Boy do I have news for you about fly traps!
Last week Marc had gone to the TSC to get some traps because we have a neighbor who is complaining about flies. (Note, although we had seen some flies near our coop, we did not see “problem” numbers and in fact, we eat dinner outside every night without any interruption from flies – so we didn’t even known this was an issue but *sigh* you do what you have to do for neighbors.)
Last week I told you about the useless yellow trap (that is already in the garbage.) In short, don’t bother.
This week I’m going to tell you about the fabulous Starbar’s Captivator Fly Trap. Captivator is a large plastic jug that comes with a tube of yellow liquid. You mix the yellow liquid with water and hang up the trap. (Hang the trap away from where people will be congregating - tables, chairs, etc.- the reason becomes very evident after a few days of that liquid maturing in the hot sun.) The flies enter an angled black tunnel in the lid to get to the goods. Once inside the bottle, because of the design they can’t figure out how to escape. It’s a deceptively simply and yet ingenious design. One part of me feels sorry for these bugs that are being sent to their death but then another part of me reminds myself (while I’m eating a slice of bacon) that we are talking about flies here.
The first few days we got only a few flies – not entirely impressive.
But then something happened. On about the third day, we noticed that flies were really getting excited about this trap. On a visit out to the coop we saw a single solid layer of flies covering the surface of the liquid inside the bottle. Now, we were beginning to approach impressive.
Then each time we went out to check on the trap, literally an inch of flies had been added. Those insects were going CRAZY over the trap. By the end of the 5th day, we had to close the trap because the flies had filled the bottle and reached the top. Marc left it shut overnight in the hopes that it would kill the ones that were still alive so they wouldn’t fly away when we opened the trap to dispose of them.
The next morning, Marc dug a hole and emptied the trap (there are no insecticides or chemicals in the liquid.) When one of the kids asked Marc what it was like, he had the best answer.
“You know when you open a large can of baked beans and you pour it out? That’s what it was like.”
There were thousands of flies in that bottle. It was both disgusting and addictively intriguing. (IMPORTANT NOTE: I had read about some people who when disposing of the trap contents, spilled some of the liquid on their clothes – basically they ended up saying if you do that, go ahead and throw the clothes away because you’ll never get the smell out. Moral of lesson? Either wear old clothes when emptying the trap or use extreme caution (and have peppermints handy if you are one of those people who gags from smells (yup, it’s that vile.))
Suffice it to say, we are now Captivator fans. We’ve since started another trap (we’ve learned it takes a few days for it to get started) and because we couldn’t find Captivator refills we’ve used Fly Motel fly lures to refill the first trap. Fly Motel claims that the lure starts instantly and whether the lure did just that or whether the flies were attracted to the lingering smell from the original Capitvator lure, we don’t know. All we know is that flies began to immediately get caught in the trap and we couldn’t have been happier.
Our next experiment will be to fill a new Captivator bottle with Fly Motel lure to see if it really does work instantly. Going forward, we plan to have two Captivator traps in use at all times until the frost hits.
I’ve heard of a few people complaining about flies this year and some have theorized that it might be due to the mild winter we had last year. (Hey, it stands to reason that if the ticks are bad because of the mild winter, the flies might also be.) Our property abuts a wooded area and it’s possible that we are simply pulling flies from the woods into our traps but it doesn’t really matter where the flies are coming from, because in the end, the only good fly is a dead fly.
We will continue to use the amazing Captivator fly traps around our chickens until flies are no longer an issue.
UPDATE: A reader went to the local TSC to get some of these traps, this is what he reporeted back:
OK, just back from the store, and here are additional bits of info:
1) The trap itself is on sale, I checked on line before going to the store,. Beware that the store has a different price and make sure they do a price check. Because of the increase in the price of corn things may change a little (price of grain has gone up already by 50 cents a big bag of feed),
2) refills are just about as expensive as the entire container. The store manager (she is a sweetheart) said many customers buy the entire jug because they don’t want to handle the contents. (Wendy note – it doesn’t bother me one bit to watch Marc pour out the flies :-)
3) the contents inside do provide tremenduos fertilizer if this is of interest to anyone but it does have a pungent smell
Note: I am not affiliated with Captivator or Fly Motel. I have not received any products or payments from either company. All opinions are my own.