Hunting flies. Can you hear Milo’s delighted giggles?
It’s late summer in Christchurch, and the house flies have started their invasion. Being of British decent, Kiwi’s don’t consider window screens to be a necessity. So on warm window-opening days, particularly when food is cooking, the flies swarm indoors. After two years of frustrations with pitifully inaccurate dishtowel swats, I finally added “fly swatter” to the shopping list.
Now for a bit of a fly rant: I hate them.
I’m not super cleanly when it comes to house (ok, admit it: I’m not super clean about anything). But when there are more than 3 flies swirling between cutting board, hair, and door frame, my blood pressure starts to rise. I should be concerned because their feet have been exploring the diaper pail and are now traipsing over my scrambled eggs…but, well, we have immune systems for a reason. (Speaking of, have you ever heard of “contact immunity” with live vaccines?…yeah). Instead, these flies are repulsive for the same reason I hate the scuttling silverfish in the pantry—the memory of my entomology professor’s sage advice. “You want an unusual order for the bug collection? Find silverfish in dirty frat houses–they’re a Thysanura.” These insects, like house flies and cockroaches, stereotypically plague residences of the sloppy and slovenly.
I don’t want my house to be like a college frat house!
The house sure looked like a trashed hovel this morning, after Milo dumped the toy baskets to use the baskets as pretend animal cages. In the foreground Naomi tries to figure out the snazzy new fly shooter given to us by our friend Laura. She understands annual NZ fly invasion.
Milo has the fly shooter sorted, at least the firing mechanism. To tell truth, he’s a better aim with the swatter. He proudly brings me his kill to admire before popping them in the trash.
Here’s my lame attempt at biological control. The first night we had the venus fly trap it caught two flies, but I’m not sure it’s caught anything on its own accord since. We feed it. I’m delighted with it nonetheless.