The other day there was one single housefly inside the house after we had hashed some shark meat. It is the baby shark incidentally, called “cazon” by the local fishermen. Whenever you fry fish, it tends to attract a lot of flies. So I asked my wife for the swatter before she got into a frenzy trying to kill a little fly. And thus I remember how we dealt with flies 25 years ago when we did not have any Baygon, Sheltox, Raid, or any of those insecticides.
First of all we need to understand why there was a housefly problem. First, no house was retrofitted with screened doors nor windows, so the flies had a free passport with indefinite visas to travel in and out of our homes at any time of the day or night. And because there was a lot of fish in the yard intentionally placed there to dry (salted fish or corned fish), this attracted flies by the thousands. So as soon as you started frying anything in the kitchen, these flies felt welcomed inside too to taste the fish right from the frying pan if possible.
The most used gadget to kill flies was the fly swatter. As soon as hey perched on the window sill, chairs, table or even on the floor, we struck with the swatter killing as many as two or three together. Smart fellows that we were, we would put a little sugar on the floor and that would attract 10 to 20 flies in one shot. This meant a dead shot of 20 flies with one struck of the swatter.
But here is a gadget that worked wonders without having to chase behind these little monsters. Take one tall glass filled to about three fourths with water and cover the mouth with a piece of paper and secure it in place with a rubber band or piece of string. Next cut out a quarter inch hole in the center of the paper. Remove the paper temporarily and apply some sweetened condensed milk around the hole on the inside part. Now replace the paper lid with the rubber band. This is your fly trap and you can place it anywhere in the kitchen near the window or even on the dining table. Flies will be attracted to the milk inside the glass and when they enter the hole, they will not be able to come out. They will fly momentarily once inside the glass and fall right in the water. In an hour you can kill 200 or 300 hundred flies in one single glass. This usually clears the kitchen and dining area for about one hour, the time you need to have your lunch, or supper. When you have about an inch or two of flies floating on the water inside the glass, you can discard them and set up a new trap. If there are no more flies visible, you can rinse your glass and it’s ready for the next day or occasion. Discarded jam glass jars did excellent fly traps twenty five years ago.
– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist