Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Homestead Tips on Tuesday: How to Get Rid of Flies... This is War!!!

Flies.... those little insects who have no respect for your home or yard. They fly anywhere they feel, sit on your counter and rub their little legs together.... mocking you.... taunting you to come and get them. This is war!!! But how do you do battle with such a mobile adversary? You build a diverse arsenal!

First off you need to know your enemy. You can't fight what you don't understand..... and flies are creatures of habit, so getting to know how they operate makes battle so much easier! As with most critters, flies like anything they can eat.... be it crumbs on your counter, the decomposing material in your compost pile, or *gasp* animal poo. They say cleanliness is next to Godliness, but you can't always be Mr. Clean now can you. So what can you do? Identify the buffet areas and attempt to neutralize them!


Make sure you wipe down counters, cover trash bins, and clean our your coop (or whatever animal waste.) Got a dog? Scoop them poops! Have animals stalls? Muck em out. Wash your dishes daily. Wipe down your surfaces. Flies leave a dirty colored substance that alerts other flies to your wonderful bounty of yummy goodness. We have a chandelier in our dinning room that has drop crystals..... from a distance all looks fine, but with a closer inspection..... yuck! Soapy water to clean them takes down the billboard to other flies that you have goodies for them. Even if you can't see crumbs, the flies have found something and are broadcasting it far and wide. Look close!!! You may not notice this on darker surfaces or the tops of cabinets..... so be inspector gadget and really inspect and eliminate those "billboards."



Once you eliminate the billboard and control the "food" sources, it is time to go after those adult flies!! Now there are many products out there you can buy and of course I have not tried them all, nor all the home remedies either, but here is my take on how to get rid of those pesky flies......

  1. The commercial fly trap - In my opinion.... complete and TOTAL fail. Save your money! We have a $5.00 device in our chicken coop. While it added its own unique stink to the symphony of smells, it is lacking in actual dead flies. But trust me, there were plenty of potential victims flying around! I would have to deam this trap a total and complete fail and will go back to my old stand by..... the fly strip.
  2. The fly strip - Let's admit it, they are ugly and gross, but they work! I have noticed that the lighter color strips attract more flies faster then the darker strips, but both work well. And while I dislike looking at fly strips, I dislike wearing them even more. Trust me, they are super sticky. How do I know? Oh I have worn a few in my hair a time or two because of either bad placement or my lack of attention to my surroundings. I can, without a doubt say, I would rather step in chicken poo bare foot then to have to remove and pluck sticky dead fly bodies out of my hair. That being said, they work great!
  3. The flyswatter - The good old manual flyswatter is awesome for indoor use, IF you know how to use one of these bad boys! Flies like light, look at fixtures and where sunlight enters your room. Flies cant fly backwards.... yes they are fast, but if you attack from the front, your kill rate will sky rocket. Hunt at night... When flies go to sleep they head up. Look on lighter surfaces, they are more attracted to lighter colors. Check your ceilings, ceiling fan blades, window and door frames, light fixtures, curtain rods, etc.

Oh sure, there are chemical methods out there you could us. I personally don't like to use chemicals around my home. If you are looking for a green way to combat flies, look into carnivorous plants like a Venues Flytrap!! While the quantity vs time frame of flies may be lacking (unless you have a LOT of them) they are nice to look at and they leave no clean up (aka body parts hanging around.) These bad boys are efficient little killers.

Flies, this is war!!! No matter what you do, do something! I would love to hear your successes or failures in dealing with flies. Has anyone used a home remedy that totally works? Please share! We are all in this war together!!!

**Homestead Tips on Tuesday is a weekly series where we help you learn skills, tips, and trick to help you on your journey of homesteading. Many places post list of things you should/could do as far as homesteading skill, but I feel lists are at times overwhelming and can make people give up before they even start. So every Tuesday I share one thing for you to try or consider. I hope you join us every Tuesday and I would love to hear about your adventures with each weeks topic.**


28 comments:

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    1. What are fly predators? Do tell... you have me on the edge of my seat!

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    2. We bought some fly predators. You can google them. They are parasitic wasps, or the like. They do not sting, but do love to eat the fly larva. You are supposed to get them out before fly season begins to get on top of the problem before it starts. The only problem is that you need to keep them out of reach of animals (they are not poisonous, but obviously they can wipe out your arsenal), and keep them out of the path of ants. For us, ants were a problem and I had to keep moving the package around so the ants didn't eat them up. The year before the parasitic wasps we had a HORRID year of battling flies. It was horrible, horrible. We didn't learn about the fly predators until later in the season, but I was done with another bad season. There was definitely a marked drop in a few weeks time. However they are on the expensive side, and I decided to lay some DE down in the nesting areas, and any other fly buffet areas (outside). We also bought some of the sticky window traps to put up in our house. Finally we got control of the problem. Ever since then we have not had the problems we had that horrid year. I feel I can open my door and not worry we just let in 20 more flies :-)

      Blessings,
      Kerri

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    3. O think I know what your talking about! Okay, weird story here... my mom gave my oldest a cocoon of sorts she had found thinking it would be great fun to hatch a butterfly. It was in an old McD's cup on the shelf for forever... I had for got about it. Then one day I heard a noise and upon investigating, realized the cup had a new friend! So I went and got my oldest, probably about 6 at the time and we peeked in to see what kind of moth or butterfly we had and it was one of those wasps!! LOL

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  2. Funny and informative. Luckily I don't get many inside. Maybe with all the screens, etc. We also live in a city lot, and deep litter our coop, with no other animals. No fun, I remember cabin camping with my family, files everywhere!!!

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    1. I should adopt the flies and see if I can claim them on my taxes.... to bad they only live 15-30 days LOL

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  3. Thanks for coming by the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop. Love your post and appreciate you taking the time to share.
    Blessings,
    Shari

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  4. Great tips! I hate flies. Thank you for joining us on the Wake Up Wednesday Link Party! Have a good day!

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    1. Hope you become a master swatter... remember, always come from the front LOL

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  5. Oh the flies! We combat them every. single. year! With 7 children at home, and the accompanying constant opening of doors, it's just an ongoing battle. And food - I'm always cooking it seems, and there must be some fly announcement made that there's plenty of snacks in our house. Honestly, it's a bit comforting to read that I'm not the only one fighting this battle. I have often wondered what we must be doing wrong. We've used those fly strips - and you are right - they are effective, but oh, I hate them - so nasty! In the end, I've just developed amazing swatting skills. My kill rate it pretty high. Guess practice makes perfect, huh?
    Thanks for sharing and keeping me from feeling like I'm the only person in the universe with this dilemma! :)

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    1. I promise you are far from the only one with this problem! LOL It's just that we admit it and most folks wouldn't :) Battle on my sister in war!!! We will turn the tide one day!

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  6. You do know your enemy! Now, how about mosquitoes?? Thanks for sharing on the Thursday Blog Hop!!

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    1. Haa haa mosquitoes.... those little buggers.... umm hide in the house all summer!?!?! LOL

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  7. What about Fly Predators, like Southern Peach Girl mentioned? These critters eat the fly larvae. But, you need to start early. Begin broadcasting them in April and stop in October, with a double dose in July. Have you tried them? We use them in conjunction with baited fly traps, (which work well, too, capturing thousands of flies each month. But, you need to know which to use and where to put them. Give them a try!

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  8. Hate those nasty flies! We have a pasture 35 ft. behind our house with 5 horses and 1 old mule, not to mention the deer and other creatures. I am excellent with a fly swatter. What about zip-lock baggies filled with a little water and a few pennies? One of my cousins had a baggie hanging on the outside of door. Haven't tried it, but friends swear by them. I tried a $10 fly strip and everything else got stuck to it. Not one fly. Have a great day,Linda.

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    1. Linda I have heard the water bag trick, but not tried it. I guess you are to place them at doors because the reflecting light in the water confuses the fly's eyes and they will fly away.

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  9. We use the fly-swatter, daily control! (Along with mucking our stalls and cleaning the chicken coop.)

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    1. I love going commando with my fly swatter! LOL

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  10. Great info!!! We currently live in the down stairs in-law suit at my folks house and our drop ceiling is connected to the garage. So it never fails that when a rat is killed by the traps in the garage we have an invasion of these guys. I have had my share of fly strips in my hair too. In fact I think there's still some sticky residue on one of the walls that I can't get off. Any tips to getting the stick off?!?

    Thanks for linking up at My Favorite Things Saturday!!

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    1. I have never had it stick to anything but my hair and shampoo got it out just fine.... maybe try some shampoo!

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  11. Thanks for linking up to our From the Farm blog hop, I chose this as my favorite! I've been using diatomaceous earth around our place and it seems to be helping (as long as it doesn't rain...which it has been a LOT).

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  12. Thanks for sharing this post at The Green Thumb Thursday Garden Blog Hop. We hope you will join us again this week.
    Oh my goodness, what a timely post. We are fighting flies like crazy this year. Thanks for the tips.

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    1. I think everyone is having a hard fly time with flies this year.

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  13. Pinned. Thanks for the resource!! Linda Crafts a la Mode

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