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How to swat a fly June 6, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery.

Given the recent spates of heat (in Ireland, 20° C is heat !) the back garden has become home to some sort of fly squadron.  I think the purpose of their recce to our garden is so they can have a safe haven from which to launch a vicious attack on the next door neighbour’s rose bushes.  Anyway I digress …

I find the little fuckers really hard to swat and was wondering does anyone know a really effective swatting mechanism ?  “Don’t let them in the house !” I hear someone cry, but hey, it’s a given that at least one barrel of a completely un-aerodynamic winged creature is going to get in at least once a day.

Such was the case yesterday evening as I lazed on the couch watching my daughter absolutely wreck the latest edition of the TV Times.  You can’t just swat a fly !  I mean, you can if you have the right equipment and happen to have a rolled up newspaper handy – but say you’re just lying there … I tend to just lunge ungracefully at the thing with whatever happens to be in my hand.  Like the remote control.  But without weapons of mass fly-struction it’s useless.  Hitting a fly with your hand is a kin to you being hit at 0.1 miles an hour with a bus sized marshmallow !

So I hit him with the remote – a direct hit.  There was even a satisfying thunk as plastic made contact with fly.  What happened ?  Well before he could hit the ground, he corrected himself and turned and flew on out the door !   So unless you squash his little fly brains out (orange as it happens), hitting them with anything other than a rolled up paper (or boiling water if they are on the ground) is useless.  Your hand is especially useless as the slipstream from your swipe at him is enough to deviate his path to safety.

Of course, on this occassion I just had to follow him out to the dining room, wait for my moment and WHAM ! but that’s beside the point – I want to be able to get him when I am lying on my arse on the sofa.  We are at least hundreds of times bigger than them, have brains hundreds of times bigger than theirs, are comparatively aerodynamic, more clever and can think … but still it’s a pain in the arse to properly swat a fly !

PS : Why do we call them “flies” – a fly flies; a fish isn’t called a ‘swim’ !



1. laurie - June 6, 2007

i have gotten very good at murdering the little bastards with a regular plastic fly swatter. boscoe is *terrified* of flies–he lumbers down into the basement when he sees one (and gets stuck down there; the stairs are too narrow for him to get back up), or somehow blindly dashes out into the yard and hides behind a bush. must be some primeval thing.

riley leaps around and tries to snatch them out of the air with his mandibles of death.

i love, however, the idea of throwing the remote at them. but if you want to kill one while you’re lying on your arse, i suspect you’ll have to get a squirt gun and really perfect your aim.

2. Rambling Man - June 6, 2007

hey now thats an idea ! i doubt that the rest of the people in the house would appreciate it – water wouldnt just kill htem though – it’d have to be a wicked anti fly concoction of washing up liquid, vinegar and bats blood !

3. laurie - June 6, 2007

when i was a kid i used to spray them with my big sister’s hairspray. if you use enough, it’ll kill anything.

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