The Art of the Swat

fly swatting picIt’s that time of year again when every home is humming with the arrival of those little buzzy bas creatures: flies. So it is imperative, for your peace, your equilibrium, but most of all your sanity, that you know a way of combatting these little shi creatures. I like to think myself an expert on all things fly-swatting related, after a seminal incident many many years ago involving a dead crow up a chimney and bluebottles. (I won’t go into details, but I can still hear the thunderous hum.)

First off: know thine enemy. I have a certain hierarchy of what I will happily swat: I wouldn’t kill a spider; ditto bees, ladybirds, and any other little beastie who is not trying to vomit on my food and lay eggs on it – but bluebottles, houseflies, and those annoying little flies that congregate around light bulbs are fair game. (Note the scientific Latin names.)

It is also very important to note a few things before we start:

-To lessen the incidence, ensure all food is covered well, very well. A lazily draped tea towel will not suffice. They are after your food and are laughing at you when you leave any tasty morsels uncovered for the little fuc nasties.
-Spiders are your friends!
-Fly sprays are nasty chemicals: when you spray a room you are ultimately poisoning yourself too.
-Buy good, strong fly-swats, and several of them. (I’m not a fan of the electric ones, they take the sportsmanship out of the swat, and newspapers and tea towels are next to useless. You need to be prepared.)

In order to deal with the problem of flies, you need to understand the modus operandi of the critters we are trying to combat. So let’s start with the little buzzy boll flies that converge on your light bulbs. To put it simply, these are just irritating. Stand near and take a whack when one comes into sight. I would even suggest one of those (disgusting) glue-y strips here. You need no particular skill with these, and so I will therefore quickly move onto bluebottles and houseflies, my nemesis.

The most important thing to know is this – and this is the secret of my great success, a lesson of great mastery: bluebottles and houseflies have a flight path. This is incredibly important to know, because if you are jumping around like a lunatic waving and swinging a fly swat in every direction, they will start going nuts, at supersonic speed, and you won’t be able to predict where they are going to go.


1. Plan your attack.

2. Observe.

3. Swat.
The key to a successful kill is stealth. When it lands, you need to move silently and speedily, and your swat needs to have the sureness of a marksman. The important thing to remember here is to attack from above. Due to the fly’s eye placement, it won’t spot your swat coming from above until too late (evil chuckle).

4. Practice, practice, practice.
I did not become Fly-Swatting Queen (says she modestly) after one combat; it is a skill honed through daily, nay, hourly practice.

I get quite excitable when discussing this noble craft; indeed I am passionate about the skill and satisfaction of defending your home. Not only that, it will lead to greater longevity and better health thanks to the exercise, stress reduction, and personal fulfillment involved in The Swat.

Sure, what more could you ask for?

photo credit: donny27 via photopin cc