Keep Flies Away With a Baggie, Water, and Pennies


Flies are more than just a nuisance. Think where their tiny little feet have been: they love poo piles, dead animals, food setting out in the sun all afternoon, and all sorts of disgusting places. So when they’re landing on your food (or your face when you’re sleeping) it’s enough to give you the heebie-jeebies.

So you can imagine that I’m pretty excited about a new-to-me method of keeping flies away. They’re probably my number one bother during the summer (although you might hear me reposition this thought once the mosquitoes come out this season), and they’re particularly bad during the latter part of the season.

We’re in and out of the house so many times during the day, so the number of flies in the house is like the flying mission at the nearby Air Force base with the F-15s zipping all over the place. Sending the boys after them with fly swatters is one way to handle the situation, but they can only reach so high and we’re as likely to be hit as the fly. The sticky traps seem to catch a fair number of them, but don’t they just scream appetizing? It just doesn’t seem right to have a spiraling sticky ribbon hanging above my head while I’m cooking. And there’s nothing like a fly that’s partially stuck vigorously buzzing away to make you lose your appetite.

Pennies in a Plastic Bag

My stepmom Maggi told me about using pennies in a baggie half full of water and then hanging it in the area to keep them away completely. From what I’ve read about the method (which is nothing new – it’s supposedly an old Amish technique) the reason it works isn’t exactly clear.

The primary speculation is it somehow affects the fly’s vision due to how the light is refracted in the bag. In the numerous testimonials I read people swear it works. Some people say the pennies increase the reflections; others say they’re in there to keep the water from getting yicky. All you do is place 4 to 6 pennies in a zipper sealed baggie, and half fill it with water. Seal it shut, and suspend it near the doorway to keep the flies from even coming in the house.

Our fly numbers are just starting to increase right now so I hung a baggie in the kitchen near the sliding glass door and in the bedroom (because there’s nothing like trying to go to sleep and being dive-bombed). Even though some people might question my unique decorating style, I’d rather have a baggie with water hanging on the wall versus the flies buzzing around our heads.

Maggi put a couple of bags in the goat barn this week and noticed immediate results. She put a half dozen pennies in the bag – she said she did make sure they were shiny pennies – and suspended it with bailing twine. She said there are a couple of flies, but nothing like the numbers she had prior to hanging the baggies.

I’m also going to take a couple of baggies down to the horse barn today because flies are a huge issue there. The woman who owns the barn tries to keep up with them by hanging fly traps, but it never seems to make a difference. At least the baggies are a way to keep the flies away without chemicals or even purchased traps.

This might seem like a whacky way to keep flies away, but if it works during the worst part of the fly season, it’ll be well worth having a few odd decorating accessories hanging on the walls! I will keep you posted.

Meet Amy Grisak

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