Dealing With Flies the Old Fashioned Way


By Granny Spear

Ready Nutrition

When you live in the country flies are ever present. Living without a fridge means that even though they can’t get to the food in the safe they can smell it, and that means they come inside the house and buzz around annoying everyone.

Let me tell you about food safes: They are a sturdy wooden cupboard, with a very fine mesh door that allows the air to circulate. There were two shelves in ours, a marble one at the bottom, and a mesh one supported by a wooden frame in the middle. By making sure it’s in a shady spot in the scullery food stays cool and safe from flies.

Right, where was I? Yes, flies, okay. We used three methods of keeping flies away. First we set fly traps outside the house near the doors and windows. They are easy to make.

  • Take a jam jar with a lid and punch some holes in the top, large enough for flies to get through.
  • Wipe a little raw meat, such as bacon around the inside of the jar.
  • Fill the jar about one third with apple cider vinegar and screw the lid on.

You place these near the doors and windows. The flies are attracted to the smell of the meat. They go through the holes  but can rarely get out again. You will be amazed at how many flies you will catch.

Flies are not keen on some smells. bay leaves, lavender and cloves, are a good combination I found. The bay leaves and cloves would just be bashed a little, to bruise them and let more smell out. The lavender needed to be very well crushed to release the oil. The crushed lavender goes in with the cloves and bay. I kept a small bowl of this near the safe to disguise the smell of the food inside. I put the same mixture into a small basket hung on the inside of the outhouse door.

Some summers just seemed to be bad years for flies and there would be far more of them than usual.  A fly lure works well. Ernie would take a piece of waste meat, a chicken head maybe, and put it under an upturned plant pot way down at the bottom of the garden beyond the outhouse pits.  He put the pot on an old dinner plate which stopped maggots escaping. The flies would swarm to it. Often they would not be able to get out of the upside down pot which was a bonus!

I’m sure there are other ways to deter flies, but these worked for me so I stuck with them. Well that’s it for now.



Granny Spear was born in a small cottage in Devon, Southern England in 1925. Married to farm labourer Ernest, she raised her family in the heart of the countryside without any of the amenities we rely on today. Using skills passed down from her mother, who had learned those same skills from her mother, she not only survived but positively thrived living a self-sufficient, off grid lifestyle. Outliving her husband, one of her children and two of her grandchildren she stayed in the cottage until 2003 when a serious fall saw her hospitalized. She now lives with her daughter just four miles from her old home. For her 89th birthday her grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her an iPad, which she instantly rejected until they showed her Angry Birds…After much persuasion she has agreed to share some of her knowledge with us about what she calls the ‘old days’

3,823 total views, 4 views today

Filed Under: Bacteria and VirusesInsectsMain

RSSComments (7)

Leave a Reply | Trackback URL

  1. Ken, Somerset friend. says:

    Further link of at least academic interest:- Since as far back as I can remember the crash was predicted and early 90’s were our only testing time. A former retired colleague of my Dad’s wanted to move back to Wales but his house in Yate, besides a noisy railway line, bought for £60,000, best offer he could get was £40,000. The stress and worry of it all caused this man to suffer a fatal heart attack, sorry.
    Today the houses in Yate cost the best part of half a million pounds and I am not joking.
    Fear that the housing market is vastly overbought and must surely correct means that I avoided buying on more times than I can remember. But my assessment that £10,000 was a fair price based on bricks and mortar value plus manpower to build it in Balsall Heath was I believe correct at the time.
    I believe alternative media has not researched the issue of house prices. Do they believe it doesn’t matter? Even without the crash, 1st time buyers having to stay at home with parents is not just embarrassing to them, ANY severe deviation from a set norm may trigger resentment possibly growing into riot, even SHTF. And all this WITHOUT climate change, chemtrails and crazy ideas surrounding Zionist conspiracy.
    Even worse, people I know put off marriage and children until their 40’s now, and established socially and built up in their careers. Sorry but the human body has NOT changed and this trend will only breed a generation of even more dumbed down mongs.
    You know as well as I do Liz that the risk of congenital disorders like Down’s Syndrome rises with age of the parents. 25 to 30 is the optimum age for having children and this will never change.
    But when still living with parents at this age, University Degree yet on Facebook, X box and smoking those funny cigarettes which smell worse than cowshit. . .
    Pardon the rant but the term is ‘adultescence’ or ‘boomerang syndrome’. Google it. It is not pretty is it?

    • Ken, Somerset friend. says:

      Found the link:- However. The BBC see this as a POSITIVE development while the Daily Mail & Daily Sheeple feel very disturbed by the prospect of young adults being unable to afford to leave their parental home.
      I have no end of other little tricks up my sleeve which make me come across as the english David Blaine. For example demonstrating Shazam to someone not into tech stuff and he is wowed! I also know the NSA use similar methods to Shazam to recognise anyone’s face via street CCTV but . . .
      moving on, the thundery morning rain stopped and it got steamy, yes STEAMY and it seemed like half of Brecon decided to climb Pen y Fan. Thumbs up sign

  2. Ken, Somerset friend. says:

    Hi Hilary. Them worms. LOL. I once suffered a kinda ‘bad head’ but all the time off work I helped a pub landlord friend who raised chickens and sold the finest free range eggs. Shifting wood and other debris I couldn’t tell you what worms were there they turn the stomach but feeding the hens they fought yes FOUGHT to grab the juciest specimen. Hope they never had intestinal parasites LOL. I even went to the pub and had soft drinks sometimes to see what were fast becoming my babies LOL.
    Regrets, a fox 1 night killed all the chickens. Didn’t eat any, just had a mad urge to kill. Traditionally foxhunting was an english country tradition but since making this illegal foxes have multiplied in our cities even. Seen dozens round Victoria St passing as near to me as a car’s width, eyes locking mine and leaving me wondering if that was a ghost LOL.

  3. Ken, Somerset friend. says:

    Good to see Lizzie preserving Maud’s wisdom.
    Nae idea why Scotland has played such a big part in my life and career. I just guess you want to escape Southern England’s summer heat and head up north but those wee midgees last night in my parents’ house in Bristol arrived as a swarm into my bathroom LOL, I was half way tae Bonnie Scotland and knew it LOL.
    People from India get the same idea for the Himalayas and know same flies LOL. My Mum thinks a vegetarian in Brecon, Wales will not go short of protein because flies follow the sheep droppings and you cannot not inadvertantly swallow a fly:-/
    Born into a family actively involved with Scouts, Guides, Brownies & Cubs means despite occasional health issues, to prep is the norm.
    Bank work in Bristol, Birmingham and Glasgow is not just boring, you learn ZERO life lessons and abuse is a daily event, almost as bad as them trolls on Utube and Facebook LOL.
    But I’m a survivor (singing Destiny’s Child song) and as long as I don’t get too stressed out, diverticulitis should not bother me further.
    Cheers Liz + friends x

    • Liz Bennett says:

      Ken, I used to live up the road from Cannon Hill Park, used to play at the cricket ground end…what a small world it is. I will look into the tea stuff and get back to you

      • Ken, Somerset friend. says:

        Nobody from B’ham would recognise me any more Liz. Mostly lived with my parents adult life due to simple cost of living rising exponentially. Not been round the world LOL but working on it LOL. Gotta cross the Date Line then crawl back to Heathrow LOL. Balsall Heath when I arrived you could buy a house for £20,000 but you would worry in 5 years time you are sitting on a property you can’t get rid of for £10,000. Thats how it was remembering the 2 Tone era with bands like the Specials, Selecta, Bad Manners etc. Regrets my eating disorder left me the mismatch of Society and you had not the internet to google your experiences.
        Any ideas as to how the UK friend made it? No neither have I. LOL.
        Cheers Liz x. Top contributor on the Alternative Media circuit.
        The trolls are mainly graduates just back from Uni and have nothing better to do , been there pre-internet, it isn’t what happened to you its how you deal with it Brothers.
        Peace and Thankyou.

  4. Hilary says:

    Any meat full of maggots would be loved by the chickens.

Leave a Reply