Lady of the Flies
July 18, 2007
Jason has advised me to change the subject, by the way. After I got a little blubbery for what was probably the 20th time over the weekend about all the emails and comments and that rare sense of being understood (you get me, you really get me!), he gently reminded me that the Internet will turn on you faster than a...um...fast, spinning-type thing...once the Get Over It Mafia decides that it is time to get over it, and the fact that you are not getting over it suggests a calculated decision to exploit your child in exchange for delicious, life-affirming triple-digit-comment numbers.
What can I say? I have been blogging too long, and also have a very rich fantasy life. And I enjoy dipping it into some velvety paranoia once in awhile.
(Also: Using delicious, rich, dipping and velvety in the span of two sentences suggests that I am hungry, and should go make some pudding. There. You now know everything there is to decoding my psyche.)
So I sat down and tried to think of something else to talk about, and all I can come up with are the flies.
You see, we have flies. And...
The hardwood install required a lot of open windows and propped doors, so we noticed a bit of an insect problem in the immediate days afterwards. Mosquitoes and gnats and such. Possibly one bee that was the biggest fucking bee I have ever seen, and I thought maybe we had their queen (Protect the queen! Which one's the queen? I'm the queen! No you're not, etc.) and could make some demands, but Jason thinks it was some kind of burrowing bee and those are like, the worst kind of bee ever, even worse than the Africanized ones, because they BURROW and probably have OPPOSABLE THUMBS and this whole suburban jungle thing makes me miss the city terribly, and people, we had COCKROACHES and CONFUSED FLOUR BEETLES in the city, but there's something about big-ass burrowing bees that suggests that I am about to be outsmarted.
Also we saw a snake once, and a fox. We live next to a highway off-ramp. I bet if we moved a couple blocks inward we'd have a pet giraffe by now.
Anyway. We also noticed a couple run-of-the-mill houseflies got in. And we swatted at them and trapped them in between the storm windows and the screens and waited for them to die. But they did not die, but instead got it on and had babies, who are currently making sweet love to the inside-the-house-omg-side of my kitchen windows.
Several times a day I brace myself and go in there, rolled-up US Weekly in hand, and whack the shit out of them with the Bikini-Ready Bodies spread. A few things I've learned:
1) Just because a fly drops to the ground does not mean it is remotely dead. It is merely stunned -- 'tis a flesh wound! -- and when you return with a tissue to clean up the carnage it will be gone, and it will heal and learn and assimilate and you will find it later doing the backstroke in your Pinot Noir.
a) As such, you must whack the fly until it squishes.
b) Have some Pinot Noir first.
2) A single US Weekly is sturdy enough to withstand about a dozen whacks before the staples give out and your floor will be littered with Fashion Police photos of Mischa Barton, who is actually kind of improved upon when covered in bug guts.
a) As such, use Vogue. You can't afford any of that shit anyway.
3) In the end, it's pointless and futile, because the flies are here, and they are in charge, and we are all probably going to die of...whatever diseases houseflies carry. Black death? Mad Cow?
I tried Googling for (oh jesus a fly just flew right over my head, the ones from the kitchen probably sent him on a scouting mission) better housefly-killing tactics, and most of what I found involved polite recommendations to take out your trash occasionally. You know, stop living in filth. I do so love the head scarves, Edie, they're quite revolutionary, but perhaps it's time to move the rancid piles of rotted vegetables outside?
So that's it. That's my non-speech-delay-related story for you. We have flies, and they are gross, and by extension we are gross gross grossy people who live here covered in gross. We're getting our windows replaced in a couple weeks, which I'm hoping will help things (that is, if the killer burrowing bees don't get inside during the install process and take up residence under the floorboards, Hogan's Heroes style). In the meantime, if anybody has a recommendation for an effective trap or flypaper or possibly some kind of nuclear bomb (that's safe to use around children and pets, naturally), I'd certainly love to hear about it.
(Tomorrow I shall perhaps change the subject back to speech delays, but I bet y'all are fucking grateful to hear that now, aren't you? Am genius. Am goddamn blogging genius.)
Did you ever see that film called 'The Fly'? Scared me shitless. Any pics? I'm grossly fascinated.
Posted by: jay | July 18, 2007 at 03:27 PM
My god...delurking AND first to post? I may wet myself.
Oh and by the way? I used to leave a piece of toast with honey on it and catch flies that way. But don't leave it on the floor, cos then you'll have an ant problem too.
Posted by: jay | July 18, 2007 at 03:28 PM
Flies! Great fun all around. I'd rather hear about Noah, though--even if it's about his speech delay.
Are you guys calling Terminex yet?
Posted by: vickie | July 18, 2007 at 03:32 PM
I vacuum mine. I put the long extension tube and suck 'em up. Sometimes you have to whack them first (with a dishtowel of course), then suck them up.
Posted by: AGH | July 18, 2007 at 03:38 PM
For flies, spray them with Windex. Especially nice since they are hanging out on your window, you can just pretend you are cleaning. It'll make it hard for them to fly, and they are easier to whack. Spray them enough and it'll kill them right out.
Posted by: Anne | July 18, 2007 at 03:39 PM
Oh, man. We had the bees recently too. Sounds like you have the same awful carpenter bees that we had. They are evil, wood-busting MF-ers, but are not too hard to kill, thank God.
Posted by: Amanda | July 18, 2007 at 03:41 PM
"Just because a fly drops to the ground does not mean it is remotely dead. It is merely stunned -- 'tis a flesh wound -- and when you return with a tissue to clean up the carnage it will be gone, and it will heal and learn and assimilate and you will find it later doing the backstroke in your Pinot Noir."
jesus god I just spit out my water.
do NOT underestimate those flies. they may appear to be carefree and perhaps ignorant of the world around them. but secretly they are plotting. if after the window change, they are still there? run for your lives. (or call someone who can kill them.)
Posted by: Ashley | July 18, 2007 at 03:43 PM
It sounds like the bees are bore bees--also called carptenter bees. I am in VA and they are everywhere. They are nice bees, for bees, and generally mind their own business but can leave holes that look like cigar burns. Or maybe that was me.
Have you ever seen the fly swatter/zapper that is shaped like a tennis racquet?
Posted by: Ingrid | July 18, 2007 at 03:44 PM
What is it with the flies this year? We've got them like crazy in VA too. Horrid, kamikaze ones that even the cat won't attack. The best remedy I've come across?
A three pack of old fashioned, wire handled fly swatters from Dollar Tree.
One for you, one for hubby and a clean one for Noah so he can get in touch with his kill-insect instinct.
Oh and taking out the trash more than once a month helps tremendously... not that I know anything bout that.
Posted by: TiA | July 18, 2007 at 03:45 PM
We had a HUGE fly infestation in our backyard, the lovely backyard that we just acquired for rent here in Cali. We bought this little Fly Killer Bucket thingy at the grocery store, it has some type of....stuff...inside that attracks and kills bees. It works wonders, has trapped an entire fly colony it appears, but I'm not sure about the kids / pets thing. We've hung ours outside (since that's where the problem lies) but I'm sure you could put it on top of your fridge or something. Highly attractive, I know...
Posted by: kimba | July 18, 2007 at 03:50 PM
I didn't want you to change the subject. Even if you had changed it to something less gross and inane ;)A-wanna hear about Noah's speech progess, please!
Posted by: Mo | July 18, 2007 at 03:50 PM
delurking to say that here in texas, we have the plague of the flies going on to.
Posted by: chris | July 18, 2007 at 03:51 PM
Per "AGH" - you actually don't need to quite whack them with the dishtowel. You need to snap the dishtowel in the air by the fly as if the fly were a man's ass in the gym. The noise of the snapping towel will be a sonic boom in fly decibels, and it will drop to the floor, stunned. Pick it up with a paper towel, consider a just death, and then flush it, squish it, microwave it, whatever.
Posted by: TheQueen | July 18, 2007 at 03:55 PM
Oh God, the first summer we lived here, we had a TON of flies. I would spend hours wandering around whacking at them (and let's face it, I have bad aim so I missed most of the time) and the only way for me to tell if they were really dead was to flush them down the toilet. My husband likes to get the fly swatter and go all ninja on them.
Posted by: Jenn | July 18, 2007 at 03:56 PM
OMG! I had the same problem in my apartment last year! I had them in there for weeks! They would greet me at the windows (staring at me stuck to the window) everytime I came home from work. I don't like pesticides either, so each morning and evening I would go fly hunting, even invited my sister over! I ended up having to seal around all of my doors and shut my windows and make sure they could not crawl in....somehow once the first few got in, they would run in and out and show the rest how to get in....and then they bred. One night, the night of my meltdown about a week and a half into it...I had fly guts and blood smeared all over my cabinets. eh. Had to COMPLETELY bleach and clean everything everyday. But once I sealed it up (made sure all cracks were sealed, weather stripping in place), they were gone....just like that! I got really good at killing them mid-fly though--I'm a pro flyswatter. That should be a sport!
Posted by: Kayla | July 18, 2007 at 03:56 PM
Chicago backyards are also drowning in flies these days. Since the burbs just got rid of their cicadas and I managed to not see one the entire time, I'm not complaining loudly, just buying that hanging water/fly trap thing someone mentioned above.
Posted by: obabe | July 18, 2007 at 03:56 PM
You know you've made it when you can post about flies and people are lining up to post their own stories about flies on your comments page. Not that there's anything wrong with discussions on flies and other insects, because there isn't. I'm just sayin'...
Posted by: Mediocre Housewife | July 18, 2007 at 03:56 PM
At one point, we had a horrible fly problem in my college apartment. We employed a few tactics:
1) Do not live in filth. It sounds like you have this one down, but at the time we did not. We promptly changed that situation though, so as not to be carried off by the flies in our sleep.
2) I actually combined two of the suggestions above and would walk around with some Windex AND the Vaccuum. Spray 'em and suck 'em, that was my motto.
3) I know they're hideous, but those sticky fly paper things that you hang from the ceiling? They actually work. You probably won't want to invite anyone over while you have them up... and you DEFINITELY want to watch where you walk, lest your hair get caught in a sticky fly carcas covered web... but they work.
Posted by: One Smart Cookie | July 18, 2007 at 03:58 PM
Someone told me that with fruit flies, a jar with a little cider vinegar in it and saran wrap with little slits cut through it over the top works well. Will this trap bigger flies? I don't know, but it is worth a try.
Posted by: anne nahm | July 18, 2007 at 03:58 PM
Buy this electric fly swatter- it kicks ass and you generally destroy the fly instead of having to pick it up after you kill it.
You might feel like a sadist, but flies are annoying and deserve to die. (Yes, PETA will be on my butt shortly)
Posted by: dcfullest | July 18, 2007 at 03:58 PM
Just a flesh wound! Good luck rousting the buggers!
Posted by: Heather | July 18, 2007 at 04:03 PM
When I was little and we would visit my grandparents, my grandfather would pay all the kids for each fly they killed. We got really into it and kind of competitive, so maybe not your best solution if you care about your furniture.
Posted by: My Buddy Mimi | July 18, 2007 at 04:04 PM
Whatcho' gotta do is get yourself some of those No Pest strips. You can hang them high enough to be out of reach of little hands (of course, you'll walk into them but it beats being dive bombed by insects) (involuntary shudder).
While pet sitting for my sister, her house was set upon by A Swarm of Biblical Proportions and those strips cleared it up lickety split.
Posted by: Julie | July 18, 2007 at 04:06 PM
Amy, you are hysterical!
Posted by: Molly | July 18, 2007 at 04:07 PM
I second the electric flyswatter thingie. It's like a tennis racket and make satisfying pops, crackles and sparks when you get one of the buggers. Doesn't work great on fast-moving flies, but it's more fun than the tea towel.
Posted by: Kristina | July 18, 2007 at 04:07 PM
We've had a bit of a fly problem around here this summer. So far I've found success with the swat and vacuum method, although after a day of practice I can usually get at least a few with just the vacuum. It is so rewarding.
Posted by: andrea | July 18, 2007 at 04:11 PM
My BEAGLE eats flies! I am not kidding. She catches any that dare enter our house. It is amazing. So rent yourself one of them or something.
If only she could catch carpenter bees. (If that's what you have, they NEVER go away in my experience). At least not in the 5 years we've had them, and we have an exterminator that comes regularly. Because we have gross gross ants and are dirty dirty people too.
Posted by: Monica | July 18, 2007 at 04:15 PM
WAMU had a bug expert on the Kojo Namdi show this afternoon... maybe you can download the podcast and get some tips. And also get to hear Kojo talk jovially about bugs. Score!
Posted by: e. | July 18, 2007 at 04:17 PM
"...we are gross gross grossy people who live here covered in gross."
Alas, I have no helpful fly-killing solutions but can commiserate with an annoying bug problem of my own: little gnat-like things that ONLY show up after dark on a particular patch of wall in my master bath. That is all kinds of Amityville Horror WEIRD. Ick.
Posted by: jive turkey | July 18, 2007 at 04:18 PM
When you said "that's safe to use around children and pets, naturally," it reminded me that - hey! You have a cat! And a dog! That we haven't heard about or seen pictures of in a while! How about a Max and Ceiba update? :)
Posted by: Robbi | July 18, 2007 at 04:18 PM
A wine bottle with a tiny bit of wine left in the bottom and sugar sprinkled on the opening and then down inside. They go down to do the backstroke (as you noticed), but for whatever reason can't fly back out.
I use this to trap both house and fruit flies. It's a nice, incognito way to trap them since all my friends are used to seeing wine bottles around my place anyway.
I recommend replacing the bottle every couple of days until they've all died horrible drowning deaths.
Posted by: Sara | July 18, 2007 at 04:19 PM
You're not kidding when it comes to the Get Over It Mafia. Well-played diversion.
I'm thinking of you all! xoxo
Posted by: whoorl | July 18, 2007 at 04:19 PM
Ummm...flyspray? It won't kill you, you know.
Posted by: Helen | July 18, 2007 at 04:20 PM
Amalah! I was just reading the Sky Mall Magazine during a flight (you know, the inserted in the seat pocket, right next to the barf bag) and my fiance and I were hysterically laughing about a "bug vacuum." Which is exactly what it sounds like. I was a few glasses of wine in (fear of flying, you understand) and I almost ordered one then and there.
Except I didn't. But I think that maybe you should.
Posted by: Clink | July 18, 2007 at 04:22 PM
Not sure if you already thought of that. Kinda amps up the ick factor, huh. Gawd I hate flies.
Posted by: Tj | July 18, 2007 at 04:23 PM
Hi. We had a bit of an ant problem. Little sugar ants... and spraying them with Fantastik worked. So perhaps if they're trapped in the screen, and you can spray them from the outside.... Although now that I think about it, Windex is probably better for the window. So, ah, what they said. *points up*
On a totally unrelated side note, I had a dream that you and Zoot both had your own sitcoms. Yours was at 9, hers at 9:30. Your sitcom was about you working as an editor at a fashion magazine. You had a fabulous office.
And when I woke up, I realized it was absolutely time to get off the internet and get a life.
But I'd totally Tivo it if you had your own show.
(Really... I'm not creepy. Promise.)
Posted by: iris | July 18, 2007 at 04:23 PM
We have a "little house" in the woods. Built by a friend at my parents' house. Anyway. It gets FILLED with flies. Everywhere. One time when I was younger, my mom charged me with ridding of the flies. I was babysitting, so gave the two school-aged boys flyswatters and shut the door. They came out FIVE minutes later, looking pleased with themselves as if they'd just been to an amusement park or something. I went in, and EVERY DAMN FLY was dead.
My advice? Hire a couple of school-aged boys with cheap-ass flyswatters to come in a take care of the problem. They'll think it is fun and you're problem will be gone (with a bit of luck, that is).
Posted by: Becca | July 18, 2007 at 04:24 PM
What exactly are you paying that cat to do? Lay around and beautify your home?
Put his fat hairy keister to work.
Point to fly. Say to cat, "Go get." Cat goes and gets.
At least that's what two of my three cats do. The third cat is holding out for management.
Posted by: Baileyswedishfish | July 18, 2007 at 04:26 PM
Yeah, if you spray them with almost anything mid-flight (bug spray, windex, hair spray) you'll stun 'em enough to swat then dispose. I would suggest that you carry an ample supply of tissues on your person to avoid their disappearance.
Our problem this summer seems to be beetles in the house. I really have to whack the crap out of them, since they are about four times the size of a fly with a hard shell (but tasty, creamy fillings), before scooping up with a tissue to flush.
Posted by: Michele | July 18, 2007 at 04:27 PM
k, well, flies suck. Also on the sucky meter are mosquitoes and the masses of spiders that like to congregate where mosquitoes live. Also people who tell you to "get over it" regarding your own child. I still watch our middle child flip in slow motion from the time she bonked her head and had to get staples, and she was over that shit in 1/2 a second b/c I gave her a spoonful of powdered sugar. (We had no sweet treats in the house and I was scared, okay?) Anyway, you rock and should talk about whatever you want, cause we want to read about it.
Posted by: b | July 18, 2007 at 04:28 PM
I'm assuming you have a dyson or other similar bagless vac so the vac thing is just as gross as the smash.
Go to the HomeImprovement SuperCenter - get a jug of ortho home defense - spray liberally after putting Noah in a safe place (I'd spray from the outside in). laugh your ever lovin' you know what off as they die - then suck 'em up and laugh more.
Posted by: cursingmama | July 18, 2007 at 04:28 PM
I've heard good things about this fly product (and we grow them big in TX!):
Posted by: Lily | July 18, 2007 at 04:29 PM
Fly swatters might work better than Vogue. Flies are fast. Vogue is slow.
Posted by: Susan | July 18, 2007 at 04:32 PM
The flies are horrible here in Texas. If we so much as crack a door, you can bet that at least 2 or 3 will fly on in. My husband saw something at Home Depot that attracts them and they fly in and die a slow, painful death (wishful thinking), but of course they were sold out! We hung some of those tacky fly strips on the back porch and in the garage yesterday, and I only saw one "kill" this morning. We can't beat the little bastards.
Posted by: Kristy | July 18, 2007 at 04:33 PM
I live in the country. I know this because I too am dealing with flies but am also dealing with a mole (or two....fuckers...terrorizing my flower bed and new plants and fresh mulch). Oh, and I ran over an armadillo the other night on my way home. It was the grossest thing ever.
Posted by: Silly Hily | July 18, 2007 at 04:37 PM
You think your flies are gross? No. This is gross:
I'm sure Noah isn't hiding under a tent in his room to escape your flies. And your new floors probably aren't covered in horse poop.
Posted by: Steph | July 18, 2007 at 04:38 PM
In my land, we also have spiders. The spiders like to live under the baseboards. So, if you whack the fly to the ground, generally a hungry spider will get them before the fly snaps out of it. My husband discovered this and promptly yelled across the house "Hurry, it's the circle of life in our own kitchen! Cool!"
Posted by: Delurker | July 18, 2007 at 04:40 PM
Okay, I'm in the bad habit of of not visiting over here often enough. But I just read the last several posts, and I am a visitor from six years into your future. The weather's fine. There will be struggles, but they won't be nearly as bad as you imagine they will be. Noah is going to be handsome, delightful, and perfectly fine.
Seriously. I've been there, the speech evaluations, the significant glances and judicious nods from evaluators. My kid rocks, and yours does too. I promise.
Posted by: Becki | July 18, 2007 at 04:43 PM
We have flies to. Scratch that- HAD flies. Here are my secrets:
1) Get out the hose attachment to you vaccum. Suck them and their baby eggs out of the windows.
2) Go to a farm supply store and get this tiny little square of yellow brick looks like plastic stuff. Farmers use one little one for a who barn AND it's same to use around animals, babies, and FOOD. Caterers use it in pantries and the like. Hang it on a ceiling fan in a central room.
You'll never have another fly again.
Well, at least until the yellow thing dries up in two years.
Posted by: Mama Podkayne | July 18, 2007 at 04:46 PM
You should consider maybe getting one of these?
Posted by: Assertagirl | July 18, 2007 at 04:50 PM
Oh my god, my parents have those crazy-ass burrowing bees in their front yard and they scare the crap out of me! What kind of a bee digs holes?
Posted by: Katie | July 18, 2007 at 04:53 PM
Seriously, just get some $2.99 boxes of flypaper (stupid, sticky stuff that it is) and hang three strips in each room, ESPECIALLY near their favorite congregation spots. Flypaper is cheap, nontoxic, and actually WORKS. It's almost frightening how many get stuck on, and very very creepy to be sitting at the table trying to eat while nearby a fly is buzzing frantically to get loose, screaming "Oh dear LORD, what has happened to my FEETS".
It's really, REALLY funny when one fly is stuck to the paper and another one tries to mate with it. It's the simple things in life you treasure.
Posted by: Sam | July 18, 2007 at 04:56 PM
Flies die in like, three days. Wait...don't ask me how I know that. Ew!
Posted by: Occidental Girl | July 18, 2007 at 04:56 PM
wow - too many comments for me to see if you got this suggestion already, but when we had flies, I was told to pour boiling water down the drain. I guess they lay eggs down there (ewww) and then the flies come out from the drain. But, if they are all in your window, I have no fucking clue. I think you can get some kind of sonar thing to ward them off.
Posted by: foodmomiac | July 18, 2007 at 04:57 PM
Maybe use your blacklight to show them just how disgusting they are and they will collectively fly into a passing car windshield because they are so disguted by their own disgustingness.
Seriously, though, we have a new kitty -- a black kitty named Snowball -- and she lives for all things flying. She is afraid to step toe outside, but if a bug gets in, watch out. She will hunt it down and eat it. Yes, it is quite disgusting, but we have nary a pest in our house!
Posted by: Starbuck | July 18, 2007 at 05:05 PM
I used to have flies in my office. They would lazily buzz around and their ginormous bodies would hit the windows with annoying thwack! thwack! all day long. Then I would get sick of it and kill them all, and then 22 days or however many days later it took to breed a new batch, voila, new flies. I pity you. Flies suck.
Posted by: Penny | July 18, 2007 at 05:27 PM
We have also been having fly issues... we just moved into our new house and those bitches are CRAZY. Our builder said it's just the area and that it's so hot outside, whatever I want them out of here. I find that my son's pajama pants (when he isn't wearing them of course) are best to kill those suckers. The pants seem to fly REALLY fast and give the fly NO warning whatsoever...
And I agree with your first point about that flies... the first hit almost NEVER kills them. That's why a shoe comes in handy for the second part haha...
Posted by: Kelly | July 18, 2007 at 05:35 PM
Oh, at least you have flies, instead of *gulp* house spiders. Stupid basement suite in a stupid old house. They are GIANT and they run AT me, instead of away from me. Little bastards don't even have the sense to be afraid and flee! We have tried *everything* but they just keep coming back.
So yeah - could be worse! I also ditto the suggestions of fly paper - it might be butt-ugly, but it works!
Posted by: Marianne | July 18, 2007 at 05:40 PM
Remember in My Big Fat Greek Wedding how Windex cured everything? It is THE MOST effective fly killer on the market with the added bonus of making your windows spot free. I've used a whole bottle this summer alone and my windows have never looked better, plus the soul sucking flies are dead.
Posted by: Big Mama | July 18, 2007 at 05:41 PM
Ack! you just brought back the not-so-long-repressed memories of The Great Housefly Invasion of 2006.
Ever seen Hitchcok's "The Birds"?
Well, it's like, that. Only smaller and with less blood. Still just as damn creepy though. What with all the staring (and having 3 million eyes,even if they are fly eyes, pointed at you at once is VERY disturbing)and the buzzing and the....
You get the idea.
Windex is a wonder, vinegar is better. A little dish on the windowsill--the fumes make them dizzy, they fall in, and do the permanent backstroke.
Also, the tennis racket/bug zapper thingy mentioned earlier in the comments? Magic! And fun for the whole family! You can turn it into a competition, who can get the most--Noah will looove it.
Posted by: Ali | July 18, 2007 at 05:45 PM
I hate flies. I get violent with them, meaning, I kill them dead.
I also use a lot of kung-fu moves. You might try that.
Posted by: hello insomnia | July 18, 2007 at 05:57 PM
The flies, they are taking over the world!! I almost peed when I read the part about zee fly doing the backstroke in your Pinot...same thing happened to me last week, and I yelled around the room, "THAT WAS A GOOD FUCKING BOTTLE OF WINE, DO YOU HEAR ME FLIES?!!!" And promptly realized that I was yelling at flies. Teh Crazy.
My weapon of choice has been dish towels, because I ran out of magazines and can't seem to find myself a fly swatter in WalMart. Where ARE they, anyway???
Posted by: JSauce | July 18, 2007 at 05:59 PM
I certainly can't add to the suggestions on how to get rid of flies in the house. But I can say this: Don't leave out pet food! they could use that for food and a place to lay eggs. Found that out the hard way...I woke up to a bazillion new flies on the kitchen ceiling one morning and found out the pet food had been their prefered source of protein. I can't spell Giant Freak Out Session in large enough letters on here. It was like something out of a horror movie. I hid in the bathroom and alternately screamed and cried and stuffed towels under the door while my husband killed all of them and cleaned up the kitchen. Just had to share!!
Posted by: Lisa M | July 18, 2007 at 06:03 PM
WINDEX... It kills them, and is not horrible for the people living in your house.
Posted by: Tamara | July 18, 2007 at 06:04 PM
Kozy Shack Chocolate Pudding is one of my guilty white trash pleasures. I go for the tub. Heh.
As for the flies...well, my cat loves pwning them. Your little pooch obviously isn't into it. Orkin man?
Posted by: Laura | July 18, 2007 at 06:11 PM
I hate flies, but what do I hate more? Moths and they are taking over the house if you crack the door open for 1 second.
Posted by: Tuesday | July 18, 2007 at 06:11 PM
Delurking to say that I, too, have flies right now. Granted mine are fruitflies, but they are gross and I want them gone gone gone. My mom suggested spraying, but I think I might try that something in a jar tip suggested earlier. Thanks Amy for the post about flies!
(I've been really enjoying your posts lately: they are so frank and honest. I hope things progress with Noah fantastically in the next few months. He is a darling boy!)
Posted by: Allison | July 18, 2007 at 06:29 PM
My partner is fond of leaving the back door open, for the dogs to go in and out. (Actually, I suspect she's hoping a cat will go out, and not in.) and in the summer, the flies and all other sort of flying what-not come in.
Lots of moths, junebugs, um, birds.
Sorry, I don't have a solution for you, we've done some swatting, some vacuuming and a whole lot of pretending-it-isn't-so.
Posted by: Whozat | July 18, 2007 at 06:33 PM
We had a fly invasion last week after leaving the door open for half a minute while at the same time grilling. One night of fly paper (yes, the shack in the woods sticky kind) hung under the lights (which seemed to attract them) got rid of them. Not exactly classy, definitely gross, but very effective. And no poison contaminating our home.
Posted by: Cara | July 18, 2007 at 06:34 PM
We had flies for awhile in an apartment we lived in. They flew in any time we opened the window, despite the screen with no visible holes. Perhaps they were burrowing flies? At any rate, they were pervasive because there was a family of birds living in a hole in the wall right next to our window. The apartment complex people FINALLY came to take care of it, and you know how they fixed it? THEY BRICKED THE BIRDS IN. So the fly problem diminished for awhile, but then the birds also died, and you know what feasts on rotting bird corpses? FLIES. We also had one of those super hot halogen torch lamps, and the flies would land on it and roast, and I think I have to stop talking about this because I'm having flashbacks. To this day, I can't stand the scent of whatever deodorizer we used to cover that smell.
In other news, I wanted to say that, while Einstein did not talk until he was 5 or whatever, if he had had speech therapy, he just would have talked sooner and hell, maybe even come up with E=mc^2 sooner. Y'all will be fine. I'm certain of it.
Posted by: Maureen | July 18, 2007 at 06:47 PM
Delurking to swear by zip-loc bags filled with about 1/2 - 3/4 cups water. Tack it near or above your doors/windows and the flies WILL NOT come near. These bags are used in many BBQ restaurants down south (NM) to keep the flies away. I'm not sure how well they'll help since the flies are already inside, but it will definitely deter them from coming in. And trying it is free.
Posted by: Lise | July 18, 2007 at 06:58 PM
Oh my word. I hate flies more than any other insect (besides moths) because where there's flies, there will be maggots and the sight of maggots reduces me to tears. The only way I know to get rid of them is to keep windows and doors closed and kill them one at a time til you don't see or hear them anymore.
And I just had to add that nothing fills me with more glee than a great Simpson's reference.
Posted by: jomama | July 18, 2007 at 07:03 PM
I probably shouldn't post here because (even though I'm an avid reader) the only other time that I've posted was to comment about the fact that I can relate to the flour weevel (sp?) infestation. Hence, commenting here to relate to the fly infestation only leads you to believe that I have a HUGE problem with bugs!!! But, alas, you do too, so here I type! Ummm, all I wanted to add was a forewarning of the massive amuonts of unexpected fly poop that you will find here there and everywhere. Little black dots on window sills, floors and the dreaded roman shades that the stains will NOT come out of. If you find a solution for the fly pooh removal please let me know!!!
Posted by: Carol | July 18, 2007 at 07:12 PM
Apparently fly spray is a strictly Australian thing.
You want me to air lift you a crate of the stuff?
Posted by: aibee | July 18, 2007 at 07:45 PM
Since I can't see Noah I have no way of knowing if you may or may not be overreacting. What I do know is that this development is really upsetting to you and that's what is important.
Until Noah gets his own blog and writes about his genuine amazement over his obsession with Philosophy Purity Made Simple face wash, I come hear to read what is important to you.
Blogging about possible language delays? Bring it.
Posted by: Erika, Plain Jane Mom | July 18, 2007 at 08:22 PM
Since I can't see Noah I have no way of knowing if you may or may not be overreacting. What I do know is that this development is really upsetting to you and that's what is important.
Until Noah gets his own blog and writes about his genuine amazement over his obsession with Philosophy Purity Made Simple face wash, I come hear to read what is important to you.
Blogging about possible language delays? Bring it.
Posted by: Erika, Plain Jane Mom | July 18, 2007 at 08:23 PM
Eww! Eww! Eww! The Bugs! They are gross! Fortunately, we don't get too much more than the occasional intruder, which I leave up to The Husband to take care of. I often tell him the only reason I got married was to have someone kill bugs and open jars. (But he knows I really love him!)
Home Defense Max by Ortho(?) is a good do-it-yourself Bug Stopper. (And cheap!) That's what I use here. Buy the larger size with the pull handle gun trigger nozzle whatchamacallit. Much faster to apply!
Also, I have NEVER EVER EVER seen a cochkroach in real life. And I'm completely ok with that.
Posted by: AmyM | July 18, 2007 at 09:04 PM
Take a glass and fill it half way with hot soapy water. Put it directly under a housefly the fly will succumb to the fumes and fall into the glass where it will promptly drown.
We used to use this trick to get rid of the flies at a friends cottage, plus, it's half entertaining.
Posted by: Jackie | July 18, 2007 at 09:04 PM
I have drowned several dozen flies with Windex this afternoon, and while that is one awful, excruciating death, I LOVE IT. BWA HA HA MOTHERFUCKERS.
The only problem is that I have to keep Noah away from my fly-slaughter activities because it seems to upset him. Too much Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends, perhaps? Or maybe just all the screechy psychotic glee from Mama?
Posted by: Amalah | July 18, 2007 at 09:24 PM
we always used the super classy fly paper, which dangled precariously from our ceiling light in the middle of the kitchen.
of course, my sisters always cut the dead stuck sticky stuff down, and attached it to me.
when i was 3.
i am in therapy now, and only require one shot of tequila anytime i see a fly in my house. progress! if you can't think of any other way to combat the flies, shots of liquor (or 4-6
glassesounces or wine) for each fly sighting should suffice.
Posted by: bananie | July 18, 2007 at 09:27 PM
Hi! Hi! I'm still feeling sympathetic and supportive. Noah rocks and is perfect. All will be well, including Project Flyswat
Posted by: Vaguely Urban | July 18, 2007 at 09:35 PM
Re: Edie...I am shrieking "I get it!" because I just watched Grey Gardens this morning. Yes, THIS MORNING. I am a documentary junkie and tape them off IFC and Sundance, so I can watch them when I wake up at 5am, unable to sleep anymore.
Are you a Docu Queen as well?
Posted by: Sharon | July 18, 2007 at 09:52 PM
Okay you kill me with the Grey Gardens reference... You are hilarious, my dear..
Posted by: Kelly | July 18, 2007 at 10:22 PM
electric fly swatter! supposedly, it's awesome!
Posted by: raine | July 18, 2007 at 10:26 PM
I totally vacuum mine too...it works really well, and isn't as gross as squishing them.
Posted by: baseballmom | July 18, 2007 at 11:06 PM
I didn't read through the other forty-leven comments, so forgive if I'm repeating. There are these amazing fly-catcher devices that you can get at feed stores or farm supply stores (or I suppose order from online farm supply stores), that consist mainly of a bag of water. Seriously. Also, if you just Google "water bag fly catcher," you'll get a jillion pages of instructions on how to make one yourself.
The good news is that the burrowing bees are HARMLESS. Well, except to your wood. They're carpenter bees, and they make holes. They do not sting you.
AND. For fruit-flies? I just learned the ultimate solution (besides throwing out those black bananas) for ridding your kitchen of fruit-flies, courtesy of MARTHA STEWART. I tried it, and it worked. Narrow-necked bottle/vase, with ripe fruit in bottom. Cone made of heavy paper stuck into neck of bottle/vase. Flies go in, can't figure out how to get out, and have such short lifespans that they die there and are all gone in a day or two.
Yaaaay! I am helpful! No? Just let me pretend that I am.
Posted by: Belinda | July 18, 2007 at 11:52 PM
Wow! I've been out of the loop for awhile and have just been catching up and feel like I'm experiencing a flashback. My son has been there. He's now six and going into first grade, but he wasn't talking by 2 years old, had problems with certain textures of foods, great gross motor skills, etc - a lot of the same things you're talking about with Noah. Speech delays are SO common in kids, especially little boys for some reason. I know that doesn't make it any easier to deal with, but it WILL be fine. My son just finished a year of normal kindergarten after being in Early Childhood Education through our school district for 3 years and he's doing great. His speech is so much better.
Sadly, we did find out that he was born with mild to moderate hearing loss and that is the main cause of his speech delay. I'm telling you this only because I want you to be able to rule that out with Noah. Please make sure they test his hearing.
I totally agree with you when you talk about trusting your instincts. You are his mother and you know him best. For too long, I let people talk me out of thinking that something was going on with our son.
It's also your right to be upset about it and talking about it definately helps. Unload on us, we can take it and none of us will ever turn on you.
I swear we went through the stages of grief when we were told our son's speech was delayed. It's hard to deal with, but you'll all get through it just fine - and when you can't get him to stop talking out in public at this time next year, you'll laugh and remember back to when you wanted so badly for him to be able to talk!
Keep us posted - we care!!!
Posted by: Lynda | July 19, 2007 at 12:31 AM
My husband is obsessed with killing our flies. Like you, we don't live in squalor or anything, just tend to keep our door open too long (I swear they wait in droves outside the back door, just looking for an opportunity).
Husband just bought TWO fly swatters. I have no idea where he found them--I didn't think they made fly swatters anymore. So now Husband wanders around the house swatting flies & muttering to himself. He's channeling his inner-angry-old-man.
Posted by: sarah | July 19, 2007 at 07:22 AM
Beware of flies that come back to life. Bossy isn't kidding. What looks sufficiently dead turns out to be "stunned". Sorry you won't be at BlogHer. Bossy was looking forward to meeting you.
Posted by: BOSSY | July 19, 2007 at 07:30 AM
I am too tired to read through the comments to see if this is redundant, but an exterminator acquaintance of ours told us that the best place for those fly strips or bug zapper things is in YOUR NEIGHBOR'S YARD. Under no circumstances should you put them in your own home, because every insect in the Greater DC area will be heading over to your house for Happy Hour.
Posted by: Lori | July 19, 2007 at 09:06 AM
I flush all offending insect-type things at my house. Also receipts I don't want my husband to see but that's another story. I think your mistake is in not having your tissue in hand when you are stalking your prey. Also, a very white-trashy tip for future window installation that actually works. Take those clear plastic vegetable bags from the grocery store and fill them about 1/2 full of water. Hang them about top-of-head level outside somewhere in front of open doors and windows. For some odd reason this is a Road Closed sign to Flies. Your neighbors may talk but your house should be fly-free.
Posted by: imstell | July 19, 2007 at 09:43 AM
Somebody's probably already said it, but I can't stomach the idea of 90+ comments on flies. I don't know how you read all this every day.
Two words: Shop Vac. The suction is harder than a regular vacuum so you don't have to try to whack them first. We used to get flies when my dad was remodeling our house and left doors open to carry in drywall and long pieces of wood for crown molding. The fuckers multiply like rabbits. I shudder to think of them in their pupal stage: maggots.
I'm not helping, am I? I'm very sorry. But I stand by the shop vac idea. Took about half an hour to suck up what seemed like hundreds of flies.
Posted by: Andrea | July 19, 2007 at 09:54 AM
This actually just happened to us - but I think because my children cannot seem to understand the words "CLOSE THE DANG DOOR!"
I used a bug spray. I waited until the kids were out of the house or in their rooms and sprayed "flying insect spray". Flies are finally gone.
(Of course, this was after the home inspection when potential home buyer walked through the infestation - yay!)
And also? Sometimes it's ok to not change the subject. :-)
Posted by: Miss Britt | July 19, 2007 at 09:57 AM
Flies? No clue. But I adore Grey Gardens. It was on the Sundance Channel on Monday and Edie once again had me under her spell with her "costumes".
We had ladybugs once though... ladybugs are only cute when they are landing on your hand outside. When they dig their way inside your walls and then DIE? They fucking reek.
Posted by: paintingchef | July 19, 2007 at 10:06 AM
I just moved from New York to London. you know what the big difference between our countries is? it's not that they say lift instead of elevator. it is that THEY DO NOT HAVE SCREENS ON THEIR WINDOWS. they don't have screens period.i have killed at least a million flies. and these are not your garden variety houseflies. they are the size of pigeons! i smacked one the other day on the window and it left me the gift of maggots!!! bleck, i just skeeved myself out. i have to go lie down.
Posted by: libbyfish | July 19, 2007 at 10:10 AM
mmmm paranoia... thats about all I was thinking the whole time... too many the simpsons movie pop ups and such I spose..
Buy a lab they eat flies and are very burbs...
Posted by: kylei | July 19, 2007 at 10:23 AM
I have one of those electric flyswatters. They aren't going to reduce the amount of flies in your house, but the ZZZPTTT electric noise they make when they fry those little suckers is oh so satisfying.
Posted by: Kim | July 19, 2007 at 10:42 AM
I know this is going to sound strange, BUT it WORKS! Fill a sandwich sized ziplog with water, attach above your doors/windows and your fly problem will go away. I don't know why it works, but it does. I'm live in the south and I see this method everywhere especially at restaurants....I use the method myself.
Posted by: Kathy | July 19, 2007 at 10:47 AM
here is another ridiculous story of terrible parenting. this kind of tragedy has been happenng far too often recently! check it out and let me know what you think: http://www.mypetpeeves.com/plog/index.php/archives/2498
Posted by: samantha | July 19, 2007 at 10:55 AM
First, I just watched the video and how cute are you?!
Second, we get the fly problem too. If the girls want to play on the backporch they freak out if they can't have the door open too, and the flies would much rather be in air conditioning.
But if you figure out a remedy, please post it. I didn't mind this topic at all. (Yes, I am a dork, and I own it.)
Posted by: Marlo | July 19, 2007 at 11:47 AM