Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Flies (Still) in the House

(a follow up to last month's Flies in the House)

In June we had flies in the house. There were about a half dozen of them. The kids ushered them in and made sure they were well fed on discarded snacks and under the table dinner remnants. They were comfortable here and stayed for a few weeks. I thought our vacation in the beginning of July would be the end of them, as they would have no one to feed them or let in new mates. There were still one or two flies when Steve and I got back, but the girls stayed in Omaha with their grandparents for another two weeks and we didn't see much of the flies while the kids were away. When we got home from our family trip to the beach the first week of August I didn't see any flies or hear their sweet droning in my ear. I thought they had gone by way of the cat or death on the window sill. I was wrong. They weren't gone--they were regrouping.

One day I opened the shutters and there they were, over a hundred of them, completely blotting out one of my window panes. (This is thoroughly disgusting, I know.) I swatted eighty-six flies that day, and still they buzzed on. That evening my friend Nick came over and waged the kind of chemical warfare on them that my conscience could not let me wage. (Death by flip-flop, I felt, was a more instant and humane to go.) Nick's method was brilliant, actually. He sprayed them with Windex, which killed the flies and made for easy clean up. My windows had never been so sparkly. My friend claims to have killed a couple dozen flies that night, and still they buzzed on. Over the course of the week I gave them the flip-flop treatment and my husband used the Windex Kill-and-Clean method and we gradually reduced their numbers.

The ones that were left multiplied, though, and in mid-August they spelled Happy Birthday on the kitchen windows. I bought fly paper strips. They stuck to my arm while I was trying to figure out how to hang them up. By the end of the week all they had caught was my arm hair.

I bought a fly trap. I added the fly attractant and filled it with water just like the directions said. It stunk up my house while the flies partied on the lid. At one point I saw five of them sitting on it at the same time, playing cards, having a beer. But none of them went in the trap. "Hey guys," they called, "it smells alluring over here! Come join the party! But watch out for the holes on the lid! You wouldn't want to fall in--a fly could get trapped down there!" If you can't beat them, join them, I thought and poured myself a glass of Merlot.

I'm going to make a deal with the flies. They can stay (only because I can't come up with a way to make them go), but they have to start earning their keep. For one, they're going to have change Addison's poopy diapers, a task they shouldn't mind considering what they're drawn to in the wild. They can make dinner instead of just landing on it. They'll be in charge of buzzing the kids to sleep at night. They can take out the trash. buzzz*&#$%... Sorry about that--the flies on my keyboard are learning how to type. I'm training them to take dictation for Just Barely.

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  1. I've had a bunch of flies in my house this year too. Mine aren't organized enough to spell anything though!