"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Lady of the Flies

We have a neighbouring smallholder, who, on 2.5 Ha has 1 cow, 22 sheep, an undetermined large number of chickens and pigs.  Which, for those of you who have animals know, can only mean one thing.


Hundreds and thousands of them...!  Crawling everywhere.  On kitchen surfaces, clinging to light globes, falling into full tea / coffee cups and glasses of wine.  Food - I've got fly covers for that so that's OK.  But everywhere else - no thanks!  They have even been crawling all over us whilst we sleep.  Repulsive, disease spreading flies.

So, searching the Net I came across an eco-friendly recipe which I was assured would attract flies.
Ingredients for an eco-friendly fly trap
Basically, one takes 1/2 cup each of sugar and vinegar mixed with a cup of water.
All mixed together and covered with
a pierced aluminium foil lid
After placing it in a jar, pierce the lid.  I decided instead of sacrificing a lid, I would make one out of silver foil, and pierce that.
I made about 8 - 9 holes in the lid
 It worked - to a point.
Not a great success - 5 flies and a small moth
As you can see I only caught five flies and a small moth - over a period of five days.

So, the big guns had to be called in.  They may not be pretty, but heck, if they work, I'm not complaining, and neither is RMan.
An ugly fly strip - but look at the success!
These flies on the fly strip were trapped in only a 7 hour period.  And the fly strip is eco-friendly - as the sticky trap is made by applying resin rubber and mineral oil to a paper strip.
Eco-friendly fly catcher
No baiting, non-toxic, no odours and no mess.  Not pretty.  But it WORKS!

So - that is the lounge, kitchen and bathroom sorted.  In the bedroom I decided to go a little more upmarket.  As I could only get a double bed sized net DD and I sewed two mosquito nets together and suspended both above the bed.  Why two - well, I cannot handle anything "trapping" me when I sleep - LOL even my feet are outside the bed cover whilst I sleep - winter and summer.  The only thing which can be "trapped" by the bed covers is the bod - a draught up the back in winter is not my cup of tea.
DD and I joined two mosquito nets together
and draped that over our bed
Due to the size of our closest town, a double bed mosquito net is the largest they have.  I am trying to get hold of a king-sized mosquito net - for aesthetic reasons also - and then the "joined" net will be relocated to MKids room.  
I DO NOT take flies crawling all over me in the early morning.  EVER!  So the mozzie net stays!  Anyway, I always loved the idea of a four-poster bed, and this looks similar... :)

Now - I have a h-u-g-e field mouse problem - to the extent that I have NOT harvested a single tomato yet this year.  Does anyone know of an eco-friendly deterrent?


  1. We love fly strips! They work! But I was terribly embarrassed when a visitor didn't notice one and got her hair momentarily stuck to it, flies and all!

    1. Linda - That has happened to me, and I KNOW where they are...! NOTHING spurs you on quicker for a hair wash LOL

  2. Yuck about the flies, but WOW...Love the bed. Looks very inviting! How about a cat?

    1. Tami - RMan loves cats, problem is he had one when I first met him. The dratted thing caught a rat in the refuse area of the apartments where he lived. It brought it inside, and promptly let it go. So the rat lived inside a broken washing machine in his kitchen until it was sufficiently fed (on the cat's topside mince) for RMan to notice it. With the assistance of the apartment's night watchman it took them 4 hours to catch it.

      Shudder - I do not want a repeat of that...! I am, thus, NOT terribly fond of cats.

    2. I, too, thought a a cat (or two) for the mice. If you keep a couple as OUTside mousers, then you won't have any problem with 'gifts'. Or do you not have window/door screens and, instead, keep your doors/windows open in warm weather in which case cats could come and go.

      Love the bed netting! It looks so romantic AND functional! :-D

    3. Kris - Won't work - don't have screens :(

      Netting is definitely a solution to the problem, but be warned, it does make the bed a tad difficult to make each morning LOL

  3. I remember those fly strips from when I was young. We were just discussing them the other night actually. Whatever works, I say. and as for the mice plague, we have the same issue. They are into everything. The only organic solution that we've come across is an electric fence. Seems extreme and a bit costly though....

    1. EB - Yikes - apart from the expense, we don't have the spare power... But thanks for the suggestion :)

  4. Would you say that your neighbour is a bit of a fly in the ointment?

    1. MD&E - Could be... His particular "subsistence farming" is certainly adding to the local fly population.

  5. Hi Dani. - I am a little late to the conversation, but I thought I would tell you what I am looking into for the mice problem. I am posting two sites with the info; both are green options. Of course they are in the States; but hopefully you can find them in South Africa, or have them delivered. Here are the sites: http://www.earth-kind.com/EkHPGWOVariable/tabid/467/Default.aspx and


    P.S. I love your blog, and I love the idea of using the solar oven! ~God Bless~

    1. Sherri - Welcome - and thanks - firstly for your lovely comments, and, secondly, for the links resolving my mouse issue. I'm off to visit the sites now... :)


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