Blogging > Lord of the Flies

Lord of the Flies

Published: September 20, 2012

San Diego does have a “fly season”. August September is the timeframe. It varies in intensity from year to year. This year has been a peak year. Due to my travels and my shopping error, I did not by my fly killer strips this summer. Two of those strips in my kitchen is like 20 megaton nuclear blast. None of those strips in my kitchen and it’s “Houston, we have a problem…”

I’m in the air to Houston right now. Flying my least favorite airline and so why not recount yet another of my least favorite summer experiences. Here is the story of the 2012 fly wars.

Local businesses have closed to do renovations to combat the buggers. It’s that bad. At my house, it had been a low level skirmish for week. A few would get in, I’d hunt them down and keep the population at under a handful.

Then I went to Guam for 7 days. There was the problem. Came back and found 20 in my kitchen one morning.

I could handle that. I grabbed the rasta washcloth that my brother knitted and used it as a quite serviceable fly swatter. Of the 20 flies I saw, I killed 60. Did a quick check and figured there were now 100 in the house.

I did the math on that and figured that in about 4 weeks my house would be a solid mass of flies. That was not good. Must get chemical strips. Pour a cup of coffee. Sat down at my kitchen table. Took the first sip and spat out three flies. Ok, must get strips really, really soon.


I went to work and stopped off a hardware store. “fly killing stuff?” I ask. “Oh we are pretty much sold out, this year is an epidemic.” Uh yeah, I get that. But they did have two of the chem warfare strips. These innocuous looking strips are brutal. The warning label alone is toxic. I can’t read it. The strips are probably taking weeks off my life while offing the flies. But I don’t care. I put one strip in the sunlight to cook off the chemicals even faster. The flies are dropping like flies.

I start to sweep up the dead flies on the kitchen floor. I start at the back door and sweep towards my dining room. I gather up a few dozen carcasses. As I walk back to the back door to put away the broom, I see three more have dropped. It is literally raining flies. Ebony Rain. Would have been a good title for a Prince Song, I think.

It took me a full day to get the feeling of those flies out of the top part of my throat. The feeling is gone now, but yuck, that was a gross 24 hours as that flash kept flashing back.

Anyway, that was the war. It was won the way America always wins wars. Ruthless application of superior technology to an inferior opponent.

Makes me proud.

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