Trapping flies in Belgium
Video of the Week: European Hornet attacks a fly
Being about an inch long with a plump body shape, the European Hornet can be rather intimidating.
I'm sure this fly thought so:
Amazing photos of insect eyes
The eyes have it! This link is worth a look-see.
Eat at The Fly Trap
No, I'm not telling you to go eat a meal next to our top-selling pest control product.
The Fly Trap is a "finer diner" in Ferndale, Michigan.
A reviewer for the Detroit News says: "Don't be put off by the name. The Fly Trap is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a more modest predecessor that filled the space for 54 years before this snappy contemporary version of a diner came along."
We love that they've had fun with the name. They even sell a bottle of house-made habanero hot sauce called "Swat Sauce".
Fall is the time for flies
This time of year, the common house fly has an additional place to breed beyond the usual manure, compost piles, dumpsters, etc.... and that is turned-over tomato fields and vegetable gardens.
This article from TheHorse.com explains more.
Most notable quote:
"Calculated over an entire summer season, a pair of house flies could produce 191 quintillion flies, enough to cover the earth 47 feet deep, if all their progeny were to survive."
Wow. Good thing we have the RESCUE! Fly Trap to catch that progeny.
Which came first, the chickens or the flies?
Some residents of Webster County in Kentucky are perturbed about poultry. (BTW, I love the group's name: CAPS, Citizens Against Poultry Smell).
They're trying to link the presence of new chicken farms in the area to an infestation of flies. Seems like a logical conclusion. But the farmers are fighting back and refuting the connection with help from an entomologist:
"Despite several attempts Monday night during a meeting of citizens long opposed to the presence of industrial chicken farms... to connect the recent large influx of flies in and around Clay to the local chicken farm industry, an entomologist from the University of Kentucky repeatedly told the audience no such evidence exists to support that claim."
Apparently there's an influx of houseflies, and they don't feed on poultry carcasses. Guess they have a more refined diet.
Catching flies in New Zealand
We may have a two-foot blanket of snow here at RESCUE! headquarters in the Pacific Northwest, but we're still catching insects in other parts of the world. A customer in Auckland, New Zealand was so impressed with our disposable fly trap that he e-mailed us to share some photos he took after it had been up for two weeks.
Cool eye for the house fly
The compound eyes of flies are large and are composed of thousands of individual lenses, up to 4,000 in the case of the house fly.
So I don't know that the eyeglasses in this photo are really necessary or helpful to this housefly. But they are cool.
This is an actual photo of a housefly with a teeny-tiny pair of "designer" lenses crafted with a cutting-edge laser technique.
Apparently, no one's actually planning to market the fly eyewear... this was created as an entry in a German science photo competition.
Trap some flies, eat a meal
In a recent online search, I was surprised to find a restaurant in San Francisco that shares a name with one of our best-selling products.
Our RESCUE! Fly Trap is a popular and effective device for capturing flies outdoors.
Although I have never eaten there, the Fly Trap Restaurant is in the heart of San Francisco and sounds like a good, classic place to have a meal of steak, seafood or pasta. The eatery was established in 1906 and -- judging from the photos -- appears to offer a warm, classy atmosphere with antique furnishings and white linen tablecloths.
What I wanted to know is, what's with the name? I'd be a little hesitant to eat at a place named for a device that catches a pest insect -- an insect which is most unpleasant to have around food. Luckily, their web site answers this question:
"It was back in the days of the Spanish-American War... Proprietor Louis Besozzi placed good food on his tables to attract the customers and a square of flypaper on each table to attract the flies. The presence of the flypaper prompted the G.I.s of 1898 to call the place the 'fly trap'. This uncomplimentary title so enraged Uncle Louie that he finally quit the restaurant business and returned to Italy."
Cousin Henry took over the restaurant after Louie's little tantrum. He actually loved the name, and so it stuck... like flies on flypaper, I guess.
The next time I'm in San Fran, I will have to check out this restaurant.
More reasons 'why' for the fly
I've quoted poet and humorist Ogden Nash before on this blog. He once wrote:
Amazingly enough, scientists at both IU and Princeton University are using these tiny flies -- they're about the same size as a grain of rice -- to study many diseases and biological processes, such as cancer, drug addiction, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, embryonic development and memory enhancement.
Flying like a fly
Have you ever thought about how houseflies... fly? Most of us probably don't. When that annoying, filthy pest is buzzing around your kitchen, the more pressing question is, "Where's the flyswatter?"
Leave it to some clever engineers to think about what we could actually learn from the flight patterns of the housefly. There's its speed... up to 50 km per hour. Its acceleration ability... 3 g's, or 3 times the force of the earth's gravity -- equivalent to what the astronauts feel when the space shuttle takes off. And the fact that it can fly straight up, down or backward, and can somersault to land upside down on a ceiling.
Here's what they hope to accomplish:
The researchers are taking the lessons they learn from Musca domestica to try to build something called a micro air vehicle, or MAV, a tiny flapping-wing tobot that could be used for military reconnaissance, disaster rescue efforts, or other kinds of work requiring remote sensing.
And here's a firsthand description of the research from the gentleman in the United Kingdom who's spearheading it. It's fascinating to read about the possible military uses he envisions:
A soldier mired in combat could take a few MAVs from his backpack and throw them into the air to scout the interiors of nearby buildings. Equipped with video cameras, the tiny flyers could surreptitiously locate hidden adversaries, downed comrades, or scared civilians. MAVs could find equal application in bomb detection and bomb deployment -- the US Air Force, for one, is interested in using MAVs for precisely delivering tiny bombs, to take out, say, a single computer.
Floods + heat = flies
As if the residents of coastal Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi didn't have enough to deal with after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the conditions in those areas now are extremely conducive to flies. With the heat and moisture from floodwaters, plus the dead animals and rotting food, flies are breeding quickly.
Here's an article about the health risks those areas are facing now, in large part due to the insects. This page from the Louisiana State University AgCenter web site also describes the insect problems following floods.
We're told that our Disposable Fly Traps have been in use (and filling up fast) by the National Guard downtown and in the area surrounding the University of New Orleans, and we are working on getting more of those traps down to the folks in the Southeast who need them.