Tuesday, July 13, 2010

“Do not draw your sword to kill a fly.” Korean Proverb


While I understand the immensely important position they hold on the food chain, I am here to proclaim quite simply, “I hate flies.”

I find them disgusting and intolerable, particularly when they are in my own home. I have had this hypersensitive revulsion to the flying filth freaks since I was a small child. I’m not sure why or when it started, but I do remember a school friend in 2nd grade informing me that she once ate dead flies from a window sill after mistaking them for raisons. I could never look at Raison Bran the same way after that. Two scoops? No thank you, please…

So, with my abhorrence of Musca domestica out of the bag so to speak, it has been to my great displeasure that the recent heat wave (and its still present after-waves) in combination with the high humidity, and just plain life at the beach in the summer, has produced an unusually high population of flies.

Ick. They are everywhere. Unfortunately for me, one particularly fond gathering spot for the loathsome wretches has been on the front porch area of my condo. So each time the front door opens, at least three or four enter with nano-second speed keeping me ever diligently on alert for their repulsive presence remaining never more than an arms reach from the fly swatter or tightly curled magazine.

But all of this changed three days ago. . .

Early Saturday afternoon as I was busy setting the stage for Christopher Peterson’s Eyecons - “Hooray For Hollywood” production that I stage manage at the Rehoboth Beach Theatre of the Arts, I stepped outside for a bit via the stage door which opens to a walkway that runs parallel to the theatre. Often, boxes of empty wine and beer bottles are temporarily kept there from the downstairs bar until they can be moved to the larger dumpster throughout the day. This collection had been a welcome buffet for the miscreants, and, being only a block from the boardwalk, there was no shortage of the creatures buzzing about in their quest for something vile to land upon.

But two things were different. One, there were no flies in the walkway that afternoon – which I found extraordinary and two, there were several, little, clear plastic bags filled with water and a few shiny, new pennies hanging from a handful of locations. At first, I thought that they were part of some ancient curse placed in the middle of the night by some embittered Eastern European recently fired waitress of which there are many in Rehoboth Beach during the summer. But, on closer inspection, they seemed too dainty and shiny to be part of a curse causing me to then think them some object of merriment or perhaps some visual clue for someone to follow like those silly games that drunken bridesmaids sometimes create for the bride to be during Bachelorette parties.

I asked one of the dancers from the show if he knew what they were, and he responded rather nonchalantly that they were to keep away the flies. . .

Wha? “Could this be true?” I asked myself. It seemed too bizarre to be. But, were there had been armies of flies were now only these water bags filled with shiny pennies. Amazed and on the verge of disbelief of my own senses, I made a quick mental note to investigate the act online when I returned home that evening.

There were countless mentions of the coins in the bag vs. flies online, but it seemed to be one of those you either believe it or you don’t situations. People either swore by it or totally disclaimed it with no in-between. But as I sat there reading the yeas and nays and swatting the latest flying raison away from my face, I decided in a “what the hell” moment to try it out. After all, I had a ziploc bags, water, twine, and a few shiny pennies – and, most importantly of all – a fly problem to address.

Early the next morning, I created my own fly-be-gone bag and, while whisking away an army of early morning flying shit-seekers, I tied it just beneath a wrought iron planter of ours filled with petunias.


I went inside and went about my day. About two hours later, I decided to investigate. To my amazement, where previously there had been anywhere from 10 to 20 flies, there were now none. Not one single fly.

That was Sunday morning and I am pleased to report, now that it is Tuesday at 10:30 AM, there are still no flies about my door and I have not had to use my fly swatter once since placing my bag of pennies.

Do I know how this works? Absolutely not. I have no idea at all. Online, there are many different explanations, with most centering around flies complex eyes and a disruption to their sun driven navigation system, but they were still a bit vague in the wording.

My partner finds it all a bit creepy and I guess it doesn’t help when I jokingly refer to it as Fly VooDoo, but, for what ever the reason, at least for the last few days, it does seem to work indeed. Will it last? Who knows. If not, Que Sera Sera, at least I’ve enjoyed my last few days of fly freedom.

I did find one link about it that seemed a bit more comprehensive than the others which you can read here:


Kim Klabe said...

Thank you! I hate them too and am trying it tonight.

Superbadfriend said...

WHOA! I've never heard of this trick.

A fly entered my condo last month and I chased him for days before finally cornering him in the bathroom. I tried to set him free, but he finally died in there.