June 26, 2013
Seven in one blow

Auntie Janice here. I don't know how many of you are in Ottawa this week, but it's been pretty ridiculously humid here. With the humidity comes a renewed appreciation for air conditioning... and a mysterious increase in house flies. Earlier this week there was a random maggot on the kitchen floor (EW!), but we still haven't located the source. We've checked in cupboards, under cupboards... no luck. It's reassuring that they're not in the food, but, still distressed.


Luckily I have a very random skill in this instance. At one point in university I learned how to catch houseflies, and yesterday and today I've caught about three dozen. For all those of you who are similarly plagued... I've decided to break it down into steps and teach you all. Brendan helped me take a few pictures of the process, since we had a whole bunch of flies upon whom to practice.


Step 1) Wait until the fly rests on a good surface. The best surfaces are walls or glass, and encourage your fly to move to a more convenient location if it's near a corner.


Step 2) Cup your hands, and put them about a foot apart resting on either side of the fly, against the wall. Slowly and smoothly move your hands together until they are about 6" apart, while the fly is still resting. 


Step 3) Quickly move hands together. If your intention is simply to kill the fly, squish hard. Find the compost bin. If you'd prefer to try the more difficult catch-and-release technique, keep your hands cupped and make a little box with your hands. A tickling sensation is a good sign. Open your hands outdoors.


Step 4) Repeat steps 1-3 with any other flies, and then wash your hands. Try not to curse when you notice yet. another. fly. buzzing. around... and repeat as necessary.


Here's the secret: Flies are more like a helicopter than an airplane in terms of takeoff. They must take off perpendicular to their surface before moving forward, and the takeoff is much slower than level flight.


*Sigh* There's another fly... I'm off to go find his resting place.



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