Billie Bob's Foolproof Flycatching Technique


This method works best on regular house flies. For fruit flies, see the section below.

  1. Roll an A4 sheet into a cylinder.
  2. Wait until the fly is sitting still on a suitable flat surface.
  3. Holding one hand over the top of the paper cylinder, very slowly lower the bottom of the cylinder over the fly where it's sitting. If you do it slow enough, the fly will stay put til you have the cylinder completely covering the fly.
  4. The fly should now be trapped! With the cylinder still held on the flat surface, pinch the bottom of the paper together with your free hand and fold it over, so that the fly can't escape.
  5. Now you can set the fly free in a suitable place (or squish it inside the paper, or whatever you prefer).
I came up with this method after learning that flies fly away when they sense changing air currents (from, say, an approaching swatter). The thin edges of the cylinder cut through the air and the flies notice nothing. There are of course some super-sensitive flies which you'll never catch, but in general this has proved to be a very neat, effective method.

Fruit Flies

These similarly-named yet clearly different insects are just too sensitive and too quick off the ground for the above technique to work. My experience with them is thankfully limited; however I have found the following to be quite effective:
  1. Pack away (or dispose of) all your fresh foods and crumbs and anything that they could possibly eat.
  2. Choose a few pieces of overripe fruit and place in a plastic bag. Leave the bag on a flat surface with its neck slightly open and pointing upwards, preferably in an open space.
  3. Stir up the fruit flies from where they're sitting (simply waving around in the air tends to be quite effective).
  4. Leave the room; wait about an hour or so.
  5. When you come back, most of the fruit flies should be inside the bag, eating the fruit. Approach the bag slowly and calmly to avoid disturbing the flies. Position your hands around the neck but do not touch the bag.
  6. In one swift motion, grab the neck of the bag and squeeze it shut with your hands, trapping the fruitflies inside.
  7. You can now bring the bag outside and release the fruit flies.
  8. Best to throw away the fruit when you're done. Maybe the bag, too.
Feedback? Drop me a line at: bob at billblock dot biz.
Bloodlust? Perhaps these fly killing techniques will cool your frustration.