Which would you prefer: to get rid of flies or allow them to buzz around in your truck to distract you and potentially lead to an accident?
- flew in your door when you went to fuel or get a shower,
- came in through an open window when you reached to pay a toll, or
- bred on the bananas you purchased a few days ago,
Both common houseflies and fruit flies can be downright annoying.
One resource indicated that houseflies can even transmit disease, so it’s best to deal with them promptly.(1)
Prevention is better than dealing with a problem. One way to help prevent flies from entering your truck is to use window screens, but even they are not fool proof.
If you fail to get rid of flies in your truck during your waking hours, they can possibly disrupt your sleep.
The Common Housefly
There are numerous ways to get rid of flies.
Some are messier than others.
Some actually involve killing them while others do not.
Here is our list of methods to get rid of flies:
- chase them out (of an open door or window);
- suck them up (as in a vacuum cleaner or other suitable device);
- make them stick (to flypaper);
- swat them (with a fly swatter, which can be messy);
- spray them (with something that will either kill them or slow them down); or
- let them die naturally (by being cut off from food and water over a period of days).
When we were homeless, we rejoiced over the fact that we never used any insecticides in our home on wheels.
We didn’t want poisons in the tractor.
However, there was something that we had in the truck that flies don’t like.
Before you use it, though, we must offer the disclaimer that it is only to be used in areas or on surfaces that will not be harmed when using it.
We kept a spray bottle of ordinary rubbing alcohol (70%) in the truck that Mike drove for his regional trucking company so that we could clean our glasses and the laptop computer monitor (via handkerchief).
In the past, we have used this rubbing alcohol spray bottle to assist with getting rid of flies.
We spritz them with rubbing alcohol, but have never found it to work immediately.
Repeated pumps of the bottle have been needed, aiming at wherever the fly has flown off to and landed.
If we had a spray bottle that delivered a bigger amount of spray, the rubbing alcohol might have worked the first time.
Furthermore, flies that we have spritzed with alcohol a few times seem lethargic, giving us time to collect them in a tissue or piece of toilet paper.
If you choose to chase flies out the window while the truck is rolling down the road, be careful that you stay safe.
Don’t become so fixated on the fly that you wreck your truck.
The September 2009 issue of the NHTSA’s “Traffic Safety Facts: Research Note” lists among the driver distractions a “moving object in vehicle” including “dropped object, moving pet, insect, cargo.”
By the way, the longest period of time that we ever had a fly in our truck was 4 days.
The insect was very good at hiding in remote locations within the truck.
After not having had food or water for four days, the fly got a little “weak” and was easy to deal with.
Fruit flies are another matter. There’s a really easy way to get rid of them that works wonderfully well.
Vicki read about this method years ago on a frugal website. It called for using apple cider vinegar and a lemon-scented dishwashing liquid.
Well, we don’t use a lemon-scented detergent, so Vicki used the detergent she had on hand and it worked like a charm.
To get rid of flies — in this case, fruit flies – pour a small amount of apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a cup and one drop of dishwashing liquid.
Swirl the detergent into the vinegar and let it sit out, preferably near where the fruit flies are congregating.
The flies are drawn to the vinegar and go in for a drink.
When they do, they ingest the detergent and die.
If you use this method, it is best in our opinion (since it is an open cup with liquid in it) to do so when the truck is parked.
Money saving tip: Flying insects buzzing around inside your truck can distract you and lead to an accident.
If you can get rid of flies, you remove a possible distraction and thus a potential cause of an accident.
Your home support team may already have rubbing alcohol, a spray bottle, apple cider vinegar and dishwashing detergent on hand so that you don’t have to invest in these items on the road.
We have found that flies tend to be more prevalent during the summer months than the winter months.
Also, though we are hesitant to bring it up, if you need to clean your truck of waste products that attract insects, you might want to tend to that first.
In the process of working to get rid of flies, just don’t cause an accident yourself.
1. www.biology-resources.com/housefly-01.html (no longer online)