It’s unanimous. The biggest pain-in-the-bum factor about Australian summers is the flies. In your face. Your eyes. Your ears. Your food (eww). No one likes them. However, we don’t believe you should put up with them. In fact, we’ve made a point of stocking up on a range of solutions to help keep your house fly-free. So, why not get to know your enemy better with the below list of 10 things you probably didn’t know about flies, and more importantly, get creative with 10 ways to kill them!
1. House flies live on a liquid diet.
Flies don’t so have teeth. So when one lands on your lunch, it vomits on your food, then the acids in their vomit dissolve the food so the fly can suck it up.
2. They can taste with their feet.
Hence why they like to land on your food and have a crawl around.
3. House flies poop a lot.
Thanks to that liquid diet, it is speculated that flies defecate every time they land, about every 4-5 minutes. Like even on you. And your food.
4. They can spread a range of germs and diseases.
Because of where they feed, breed, and land, flies come into contact with a range of harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and E-coli.
House flies will often spread nasty bacteria and pass them onto us by contaminating things they feed and land on, such as food and cooking utensils.
5. They don’t live long, but they breed a lot.
On average, the life cycle of a housefly is around 30 days. However, in that short span, they get busy.
Boys have a special spot in their eye called the “love spot.” It is pretty much used for detecting and chasing female flies. (“Target acquired, engaging in aerial pursuit.”)
Females can lay over 2,000 eggs in just one month, and then the baby maggots take only ten days to fully develop once hatched.
In a nutshell, your average rubbish bin is capable of producing over 1,000 new flies a week.
6. House flies have pretty good reaction times (even better than Gilchrist).
House flies can process what they see and react quickly. Had trouble swatting one? Well, to put it in perspective, human brains process around 60 images a second, whereas a fly can process about 250 in a single second.
7. They have their favourite hang out spots.
Flies like to rest periodically on walls and ceilings near their food. They are attracted to natural daylight, (or well-lit areas), and the smell of fly poop left on nearby walls and ceilings, as well as food.
8. Several species have similar genes like us humans.
Fruit flies only have four chromosomes, but their genes are very similar to humans. That makes them a popular tester in the labs.
9. They can see behind themselves.
House flies have compound eyes with nearly a 360-degree field of view, which allows them to see behind themselves. Unlike ours, the eyes of a housefly don’t move. They can see in all directions at once, allowing them to navigate while also being on the lookout for danger.
10. Each species have their own diet preference.
Different species of flies are attracted to organic material, various food sources, and thus to different baits. Some like meat scraps, some prefer ripe fruit, and some like yeast or milk products.
Bet you’ll think twice before letting one land on your leftovers now, huh?
Right, now to the important stuff – 10 ways to kill them. Dead.
1. Fly kryptonite. BASF’s new Seclira bait.
We’ve got a big evil grin on our faces over BASF’s new Seclira fly bait spray! Simply spray on areas where flies like to hang out outside, i.e. bins, and sit back, watch them land and drop-dead instantly!
Pro tip: Have a broom or blower vac ready – they drop like, er, flies.
2. Good old fashioned spray em with a spray can.
Cover your food kids. Mum’s coming through! Take a breath, pinch your nose, point and sspppppsssshhhhht!
One small particle of fly spray is supposed to be enough to kill, but more = better = dead quicker. Right?
3. Surface spray. The stealthy choice.
The silent but deadly option they don’t see coming. Protect in and out of your home against all creepy crawlies and in this case, bloomin’ buzzies too.
4. Keep them out your face, naturally.
A favourite of bushies, bowlers, and caravaners. Use Natural Botanicals on yourself and your clothes. Ok, it won’t kill flies, but they do hate it. And it will keep them away. Plus, this won’t hurt you (unless you really dislike rosemary or cedarwood). It’s all-natural, baby!
5. Keep an automatic terminator robot sprayer in your house – plus it’s safer than commercial sprays!
Keep your house fly-free all day automatically. Ecomist sprays natural pyrethrin insecticides regularly at your choice of timing, forever and ever (or until the batteries run out).
6. Trap them in a pungent stew bucket of their dead friends.
Efekto traps are a disgustingly wicked idea. They stink (hence attract the flies), but they work even better! Watch it fill with dead black blowfly bodies in a matter of days.
Pro tip: We recommend you don’t leave it too close to your backdoor, or open windows.
Who could forget the old blue neon glow of the UV bug zapper on top of the fridge?
If you’re not keen on poisons in the house, or perhaps you get a devilish pleasure from hearing the high pitched screams of blowies being fried alive, UV bug zappers are the weapon of choice for you.
8. Stick em with sticky rolls.
Cheap and effective. Hang from the roof and watch as they glue any flying mongrels in place.
(Probably not for those who are fussy about decor).
9. For the softer of heart, lemon and cloves might do.
Ok, so we haven’t exactly tried this one. But apparently putting 15-20 cloves on top of half a cut lemon could help repel the flies.
If it doesn’t work, there are plenty of other uses for that cut lemon. Corona anyone?
Let us know if you’ve tried this trick and what the results were.
10. The last resort: Pure, primal, weaponised violence.
If all else fails, it’s hard for a fly to evade death when they’re smashed flat into oblivion by the simple but true fly swatter.
Lightweight and aerodynamic, the plastic shaft gives this weapon the extra flex and speed it needs to outpace any fly, and the extra-wide head captures any sudden movements to flatten your foe.
Unleash your inner ninja warrior and go get em champ!