Thursday, September 30, 2010

10 ways to kill a fly

Aside from scientists, most people feel no love for the house fly (musca domestica for those of you keeping score at home).  I consider flys, like most insects to be natures robots.  They do what they are programmed to do and that's about it.  Flys help us in two ways;  One, the eggs of flys serve to break down the carcasses of dead animals.  They make short work of even the largest of the dead.  No flies?  We would be knee deep in dead stuff.  Actually, a lot deeper than knee I think.  Two, they spread disease.  No, that doesn't sound good and nobody likes to be sick, but on the other hand if it weren't for disease coming around, we would grow up with only immunities to our own particular bugs which lowers our overall longevity.  So that second one is only good in a 'good for the whole of humanity' kind of way and pretty annoying for you if you happen to get sick.  These pests have been around for ages and we continually try to get rid of them.  Lets look at the 10 ways to be rid of this dipteric (The fly is from the order diptera meaning two wings...who knew?) pest.  The percentages I associate is my own effectiveness as a fly hunter with that method.

 10.  Swatter - 60% effective - Good old fly swatter.  Somewhere right now there are many factories dedicated to building this age old bacteria trap.  Designed with small holes in it so the air passes through while it is being swung, the swatter is a matter of skill and determination.  You can't go at it half heartedly, you need to knock this bug on his butt.  Just remember.  Everywhere you strike and miss, is another place that probably needs a good wiping down since the guts of all the bugs that went before is still marinating on it's surface.

9.  Hand - 10% effective - This is one of those things that just looks impressive.  To be able to snatch a fly out of the air with your hand shows that you are master of all you survey.  Flys should quake in your presence, but really, they don't care.  If you hit, you have to wash your hands.  If you miss, you just look kind of silly grabbing at the air.  The other method is of course the slap.  This might be a bit more effective, but it's still about the same.

8.  Gimmicky device - varies - These things are all over the place.  Electrified tennis racquets, spring loaded swatters with handy draw string for the inevitable miss.  They all get tried and most get discarded or used for something other than catching flys.

7.  Hire a spider - 95% effective - Hey Mark!  you can't use a spider to catch a fly.  Sure you can, you just can't be that picky.  You need to stop killing the spiders and they will do most of the work for you.  I have it on good authority that they LOVE flys.  Go figure.  Natures fly hunters have developed ingenious methods of killing flys and the flies have not yet caught on to the whole web thing.

6.  Magazine/newspaper - 70% effective - This actually depends on the publication.  I've found that Guns and Ammo on par with Marth Stewarts Living for the snuffing of a flys existence.  Mother Jones on the other hand seems to attract flys to it's pages.  The newspaper usually provides a more immediate method but is roughly the same.  In both cases, the internet has made them so ineffective that they maybe better sold as fly swatters.  hmmmmm...

5.  Flailing around - 1% effective - You just get peeved and start swooshing your hand vaguely around.  You may have a chance of hitting that fly, but your heart just isn't in it.  Sometimes that fly is more persistent and then it gets your attention.  Unless you are a cat,  you change to a different more targeted strategy.

4.  Vacuum - 55% effective -  There are novelty vacuum's and then there's your good old standard Kirby Vac.  If you wave your wand attachment around the fly, the airflow should do the rest.  It's kind of a challenge and you have to keep the machine on for a while.  This version is most like a game.  You wish you could hear the sound of them thumping toward the bag or canister.  The problem is this.  Even though you might have captured your quarry, You likely didn't kill him.  He's sitting there stunned waiting for another chance to fly out of the nozzle.  RATS.

3.  Bug Zapper - 100% effective (over time) - I've heard it referred to as hillbilly entertainment.  The blue glow of death that stalks all unwary flying bugs.  Mostly fruit flies, moths and other flying annoyances.  This device just waits patiently until bzzzzzzz!  But if that bug is a little big, it sounds like a power transformer is gonna blow.

2.  Sticky strip - 80%  effective - Covered in sticky sweet glue, this long strip of class hangs from the ceiling and waits for the fly to mistake it for some piece of rotting fruit.  Man's version of the pitcher plant, this device is still available at your local dollar store probably costs a buck fifty or so, but well worth it.  Another passive trap like the bug zapper, but less entertaining and it wears out over time.

1. Plants - 10% effective - I bought one of those venus fly traps when I was a kid.  I figured it would be really cool, flys would walk in and the plant would spring to life devouring the flies and seeing me as some kind of friendly fly supplier.  Later, this same plant would then avenge me to all those that have done me wrong.  Justice would be sweet.  Well, the plant never caught a single fly and I also found that Little Shop of Horrors was just a little too far fetched to happen at all.  My plant could have caught flies if planted in the wild.  Unfortunately at the time, my mom did not allow flies in the house. So my plant just got pale and died.

I'm afraid this one sounded better in my head than it actually came out.

See ya in 15 or so!


Michael said...

You neglected, at 0.0001% effective -- Chopsticks.

Dand said...

Hey Great Ways. Love Them.