Having flies in the warmer months is a constant battle. No matter what kind of fly you have-be it fruit flies, house flies, or any of the other 16,000 kinds (in North America alone)-they make their surroundings seem unclean and unpleasant. They buzz around your head, knock against windows, march all over your food, and land repeatedly in the same place after being shooed away. They can also carry whatever pathogens they pick up on those hairy legs after a nice traipse through the trash or a hike on pile of dog doo-doo. In short they’re gross, bothersome, and infuriatingly hard to deter, which makes it tempting to reach for chemical fly sprays. Don’t. They not only harm the environment, they’re bad for you and anyone else around you who breathe it in. It’s really very simple to come up with your own method of getting rid of the nasty buggers, including making your own sticky fly paper.
You will need…
-2 cups of water
-2 cups of sugar
-2 cups of honey, corn syrup, or maple syrup
-Sturdy brown paper
-A hole punch (can be improvised) and scissors
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Cut some strips of strong brown paper, like from an old paper grocery bag, about 6-10 inches long. The length is really up to you. At the top of each strip punch a hole and thread a piece of string through it, tying it off to form a hanging loop. In a saucepan, mix 1 part water, 1 part honey, and one part sugar, and heat until it is well combined. Let the mixture cool a little and then dip each paper strip into the syrup, coating each side well. Suspend the strips over a baking tray and leave to drip. When they’re dry, your sticky fly papers can be hung anywhere you need them. Be warned-these do catch flies, and they will fill up. It’s a rather nasty sight to see fly paper at full capacity, but just use good judgment as to when you should change it.
Warning: Don’t hang these where people passing by can get them caught in their hair. If you’re hanging at the entrance to doorways, cut shorter strips. Getting tangled up with a sticky piece of fly paper is no fun!
Pests can be prevented by natural means just as they can be with toxic sprays, but the former outweighs the latter by far in benefits. Having the instant result of a fly dropping dead on the spot is not worth the lungful of fumes you get with your next breath, nor is it kind to the environment. Whenever possible, make your own means of deterring common household pests. If you find yourself with a spider problem in particular, try making your own spider repellent to keep them away.
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By Claire GoodallClaire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything :) Meet Claire→
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