Thursday, June 26, 2014

Windex is My Insect Killer

Even though a fly has a tiny brain it can process sensory information into an appropriate motor response and make planning movements prior to take off when it first sees a threat. It makes its escape plan in 100 miliseconds. Michael Dickinson, who has been studying the flight of insects for 20 years (yes, you read that right) suggests, "It is best not to swat at the fly's starting position, but rather to aim a bit forward of that to anticipate where the fly is going to jump when it first sees your swatter." (source:  http://phys.org/news139142949.html#jCp)

In a nutshell the fly can calulate the threat and position itself for flight quicker than you can move your arm through the air. Our dear and dedicated flight researcher suggests to aim where you anticipate the fly is going to jump. Oh, if Mr. Dickinson could only understand that even though my brain is bigger than the fly's I cannot begin to even anticipate which way the fly will take flight considering it can change its body position and take off faster than my brain can tell my arm which direction to swat.

I'm no rocket scientist but I've got a better method than Mr. Dickinson's method.

Spray the fly with Windex.

The dad from my "Big Fat Greek Wedding" can add this to his list of all the wonderful things Windex can do.

One summer day there were three flies in my house and I had spent hours trying to kill them. I mean, not literally hours in a row but cumulatively the time spent trying to swat them became hours. They were the fast kind of flies too. The kind only Bruce Lee or Aeon Flux might be able to swat or catch in their lashes. Luckily, one of the flies flew onto the window pane and I quickly closed the blinds trapping the fly behind the shades. I squirted Windex through a slat and wet the fly down. It wasn't able to fly away. Then I was able to kill it. After that I was able to kill the other 2 flies and discovered I could spray the flies while they were in mid air. They fell down to the ground giving the opportunity to kill them as well.

The green (food safe) window cleaners do not work. You must use something with ammonia in it. I haven't tried vinegar yet but I don't think it will work since it's natural.

Another option is to buy the electric fly swatter which also works very well. However, with the electric fly swatter you still have to anticipate where the fly is going but you can swing the swatter around like a person who's walked into a spider web and possibly hit it. Be careful not to hit anyone with the swatter though. I haven't personally shocked anyone with it yet. But I imagine it stings.


This is a fly on my vehicle. That's just my reflection with an orange drink in the background. 



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