Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Death to all Flies

There is an old adage 'there's no flies on me' which is usually followed by the retort 'but you can see where they've been'. Well last year we went to Goole and enjoyed for a few hours the plague of flies that came from the 'fly-tipped' waste problem. Which turned into major multi-million pound problem for the Canal and River Trust. One that was thoughtfully shared with the residents living near the canal at Knostrop wharf in Leeds.

A more modern and popular pun is 'time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.' A  slightly more humorous saying. But for the Gruffaloe, there is no fun when it comes to flies - She is a woman on a mission, her personal crusade is to eradicate the pesky little critters. She is now a dab hand at fly swatting with a pair of marigold gloves. She has even been known to use the odd cooking utensil in close range - hand to hand combat - as a makeshift swatter. This year, once again we have noticed that there seem to be more flies around than in previous years. Or maybe its that my memory over the running total of battle casualties has fogged over time.

I can just cast my mind back far enough to remember those old curly wurly fly papers that were all the rage when I was a kid. I'm sure that they are still available - but I'm not sure that the Gruffaloe would be happy for me to festoon the boat. Especially with something that resembles a brown, sticky, broken Christmas decoration. Although I think that they look like a very attractive, pig tailed, Garibaldi biscuit. So I started to search around on the tinter-webbie thing for information.

Did you know that there are 100,000 types of flies. Not only that, the housefly is the most common breed of them all.  The housefly has some pretty amazing statistics. Flies have compound eyes, which give them an ability to detect the slightest movement and changing light patterns. House flies cannot bite as their mouth parts are only made for taking semi solid and liquid foods. House flies have small hind wings which gives them a very good flight stability. The growth of a house fly stops after coming out of their pupae. The small size of a fly doesn’t mean that it’s young, it simply means that it didn’t receive proper nutrition in the larvae stage.  

But it gets better - if it can get better when talking about flies. The feet of a housefly are ten million times more sensitive to sugar than the human tongue. Houseflies are equipped with glue oozing toe-pads and this helps them to walk upside down on the ceiling. A fly beats its wings two hundred times in a second, which is three times faster than a humming bird. Houseflies can travel a distance three hundred times their own body length in one second. Compare that with a jet travelling at the speed of sound, which can only travel one hundred times its length in a second.

Well now that we have had a look at the impressive bits. Lets highlight a few of the bad ones. A Housefly defecates about three hundred times in a single day that's around once in every four or five minutes. House flies are the carriers of many diseases, and they are known to transfer over one hundred pathogens resulting in some very serious diseases like typhoid, tuberculosis, cholera and dysentery.


Now we are looking at moving the battle readiness status to - Defcon One.  We are going to invest in one of those electronic bug zappers. There is a wide choice of types and designs to choose from. Maplins sell a swatter that looks like a badminton racquet. (£4.99) Which would also encourage the Gruffaloe into improve her backhand and forehand  swatting technique.

Though I prefer something a bit more technologically up market. But so far I have not found a suitable laser guided weapon of choice. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.