Lord of the Fly Swatter and Why It May Not Be Prudent To Use

Sep 25, 2013 | mosquito control, pest control

flyWilliam Golding’s 1954 novel, “Lord of the Flies” evokes disturbing images of a severed boar’s head impaled on a wooden pole, swarming with flies.  It seems there is no one who actually likes the common house fly – a slight simplification because there are more than 16,000 fly species in North America – other than those few who study them to acquire such facts.  Everybody else, and many animal species, have either artificial or natural fly swatters just to enjoy a moment’s peace without the burden of their constant buzzing about.

Fair warning, this may not be a pleasant read, but it will be informative and beneficial.

Flies have either very short life expectancy – one week – or rather long – one year.  For the shorter version, it may seem indifferent, but a single mating pair may produce a million kids in several succeeding and multiplying generations in just a few weeks, so their control is a serious matter to resolve.  Flies are more than momentary nuisances; they can be a threat to good health.

Flies are flying, buzzing, darting, consuming and regurgitating carriers of a number of potentially serious diseases too easily contracted by humans.  They are likely the source of large populations of illness, particularly in less cleanliness-prone third world countries.  Their gut is the living quarters of millions of small, disease-carrying organisms.  Their wings and legs and bodies carry billions more because they frequent rotting vegetation and flesh, and then our homes and picnic areas.  Every landing, and they do so very often, deposits many thousands of these organisms.  If then ingested by an unsuspecting human in sufficient quantity, infection has begun and proper medical treatment is going to be necessary very soon.

Their eating method is particularly repulsive and disease-laden.  Lacking the ability to ingest solid food, the first course is actually the last course eaten which is regurgitated (okay, it is vomited) onto the intended next meal, but added to it is the digestive acids in the gut (and all those microbes, remember?) which then break down the intended meal that is then ingested as a fluid.  Enough of that.

Fortunately, this process takes a bit of time, so the initial landing, if disturbed by an attempted swat, avoids the first step, but does not avoid the deposit of the organisms living on its body, so…

The esteemed, but not so preventive fly swatter appears out of sight of the fly, hopefully, and catches it unaware.  Result: splat!  A dead fly; maybe two if lucky.  But what was thousands of little bugs on legs is now billions in the midst of the swatter’s revenge left on whatever surface was swatted.  It must be cleaned and sanitized right away (the swatter, too!), or it has resulted in an invitation to attract more flies until the effect of “the Lord of the Flies” is right on the kitchen table.

Disgusted, yet?  Just clean it up, and call an exterminator (281-296-6022) if the problem is excessive.

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