Wednesday, March 25, 2009

No!!!! They be stealin' mah screen!

I got my KnitPicks order and I'm ready to crochet potholders, but something has been distracting me for the past few days.

It all started Monday night when I came home to find a big black flying buzzing around my bedroom. And I mean buzzing in the literal sense. It was like a cartoon.

I wouldn't have given this much though, except there were two of them. Then suddenly there were five or six. Where were they coming from? I've never had flies like these in my apartment. And they were creeping me out. Mostly because they were so loud.

I started with the natural "home remedy." I set out bowls of apple cider vinegar. Then I tried a cup with a paper funnel. Then I tried adding soap and sugar to the vinegar. They didn't even come close to it.

I started reading about homemade fly paper. I decided this was getting ridiculous, so I put on my shoes and headed to HEB.

I was hoping to find flypaper, or some fancy fly trap. But all I found for flies besides Raid was something to hang from the ceiling that emitted "odorless vapors" to kill flies. I did not like the sound of that.

I decided to try Walgreens, but the easiest way to get there was by driving through the parking lot of a different shopping center. On my way, I decided to try my luck at a dollar store.

They had exactly what I needed.

Fly Ribbon

Four of these cost a dollar. They're like sticky Chinese Yo-Yo's that you hang up, like this:

Fly Ribbon in Action

(The dollar store required a $5 minimum for debit cards, and of course I didn't have any cash. So I ended up buying duct tape, salt and pepper shakers and a hangy basket thing to make up the difference. Still, all the candy bars I *haven't* bought from the vending machine have saved me a lot more than that.)

I hung two in the bathroom and two in the kitchen, the two places the flies seemed to want to hang out.

But the flies continued to creep me out, and none of them were sticking. I finally got tired of it and tried another online remedy. I mixed water, vinegar and a little dish soap in a spray bottle and started going after the flies.

This was effective. They started dropping like, well, flies. But it was a lot of work. And the whole house smelled like soap and vinegar. (It was still a better choice than any of the toxic chemicals I could have bought at HEB.)

I finally gave up and went to bed. I left the light on over the stove to attract the flies to the fly ribbon. It helped some. When I woke up Tuesday morning, I had caught several flies in the kitchen and one in the bathroom.

I thought my drama was over, but when I got home yesterday I heard that buzzing again. This time it was from behind the blinds in the bedroom. The seemed to like to hang out there.

I sprayed the fly behind there.

Then I heard another. I sprayed that one too.

Then I heard another. What was going on? The flies had to be coming in through my bedroom window. I went outside to investigate. Which brings me back to the title of this entry.

They be stealin' mah screen!

I don't open the windows much, but I have opened them enough to know that I had a screen on the bedroom window. And now it was gone. I'm in a high traffic area, so who know who took my screen. And I'm talking about the whole thing disappearing. It wasn't lying on the ground or anything.

I figured these two had to be related. (Although I did seal up a small hole in the wood with some caulk I had lying around, just to be sure.)

I reported it to the management. I heard back saying they are working on it. So far, no flies today. I'm hoping the fly drama is over.

Which begs the question, why would anyone want my screen?


Anonymous said...

It seems likely that a neighbor with a similar window and similar problem might be the culprit. I wouldn't be surprised if the official maintenance response is to grab a screen from another window on the way over and install it on yours :)

Katie said...

It seems like the fly issue is over, but did you ever try hanging up bags of water? That's what they do at Rudy's, but I have no idea if it works.