Monday, November 07, 2005
We’re suffering from an embarrassing problem. The flat, our beautiful flat, our virtually new, pristine, sparklingly clean flat has been invaded by a swarm of flies and I can’t stand it. It started innocently enough, a couple of big fat sleepy bluebottles flapping half heartedly at the sitting room window, one almost immediately dropped dead with the sheer exhaustion of it all, the other I dutifully escorted out using the tried and trusted ‘glass and postcard’ method usually reserved for the slower moving minibeast. After that however, things went downhill fast. Every few seconds there’d be another one buzzing angrily round a light fixture or bashing itself repeatedly off the walls. As soon as we captured one, another appeared until P resorted to arming himself with a tea towel and flicking at them, resulting in a secondary school shower block scenario and a pile of squashed and semi squashed little black bodies. Did I ever mention that my other half doesn’t do things by half? He grabbed his jacket, whirled out of the door and seconds later I could hear the squeal of tyres as he drove away. Thankfully he was not leaving me to fend for myself in the fug of flies (or at least only for a short while) because he returned moments later with a wide selection of insect killing apparel, all sporting labels featuring terrifying names and pictures of freakishly large insects with evil grins. After almost killing both of us with copious quantities of fly spray, he stuck a vast number of sticky flytraps to the windows, and then sprayed another canister of fly killer around just to be sure. After yet another frenzied attack of tea towel swatting, he suddenly raised the thousand dollar question – where the heck are the little buggers coming from? This was followed with a hearty session of cupboard opening, carpet lifting, bed moving and even plughole investigation, activity that ultimately resulted in discovering they were sneaking out from under the skirting boards. Meanwhile, I was on the telephone to my Mum (as always, the first person I turn to in a crisis involving household or garden pests). She could only provide me with the upbeat opinion that there is probably a dead rat under the floorboards that the flies are feasting on – so one minute I’m infested with flies, and the next I’m faced with a plague of rats. At this point I’m close to hyperventilating (partly due to shock and partly due to the carcinogenic chemical fumes wafting around me). P has been on another mission – this time to B & Q where he has equipped himself with a gun – a gun full of super quick-dry sealant, the intention being to block off all escape routes so the flies stay in their sub-skirting dungeon forever. 2 hours later P triumphantly declares he has filled every single crevice, nook and cranny – and he has. In fact the only gaps he hasn’t sealed are between my bottom and the sofa and the around the front door. The infestation has mostly been resolved now but every so often one of the teeny pesky critters will mange to make a break for freedom, only to find himself faced with certain death at the hands of a makeshift fly swat or canister of Raid. Surely they’ll give up soon, they really don’t make very pleasant houseguests.