How can flies be born with that finely honed survival instinct that enables them to recognise a raised hand, the aforementioned fly swatter or rolled-up magazine as a threat?
How can flies be born with that finely honed survival instinct that enables them to recognise a raised hand, the aforementioned fly swatter or rolled-up magazine as a threat? Contributed

OPINION: Seek-and-destroy mission beaten by flies

I HAVE reason to believe that my house has been built on the graveyard of several generations of blowflies, and they are haunting my home like the poltergeist in the eponymous 1982 horror flick.

While the lovely old schoolhouse I owned previously in the green fields of Nashua was situated in prime dairy farm territory and therefore was surrounded by large quantities of cow manure, I rarely saw a fly in the house.

I can only imagine that they were busy feasting on the all-you-can-eat buffet in the paddocks nearby and had no need to come indoors for a nosh.

I refuse to use chemicals in the house; have done for years and years.

Thanks to the wonders of microfibre cleaning cloths I use nothing more than water to clean the house most of the time, reserving a septic-friendly, cream-style cleanser for a quick loo scrub a few times a week.

But while cooking something aromatic (a lamb roast, actually) a few weeks ago, I left the house briefly to hang out some washing and came back to find the house was filled with a biblical-plague quantity of big fat blowies; it looked like a scene from a Stephen King film.

I instinctively reached for a spray can of something lethal, only to remember I never buy the stuff.

All I had to rid the living room and kitchen of about 10,000 Louies was a lowly fly swatter.

It did the job, but only after many misfires and more than a few curse words from Yours Truly, and the gory mess on the windows took a week (and methylated spirits) to clean off.

It never ceases to amaze me that something as tiny as a fly (relatively speaking, of course - these buggers were actually huge) which logic dictates must have a minute and very rudimentary brain - probably no more than a few nerves twisted together - can consistently outwit a human being on a mission to destroy.

There is always one day in early summer when all the flies hatch out.

You know the day; you head to the beach with reading material and the expectation of having a relaxing morning on the sand, then someone conjures up insect hell and you are surrounded by thousands of tiny flies that attempt to wedge themselves in your ears and nostrils.

How can they be born with that finely honed survival instinct that enables them to recognise a raised hand, the aforementioned fly swatter or rolled-up magazine as a threat?

And how can I, with my advanced hand/eye co-ordination (or so I thought) manage to miss the same airborne pest with 12 consecutive whacks?

I don't know about bad, mean and mighty unclean, but they are definitely smart.



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