Fly posting


There were a lot of flies in the house. They buzzed thickly at each window, anxious to get to the sun.

I rationalised that the weather was warm and there was manure on the fields nearby. Then I engaged in a short bout of chemical warfare and emerged victorious.

After vacuuming up the corpses I fleetingly wondered if that was the last insect invasion of the season.

The next day I went out and left all the internal doors shut. When I got home the living room was full of buzzing. I could hear it outside the door. There were no flies anywhere else.

Gripping my trusty aerosol in one hand I cautiously opened the door. Every window in the room was crowded with appropriately named houseflies. I began to spray and once again technology defeated nature.

Then I rationalised that the weather was warm and there was manure on the fields, but a very localised infestation of flies meant that something was dead somewhere in the room.

Using forensic skills learnt from Silent Witness, I concluded that the lifecycle of the housefly (musca domestica) indicated that something had died in the room whilst we were on holiday. The maggots had grown fat on the corpse and had crawled to a cool, dry place to pupate before emerging as flies and flying to the nearest light source.

I lifted the lid of the woodburning stove and found the dead bird. As well as funnelling smoke out of the room, the chimney, it turns out, does a good job of venting the smell of decay. I put on my gardening gloves and, breathing through my mouth, I gathered up the remains (I did contemplate cremation, but the smell of burning feathers might have made the situation worse).

One day I will put some sort of netting over the top of the chimney. As I did over the other chimney after the pigeon-in-the-dining-room incident a few years ago. Meanwhile I will light the fire more often.

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