Controlling Flies – the Bane of the Microholding

Bluebottle by Dieter Gora

Bluebottle by Dieter Gora

For those with vast acres of land at their disposal, flies probably cause little upset beyond an occasional bit of fly strike in sheep. But for us micro holders, whose plots are somewhat more compact, they can be a real nuisance.

For instance, when the sun comes out (which is admittedly rare) I leap at the chance to have a BBQ. But as I keep chickens in my garden, eating outside can be a fly-ridden misery. Not only that, the flies come whirring around inside as well, creeping over any leftovers in the kitchen or briefly abandoned food at the dinner table. They even get into the fridge if you aren’t paying attention. They are a nuisance and a health risk, and they need to be controlled!

Enter the Red Top Fly Trap!

The company who make them state that they kill up to 20,000 flies. Now, I have to admit I’ve not bothered trying to count, but that figure doesn’t surprise me in the least. Flies LOVE these traps – they’re all over it like flies around… a fly trap.

Here’s how it works:

The trap itself is basically a tough plastic pouch to which you add a sachet of what looks like dust or sand, but is apparently some sort of special fly pheromone, mixed with a little warm water. Then you put on the top that lets flies in, but not out, and you hang it up in the sun at the end of your garden. You don’t want it too close as it soon starts to STINK. And I do mean STINK – I took a deep breath by mistake as I was walking past mine yesterday and was very nearly sick. It’s not the pheromone that smells bad, it’s the thousands of rotting fly corpses baking the sun that does it.

And here’s the thing in action! Fly Trap

Those red dots are eyes. Fly eyes. And that’s only after a month or so.

So, you might ask (if you were to maybe comment on any of my posts), what difference has this made to the fly situation on your microholding. And the answer would be: massive.

Where before walking past the chicken run would stir up a buzzing cloud of bluebottles all feasting away on chicken dung, now there are hardly any at all. I’m not suggesting there are NO flies, but the fly trap has cut their numbers by about 95%. That’s proper impressive.

Oh, and indoors I tend to use fly papers. They’re not so bad, but they are easily walked in to, especially if you’re over six foot tall and they’re dangling from the pan rack in the kitchen.