Self-made flytrap catches thousands of flies in a week 自製十元捕蠅器 一週抓上萬隻

Thu, Jun 23, 2011 - Page 15

The arrival of summer brings record high temperatures and all those annoying flies flying around everywhere. Customers at the Tung-Nien Holiday Resort in Chiayi County keep complaining about the huge amount of flies. Su Ying-chia, an employee at the resort, spent only a little more than NT$10 to design a flytrap that has managed to catch thousands of flies in a mere week’s time, so that now customers and people living in the neighborhood no longer have to tolerate all those bothersome flies.

Chen Ming-shun, the person in charge at the Tung-Nien Holiday Resort, said that as soon as summer arrives, flies scurry around all over the place, and are very difficult to catch. Even though a net surrounds the barbecue equipment, it is still hard to keep away all the flies, and customers often complain. If they used insecticides, it would pollute the environment and be poisonous to humans, so initially they did not know how to solve the issue.

In order to reduce the number of flies, Su spent a long time observing the insect’s behavior, and eventually discovered that whenever they got into small enclosed spaces, they would only fly upwards, sideways, and forwards, but never tried to get out from the bottom. Thus, Su came up with his simple flytrap design.

The flytrap is made from a net and an empty plastic bottle. First the bottle is cut in half, then a few holes are cut out near the bottom, and a raw fishtail is placed at the bottom. A metallic wire props up the net from inside, and the plastic bottle is fixed tightly to the bottom of the net using rubber bands or metallic wire after a hole is made in the net. The apparatus is then hung outdoors near an area where flies are found coming in and out.

Chen said the flies rush into the flytrap as soon as they smell the raw fish. Once they enter the trap, they can only fly around inside the net and eventually die after growing exhausted. An entire bag is usually filled up within just one or two days. With nets placed in several different spots, it is shocking to think that around a dozen bags of flies are thrown out within just a few days, weighing in at around 6kg, roughly estimated to be around 10,000 flies.

Chen said his invention is cheap, does not pollute the environment, and is easy to use. He has already made around a dozen for people in neighboring communities.