Friday, 14 September 2012

Easy Does It: Fly Paper

We've had a reprieve for winter, but otherwise, here in the heat of Brisbane, our little kitchen is often bothered by tiny fruit flies.  These little wretches defy all chemical means of killing them. It doesn't matter what brand of spray we buy, we can almost hear the little monsters laughing when we spray.

A year ago, a cleaner we had (when my income was slightly higher and I could afford a cleaner) suggested fly papers. It was a good old-fashioned rememdy, and let's face it, being physically stuck to the paper meant the little pests could not get away.

So we bought fly papers and hung them on hooks that were already in the kitchen ceiling (wondering if some previous tenants had made the same discovery.)

The fly papers worked.  Thousands of tiny black bodies were stuck to bits of paper hanging from our ceiling, which was pretty unpleasant, but I could cook and do dishes in peace.

We've run into some problems just lately - supermarkets have very recently stopped stocking fly papers. It may be that they stopped for winter, and haven't caught on that it's spring again. 

At any rate, this made me stop and think: just how hard can it be to make fly papers?  Basically, all they have to do is hang around, attracting flies, and being sticky.  So I made my own.

Here's my recipe if you have similar issues:

Step 5.
You need:

A brown paper bag
large flat dish
microwave-safe mug
a tablespoon water
a tablespoon golden syrup (glucose syrup, treacle, anything else sweet and sticky would do the job.)
cake cooling rack
oven tray

Step 8.
  1. Cut paper bag into strips. Cut small holes at the ends and thread lengths of string through. 
  2. Tie strings in loops.
  3. Lay the strips of paper in the flat dish, with the string ties hanging over the edge (so they don't get all sticky.)
  4. Place syrup and water in the cup and microwave 30 seconds to make the syrup more liquid, and mix them together.
  5. Pour the warm syrup and water mix over the papers. 
  6. Cover with plastic and leave to soak overnight.
  7. Place a cake cooling rack over the oven tray (to catch sticky drips), and spread the papers on the rack to dry for several hours.
  8. Hang your new fly papers somewhere they won't get caught in people's or pet's hair, etc.

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