Why I feel like Elmer Fudd

Why I feel like Elmer Fudd

I can deal with spiders. Even slugs. A rat here and there is bearable. Bats are tough, when they get into the shop they make me–what else–batty. We get birds now and then and they don’t bother me. We do our best to shoo them back outside. But the bats are creepy as hell–they quietly ping pong around the rafters like they’re having a rabies seizure. We never can tell when they leave, as we’ve never successfully shooed one outside. So I’m thinking it was a bat that died in the wall soon after we moved in. But bad as they are, and I really don’t like bats, they’ve got nothing on the stupid little house flies.

They’re common and persistent. With their taunting buzzing and disgusting habit of landing on our food, flies make me furious. I know they don’t think things through, but they seem out to torment me like Bugs Bunny metaphorically mooning Elmer Fudd.

And sometimes they come in battalions. Once or twice a year, hundreds of flies will suddenly swarm the shop. In a way, that’s easier to deal with than the lone-wolf flies. With the big outbreaks, I can turn on the shop lights, wait for the flies to congregate, then climb on a ladder and fire-hose them with Raid. Pretty soon the expression “dropping like flies” becomes vividly clear as you can hear the little corpses hit the concrete then buzz around on their backs for a while. A couple of hours later you can vacuum them up and it’s over.

On the other hand, the lone wolf flies are harder to kill since it’s not hard to avoid a swatter in a two-story 2,000 square foot shop. And it’s like they taunt me, buzzing around my head, landing on a counter and sitting there waiting while I get the electric flyswatter (called “The Executioner”).

Of course, by the time I turn around to electrocute them, the little bastards have taken flight again. I become Elmer Fudd waving my flyswatter around like a shotgun, but they are always silently invisible until I surrender and set the thing down. You know exactly what happens then. They buzz by and I swear I hear them laughing.

Once in a while I get the slightly guilty thrill of actually killing one. But I generally just have to cede the building to them and wait for their natural lifecycle to solve the problem. And, try very hard to remember to close the damn door. Unless we have the roll doors open, in which case, I just have to leave town.