Whatever happened to …

… paper fly catchers?

I’ve mentioned before that I married the farmer’s daughter. The other day, we were complaining about the flies on the patio – Webster can’t get them all – and it brought back memories of flycatchers of old.

They came rolled up in little tubes. On one end, there would be a tack that you could stick into the wall and then you’d pull this sticky tape down using the paper tube that they came rolled up in.

Dairy farmers back in the day preferred them since they would trap the flies and keep them from falling into the milk. Maybe it was that possibility or something else but my father-in-law would never drink milk. I do remember drinking it fresh and warm from my uncle’s farm years ago. It was just brought in from the barn in a cup and we had the local version of “whole milk”. Kids today don’t know the joy.

These days, there are all kinds of devices that you can purchase to catch flies and they seem to be a little more humane and seem to be designed to catch flies by the volume.

So, I went looking because we couldn’t find them in the local hardware store or at Walmart. I’ll confess to not looking too hard because it really hasn’t been a bad fly summer. To date, a fly swatter in the house or a wave of a hand outside the house does the trick.

What are your thoughts on this sticky situation?

  • Has it been a slow summer for flies around your place?
  • Do you trap flies to get rid of them buzzing around – particularly when you’re dining outside?
  • Have you ever personally been “caught” in one of these? How about your dog or cat?
  • Is there a difference between killing a fly inside the house versus outside the house at your place?
  • Do you purchase fly traps of some sort to help the cause?
  • According to this article, there are substantial diseases that can be carried by flies.
  • My wife just proofread this and laughed at the reference to her father. She mentioned that she had bought some a few years ago and they’re out in the garbage. Do they dry out over time?

As I say every Sunday, I’d appreciate your thoughts on this. Please do so in the comments.

This is a regular Sunday post around here. You can check them all out here.

Thanks for reading.

8 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. I remember our family renting cottages at various points throughout my childhood. One of the tell-tale signs that we were at a cottage was the presence of the “Vapona No Pest Strip”. That and the mosquito coils that you lit just before settling down for an evening of “Crazy Eights” or “Go Fish” really framed days at the cottage!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Doug, I totally forgot about these fly catchers until I read this post. That said, I wish I had some, as there are tons of flies around here. Maybe it’s because my new puppy is always outside. 🙂 I need to find myself some fly catchers, or get better with the fly swatters. 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Doug.
    The last time I used fly catchers was two federal elections ago. I was assistant returning officer in New Hamburg (Kitchener-Conestoga). Our riding office was invaded by flies. One of our rural workers suggested I go to the local Home Hardware and get some fly catcher strips. They worked like a dream and the flies were soon gone.



  4. In my teens I worked in the kitchen of a summer camp in the Adirondacks. Great job – ate VERY well. Anyway, one day a member of the staff was giving one of the waitresses a very hard time. He asked for a plate of flies. Being no dummy and remembering the fly strips hanging in the kitchen we went and got one down. The head of the kitchen, always supportive of his people, asked her what she was doing. When she told him the story, he went back into the dining hall with her and let’s just say be made sure the offending party had a very uncomfortable time.


  5. BTW we used to have an electric fly swatter around here. Not only did you hit the fly but it was electrocuted. With a very satisfying ZAP noise.


  6. Forgot about those! I have a memory of them hanging somewhere, but can’t pinpoint it at the moment. It’s been a good year for various flies in the NW…


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