Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Day 163 of our Green Year: Damn Flies

Since moving to the ranch, Layla and I have noticed an increased amount of flies from what we are used to in our home up in the mountains. Down here in the prairies, more flies are around and it can get quite annoying. Now, this does not mean that we are dealing with an Amityville Horror infestation or anything. It is just an annoyance when you are trying to work and flies keep dying in your free-trade organic coffee.

Since Layla and I are animal lovers and think that everything more or less has a right to live, we try not to kill the flies, just swat at them to get them to move on somewhere else. As a result, we have found some ways to get rid of flies without killing them, while going green at the same time. Back on Day 133 on September 1, I mentioned how we would use RAID to get rid of flies in the house as a kid, and it meant essentially poisoning anything alive in the house. Obviously, we will not do this because it is bad for the environment, us and anything that happens to make its way into that house during the RAID fumigation.

It is pretty dry here, so there are not as many spiders as we had back in Rossland, which means that we have to find ways to deal with the flies without the help of spiders. Which brings us to these fly-control methods:

  • If you have mint, you can use it to get rid of flies. Just have some crushed mint around the house and the flies should stay away. This also works for mice and rats.
  • Eucalyptus and garlic cloves wrapped in cheesecloth squares and put on doors and windows should also keep flies away.
  • If you have some basil, you can put it near pet food and open food in the house to keep the flies away from the food. This also brings us to the point of keeping your house clean. The more food you have laying around, the more flies you are going to have.
  • Apparently a plastic bag filled with water can deter flies, but it may create mosquitoes so we are not using this method.
  • Yellow is apparently a color flies do not like, so put it around areas you want to keep them out of.
If you do want to kill the flies, there is a natural flypaper you can make that won't pollute your air as it hangs from the ceiling. To make it, take 1/4 cup of syrup, one teaspoon or fair-trade and organic sugar and one teaspoon of fair-trade and organic brown sugar. Combine these in a small bowl and unroll brown paper and soak pieces in the mixture, then let dry overnight. The next day, poke a hole in it and hang it from the ceiling to get rid of the flies.

Forgot to mention that a few days ago we passed 5,000 hits (and have registered over 200 since then). We passed 4,000 on September 4, which means that September has been our busiest month with over 1,000 hits. It was also the month we appeared in David Suzuki's Nature Challenge and became part of several websites. Thanks to everyone who helped us reach this point and here is to 5,000 more.

Today is World Vegetarian Day, and naturally we will be having a vegetarian supper. As can be seen at Our Green Year Journal, we have not had any meat for a few weeks, have had a couple cold suppers and tonight will be a vegetarian pasta dish. Due to the move, our schedule was disrupted slightly but cold suppers will begin soon.
Make sure you have a vegetarian dish tonight!

If you have green ideas, a story of how you are going green, green pictures or you just want to let us know what you think, e-mail us at and we will address it in a future blog, or put it up on the site itself!