It's not unusual for me to to find a fly inside my home in the summer; it usually happens two or three times a year. When it does, I swat the vile thing and go on about my business.
Something has changed in the past few days. The flies have become more aggressive. As I sit here writing, two of them are taking turns buzzing my head and landing just out of reach. Yesterday I killed three or four others, and there were a couple more the day before. My home is becoming a habitat for flymanity. My daughter says she's been seeing more of them in her home, too, so I'm not the only one under attack.
I don't notice more flies than usual outside, but the ones that are out there seem to be hell-bent on finding their way into the house. They're like six-legged illegal immigrants, plotting to find weaknesses in my borders and sneak across in search of a better life. Except I don't think they'll really find anything much better once they're inside.
The outside food supply should be more than adequate; there's a virtual fly buffet as close as my garbage can. If flies can get through the tiny crack under the back door, they could easily get inside the tied end of a plastic trash bag.
No, they must be looking for something else. The only thing I can think of that they can find inside the house but not outside is cool air. Has the earth's atmosphere warmed to the point that even the insects are desperate for air conditioning?
I'm trying to put this fly-thing in perspective. I've lived through worse cases in my own life. When we lived in Georgia, the flies were so thick one summer that it was nearly impossible to barbecue outside. On one occasion my husband came up with the idea of offering a bounty on fly carcasses -- a nickel each fly, plus a 25-cent bonus after every 20 -- and my girls racked up.
It's not even as if I'm an excellent housekeeper and the flies defile my otherwise pristine environment. My dogs probably track in more germs than the flies bring in, but Butch and Kadi don't make a beeline to put their dirty feet on the rim of my Diet Coke. Flies do. There's just something about those nasty little creatures sitting on my things, rubbing their front legs together like greedy hands, that offends me to my core. "Ohmigod," they seem to say gleefully, "look at all this stuff just here for the taking."
I know it's petty to whine about a couple of flies in the house. I see television news documentaries in which flies are crawling on the eyes and mouths of impoverished African children. Those poor kids just take it in stride; flies are the least of their worries. I know I should be ashamed of myself, and I promise I will be -- as soon as all the flies are gone.
Ah, well, maybe it's unrealistic to expect to keep all the flies out. They sure don't call them "houseflies" for nothing. Hmmmm. Now that I think about it, I haven't seen any spiders in the house in a couple of months. Maybe I should let a couple more of these guys in to assist me.