Tuesday, October 11, 2011

With lust covered, I've moved on to murder

I am a pacifist at heart. I can’t squish bugs. I cry when I see roadkill. Though I’m not a vegetarian, I’m only able to justify my meat consumption by making up stories about my hamburger’s history as a sadistic pedophile who deserved to die.

I’m telling you all this so you grasp what a big deal it is when I tell you I’ve been on a fly killing rampage.

We’ve had a warm autumn here in Central Oregon, and the result is a late fly hatch that apparently made a group decision to set up camp in my office.

As you might imagine, it’s tough to be a productive writer when you have to stop every 1.3 seconds to bat flies off your computer screen or your person.

It’s possible this is all a reflection on my personal hygiene,and also possible I could solve the problem by not leaving my front door wide open for the breeze.

No matter, the flies are pissing me off.

I began waging war with the closest weapon at hand – a copy of The Great Gatsby.

When one of my housemates came home to find me desecrating a great work of literature with fly guts, he went to the store and bought me a pair of flyswatters.

The flyswatters have made me a more effective hunter, though my lack of aim occasionally results in damage to household breakables or housemates’ faces.

So now my office is littered with fly corpses, and I have to come to terms with the fact that I’m a serial killer.

Does anyone have any good tips for keeping flies at bay without the need for mass murder? I’d love to hear about it.

I’d also love to kill that little bastard who’s crawling across my keyboard right about….NOW!


Patrick Alan said...

Is this a euphemism?

"not leaving my front door wide open for the breeze."

I mean, there has to be a euphemism in this post somewhere.

Jessica Lemmon said...

I HATE to kill bugs. If they didn't make that *sound* when you squish them, I could totally do it. sorry, I'm no help. There is flypaper if you're not adverse to displaying your army of insect corpses.

Sarah W said...

I know that vanilla body spray from Bath & Body Works wards off gnats and mosquitoes, but I'm not sure about flies.

Maybe a citronella plug-in?

My parents met in grad school one summer and Dad used to kill flies in their classroom and pile them on Mom's desk to get her attention. Such a flirt, that man.

midnightblooms said...

I hate to point out the obvious, but a screen door allows the breezes and keeps out the bugs.

Anyway, flypaper works, but personally I find it more disgusting than a flyswatter. *shudder*

Maybe you need some spiders?

Katie Richie said...

I don't kill bugs either (except flies and mosquitoes). When I find a spider in the house I coax it into an envelope and dump it outside.

Speaking of spiders, you can get a few of them to spin some webs in your office to catch the flies. Just an idea...

Gracielou said...

As others have posted lol a screen door works good, fly paper is a good choice just cover your eyes when you have to look in that direction, they do have pest plug ins I'm sure one of them work on flies that way they just don't come over instead of dieing..

Matthew MacNish said...

Flies don't count.

But my dog usually takes care of them, after spending like an hour chasing one down.

justjess said...

I dealt with two fly infestations this summer. I was working from home at the time...and a lot of work didn't get done.

I hunted them with rolled-up copies of the New Yorker (your fly swatters are probably better). I also made fly traps by boiling together sugar, syrup, vinegar, and honey and pouring it into jars covered with plastic wrap with fly-sized holes in it. They caught maybe five flies, and like a billion tiny ants. So don't do that. A good thought, but they just invite a secondary infestation (and lead to more death).

Otherwise, I don't have much advice except to stay strong and shoo them outside when you can. They all die within a couple of weeks.

lynnrush said...

It's finally cooling down here in the desert, so I'm leaving my doors wide open to get the fresh air in (since of air conditioning air since JUNE!)---and in come the bugs.

So, my fly swatter is out and ready to nab anything coming my way. :)

Therese said...

I've seen clear bags (sandwich size)filled with water and hanging down about a foot from the top of the doorway. It's supposed to deter flies.

There's also something about geraniums in flower boxes as used around Europe. They don't have screens either.

Perfecting your fly swatter technique could be a good intro for taking up tennis... Happy hunting.

Writer Pat Newcombe said...

Oh dear! Use a flyscreen... or buy a losquito net and drape yurself and your PC in that!! Or maybe not...

Bethany Elizabeth said...

I am okay with spiders, flies, and bees, but moths are the worst for me. :( But I'm getting sick of all the bugs too. It's getting cold, and they're coming for my warm dorm room. Okay, my not-freezing dorm room. They leave when they find out they're not allowed to hang up their pictures with thumbtacks though. Suckas. :)

Brooklyn Ann said...

Fly tape, all the way. It's gross, but effective.

Karla Nellenbach said...

I've never tried it, but a lot of people i know use the old pennies in a plastic bag of water trick. It seems to work for them, but you might look a little on the looney side hanging baggies of water and pennies around your office.


Taymalin said...

yeah...I usually take things outside. Except ants. I loathe ants. One year I found a can of raid in my father's garage and went on a killing spree. Until I got a little light headed and loopy from inhaling the stuff.

I wouldn't kill ants, but they seem to hate me even more than I hate them. I've seen them go out of their way to bite me.

Once, I was sitting on the livingroom floor, enjoying a bag of doritos, when an ant came over. It walked up to the bag, then scrambled over to my arm and bit me before going back to the bag.

Now my method is to strike before getting bitten.

The Sprouting Acorn said...

if it was up to me, i think i'd turn loose some frogs/toads over spiders…. at least they don't bite. :) frogs have that long tongue… i'm thinking that may give you some entertainment. :)

justjess said...

I hate ants too, Taymalin! I'm fine with spiders and bees and moths and everything else, but ants are even worse than flies.

Jen Stayrook said...

You mean to tell me Mat the Cat and Blue Cat AREN'T good fly killers? I've tried everything for flies. And by everything I mean fly tape. It doesn't work and even worse, I always get it stuck all over my body. Not a good body sticky either. I wish I had better tips for you other than "wait til winter," but I'm tapped out.

Maybe you should hire a cabana boy with fly-swatting abilities?

K.B. Owen said...


Use hairspray. It lacquers their wings and they drop like...well, like flies, but you know what I mean. We've used it on bees, too, that get in when our adorable children leave the screen door open too long. It doesn't kill them, but renders makes them helpless so you can have your way with them - either throwing them outside for bird food, or squishing them and throwing them in the trash.

Good luck!

Mary said...

Get 'em, girl! Smack 'em hard! Beat their buzzy little arses! Hum...I think I'm getting a bit too into that.

You can always borrow my little pup, Fiona, who's my resident fly catcher. Tastes like chicken, I guess. (I refuse to try for myself, leaving that up to the dog.)

Tawna Fenske said...

Patrick, I am ashamed for my lack of euphemisms. I’ll try to do better next time.

Jessica, ugh, I hate the sound! I did try flypaper once, but couldn’t stand watching them squirm and scramble and suffer slowly.

Sarah, vanilla body spray? Dang, I’ll have to give that a try. Maybe the citronella thing, too. Thanks!

Midnightblooms, yeah, I’ve considered a screen door, but I’m in a limbo period right now where I’m not sure I’ll be keeping the house. I hate to spend much money on home improvements….

Katie, I love spiders, but my housemates aren’t such big fans. One of them freaked out the other day over the black widow in my garage.

Gracielou, OK, I really need to look into this plug-in thing!

Matthew, my dog will snap at them if they land on her, but she’s not much for hunting and killing.

Justjess, I was reading along about your traps and nodding to myself going, “yeah, I’ll have to try that.” Glad I got to your caution about NOT doing it!

Lynnrush, are flies more of a desert thing? That must be the issue here then. Never realized that, but I definitely notice the heat brings them out.

Therese, I’ve seen that with the clear plastic bags, and even tried it once myself. Then I forgot and slammed the baggie in the door. Um, messy.

Writer Pat Newcombe, I like the idea of writing under a mosquito net! Sounds exotic!

Bethany, I have a very “live and let live” attitude with most bugs, but it drives me bonkers when they land on me over and over and over….

Brooklyn Ann, but I just hate how they stick there and struggle to get free for like HOURS!

Karla, I tried the baggies of water once, but never added the pennies. Hmmm….I’ll give that a shot.

Taymalin, so we can conclude you’re more delicious to a bug than a bag of Doritos? You should be flattered!

The Sprouting Acorn, hey, this ties to my whole feng shui experiment! Frogs are supposed to be good for my wealth corner, and even better if they’re real and eat bugs!

Jen, one of the housemates really enjoys the fly swatters (which I think is why he bought two!) but the pets are pretty useless.

KB Owen, hmmm….I might have to give that a shot. Of course, I’ll probably just end up making my whole office sticky and smelly!

Mary, you know, it IS a good way to get out aggression!

Thanks for reading, guys!

Sierra said...

I say go for a carnivorous plant or two. They're pretty AND useful. Pitcher plants are really cool looking, and my aunt says they work well. :)

Sierra said...

Oops, meant to add that even if the plants don't make a dent in the fly population on their own, they'd give you a fantastic method of body disposal. ;)