How to Get Rid of Flies

Ever been assigned fly detail at an outdoor family event, or get tired of yelling at the kids to close the door as they’re letting flies in? My favorite is the fly who was born to pester only me… landing on my food, on my drinking cup, on my arm all the time knowing I couldn’t kill it with my bare hand, then vanishing as soon as I reached for the fly swatter. How many times have you wished you knew how to get rid of flies?

Know your enemy:

Military strategy is military strategy and the first thing a commander will do is order intelligence on the opponent. You must know your enemy in order to defeat your enemy. Let’s do a little recon on the fly. Are they dangerous or just a nuisance?

  1. There are 100,000 known species of flies and probably as many not yet identified species. That’s at least 100,000 different enemies with different tactics, likes and dislikes, etc etc. No small task.

  2. Make no mistake about it … flies are carriers of diseases. How? Well, it’s a little gross, actually a whole lot gross, but … although flies are attracted, by their sense of smell, to solid food and waste, they are not able to eat it. When the fly lands on the food it creates a solution, which breaks down the solids into a liquid, and vomits it onto the food. It then sucks up the liquid substance and contaminates the food at the same time.

  3. This contamination of food is exponentially increased because the fly is a restless insect and will fly from food to waste, food to waste, continually infecting food in multiple places or multiple foods as it darts about.

What types of diseases do they carry?

You’ll want to know how to get rid of flies after contemplating this list. A fly will spread:

  • Salmonella Enteritidis generally known as food poisoning.

  • Typhoid and Paratyphoid fevers

  • Diarrhea

  • Dysentery

  • Cholera

  • Conjunctivitis

  • Anthrax

  • Tuberculosis

  • They are also identified as carriers that can transmit the eggs of parasitic worms.

Sand flies, which are normally found in South America, Africa and Europe, are known carriers of a microorganism that inflicts the disease Leishmaniasis, which eats away the human skin. These flies are about 1/8th of an inch in size and leave red bumps and blisters where they bite.

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Horse Flies also called stable flies can bite a human, which is very painful and can draw blood. Obviously by creating an open wound the risk of infection is severe. A horse fly bite should be medically treated just as any other cut or open wound would be.

Biting Midges are tiny, tiny flies that can make one consider suicide in order to get away from their constant pestering. They are known to fly in groups, swarms, gangs whatever you want to call it, but they never seem to attack on their own. There are always enough of these badgering pests to make life miserable and their blood sucking feeding habits pose a severe health risk.

These examples are but the tip of the iceberg. If you’re not ready to know how to get of flies by now … well, I think you are. The repellents and deterrents, there is a difference, we’ll examine are all natural ingredients therefore we know they are safe around humans and animals. I’m not saying don’t buy or use store bought pesticides, I’m saying read the labels first to insure they are safe. Making yourself or your pets sick because you were too lazy to read the label is kinda stupid.

Vodka Repellent:

I have no idea how this was discovered, maybe drunken Russians who were not bothered by flies when everyone else was? In any event Flies Hate Vodka! It’s believed they can’t tolerate the smell, but who cares as long as it works. Here’s what you need:

  • 1 cup of Vodka. Buy the cheap stuff it works just as well

  • 1 tsp of lemon eucalyptus oil

  • 2 tsp of aloe Vera juice

  • ½ tsp of essential oil blend

  • One spray bottle

Pour these materials into a container and thoroughly mix. Once mixed, pour the solution into a plastic spray bottle and saturate all exposed skin with the mist. You can also spray areas, like a picnic table, lawn chairs, etc in order to repel the flies.

Lemongrass Oil Repellent:

Again for whatever reason, lemongrass oil is repugnant to a fly’s smell and can be used to create a strong repellent that also serves as a room freshener. What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup of hot water

  • 20 – 30 drops of lemongrass essential oil

  • 1 plastic spray bottle

Thoroughly mix the ingredients together and pour into the spray bottle. Spray the solution along doorways, windows, screened in porch or any other fly infested area. They will not like crossing the invisible fragrance boundary.

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Clove Deterrent:

The fragrance of clove is quite enjoyable for most people, but flies, especially house flies, can’t stand the odor. Exactly what we want to hear. Needed Materials:

  • 1 lemon

  • 8 to 12 cloves

  • Plate (paper is fine)

Take the lemon and cut it into equal halves. Poke half the cloves into each half of the lemon, place each half on a separate plate and place the plates where you want to deter the flies.

Sugar Fly Trap:

One thing flies and I have in common, we both love things with sugar in it. That’s where we part company. Let’s use the fly’s weakness to sweets to get rid of him. Remember the old saying “You catch more flies with sugar than vinegar.” Well, it’s a fact. What you need:

  • A Wide Mouth jar (empty mayo jar, pickle jar, canning jar) I suggest not using anything you don’t want to throw away, because you’ll want to discard the jar after an afternoon of outside activity.

  • Fill the jar @1/2 full of water, pour in a spoonful or two depending on the jar size or how sweet you want to make the trap, of sugar. Sugar substitutes don’t work as well as pure sugar, but can be used. Be sure to mix this solution thoroughly, you don’t want sugar settling to the bottom.

  • Using a sheet of stout paper (like resume paper or construction paper) roll it into a cone shape. Either paper clip it or staple it closed as you don’t want the cone to unwrap while in the jar.

  • Cut a 1cm diameter hole at the apex of the cone. That’s a little hole for those of us that don’t do metrics real well.

  • Insert the cone into the top of the jar opening like a funnel. Be careful to not submerge the cone opening into the water as you don’t want the paper to become water soaked and fail.

Here’s the deal. The flies will be attracted to the sugar water through smell. They will venture down the cone tube and enter the water or land on the side of the jar and eat. Once inside they won’t be able to fly up the funnel through the tiny hole, becoming trapped and doomed. If they escape your hole is too large. Redo.

Apple Cider Vinegar and Witch Hazel Repellent:

This natural outdoor fly repellent that works mostly against house flies. To make this repellent, you would need following ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup witch hazel
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 30 – 60 drops of eucalyptus oil

To make this repellent mix 1/4 cup witch hazel and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. After this, add 30 – 60 drops of eucalyptus oil in the solution and shake the mixture well.

Now, you can apply this repellent on the uncovered areas of your body. It’s a good idea to not spray into your eyes or mouth.

Camphor or Citronella smoke:

Citronella and Camphor both are very good at repelling flies. In general flies hate smoke, but when the smoke is from a citronella candle or a piece of camphor then it becomes doubly effective against them. Light a citronella candle or a piece of camphor and spread the smoke in the fly infested area and you could see them leaving the place instantly.

Milk Sugar Pepper Trap:

Want to rid flies like your ancestors? This type of trap has been used since ancient times and is especially efficient against those very pesky fruit flies. You would need:

  • Milk- 1/4 litre
  • Sugar- 3 tsp
  • Ground black pepper- 1 tbsp

Pour all the ingredients in a pan, heat them for 5 to 10 minutes on simmer setting. After heating the solution, remove from heat and pour it into shallow bowls, then place them near the fly infested area. Fruit flies will be drawn to the bowls and as soon as they land on the solution they will suffocate and drown.

Home Made Fly Paper Traps:

I personally think fly traps hanging from the ceiling covered with dust and dead flies is disgusting, however, you can’t argue about its efficiency of trapping flies. If it didn’t work they would have stopped making them a long time ago. The theory is simple. Coating the paper with a sticky sweet solution, hang up and nature takes over. Even though they are moderately priced, if you were going to hang … say 25 or 30 in a barn and weekend cabin, the cost can escalate pretty quickly. Let’s see what we need to make our own fly paper traps:

  • Sheets of brown paper or thin cards
  • Scissors
  • Heating Pan
  • A large sized spoon for stirring
  • Corn Syrup
  • Water
  • Thread
  1. Cut the brown paper sheets into 2 inch wide strips.
  2. Use a needle and thread to punch through the paper and tie a loop on the end for a way to hang the paper.
  3. Take equal parts of corn syrup and water and pour into a pan. The amount of solution depends on how many traps you want to make, but in any event don’t go skimpy because you’ll need to dip the paper. Place on stove.
  4. Constantly stir the mixture while it heats to boiling temperatures.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, lay the paper strips, fully emerged, into the mixture and allow it to soak 4 to 5 hours.
  6. Remove the strips from the mixture and hang up where you want to place them. If you don’t know where you want to hang them, hang the temporarily because the paper must dry.

Additional methods to address fly issues:

  • Cover as much skin as possible, either with clothing or insect repellents

  • Avoid day outdoor activities when flies are at their peak energy levels. But then again, at night you’ll have to deal with mosquitoes, I’ll take the flies.

  • Use fans to create a constant and rather strong wind current across the patio, porch, etc.

There are much worse pests than flies, but that doesn’t mean we have to endure their constant buzzing around trying to contaminate our food and infect us with diseases. The suggestions listed above do work … I’ve tried them myself. But when it comes to a war of how to get rid of flies … a good old fashion fly swatter works miracles.

How to Eat Insects

The subject of how to eat insects is, in my humble opinion, repulsive. There’s no other way to describe it. Ever get a slight shiver watching in horror as a centipede or silverfish scurry across the kitchen floor? I can hardly come to grips with the thought that they gained entry into my private and safe, so I thought, home. In fact, I can’t. I just close my eyes and pretend I didn’t see what I know I did.

The pest control industry in the United States alone is a $10 billion a year business. Seems I’m not the only one that hates insects. I fear I may have one of those weird phobias, like people scared to death of clowns, but will for some UN-explicable reason run to the circus, because I started doing some research on pest control. Why not? Isn’t it wise to know your enemy? Problem is, I was surprised to find what I did.

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The United States pest industry deals with the eradication of all types of insects, bar none. Canada, about the same, but due to their climate their pest problem is not really a problem. Australia begins to get a little weird with their pest control issues because of all the poisonous critters they have to contend with. However, beginning with Mexico I found the rest of the world didn’t treat insect eradication with the same evil intent I had. In fact, I discovered there seemed to be more “How to eat insect” recipes than how to get rid of them articles.

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As a child do you recall your Mother asking “How do you know you don’t like it? You haven’t even tasted it.” as I scowled downward at the squashed green peas. To this day, and I ain’t no child, I hate green peas. But it got me to wondering, if millions, perhaps billions of people around the world eat insects, there must be something to it. So I set out into the insect infested jungles, from my office chair, and this is some of what I discovered.

There are nearly one million variations of insects on the planet, that’s disgusting, but only fifteen hundred have been confirmed as totally safe for human consumption. I was surprised to find that the illness and symptoms that people who are allergic to shellfish, are also provoked by eating insects. They are somehow related from 10 million years ago.

Insects are full of protein, calcium, iron and zinc. As a food source they are 20 times more efficient to raise than cattle and contain more protein per pound than cattle.

There are 235 butterfly and moth species, 344 beetles, 313 ants, bees and wasp, 239 grasshoppers, crickets and cockroaches, 39 termite, and 20 types of dragonflies and cicadas that are normally eaten in 80% of the world’s countries.

My thoughts turn to fellow survivalist who could benefit from this information. After all, if you’re starving your menu options drastically increase, and knowing which insects are not only safe, but beneficially healthy to eat, is a good tool to have. So let’s explore How to Eat Insects.

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Being my glass is half empty instead of half full type of guy, let me throw this at you first. The majority of insects in North America are safe to eat, maybe not palatable, but safe. However, use your head. Don’t eat any insects that are brightly-colored, nature’s method of warning predators they are toxic. Avoid hairy bugs as they may hide stingers.

If you are in doubt of an insect’s edibility, cut off a tiny piece, cook it, eat it and wait a few hours for any adverse symptoms. If there are no negative effects, eat a larger piece. If nothing happens its probably fine to eat.

Whenever possible always cook your insects before eating them, as they may carry parasites or harmful bacteria which cooking will kill, plus it improves the taste as well as making nutrients more digestible.

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Grasshoppers and Crickets are the most commonly eaten insect world wide. Mexico treats them as a delicacy and serves them with steaks and fillets in fine dining places. They are incredibly high in protein, 77% of the insect, much higher than meat products.

Grasshoppers are the easiest to catch by hand in the early morning when they move more slowly. A better method is to take a plastic bottle, cut the bottom off and bury it in the ground overnight. Drop some over-ripe fruit into the bottle, drop in a few leaves or pieces of cardboard for them to hide under so they won’t try to escape, and in the morning you should have a bottle full of hopping breakfast.

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Before eating, pull their heads off, the entails should come out along with it. You can eat the entails, but there is always a risk of parasites. Remove the legs and wings, then roast them in a pan or skew them and roast them over a fire if you have no pan.

Meal-worm is another commonly seen insect in the edible category with a 20% protein rating. Normally the larva is eaten alone, not the worm, but they are often included in pasta dishes.

Ants are everywhere, they are easy to catch and are tasty. The best method for collecting them in abundance is to find an ant hill, kick or disturb the hill, then insert a stick down into the anthill entrance hole. The ants will climb the stick attacking it, withdraw the stick and dunk them into a container of water, then repeat until you have gathered several hundred. Boil them for at least 6 minutes in order to neutralize their body acid. If you can’t cook them, at least be absolutely sure they are dead before eating or else you may experience pain from their bites before being able to swallow them.

Termites are a good source of protein and less likely to carry parasites because they live below ground or inside wood. Search for termites in rotted wood, either manufactured or rotting trees and large limbs. When you find them, shake them from their hiding place into a pan, roast over a flame.

Grubs are those disgusting worm looking creatures you see being eaten on all those survival TV shows. It must be noted they all do not taste disgusting if you can get pass the gag reflex.

Grubs can be found in rotting logs, you may also find termites while searching. Using a rock or other weapon, break the wood apart, then sift through the wood fiber digging the grubs out of the wood. Pinch the head off, they may have pincers large enough to cause pain if bitten, and either eat them raw or preferably roast them.

Wood Lice, also called sow bug or potato bug, is not actually an insect. It’s what’s known as a terrestrial crustacean, the only one located in North America, and tastes like shrimp.

They can be found under rocks and logs, or sift through piles of dead leaves. Be sure to boil the wood lice thoroughly because they can carry nematodes. After 10 to 15 minutes, strain the water and eat them.

Earthworms are of course familiar creatures, but few of us have actually eaten them. Dig in moist soil, decomposing leaf liter, under rocks, etc. to locate them. Worms can be eaten raw, but the risk of parasites is large, so cook them first if at all possible.

Honey bee larvae are prized in many cultures as tasty snack morsels. When sauteed in butter they have a mushroom/bacon taste. The adult bee can also be roasted and eaten.

Cicadas are primarily found in the central and eastern United States. They live underground for 17 years and emerge as molting adults. They have juicy bodies and after roasting are said to be delicious.

Cockroaches are actually edible. There are cockroach farms which raise the insect feeding them fruits and vegetables which enhance their flavor. They can be eaten fried, roasted, sauteed or boiled.

Dragonflies are extremely popular in China and Indonesia where they eat the adult and/or the larvae. They capture adult dragonflies by dipping a reed into a sticky palm sap, wave it through the air and the dragonfly becomes stuck when attracted to the sap. Eaten boiled or fried.

Dung Beetles although disgusting to think about are often eaten fried and are said to be quite tasty.

Fly pupae contains fatty acids that is similar to fish oils. Shaped like small red pills the taste is said to have an iron twinge.

June bugs can be eaten at the larval stage and the adult stage. Native Americans roasted them over hot coals and ate them like popcorn.

Meal-worms are the larva of the meal-worm beetle and are boiled, sauteed, roasted or fried and have a nutty shrimp flavor.

Mopane worm is largely found and eaten in Southern Africa, and when in season fetch higher prices than beef. When dried out they are said to taste like jerky.

Flying Ants of Guatemala, aka Sompopos, are the flying queens of the colony and are roasted with salt and lime. They are said to taste like buttery pork rinds.

Wasps are eaten as adults and larvae. Boiled, sauteed, fried or roasted they have a buttery and earthy taste. Japanese favor boiled wasp served in rice.

Tarantulas are very high in protein and are legend-ed to help boost virility. They are a primary popular food in Cambodia and taste like crab. Don’t eat the fangs.

Scorpions are often skewered and fried, tasting like soft-shell crab. Precautions must be taken when capturing them as their tail located stinger can inflict a painful sting, as well as their pincers hurting.

Water bugs, especially the giant water bug, are popular in Thai cuisine and are consumed whole after cooking.

Jumiles, aka stink bugs are extremely high in vitamin B and are said to taste either bitter or have a cinnamon flavor. They have a tranquilizing effect on the person, and as they seem to be able to survive a normal cooking process, are often eaten alive.

Midge flies are found in East Africa. These pesky flies are caught and pressed into solid blocks which are cooked into Kunga cakes.

Slugs and snails. These are “last resorts” food. Why? Although they in themselves are eatable, there is always a high possibility they have fed on poisonous plants or mushrooms. If you must eat them, keep them in a container for a day or more in order for the toxins to diminish, also feed then plants you know are safe and it will also help dilute any toxins. Be sure to thoroughly cook them to kill any parasites.

These are but a few of the many varieties of eatable insects, but I believe you get the idea, they are high in protein and other valuable minerals and vitamins which could save your life if stranded in the wilderness. Researching how to eat insects has enlightened me, however I must admit … eating that damn centipede scurrying across my kitchen floor is still a disgusting idea.

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