For those of you who don’t live in the country, here’s a reason to feel smug. We’ve had a plague of flies.
Initially I wondered whether my rather casual attitude to cleaning had created a fly colony somewhere in the house. I was relieved to hear from little friend Amy-next-door that they also had ‘hundreds of flies’ at their place. Amy’s mum is a super efficient housekeeper, so I took that as a sign to stop worrying that my own level of domestic effort has more in common with Neil from The Young Ones than with Martha Stewart.
According to the Whangarei Leader (and who am I to argue), the real cause is warm, wet, humid weather, which has turned Northland into fly orgy central. And apparently the local nasties didn’t hold back. They’ve been breeding like… Well — flies.
There were so many of the little buzzers we resorted to fly spray, something we usually avoid for fear of poisoning ourselves and our collection of useful house spiders (including Doris who lives under the outside sill of the ranchslider). This time though the Forbearing Husband and I gave in. Four whole cans of neurotoxins were dispersed around the house over the course of a week. I feared for our health, but meanwhile the flies kept right on flying (see previous posting on the surprising virility of Northland pest populations). In desperation I resorted to the time honoured ‘bash them with a newspaper’ technique.
That was a week ago, and I’ve since become completely addicted to slamming flies. It’s better than any computer game, and an investment of 15 minutes or so a day keeps the house mostly pest free. Additional and unexpected benefits have been (1) a distinct improvement in my aim (anyone for tennis?), and (2) cleaner windows, since even a housekeeper of my dubious calibre can only stand so many bloodstains on the glass.
During my endeavours I’ve noticed that some flies are definitely smarter than others. There are those that taunt me by sitting on my newly clean windows, no doubt sensing my reluctance to generate fresh smears. Some alight only on surfaces I cannot bash heartily with my folded Supercheap Auto flyer swatter — my laptop, the feijoas in the fruit bowl, the Forbearing Husband’s latest scratchings; others play dead only to reanimate; and some waste my time by arranging their dead bodies on the floor in such life like positions that try to I kill them all over again. All in all I’m a bit worried that my missed shots may be inadvertently hastening evolution of a more wily version of musca domestica. The Super Fly.
Anyone else out there with a fly swatting obsession? Don’t be shy, you’re among friends.