13 May 2007

Lord of the Flies

Phaenicia sericata, most commonly known as the Green Bottle-Fly, is actually quite a beautiful specimen, with its metallic green exoskeleton and bright red compound eyes. It is found across the globe, and is fond of all things rancid: dead animals, excrement, rotten food, etc. These materials make superior venues for laying eggs, as they provide warmth and nutrients for the young hatchlings.

In our back yard, they've had a population explosion. And yes, we pick up after the dog, regularly. But phaenicia sericata is a fast little bastard. They've set up shop and are having quite a party back there.

Enter the Captivator (TM) Fly Trap, as manufactured by Farnham Horse Products of Phoenix, AZ. We stumbled upon this product at a local big-box pet retailer (name withheld: they get enough advertising airtime), and decided to give it a try.

Being an obsessive/compulsive type with a flair for morbid humor, I decided to document this in the name of consumer reporting. Thus, on a regular basis, I will provide progress reports and bodycounts of flies terminated. Perhaps this will be useful to someone out there. If the Captivator (TM) does well, perhaps the Farnham company can contact me. For an enormous fee, I will test their other products here.

That's the setup. Now let's get down to some serious fly-killing.

The Captivator consists of a plastic jar with vented screw-top lid, which enables the scented bait to vent outward, and doomed flies to venture inward. The actual contents of the sealed tube of bait is something of a mystery. But yes, it does smell horrific. Mom used to say, medicine MUST taste bad. It means it's working.

To deploy the weapon, one should wear protective rubber gloves. Twist open the tube of Mysterious Bait Substance and squirt its contents into the empty jar. Then, fill the jar halfway with clean water. Agitate the water to dilute the bait evenly. Then, screw the lid tightly and open the vented lid. Place the unit on the ground, or hang from a line to within 4 feet of the ground. We've opted for this hanging method of deployment. See inset photo. Click for enlargement.

The Captivator was deployed at exactly 3:35pm on Sunday, 13may07, suspended 3 feet above the backyard flowerbed by a line of fashionable brown suede...

Note to self: We really must buy some STRING someday. It's quite useful stuff, certainly, but who actually seeks out STRING, deliberately?

So now, we wait. I will document our progress with frightening detail, and with any luck, word will spread among the phaenicia sericata community of Washington DC, that our home is a place of terror...a place of confinement...a place of suffocation and death.

Stay tuned. This could get very interesting.

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