The Year of the Fly

No, this is definitely not a post about Chinese zodiac. (chuckle) Nor is it a belated commentary about the 1980’s remake of the movie “The Fly” starring Jeff Goldblum. That would produce way too much drool. Though there is plenty of gore in that film, there is also a brief scene of Mr. Goldblum in the buff and that’s worthy of quite a bit of salivation. However, that’s neither here nor there.

We are inundated with flies this year!!??!

Anyone who tells me that Mother Earth is not getting increasingly warmer needs to have their head examined to find out what planet they’re living on. The usual deep freeze that I’ve come to know in New England really hasn’t happened this year. Yes, we did see a few single digit nights. We even got hit with a blizzard a few weeks’ ago. But that deep freeze that lasts for weeks, even months? Nope. That freeze, despite the extra layers of clothing and that extra log on the fire, has always been a bit of a godsend. Fleas, ticks, flies, worms–all of the myriad creepy crawlies that can make life annoying, at best, and downright miserable at the worst on a homestead, have been snug as–dare I say it?–bugs in a rug all winter long. We haven’t seen any fleas (knock on wood) but I’m pretty careful about keeping everyone groomed. And mites have been at a minimum because, unlike most winters, my chickens have been able to take their dust baths all winter long. Usually the ground is too frozen for them to “bathe” in the dusty earth under my bathroom window. But the flies have been ungodly.

Take a walk into my kitchen right now and I guarantee you will be hit in the face with at least a couple of flies. There are fly strips hanging in nearly every corner–and, wow, are they a bit of a nasty hazard for those of us with long hair…ewww!–and they fill up within a day of hanging them. Mom and I have been swatting, and killing, them by the dozens on a daily basis. Our fly swatter now wobbles uncontrollably on its handle from so much use. It has become a nightly ritual to target as many as I possibly can before I go to bed–and I can usually count the number I swat in the double digits. And yet, we’re still inundated.

I am loathe to use any sort of spray due to the possible threat this might pose to Smoky the Cockatiel and the many rabbits and cats who share this home with us. I avoid chemicals as much as I possibly can, not wanting to add to the carbon footprint they create. However, I am getting desperate.

Where are they coming from? That has been the big question. Yes, I have a farm with live animals. Yet places like the barn, where most of those animals stay, are fly-free. It is only the house. Mom and I have been pulling spaces apart to try and find the source but we have yet to succeed. They still keep coming. For every one we swat, it seems there are 20 more to take its place. I’m wondering if Bellatrix Lestrange has somehow placed a curse on them similar to the goblet she bewitched in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” to multiply every time somebody touched it. It is that bad.

However, to keep this post from being one big rant, I remembered seeing an episode of a show called “Yankee Jungle” where the owners of this exotic animal refuge have something called a fly jar. I found their website and asked what is in the jar as the ingredients were non-toxic and eco-friendly, but did the trick to keep their animals from such a nuisance. I may be making a few of these jars on my own…

May God bless you & keep you!

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