True Confessions of a Suburban Girl

Fly paper is very, very, very, very, very sticky.

Did I say “very”?

I now know exactly why the tiny legs and wings of flies… smaller than a single strand of hair… stick so very well to it.

I also know:

  1. HAIR also sticks very, very, very, very well.
  2. Fly paper also sticks to ANYTHING, including any surface, object, or body part.

The directions on the package (“unroll by pulling tab, use thumb-tack to place it near flies”) should be re-written. I recommend:

  • Remove any jewelry, hanging clothing, or nearby wall fixtures.  Roll up sleeves. Tie back long hair. And medium length hair. Heck, even tie back short hair. Or wear a disposable cap.
  • Use needle nose pliers to grasp the extremely tiny red piece of easily-breakable plastic that is cleverly inserted in the top of a sticky role of plastic so that you can’t actually grab it with finger nails unless your fingernails are over 1.5 inches in length and no more than1.2 inch wide.
  • Pull the little piece of easily-breakable plastic firmly but not too firmly where it will snap off and force you to use another of the ten fly paper rolls included in the package. (This is why the manufacture provides ten rolls.) DO NOT, repeat, DO NOT unfurl the very, very (etc.) sticky fly paper quite yet. Just an inch will be perfect.
  • Watch the little, slightly sticky thumbtack (included) roll to a completely inaccessible place. And stick there. Probably until the landlord replaces the flooring.
  • Hold the fly paper outer roll carefully away from all potential contact objects while searching the junk drawer with other hand for another thumb tack. Decide a bulletin board tack is easier to grasp and dislodge it from the clutter.
  • Place the tack where you will be able to reach it once you are up on the ladder.
  • Use ladder* to reach the ceiling. 
  • While balancing on ladder with no hands, unfurl the fly paper. Do not let it droop to touch the ladder. It will stick! Firmly! As necessary, use another of the fly paper rolls from the box. Repeat as above.
  • Keep the fly paper from sticking to anything as you carefully reach for the tack, insert the tack in the little tiny plastic loop, and reach overhead to stick the tack into the ceiling. 
  • The fly paper is now in the unfurled, attack position, ready to attack both you and the ladder as you  climb down.

I suggest other notes be included on one of those small pieces of tightly folded paper so frequently found tucked inside packaging but never read until completely necessary. It should offer tips like:

  • TIP: Removing stuck fly paper by pulling leaves thick coating of very, very sticky adhesive.
  • TIP: Adhesive used in fly paper is NOT water soluble. Nor is it alcohol soluble, soap soluble, or easily removed by rubbing.
  • TIP: Every surface the fly paper touches must be cleaned of the residual adhesive because the adhesive is capable of adhering objects for at least one (1) century.
  • TIP: Use vegetable oil to remove adhesive from furniture, ladder, skin surfaces, etc. Then remove the oil with paper toweling and soapy water.
  • TIP: Avoid getting fly paper in hair. Also avoid standing up into fly paper, as it hangs down quite far when fully extended. To remove fly paper from hair, use scissors.
  • TIP: Fly paper will stick solidly to any  body part, as well as the wall, floor, ladder, etc. Do not use scissors to remove from body parts. Use vegetable oil.
  • TIP: When placing fly paper to catch flies, double check opening arc and curtain radius for all doors and windows near where it has been hung.
  • TIP: If there is ANY glue or sticky residue on your fingers while you search for a tack in the drawers or attempt to dislodge fly paper from hair or other surfaces, objects will stick to fingers.

Finally, while this might well be only based on my experience, try your best to ignore the flies which cluster to watch the entire installation and clean up operation through their 6,000 eyes. Yes, they are snickering.

*The Unger Professional 36″ Nifty Nabber Reacher Grabber Tool and Trash Picker can be used instead of a ladder if necessary. It requires precision tack handling.