Yellow fly fighter: Building a better fly trap

Published: Friday, June 7, 2013 at 09:47 AM.

We all dread their return every year: those pesky, painful Yellow-flies [Diachlorus ferrugatus]. Research the pest online if you like; you'll get the details. I humbly admit they strike me as oddly beautiful with their rich and somewhat translucent golden hues. Yet, I'm just as much bothered by them as you are, if not more.

We have lived in the woods by the water for the last almost 20 years. If you've been here long enough you know that some years are worse than others. You begin to see seasonal changes. Ever noticed how some year's crops of flies seem slower to react making them easier to swat by hand? One season they hang low and the next they may prefer the rafters, which is what we are experiencing this year and what prompted me to convey my experiential wisdom on to you.

About 18 or so years ago, we saw a small article in The Walton Log about Mosquito Control and their efforts to control the flies. They were seeking volunteers to participate in a hands-on trial with an experimental sticky substance that did not dry. It came in a half-filled used mayo jar with a hand-written masking tape label that read “Sticky Stuff.” We were told to “apply to a black-painted beach-ball. Hang under tree. Let blow in breeze.”

“Bazinga! It's a trap!”

Allow me to expand upon those elementary instructions.

1) Blue is the “new black”! Several years ago some “they” out there determined the flies are more attracted to blues than black. I have had great success with a bright or dark blue.

2) Save the ball for the beach. Paint plastic milk jugs [the handles are a bonus] or plastic pots from the plant nursery [hang upside down and coat the inside too].

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