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Fly in the sky. May 29, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, critters, homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Silence Dogood here. I just read the most extraordinary technique for keeping flies away from your home in “Dollar Stretcher Tips,” the free e-newsletter from The Dollar Stretcher (www.stretcher.com). It’s homemade, nontoxic, practically free, and best of all, it works!

All you need are zip-lock plastic bags and water. Say what? No, the flies don’t mistake the bags for aboveground pools and drown. Instead, they apparently mistake them for menacing predators and flee the area.

The author of the tip said friends’ formerly fly-infested porch was completely fly-free after they hung up five of the water-filled bags under the porch eaves. (She’d been understandably skeptical, but visited both before and after and saw for herself.)

The editor of the newsletter added that because of the numerous facets in fly eyes, the water distorts their vision, frightening them off. She noted that this technique had been known since at least Colonial times, when folks would set out clear glass bowls of water to repel flies. I wonder if our hero and blog mentor, the great Benjamin Franklin, used fly-repelling water bowls in his home? Maybe he even invented the technique.

Unfortunately, the article didn’t mention exactly how the people hung up the plastic bags. Try as I might, I can’t think of a good way to suspend a heavy, water-filled plastic bag without either obscuring its transparency or turning it into a water balloon, just waiting to rip free and crash down on somebody’s head (almost inevitably mine).

Mercifully, our friend Ben and I don’t have many flies hovering around Hawk’s Haven, so I won’t have to put this technique to the test. But if anybody tries it, please let us know what you do and how it works for you!

                ‘Til next time,




1. Becca - May 29, 2012

whatever the technique, we need to figure it out over here! the flies are just awful. 😦 we have a couple of those nasty smelling fly traps but would definitely like something else to try.

Give it a shot, Becca, and report back, please! Let’s hope it works for horseflies, too. Good luck!!!

2. SaraC - May 29, 2012

I’ve tried it. I noticed plastic bags of water in doorways all throughout Portugal when I was traveling there which prompted me to figure out what the heck people were doing that for! In case they get thirsty in the threshold?! Anyway, getting the bag to hang from a string without tearing wasn’t too hard (heavy duty ziploc, hooked with paperclips, tied on string) but here’s my observation: It doesn’t work to keep them out of a yard area or an open space. I think it is relatively affective in a doorway, which is narrow and once the flies turn away they are less likely to figure out another way in. But we had horrible flies in our backyard in Oakland and all manner of bags in trees wouldn’t get them to leave. They just flew around all crazy.

That it wouldn’t work outside makes sense to me, Sara! But at least it keeps the flies out of the house. I wonder why there were so many in your backyard?!

SaraC - June 4, 2012

Stray cat poop. :/

Er. Been there, had that…

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