A most amusing account of my journey through adulthood
Recently, I’ve come to appreciate the phrase “shoo fly don’t bother me.” It is not only a familiar phrase, but also a depiction of how we treat these household pests. Many of us simply swat them away from ourselves and hope they don’t come back to bug us. Few people actually take the time out to hunt down and exterminate every single one. After all, they are quite common in the summer and one or two in your house isn’t too much of a nuisance. Annoying, yes, but they are not so bad.
This becomes especially true if you do not have a good fly swatter at the ready. Trying to squash a fly with a flimsy piece of plastic can be difficult and messy. I personally prefer to just let nature run its course. If the fly happens to land in an easy spot to reach I’ll go for it, but otherwise I won’t bother.
In my current home I don’t even possess a fly swatter. Therefore, fly killing doesn’t really occur. Mostly I just try to shoo them outside. So, when I noticed a fly in my house a couple days ago I didn’t think much of it. I figured I’d just attempt to prompt it outside if it ever landed near the door.
Then, yesterday, I was pulling back the blinds on my living room window and out came ten flies! It was disgusting! I felt like I was in a horror film because there were so many in such a small space. Luckily, I had my fearless friend over. She quickly rolled up a newspaper and swatted all ten until they were good and dead. I was a little shaken up and had no idea where they came from. However, I had plans so I didn’t spend much time worrying about it. I just brushed it off as some sort of weird coincidence.
When I returned home a couple hours later there were five more flies buzzing about my place! My friend came to the rescue once again and killed all of them. We scoured the place for any signs of more flies but didn’t see any. Feeling safe in the fact that the trash was taken out and all my doors and windows had been sprayed with bug repellent, I went to bed.
I awoke in the morning to the sound of my cat whining. I opened my eyes and saw her staring intently at the wall above her. Shifting my gaze upward to see what she was looking at, I spotted another fly! At this point I got up and searched around the house. I found a total of five flies. Feeling slightly guilty and grossed out about all the fly death yesterday, I decided on a more humane method of fly removal. I captured all five flies and let them go outside.
Things were uneventful for a couple hours so I started to clean the house. I was lint rolling my cat’s favorite lounging furniture when I decided to roll the ground right underneath it as well. The roller picked something strange up off the ground. I examined this small brown object and asked my brother what he thought it might be. To which he replied “it looks like an egg.” Horrified at what that comment might imply, I quickly searched the carpet for more egg-like casings. Sure enough, I found dozens around the edge of my carpet. Upon research I discovered that what my lint roller had picked up was actually a fly pupa, which meant that I had dozens of adult house flies about to hatch on my carpet!
At this point I decided it was time for serious action and went to Target to gather supplies. I had read that to prevent flies from mating it is best to have a covered trash can. The lid to mine had broken a while back so I bought an entirely new trash can. I also read that they could possibly breed on my cat’s excrement so I bought a brand new bag of litter. I then armed myself with a strong pesticide and Tom Cat’s glue boards.
Upon returning home I was welcomed by twelve newly hatched flies. I sprayed the absolute heck out of the surfaces they were landing on and watched them slowly die. I captured the flies that were unaffected on the glue boards by placing it right on top of them (not many flies would walk on voluntarily). After killing a good fifteen or so flies I proceeded to throw out my old trash can. I then emptied my cat’s litter box completely. I gave the empty box a good bleaching and then placed the new litter inside. I vacuumed all the crevices of my house that I could and then vacuumed the whole floor a couple times over. Meanwhile, new flies kept popping up one or two at a time. I constantly had to take breaks to capture them on my glue boards. After vacuuming obsessively (I had to empty the bag twice in the outside dumpster) I placed my new trash can inside. Then I cleaned my cat’s water bowl with soap and water. For good measure I placed her extra food in a sealed container and I plan to clean out her food bowl when she’s done eating what’s left.
It’s been a couple hours now and I’ve maybe seen one or two flies which I promptly killed. It’s my hope that, even if I missed some pupae, there will no longer be anywhere to breed. I plan to vacuum at least once a day until they are completely gone. I also sprayed insecticide down the drain of my kitchen sink, just in case. I will NEVER allow another fly to live in my house for any period of time after this experience. Use my story as a cautionary tale; don’t let it happen to you! It really was an awful experience and I spent over $100 on supplies to get rid of them.