House flies have been around since time began and they have always been a nuisance. When I was a child we always had several fly swatters handy and in a pinch we could use a rolled up newspaper with almost the same efficiency. Before DDT was known to be harmful and was banned from use, my father would spray it on the porches and around the house to cut down on the number of flies. Back in those days, many persons living in the country didn’t even have screens on their windows so flies were a real problem. As far as I can remember we always had window screens but they zoomed in each time the door was opened and with several children in the house the doors were opened way too often. Many persons also sprinkled lime around to keep flies, and odors, in check.
If the flies were really bad, sometimes my parents would pay us a penny for each fly we annihilated inside the house. In those days when one could buy a candy bar or a coke for five pennies, killing two or three dozen flies was on par with winning the lottery. My cousins had the same deal going with their parents until it was discovered they were ushering the flies inside before killing them. Oops! So much for their easy money.
Flies haven’t been so bad in recent years even in the country. Where we lived in Arkansas, surrounded by farms on all sides with all manner of animals, we didn’t have to contend with many most of the time. Here in my apartment in Texas, the windows have safety locks so they can only be raised an inch or two at the most. That’s good except when fresh air is desired inside the house for I must then leave the door to my patio open and it doesn’t have a screen. So sometimes I get a fly indoors along with the fresh air.
One of my daughters-in-law got me a fly zapper. I don’t know how many are familiar with this contraption but it was new to me. It looks somewhat like a tennis racket with criss crossing wires. It has a battery and one must hold the on button while swinging the zapper through the air. When it connects with a fly there is a slight pop and viola, a dead fly! Quite an improvement over the simple but effective fly swatter. Don’t you know we children would have racked up the pennies with this handy device….and had lots of fun doing it! Oh my, what’s next in the name of progress?