Lord of the Houseflies

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It started innocently enough while we were having dinner.

I thought I spotted a fly out of the corner of my eye. A few years ago, I found out I had a few “floaters” in my eyes. That causes me to see tiny spots every now and then when using my peripheral vision. I sometimes think I see a fly buzzing around. Many people told me that eventually, you get used to the floaters and you no longer notice them, which turned out to be true.

When it comes to our house, we do not tolerate bugs. Our house may be messy occasionally (whose isn’t?), but it’s never dirty, ever. My wife prides herself on keeping a clean house and it shows. We are very conscious about keeping windows and doors closed at all times (thank heavens for central air conditioning). When the occasional flying insect does breach the perimeter, it is dealt with swiftly and judiciously.

If I find one in the bathroom or in my office, I’ll immediately close the door and begin the hunt. I can’t rest until I know the enemy has been eradicated.

Sure enough, there was a small housefly buzzing around the kitchen that evening. My wife tracked it down at the window and disposed of it. A few minutes later, another intruder suffered the same fate as its compadre. Spotting the second fly set off an alarm in our heads that maybe we left a window open somewhere.

That evening, we encountered another fly (now deceased) before heading off to bed. The following day, I found a fly buzzing in the bay window of my office. I reached for the small pillow I use for my back pain on my office chair and put a hurt on the little bugger, tidying the remains with a napkin. Then another showed up and he too was expeditiously disposed of. Another showed up out of nowhere and I completed the hat-trick.

When #4 showed up to take its place, I started to get a little concerned. Where were they coming from? It’s not like they were buzzing the window at the same time. They were taking turns trying to drive me insane; I was sure of it. As soon as one was killed, another showed up to take its place.

I took care of a few more before the onslaught stopped. The flies were the exact same size and shape and were easy to catch with just the swipe of a napkin. It was like they were just waiting to be squashed. I felt like Russell Crowe in the movie Gladiator, slaying the Roman soldiers with ease.

After lunch, I returned to my office and noticed one on the window trying to escape. I banged it with the pillow and repeated the process on the few others that followed. They were like little clones, all the same.

I can only guess that a breeding fly got in, and all her hatchlings were born simultaneously. That might account for the sudden mini-infestation of identical flies. I understand that a housefly could lay as many as five or six batches of 75-100 eggs that hatch within 24 hours. Sheesh…

We searched the house for any rotting organic matter, like a stray piece of fruit or a bad onion but found nothing. Just to be sure, I checked my ammunition in the basement and located a few “fogger” cans in case I needed to activate the nuclear option. I was not about to spend another day hunting flies.

Armed and ready the next day, I entered my office and waited for the onslaught, but it never materialized. Either the enemy had been completely eradicated the previous day, or I scared the living you-know-what out of them and they decided to take their business elsewhere.

I am the Lord of the Houseflies.

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