Ziploc Bags Full of Pennies and Water Keep Flies Away- Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Ziploc bags filled with water and pennies can be used to keep flies away.
Ziploc bags full of water and pennies don’t act as a homemade fly repellent.
This rumor has been circling the web for years, and people have been using it to scare away flies for even longer.
The idea is that flies have poor eyesight, and water-filled bags create some type of optical illusion that scares them away. The most common version claims that light refracted in the water confuses the flies. Another version claims that flies are scared by their own oversized reflections in the bags.
First, the claim that flies have poor eyesight is false. Their eyes are made up of thousands of individual lenses that can see polarized light and color spectrums that human eyes can’t:
“House fly eyes can recognize even the slightest movements in a wide field. This allows the fly to see a far wider range, as well as detect and react to movement at a quicker pace than species with simple eyes. This is the reason that it is extremely difficult to swat a house fly.”
That doesn’t mean all of those lenses don’t haywire when a fly looks into a bag of water, but experts say that it’s unlikely. A bug expert with the Audubon Institute told the New Orleans Times–Picayune he had experimented with the water bag trick, and it didn’t work:
“(The bug expert) points out that flies are seasonal, they’re affected by wind, rain and other factors. There are lots of reasons people might come to believe the folksy water bags scare them off, but in his scholarly view, those reasons don’t, well, hold water.”
The TV show “MythBusters” also experimented with the homemade flytrap and reported it to be a bust:
“The Build Team made a rig consisting of three chambers separated by trap doors. The first chamber would hold the flies, the second would hold some rotten meat, and the third would hold both rotten meat and a bag of water. They then released over 5,000 flies from the first chamber and waited to see how many flies would go into each of the other two. After the chambers were sealed off, they let all the flies die and collected the corpses to weigh for comparison. The chambers with and without the water contained 35 and 20 grams of flies, respectively, busting the myth.”
Fantastic If It Works!
ZIP LOCK BAGS – WHO KNEW?
Worth a try.
We went with friends to a restaurant on Sunday for lunch and sat in the patio section beside the store. We happened to notice zip lock baggies pinned to a post and a wall. The bags were half filled with water, each contained 4 pennies, and they were zipped shut.
Naturally we were curious! The owner told us that these baggies kept the flies away!
So naturally we were even more curious! We actually watched some flies come in the open window, sit around on the window sill, and then fly out again.
And there were no flies in the eating area!
This morning I checked this out on Google. Below are comments on this fly control idea. I’m now a believer in Zip-lock water bags.
I tried the zip lock bag and pennies this weekend. I have a horse trailer.
The flies were bad while I was camping.
I put the baggies with pennies above the door of the Living Quarters. NOT ONE FLY came in the trailer.
The horse trailer part had many. Not sure why it works but it does!
Fill a zip lock bag with water and 5 or 6 pennies and hang it in the problem area. In my case it was a particular window in my home. It had a slight passage way for insects. Ever since I have done that, it has kept flies and wasps away.
Some say that wasps and flies mistake the bag for some other insect nest and are threatened.
I swear by the plastic bag of water trick. I have them on the porch and in the basement. We saw these in Northeast Mo. at an Amish grocery store & have used them ever since. They say it works because a fly sees a reflection & won’t come around.
Regarding the science behind zip lock bags of water? My research found that the millions of molecules of water present their own prism effect and given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it’s like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colours and movement in a dizzying manner.
When you figure that flies are prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won’t take the risk of being around that much perceived action.
I moved to a rural area and thought these “hillbillies” were just yanking my city boy chain, but I tried it and it worked immediately! We went from hundreds of flies to seeing the occasional one, but he didn’t hang around long.