even know if it was for sale around here. So I dropped into my town's hardware store and asked. Surprise! Not only is the stuff still manufactured, but the store had a pack of them. I instantly snarfed it up even though it wasn't senior discount day. And don't tell them, but I would have been willing to pay twice the price because those flies were driving me batty. 

I was one focused mad woman when I arrived back home. Ignoring a lamb hollering for a bottle, the kittens begging to be fed, and two donkeys braying for attention, I carried my treasure directly to the livingroom. Grabbing the step stool out of the kitchen, I aimed to hang my first fly strip. Oooo, I forgot just how careful one needs to be around this sticky stuff. But with a thumb and finger now as sticky as the paper, I did manage to get one flypaper hanging from the beam in the center of the room. 

2 minutes later I got my first fly! Deep satisfaction. Shamelessly I was reveling in murder. But pity soon overcame me and I killed the hapless fly. 

So how well does flypaper work? Pretty good. Just overnight it caught all the flies and hundreds of vinegar flies. 

Way back when I was a youngster, flypaper plus a handheld flyswatter were the common armaments one used to combat flies around the house. But somewhere along the line as time went by, they were cast aside. Toxic chemicals became preferred. Sprays, aerosol misters, and fume emitting bug strips took their place. And now here I sit, totally thrilled about the effectiveness of old fashioned flypaper. So here's my choices:
1- invisible toxic bug killers & repellents, or 
2- non-toxic, effective flypaper hanging in the room plus an equally effective flyswatter that fails the "Better Homes and Garden" esthetic test. 

I'm choosing #2. 

As far as my homestead project is concerned, #2 is far more sustainable, self reliant, and frugal. And of course less toxic and damaging. 

By the way, I'm dumping out the vinegar jar in the kitchen and replacing it with a piece of flypaper. I want to see if it is more effective. 


  1. My brother and I were offered 1 penny for every fly we could kill - with the body saved for proof - by my child-intolerant Aunt Betty. It was a classic hot muggy day in a Southern Illinois small town, and bored boys like us knew a good deal like that would allow us to fund a spending spree at the Western Auto store. Mom nearly fell over laughing at her sister, stunned by the galvanized bucket holding 1,584 dead flies, as proof positive. That "peace and quiet" she thought she was conning us into would cost her maybe a quarter. She kept asking us if we really touched those icky dead houseflies, so we demonstrated 3 more kills right there on the front porch. I held my hand up toward her with the 3 flies in my palm. Betty called off the deal, but Mom got us the money after we dumped that bucket out at the chicken coop (mad rush of chickens ensued!). Somehow, we got rotated out to one of our uncles' farm to do various chores, including learning to sell tomatoes, strawberries, and sweet corn, adding to our riches. Of course, we blew it all at the Illinois State Fair.

    1. What a great story! I would have loved to be there to see the look on her face!