Saturday, March 25, 2006

Fly away little one

Fly away little one, don't come here...

The story of spring flys at Amber Fox reminds me of how we used to handle flys when I was working as a forest ranger, fighting fires and planting trees.

Seems those pesky flys were more on our minds than the bears and even the raging fire sometimes, out there hot and sweaty, persperation dripping off you inside those coveralls, off your face, sometimes people thought you had turned the piss can on yourself. (Piss can in case you have other ideas is not quite what you thought. It was a five gallon metal can that was filled with water and strapped to your back. It had a hose and a piston attachment for squirting much like many kids water guns today.)

If you were staying on the fire overnight, which happened sometimes as darkness set in and the helicopter that you rapelled out of can't fly at night, the flys were enemy number one. It was hot, you were wet, dirty and no way to clean up. You are now on the top of the dating list for flys, not bad if you are into that, but me, no...

We would use a few pop bottles (or beer bottles if you managed to get them by the pre-flight check) inverted with the bottom supported with sticks. The sweet scent would lure the flys. Once in the bottle, they couldn't get out, they can't manouver down in such a confined space. Set up five or six just abit away from where you are cooking at your fire and the flys thin out.

It works much better inside. I have used the following fly trap with great success...

Boy Ricky's fly trap

You need - a two litre plastic bottle, string, a stick or tape, and some smelly bait

First step, cut the top of the bottle off near the top of the label.

Second step, throw away the lid, make four cuts in the lid so it has narrow openings or looks like it has legs.

Next, tie a piece of meat or cheese or any smelly food to the string and thread the string from inside the bottle through the hole you just made. Tie it to a stick or tape it to the bottle.

Finally, place the bottle on top of the top.

VoilĂ  Instant fly trap


Howiesue said...

This sounds like a very good & practical idea to me. Thing is, FLIES aren't such an issue at Amber Fox, it's MISQUITOES. Following the same logic, if we all just left a bloody carcass near our tents the bugs would be otherwise occupied. But then there's the Bear & Scat Issue (see previous postings) wich becomes problematic.

In all seriousness, when I was growing up in rural Vermont in a log house where the flies would cluster around the rafters, we'd get up early when the house was cool and pass a steaming bowl or sause-pan beneath them. They would dive right in looking for the heat and drown themselves pronto.

I never made tea that way however...

Anonymous said...

I take bugs over bears. Good point Howie-sue.

Mosquito's are a problem. Trouble is they really like bright coloured clothing. They also like smelly stuff like soap and perfume.

I was sent to a big fire once in the Northwest Territories near Hay River. The brought in wash units to our camp and we all got excited, cleaned up with "Irish Spring". Big mistake, the mosquitos and other flying creatures liked it a lot.

We can help ourselves somewhat by wearing muted colours, limiting use of body scent enhancements, eliminating garbage where we can, and any standing water outside. I know bear grease works but that is a case of the cure being as bad as the problem.

Glad to hear about the tea ;)

Some of these otions are just not reasonable are they, imagine some Faeries, gays and queers in brown, it doesn't work...

Howiesue said...

Well, actually we could follow the modle of the "girl-guides" (called the "brownies" it the US for their brown skirts) & go about the business of selling cookies {just think of the possabilites...)

It could be one hell of a fund-raiser, and would probably get a bit of press —if we want it—

Boy Ricky said...

That could be a lot of fun! (They are called Brownies in Canada too.)
And what would we call the fund raiser?