Visual Pesticides : no household flies killing involved

October 14, 2010 § Leave a comment

Visual Pesticides: scare-fly

Visual Pesticides: modern scare-fly by Jose de la O

In different parts of the world it’s already a cheap and well-established method of scaring away household flies, involving a plastic bag hanged in front of the window or door. For example the owners of outdoor taco kiosks in Mexico use this ingenious form of pesticide based on light refraction. The plastic bag full of water hangs from the ceiling, amplifying the light and the dark as well as movements from behind the bag. The flies pick this up with their sensitive eyes and keep their distance in fear of a predator.

Question-and-answer web site The Straight Dope gives more detail on why this trick works:

Evidently, houseflies, being highly edible and defenseless, are nervous types, and don’t like to sit still when they see something moving nearby, because it could be a predator. The water bag acts a bit like a lens—try it some time—in which the movements of people in the area are reflected. Even if the fly is too far from the action to see it directly, it can see a shifting of light and dark in the water bag, which it interprets as nearby movement, and it will fly away from the bag.

An easy DIY job but designer José de la O revamped this traditional technology and replaced the plastic bag with a glass bulb-like recipient filled with water and capped at the opening with a plug that also holds the string used to hang the device. To buy one, get in touch with José directly.

Modern scare-fly design of the traditional water plastic bag

Modern scare-fly design of the traditional water plastic bag

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