A Common Method of Barn Fly Control: Debunked


  • Christen Leanne Harris Texas A&M University


In the state of Texas, flies cause major damage to livestock facilities statewide. Many southern farmers believe that a simple plastic bag full of water with a penny submerged on the bottom will repel flies for extended periods of time with perceived reasons for success varying. Some believe it blinds the flies, other believe the flies see their reflection magnified and flee from a perceived predator. For the purpose of this experiment, a manner of pest control that has been considered an unconventional urban legend will be evaluated for its effectiveness in repelling flies. The results of this experiment found that there is no correlation with the bag of water and decreased amounts of captured flies and may be used to find an alternate method of insect control.


Khan, Hafiz Azhar Ali, Sarfraz Ali Shad, and Waseem Akram. 2012. "Effect of Livestock Manures on the Fitness of House Fly, Musca Domestica L. (Diptera: Muscidae)." Parasitology Research. 111.3: 1165-171.

Malik, Anushree, Neena Singh, and Santosh Satya. 2007b. "House Fly (Musca Domestica): A Review of Control Strategies for a Challenging Pest." Journal of Environmental Science and Health. 42.4: 453-69.

Miorelli, Nancy. 2015. "Through the Compound Eye.† https://askentomologists.com/2015/02/25/through-the-compound-eye/