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."
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.**