Every fall, fly season opens. Unlike hunting season or the holiday season, it is not a season I look forward to. The nasty pests congregate in groups, slow, disgusting and fat, and then they magically multiply. How do they get into my home in such droves? I have screens on all the windows; I don’t leave the doors open all day. I clean my house, and I do not live next to the dump like the Ewell’s in To Kill a Mockingbird. I can only imagine poor Mayella’s fly problem.
Last week, I left a spoon on the counter that I had been using to stir some soup on the stove. When my husband went into the kitchen, no less than six flies were on that spoon. Eeeeewwwwhhh! Even he was disgusted.
This is a problem that happens every fall. Starting around the beginning of September through the first or second week of October, the flies come in. At no other time of year do they behave like this.
Several years ago, my son went on a fishing trip with my Dad. For the trip, my son used my husband’s fishing creel to store his daily catch. Each evening, they would take their catch and clean it, except for one lone fish. Somehow my son, who was around ten at the time, didn’t reach all the way to the bottom of his creel to collect all the fish on the last day of the trip. Instead, he packed to go and shoved his fish filled creel into his duffle bag, with his clothes. When he got home, he unpacked and set the creel, with the now rotting fish inside, onto a shelf in the garage. When I started his laundry, his clothes smelled especially fishy, but I just figured it was because he was ten and had been wiping his fishy hands on them all weekend. I washed them in hot water. Problem solved, or so I thought until something began to smell in the garage.
This was the middle of July, and the stench kept getting worse. Finally, we had a family “search the garage for the stink” party. Lucky me, I was the one to find the creel. I opened it up and peeked in only to be assaulted by a sight from a horror movie and an even worse stench. Flies had found the fish before I did, and maggots covered it; they crawled up the sides of the creel, in and out of the half rotted trout.
I, of course, did what any self-respecting woman would do: screamed, threw the creel on the ground, and ran. Then, I got to be a mean mom and make my son go take care of it. This only entailed picking it up with a shovel and depositing it into the garbage as we decided that we would rather get another creel than try to clean that one out. (I guess that makes us typical Americans living in a consumable society, but that’s another post.) I wasn’t touching the maggots filled creel regardless of how wasteful throwing it away was.
That’s the only time in my life I’ve seen maggots up close and personal. For that I am thankful, but that leads to the question of all the flies. Maggots are fly babies. If I never see the babies, where do the adults come from? In truth, I’m not sure I want to know the answer to that question. I do know, that this is the only time that I can’t wait for really cold weather to get here, decimate the fly population, and put a solid end to fly season.