Friday, January 11, 2013

The Fly Trap

On my latest feed store run for chicken feed, I decided to grab a fly trap.  So I did what I usually do - I asked the nice lady that usually helps me if they had fly traps.  "Sure," she says.  Real talker she is.

"Which one works?" I ask.

"All of 'em," says my feed store guru.  So NOT what I wanted to hear.  What I wanted to hear was some sort of run down of the best fly killers available and the most effective GUARANTEED way to use them.

Because we have flies.  Oh boy, do we have flies.  It's January in South Texas and I worry that the flies will get together and airlift some chickens, or maybe the basset hound, right out of the yard.  And they get in the house.  Drives my husband NUTS.  And the basset hound.  She spends a lot of time staring into a myopic, droopy eyed, middle distance waiting to track, and hopefully catch, a fly.  Gets weird after awhile.  She looks like she's having what my great aunt used to call "a spell."  Weird.  Not as weird as when one of the chickens decides to track a fly.  They look like they're having vertical grand mal seizures.  Absolutely bizarre.  I'm afraid they may hurt themselves.

So we really needed a fly trap.  Make that fly traps.  Ones that work.  A lot of them.  To save the hound, and the chickens.  And me from having to listen to my husband comment on the flies fourteen thousand times a day.

Anyway, armed with these sooper duper traps, I returned home and went about the day.  I fed the girls, harvested, cleaned up.  Then I decided to tackle the traps.  Some assembly required.  It doesn't really say that.  What it says is "Carefully cut along dotted line."

See, the premise here is that of a real trap.  You cut a small hole in the top, pull out part of this plastic funnel looking thing, "fill to the line" and hang "near the presence of flies or areas where flies tend to gather."  My feed store guru said the trap would smell and that, "You wouldn't want to hang it by your backdoor or anything."

Which is precisely what I proceeded to do.  Because I thought, "Flies coming in the back is the issue here."  And because smell is relative. I mean, I spend most of the day up to my ears - well knees, anyway - in chickens and their (ah-hmm) detritus, dogs, cats, manure, compost, rotting compost, etc.  So smell for me is WAY different than other people's smell definitions.  Maybe that's why I love my own body products so much . . .

Back to the trap.  It works - like a charm.  As the bag says it "an attractant in 2 - 6 hours and flies will climb in the funnel and become trapped."  It's the attractant that smells.  And I finally smelled it.  After two days of furious fridge cleaning, trashcan maintenance, and yelling at the kid to clean out his soccer bag, I finally realize the whiff of unpleasantness was the trap - working.  Sigh.