An Attempt at House Fly Extermination

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Recently, we had the cable people come in and install service. Somewhere between the several times that the front door , garage door, and back door were opened and closed, a few dozen flies flew in with the hopes of obtaining food from our kitchen.

Not only are they annoying, houseflies can be dangerous. They have been known to carry such diseases as tuberculosis, malaria, and even anthrax. Flies don’t have jaws or teeth, so to eat their food, they have to vomit their digestive juices onto their food and then soak it up. Problems arise when their current meal is your sandwich and their last snack was rotten food…or worse. With that in mind I set out on a mission to terminate them all. A surprising strategy developed which I would like to share with you now.

Much to my surprise, the flies were making it easy for me. After the cable guys had left, I noticed several flies congregating on a window sill in the kitchen/dining area. 14 to be exact. Perhaps because the blinds were partially pulled up, the window seemed like a way out. It was hard to believe that that many flies had gotten into the house in only 2 hours. It was repulsive.

What’s the best way to terminate masses of flies quickly and successfully? Windex. By spraying a liquid on the flies, their wings are weighed down. Which means their movement is limited to crawling at speeds similar to that of a small ant. Truthfully, any liquid will do, it doesn’t even have to be toxic. A spray bottle filled with plain water would do the trick, however Windex leaves the window with a steak free shine. At the first pull of the trigger, the flies attempted to scatter, but it was no use. I was able to clean up 13 out of 14 flies in a matter of seconds. The fourteenth fly fell from out of the blinds about two minutes later. Grossed out?

We left the blinds up and throughout the day I checked back to see if other flies came to the same window. Sure enough, by the end of the day. I had gotten rid of another 8 flies. The next day, we exterminated 5 more flies. By this time, we were having difficulty believing that over 25 flies had gotten into the house in only 2 hours. Could they be replicating? Some quick research says that the possibility is unlikely. Once laid, fly eggs take 6 to 24 hours to hatch. From that point on it can take a few 7 to 14 days to transition through the larvae and pupa stage before reaching the adult stage.

For related information, checkout: Insects: Their Natural History and Diversity:

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