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Hate is a strong word. I shouldn’t say that I hate anything. That’s what I always told my children. I still tell them that. But saying that I dislike flies does not even begin to convey how strongly I feel. Flies are gross. No, that doesn’t quite do it. Flies are disgusting. True, but that doesn’t do it either. Nope. I hate flies. I spend a lot of time every day trying to ensure we are not completely invaded by them and more than I hate flies, I hate using any chemicals on the grounds, house, or dogs. So, I scoop every speck of doggie doo that I can. It is a never-ending battle, of course. I use barn-lime (sweet lime—not hot lime) to keep things dry and sanitized (so the flies do not have a breeding ground). Barn lime also helps to keep any urine odor at bay. I bag any trash immediately and remove it from the property as soon as possible. I scrub, I clean, I swat… and still flies in my house… buzzing around the windows, landing on my computer monitor…ugh! Big flies, little flies, and no, I don’t know what kind of flies they are exactly but there are different kinds—your plain old house flies, cluster flies, etc., but I don’t think I’ve seen deer flies or black flies, yet. I think my problem is not nearly as bad as the problems I’ve heard of some folks having, though. I think the dryer-than-usual spring weather has kept the black flies down. We’ll see how it goes. Being that this is my first spring in the Northwoods, I am not at all certain what to expect.
I use those sticky fly strips in the house, but they aren’t pretty now, are they? No, dead flies stuck to yellow sticky strips hanging in the corners and windows—and hopefully, not where I can walk by I get my hair stuck to them—isn’t the sort of decor I was trying to go for, although I have no decor going on at all yet anyway! I found this cartoon and thought it was funny—gross, but funny. I’m glad I don’t have a toaster or a fly sticky tape in the kitchen!
It probably doesn’t help that I have to leave a door open at least a little bit most of the time so puppies can go outside to do their business. I’ll be moving the puppies out to the barn as soon as I can get a swanky, comfy kennel built for them and I will be putting doggie doors in the doors of the house as soon as I muster up enough gumption to try to cut holes in my doors. I’ll get there. After all, as they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?
I’ve been fortunate to never seem to have a problem with the flies too badly around the kennels and dogs. I have to keep the poo picked up, which is all composted and no, there is no fly problem at the compost heap because as long as the correct mixture is going on, the pile is “cooking” and there is absolutely no odor or flies, and I must be diligent to keep the kennels clean (by picking up all poo) and dry (by using barn lime, cedar shavings, and fans when needed). I use food-grade Diatomaceous Earth everywhere including the house, barn, kennels, bedding, and in all the animal’s feed. This keeps any bugs out of the food, it is a natural parasitic, and in theory would make for cleaner poop because all of the animals are constantly free of any parasites. I keep cedar bedding in the kennels and boxes in the summer and I hang lavender bundles when I can find them. I hope to grow lots of lavendar next year for that very purpose as it is also a natural bug repellent. I am just dying to order a wonderful (I hope) natural product that is a mixture of cedar and peppermint oils to try on the dogs. It is supposed to repel fleas, ticks, flies, etc. I am very excited to try it and will be ordering as soon as I am able. I will post an update on the effectiveness when I know.
I had planned on trying “predator flies,” but it is sort-of creepy to me to introduce another fly species to try to rid another. I hear they work, though. I think it’s too late to order them this year. Maybe I will try them next year. And, as soon as I am able, I am going to get the fly ribbons to run in the barn and dog building, if needed. So far, it seems the only real problem is them coming in the house and making me crazy!
For now, I’ll keep on scooping poop and keep on hanging the not-so-attractive sticky hanging things, swatting, keep the door closed when the puppies move out, and hope that I’ll keep the buggers at bay. And, as said, I’ll let you know how the natural spray on product I am going to try works out. Just another reason to love winter (no flies in winter) and not-so-much care for summer. 🙂
What natural products do you use to keep the flies away?