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Yuck! Flies 

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Venus fly traps and pitcher plants are effective if measured by how we
Fly approaching doom in a pitcher plant. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • Fly approaching doom in a pitcher plant.
ll they thrive, but their existence does not dictate eating every fly in the world, just enough for them to get the nutrients they need, so they too have a negligible effect.

When I lived outside of Reno for two weeks in the fall of every year, our house was inundated by hundreds of flies every evening. I would fire up the trusty Kirby vacuum and suck them off the ceiling with the crevice tool. Each one down the tube made a satisfying “thuup!” sound and a slight recoil. Knowing they were being shredded by the impeller made the whole thing that much more satisfying.

From old school fly paper traps to modern high-tech pheromone baited traps, artificial lures and traps can be effective, capturing hundreds in a day or two. A simple and effective trap can be made from a plastic soda bottle with a few "V" shaped cuts, a bit of water and some rotten meat. A bit of advice, if you have a hard time with bad smells, half a quart jar of decaying flies sitting in the sun gets pretty bad!

Killing them being pointless, I finally hit on the method that works pretty well. I make my place less attractive to them, knowing it doesn't take much to fuel a critter that weighs 12 milligrams. A greasy thumbprint could provide enough calories to be attractive. I started to immediately put all used dishes in the dishwasher or wash them by hand, regularly wash down my countertops with Mr. Clean, dispose of kitchen waste right away and, oh yeah, ... ferment my sauerkraut and kim-chi out in the garage.

— For more HumBug, visit on Sunday afternoons.
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