When we first moved to Pasadena, one thing our family kept staring at was nighttime porch lights as we were simply amazed that there were no mosquitoes, moths or other bugs hovering around the lights as we often witnessed in Florida. It was a welcomed relief not to have to worry about being attacked by insects (or snakes) as we had been in the southeast for nearly 10 years.
But, this summer has been unusually hot and humid and the humidity is rare for So Cal. We used to seldom have a fly problem and I think that that was due not only to the low humidity but also keeping the homestead clean. We are very diligent when it comes to the cleanliness of our animal enclosures.
However, we noticed that this year the fly population was much greater and was beginning to be a nuisance. We checked everything to determine what could be causing this–the barnyard, the veggie garden and fruit trees, compost, etc., things we could check and that were within our control. Nothing seemed to be any different from the years past. In any event, we still had a fly problem and had to deal with it. Not only were the flies being a problem but also we had to be careful in the garden when collecting produce. It seemed that some wasps and bees, in order to escape the brutal heat (2 weeks of 100 plus temps) or looking for water, were finding that the green foliage of our garden offered both. Even the compost bin was visited by them quite often. One customer (who lives in a nearby city) discovered a snake seeking refuge from the heat in his garden, too!
We went back in our minds to our days in Florida where insects were a constant source or consternation for the family. I remembered we had tried to use some blue and white vinyl strips from New Zealand which attached to our mobile home entrance way (while the door remained opened) since we had no screen doors. These strips of vinyl when viewed through a flies eyes (so “they” say), appear as a solid piece so the flies do not even attempt to enter through. The theory was that you could keep flies out on hot summer days while letting cool air still blow into your home. However, my father soon discovered that some flies were landing on the strips, then, as the wind blew the hanging strips into our living room, the flies “let go” and entered our home anyway! So much for that idea.
One idea which did seem to work in Florida was to have whole cloves simmering in water on the stove. The smell of cloves did seem to repel the flies while infusing the house with such a nice aroma.
So, for the first time since we have lived here, we tried this natural clove repellent again here. But, this time, we took the whole cloves and sprinkled them on the ground in our outdoor eating area. It worked really well! The only drawback was that the smell was rapidly dissipated in a short period of time. The amount of cloves that we would have to use was just not feasible for us. We really need to get some apples or lemons and stick the whole cloves in them for a better, more lasting result.
We did try a cedar spray we had on hand for garden and that worked well for awhile anyway. Just as soon as the smell dissipated the flies were back. Summer will soon be gone and so will the flies. Cooler weather is just around the corner!
What natural remedy have you found that actually works?
Here are some links that I think may be helpful for fly control.
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