Yellow Fly Traps

One thing we know for sure – Nancy generates all the trash in this household. When she’s here, I carry out one full bag of trash every day; gone and I haven’t filled even one bag.

Made the first new generation yellow fly trap. The original design worked insofar as nabbing yellow flies but it was a real pain to make and even more troublesome keeping it in place all summer. A few years back, Flagler County was offering free yellow fly trap kits so we gave it a try. The kit consisted of a zip lock baggie full of sticky, gooey, nasty stuff and a set of instructions for use. The instructions were to get a 20” beach ball, paint it black, spread the nasty goop all over the painted ball and then hang the finished product in the infested area. It worked like the old flypaper traps, the yellow flies attracted to anything black. Sounds simple enough but turns out hanging onto a 20” beach ball while spreading the nastiest, stickiest mess you have ever met is not something you want to do. In a few seconds you have the axel grease like glue on your arms, clothes, and on any surface you happen to touch. Then trying to hang the orb is not simple because if you hang it by the air input port, it tends to pull out and deflate the ball. I tried to construct a monofilament harness with some success but after a couple weeks in the environment, more than half of the harnesses let the ball slip out. The good news is that if you got one built and hung, it really did catch the flies. Yellow fly season is only about 3 months but life is better with the traps than without, that’s for sure.

This year I decided to abandon the beach balls with the hope that the round shape had nothing to do with the trap’s effectiveness. I got a few gallon jugs, like milk or soap jugs, filled them about half full of water and painted them black. The jugs have built in handles and flat bottoms so they are much easier to handle than the beach balls. I put the water in so that they would flop around less when hanging. I got one of those ubiquitous plastic shopping bags and used it as a glove to spread the glue. The glue is a commercially available product named Tanglefoot. A 15 oz tub cost $10 delivered and that’s enough to do at least a half dozen traps so there’s not much financial exposure on this. The construction went well and I ended up with no glue anywhere on my clothes or body. I hung it in an area that has been a favorite of yellow flies in past years. So far the only flies I’ve encountered were at my neighbors house but if history serves, I’ll have them soon and keep a close tab on the new trap. Assuming it works, I’ll construct 3 more and hang them down at the dock. Getting a handle on country living.

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