Housefly, Austin's Ferry, Tasmania, Australia
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I am one girl that is way happy that September has come. No, it isn’t the start of school (that was two weeks ago) or the fact that leaving are turning (making it all very pretty) or the fact that my birthday is this month (hint, hint). No, it’s the fact that today is September 1st and the Fly Sprayer Man has come to our house (way better than Santa in my present opinion).

There are many things that I have learned living here in Vermont full time. There are things that can drive one batty that either we didn’t notice when we were only here part-time or we chose to overlook, because after all, they were only temporary inconveniences at best. Number one, top of the list, at least for me, is cluster flies. Cluster flies are these horrific creatures that can take over your house seemingly overnight. They are flies, slightly larger than the common housefly, that seem to come from nowhere when the weather turns slightly cooler. There is no guessing or mistaking if you have cluster flies. You cannot ignore the hundreds of flies glued to open windows (like little prisoners except they want in) or the warm, sunny side of the house or attracted to the people or shoes or anything else that is warm near them. There is no keeping them out of old houses, they evidently are already in them. When the weather gets the slightest bit cold, they try to get inside for a warm place to spend the winter (can you blame them?) and in the spring they want out to produce more of the horrific little pests.

The problem is that there are literally hundreds of them and they are everywhere. And since even when they are inside and warm, they want to be even warmer, they are attracted to people (either that or I am dead and no one told me and I am attracting flies which depending on the day, could very well be true). They are all over the kitchen and needless to say the food. There is something decidedly unappetizing about eating food and literally swatting at several dozen flies, not to mention the fact that food preparation becomes challenging. This is the season where cooks need a third arm to hold the fly swatter while preparing food.

Our favorite pastime during this period of pure hell is basically killing flies and keeping count. One morning before breakfast Tom had a 30+ fly count under his belt. I am convinced that the little demons spawn (like some sick video game) at least ten for every one that you splatter since they seem to keep multiplying as fast as they are killed.

After a few years of this torture, which really doesn’t abate until we have a good killing frost (get it?) we decided to have the house sprayed. I am not a pesticide advocate and really truly try to avoid them at all costs especially when we are literally drinking the water they are leaching into from above, but this is the one exception. We are sprayed yearly with a chrysanthemum based spray about as natural as you can get. The spray generally lasts a year and it is so good to be fly-free.

The problem that we had this year (starting about a month ago) is that we had several really cool nights which prompted the little creatures to decide it was time to seek winter shelter, turning our house, windows, screens and doorways into fly heavens. We called my favorite person in the whole wide world right now (Mr. Fly Sprayer) and he sadly informed us that it was too early to spray. If we sprayed back in early August, then we would be miserable come the later part of the year, since the little hoards of flies would pester us to death. Wait until September he advised.

So, today is a really, really good day – September 1st and Mr. Fly Sprayer a/k/a Accredited Pest Control showed up this afternoon. We are temporarily displaced for a couple hours while they spray and fog the house but it is a small and insignificant price to pay for returning to a house sans flies. I will be very happy to hang up the fly swatter for the year. My patience was at its limit – I was this close to committing fly harey-carey .

Thank you Mr. Fly Sprayer and Happy September!

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