Ask no questions and hear no flies
Autumn has slipped into winter, which is alarming, seeing as how summer never quite got around to arriving.
Granted, winter in this area generally just means more blue skies, with breathlessly cold mornings.
We probably won’t have an opportunity to make snowpeople on our lawn – I remember the Great Motueka Snow Dusting of 2010, when my partner insisted I take photos outside our flat, and I regarded him with South Otago distain while reminiscing about the epic snowdrifts of my childhood.
There are a couple of benefits to the onset of winter, however.
The first: I’m thinking about braving a righthand turn on to High Street. (Not the Greenwood Street intersection, though. Never that.)
The second: all of these disgusting houseflies must surely now go into hibernation.
I’ve been hissing in fury at all of the flies in my house for months now.
There have been so many. They’ve invited friends. They’ve had parties. My disgust seems to entice them.
Friends and I lament to each other that it’s been a particularly bad year for them.
It’s not that our houses are dirty, we console each other – not very, we amend in a tiny footnote.
So how to rid ourselves of them? I was willing to try anything, as long as I didn’t have to resort to those hideous sticky strips. My all-natural fly spray literally left a weird taste in my mouth.
I like those nifty tennis-bat zappers but can’t be trusted with them - I once flailed at a mosquito in the dark, and gave my poor longsuffering bedfellow an electrifying wakeup (we can laugh about it now).
I begged for help from the crystal ball that is Google. Boil rosemary sprigs, it advised sagely. I did.
My house smelt lovely. The flies thought so too. They crept closer. They landed on my wooden spoon.
In despair, I went to Mitre 10 and bought some discreet cardboard flybait corners with sticky inners, for $20. One hundred per cent of flies will enter within 48 hours, the packaging promised.
And perhaps the flies did enter, but they didn’t like the de´ cor, so zero per cent stayed.
I returned the useless corners to the hardware store, and reached instead for the hateful unsophisticated $3 strips. Their viscous yellow goo was garish against my white walls.
But you know what? With every droning black invertebrate that met its sticky end on them – 47 flies fused to one, and a pleasingly even 50 to the other – those hideous strips became a little more beautiful.
The common house fly makes a lousy house guest.