Q: Do you have a solution for combating flies? There was a home remedy in the Market Bulletin once that advised using black powder and water in a saucer. It supposedly would be consumed and the fly would die. I tried several times but the flies seemed as thick as ever!
A: I think the theory was that after consuming the mixture, the fly would head for a hot light bulb and explode. If it worked, you could have your own Fourth of July fireworks all year long!
There are much more effective ways to control flies but all take time and effort. You’d hope there would be a spray that would zap flies instantly but be harmless to other creatures. Sprays containing pyrethrin are generally considered safe to use indoors but they only work in a closed room and they have no residual action at all.
The best weapon against flies is to get rid of the places where they breed. If you grew up on a farm like I did, you know that flies prefer animal manure. You likely don’t raise chickens or cows but dog and cat droppings make excellent homes for fly eggs. Clean up around your home and yard and ask your neighbors to do the same.
If the flies are indoors, flypaper works as well now as it did a hundred years ago. Hang the strip near a sunny window and wait for the flies to find it.
Oldtimers made fly catchers by piercing a raw potato with two dozen toothpicks, coating the toothpicks with adhesive and hanging it from the ceiling with thread. These Sputnik imitations could be tossed in the pigpen when they had accomplished their mission.
If you decide to have mercy on your pests, you can employ them as “engines”. While researching your question, I found an Internet site that sells a kit for constructing tiny airplanes powered by flies.