Tag Archives: Flies on the homestead

A Plague of Pestilence

Warning story contains mentions of foul putrid dead rodents. 

I opened the shed door at pig and chook feeding time, startling sleek glossy fat rat. Up the wall it shot, its nimbleness belying its bulk and into the shed rubble stacked high upon the shelf. Shudder. The Other Half said ‘we must lay some bait….’ 

Another day and the maize bag was chewed, spilling its contents over the floor. The Other Half said ‘we must lay some bait…’ 

The next day we lifted the cover on the fermented maize in its ½ blue barrel. I gagged at the sight of a drowned rat, floating spread eagled on the foamy surface. Fishing it from its watery grave on a long handled spade I gingerly carried it out and biffed it over the fence, far, far away. 

The Other Half laid some bait. 

With bait stations everywhere it was looking good. Bait all gone the first night and all gone the next. Partly gone by the third morning, we were making progress. 

But then the STINK came…. 

A horrible sweet dead animal stench. We searched for the bodies and followed the smells; a rat was disposed of in a hole in the ground. But it seems there was more to be found… 

As I hung out the washing a smell wafted up, gagging I searched through the grass and comfrey to find a fat still body against the fence. Bloat had set in and any movement released more of the fetid stench into the air. I fetched the old shovel and dug a small hole nearby, retching, I gently slid the shovel underneath. A shove and a slide it was into the hole and covered with dirt. But the smell hung in the air like a smothering cloak as I barfed into the grass at the side of the path. 

Theres a lot I can handle, a lot I can do, but maggots and rotting flesh seriously make me ralph! 

But there was a smell in the driveway and a smell in the shed. Smell under the deck and in the garden… and we had visitors coming. 

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Luckily by the next day we had found the one in the shed and the deck one had faded. So outside we sat in the rustic back courtyard, cuppas and cake in the sun. Talks about gardens, solar power, living of the land and of course politics. 

When what should I smell but a waft of the dead, of foul rotting beast and there in the corner lay the biggest one yet! A long-handled shovel and apologies needed as I gently scooped up the carcass from its paved grave. I carried it far, so far away and flung it still further over the bank. But the malodorous stench was still wafted in the air, so a quick bucket slosh to rinse the whole spot and wash the foulness away. Phew back to relaxing and enjoying the day, which went along quite well with no more putrid smells. 

But then a day or so later came the flies… We’d had some pesky little beasts, but suddenly numbers swelled to epic proportions!  We try to be natural with the use of no sprays. So up went the fly strips and on went the vinegar, fly swats and hand-held fly zappers all put to the test. But these flys were relentless, the strips just filled up and then we ran out!!! ‘I must have some spray; these little buggers must go!’ said The Other Half. But the first spray was scented and worse than the flies! The whole house reeked of some brain numbing scent and the flies just kept on coming. 

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The next can was better ‘non scented’ it said, but its success rate was just as bad as the first and the flies just kept on coming. 

More strips were hung, over and over, at least the buzzy b#*tards would die on those. Then a chance find under the sink, a spray can left by the previous owners, I think. Pyrethrum ingredients, natural to a point, but it knocked those buggers down dead and extinct. 

A spray on the window sills, a few blasts through the house and numbers were down, the relief was so great. Fresh fly strips went up and lasted much more than just one day, we were finally free of the horrible fly plague. 

But it seemed the smell in the shed had not been just one rodent. I pulled out some frost cloth to be assailed afresh by the pungent stench of partly dehydrated rat, all fluff and dry carcass entangled in the now smelly folds. Fresh gagging ensued and a hastily washed cloth was flung on the lawn, devoid of its mummy. (Which, by the way I must confess, was left on the shelf for someone else to deal with…) 

Two more small mummies were swept from under the freezer to lie on the concrete, their empty eye sockets staring, creeping me out and squeamish for sure, somebody else can deal with those two. I am Done!!!