Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I am not a crazy bag lady

Last post we discussed rummaging for vegetables out of garbage cans, this post is about hanging bags of water over your doors—I know how this is starting to look. It must be heartbreaking for my family. I soldier on despite the raised eyebrows and sidelong glances.

The bags of water are a fly repellant recommended by the Bugman, an insect expert who writes a column in the SF Chronicle. He explains that the light refractions coming from the water bothers their eyes and it is supposed to make them stay away. Hard to believe, I know, but I had to try it.

With the ever-present large, feathered creatures waddling around the yard, and the products of their various, active digestive processes, the flies were starting to get a little out of hand.

We have the sort of household where doors are constantly left open, by someone deeply immersed in a project that requires running in and out of the house to find a tool every few minutes. I get tired of nagging and complaining about it, and usually just end up looking foolish once I have a more complete understanding of the underlying purpose behind it—that the door was left open for a perfectly good reason that that had nothing to do with carelessness, and was actually part and parcel of a long-awaited home improvement project that will benefit no one more than myself—so why am I complaining?

Hanging a bag of water was easy enough to try, even for a person like me, who is not known for her handiness around the house, and whose husband would like to point out his already quite lengthy honey-do list. Plus, our goal is to get organic certification, and we are always on the lookout for non toxic pest-control solutions.

After seeing it in action for several weeks, I have come to the conclusion that it really works. Occasionally an errant fly will cross the threshold (maybe his eyes were closed) but it happens much less often. Screen doors are still helpful to repel other insects like mosquitoes and fruitflies (not to mention snakes, skunks or raccoons), but the majority of invaders in our house were the common house fly, and this makes a huge difference.

Of course, there is a downside to this fly remedy—that part about looking like a crazy bag lady. So far it has been worth it. It just requires some explaining.


  1. Great conversation piece. I love the dutch door by the way.

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  3. That bag of water looks like a good setup for a practical joke for unsuspecting family members! I'm glad I know the secret!

  4. dslboyscruz9:45 PM

    I was taught to put a penny in the bag of water as well.