Fly season

As the weather warms, we open more windows, sometimes prop open the door, and generally open up the house. We also start eating more fresh fruit and produce.

One of the side effects of all of that is the appearance of flies.

Over the years, I’ve learned way more about flies than I care to know.

The little gnat-like flies that hang out around the houseplants? Those actually live and breed down in the soil. You can spray the plant with every insecticide you dare, and it won’t bother the flies. To get rid of those flies, you need at least an inch of clean sand or gravel on top of the soil. The adult flies have difficulty getting down to the fertile soil to lay their eggs. The larvae that do get down there, can’t climb high enough to avoid drowning fast enough when you water. Takes a couple months, but it works a charm. Just be warned that about every other year you’ll need to replace the sand or gravel.

The other little gnat-like flies that hang around the kitchen? They don’t fly in from outside. You brought them in with that fresh fruit you picked up at the store. Their microscopic eggs were on or in the skin of the fruit. Washing the fruit before eating it and eating it quickly can slow down the arrival of the flies, but that doesn’t really knock them out. You’re just going to need to trap them. Homemade traps can be made by pouring honey, syrup, or a sweet red wine into shallow cups (though I think that only gets half—the other half just eat and get away). You have to change them often, and it’s more than a bit gross.

Slathering bleach on every surface in the kitchen does nothing about the flies, but people keep trying. Yeah, go to extra effort to clean, but the idea is to eliminate their food—spilled edible substances. Bleach is way overrated as a household cleaner, anyway. Vinegar often does a better job of getting rid of what you’re trying to eliminate with the bleach, and it’s less dangerous to the environment.

I have had people suggest that if I were more tolerant of spiders, I would have fewer flies. To which I say: half the reason I want to get rid of flies is to deprive the spiders of food!

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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. For more than 20 years I edited and published an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live near Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

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