Do Water Bags REALLY Repel Bugs? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

May 29, 2010


I’ve been hearing that water-filled plastic bags scare flies away. Uh HUH. :ermm: Pardon my skepticism, folks. I find it kinda hard to believe. Is this really true?? Flies are really pesky things, and it’s difficult for me to believe that a bag of water will repel them. I slather bug spray all over me every summer, and THAT doesn’t even work.

A little detail: a friend of mine who traveled to the Southern United States kept seeing these water-filled plastic bags hung in doorways everywhere, especially at the entrances of restaurants and outdoor cafes. He asked some folks what the purpose of the bags was. “They keep the flies away,” he was told.

:blink: Is that for real?! Are these folks in the South just pulling our legs? LOL

OK, time to apply the Scientific Method here. I’m inspired by the fact that we have a fly population explosion around here right now. We live near a wildlife refuge and a horse farm, and there’s a dairy farm about a mile down the road. We got FLIES, and they’re the size of Texas. Yuk. And now that we are renovating our kitchen, we have moved our temporary kitchen setup into the stuffy attached garage. We want to open up the large garage door to let in the breeze, but a torrential swarm of flies soon follow. It’s disgusting.

I have looked EVERYWHERE for those hanging, sticky fly catchers. Remember those? I used to get them at the stores, but I haven’t seen them for sale in eons. Did they stop making them?? I NEED THEM now.

Well, instead, I found some kind of “As Seen on TV!!” fly trap. It was cheap, so I bought it. And then I remembered that plastic baggie thing. So we’re going to try a little experiment. We’re going to hang BOTH of these devices separately, and see how they do. And I’ll let you know the results. šŸ˜€

Fly water bags

I’m calling one The Northern Method, and the other The Southern Method. I have never seen any hanging baggies in the North; it seems to be a Southern thing.

The only good fly is a dead fly. Yik.

Here’s how I’ll run the experiment:

I’ll attempt The Southern Method first. I’ll hang three water-filled plastic baggies from my garage door. It will be for one day. The weather is warm (mid to high 70s) with a mix of sun and clouds. The area is a fly haven, because not only is it the entrance to our food-filled garage, but the garbage cans are outside, nearby. So… we’ll see…..

May the best method win!

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12 Responses to “Do Water Bags REALLY Repel Bugs? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!”

  1. Janiss Says:

    I never heard of the plastic-bag-with-water method of getting rid of flies. But then, I’ve never spent a lot of time in the South. Out here in the West, we have herds of cats that take care of those varmints.

  2. Miss Szymanski Says:

    What you need is a dog! šŸ˜€ Our Maltese eats flies if they come into his territory (which is rare)! LOL!

    I have heard of the “Southern-method” before, but I’ve never tried it. As for the “sticky-tape” fly catchers, I’m not sure if those even work; it seems that the flies land anywhere BUT there (it’s rare when they do). Hope your experiment is successful!

  3. Margaret (Nanny Goats) Says:

    Ok, I’ve never heard of the water bag thing and I’m all about the Scientific method. I look forward to hearing about this so-called claim.

  4. Secondary Roads Says:

    I’ll be eagerly watching for the results of your scientific experiment.

  5. Lin Says:

    I’m not buying it. Is that like putting a bar of soap under your mattress so you don’t get leg cramps??? Yeah….no. I’ll be waiting for your results.

  6. kitchenguy Says:

    Did you hear it on April 1st or from a plastic baggy salesman? šŸ™‚

  7. Jen Says:

    This reminds me of that scene in The Parent Trap where the girls tell the nasty girlfriend to bang two sticks together to ward off the mountain lions.

    I can’t wait to see your results.

  8. Rachele Says:

    Hmmm. Haven’t heard this one. I’m going to have to google that. You’ve sparked my interest. Can’t wait to hear what happens…

    from answerbag:

    “The water bags do drive houseflies away. Houseflies, being highly defenseless, are nervous types and don’t like to sit still when they see something moving nearby, because it could be a predator. The water bag acts like a lens in which the movements of people in the area are reflected. Even if the fly is too far from the action to see it directly, it can see a shifting of light and dark in the water bag, which it interprets as nearby movement, and it will fly away from the bag. The reason it doesn’t work on any other insects is that the other insects don’t have as highly developed ocular senses. I have used this bag o’ water trick in two different locations which were inundated with flies and can testify that it does work, and there is scientific reasoning that can be used to collaborate.”

    Snopes is “undetermined” and even suggests that the bags may actually attract MORE flies.

  9. Robbiek Says:

    This is just more than a “Southern Method, I have seen plastic bags and bottles used throughout California. This is one experiment that is easy enough and cheap enough to try without having to wait for someone else to verify.

  10. John Says:

    Do water bags really repel flies? Interested to hear the results of your Northern-Southern experiment.

  11. sharon Says:

    i’m just getting around to trying the zip loc bag of water trick.
    i’m still going to try and I plan to make sure I get a bag with no big white label to break up the light play from the bag. I think the cheap ones might be better for this…as long as they hold water!


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