Crafts & DIY
Stick 4 pennies in a plastic baggie for an old Southern trick to keep flies away
It works like a charm.
Sasha Alonzo
01.24.23

If there’s something all people can agree on it’s that no one likes how buggy it gets in the summer.

Running into bugs in the great outdoors is one thing, I mean, that’s where they live, but it’s pretty upsetting when you have a bunch of flies buzzing all over your house.

Thankfully, the experts on Southern living over at Homesteading Off the Grid have some ideas to help you out this summer.

Because they are a homesteading group dedicated to raising awareness about horticulture, they made a video about one easy trick to get flies out of your house.

To start with, you don’t even need many supplies.

YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid

This hack is super minimalist.

You only need one plastic bag and exactly 4 pennies.

You probably have those handy already, so you can jump right into making this.

YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid

You’ll also need some water.

Tap, hose, bottled, it doesn’t matter. The final supply you need is a length of rope.

Once you have assembled those supplies you can begin to put your fly repellant together.

YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid

First, you open up your Ziploc bag and put the pennies in there.

Then, you fill the bag up halfway with water. It’s important that you don’t fill the bag up entirely with water, because you’ll need some space for the next part.

YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid

The next step is to grab your rope.

Good thing you didn’t fill your plastic bag up all the way, because now you have to wrap a rope around the bag to seal it up.

Leave a lot of length on the rope so that you can hang this bag up because you’ll be doing that later.

YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid

Lastly, hang up your bag.

Because flies most often get in the house through an open door or window, you should stake a spot out near your front door that is excellent for hanging this up.

Maybe you already have a nail or a hook outside your door, or you have a light fixture close to the entrance. Whatever you can find, tie the bag around it, and leave it hanging.

YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid

Another important tip is to make sure that the bag is in a spot that gets some sunlight.

It’s important to make sure that the sun will hit the pennies because that is an essential part of this hack. Another tip to keep flies away is prevention.

flickr - whologwhy
Source:
flickr - whologwhy

You don’t want anything in your house or too close to your house that will attract hoards of flies in the first place. The guide in the video explains how last summer, his household had a big housefly problem because their chicken coop was too close to their house, and that attracted the flies.

Another thing that will draw in flies is a big old mess of food or other things they like to eat on, so there’s your incentive to keep your house tidy.

Why does this work?

There are a number of theories about it. As you can see if you hold the bag up to the light, the sun hits the pennies and refracts through the water and the bag.

Flies get repelled by this bag because of the refraction and reflection of the light, but not just because they don’t like light.

YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid

While the host of the video claims that this is because flies believe that the light looks too much like the eyes of the spider, others aren’t so sure about that.

The Tennessee Farm Bureau agrees that this trick works, but says it is more likely that the light simply just confuses the bugs.

Homesteading Off the Grid swears by this trick, and they’re not the only ones.

“Did it work for us last summer? It did, otherwise we wouldn’t be showing you this and we wouldn’t be doing it again this summer.”

YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - Homesteading Off the Grid

This tip has been a part of Southern living in the summer for a long time now. But thanks to this video, anyone can learn to prevent flies in an easy way, regardless of where they live.

Learn the step by step process in the video below.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Sasha Alonzo
[email protected]
Sasha Alonzo is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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