Posts Tagged ‘Flies’

Swat the Fly, Iowa

June 20, 2012


That fly on your plate didn’t wipe his feet when he came in.
The chances are his last walk was in the filth of the street or the garbage pail.
Pleasant, isn’t it?
Then why put up with flies?
Keep flies out of your home.
Don’t trade at stores that tolerate flies.
Don’t eat at restaurants in which there are flies


Protect the Sleeping Baby.

WHEN your children are out of doors and awake the fly is not so dangerous. You will very rarely see a fly on the face of a child walking or playing, but if your baby sleeps outdoors that is the danger time. He must be carefully covered with mosquito netting to protect him from the poisoned kiss.


Swat! Swat! Swat!

When you wake up in the morning
And a fly is buzzing near
And you know he’ll soon be horning
Into your defenseless ear,
Wait awhile until you spot him,
Till you know he’s off his guard;
Then lift up your hand and swat him —
Swat that buzzer good and hard!

When within your office busy
You try hard to do your work
And a fly makes you so dizzy
‘Neath your desk you long to lurk,
Pause until in range you’ve got him,
Steel your heart, though mercy pleads.
Take the office clock and swat him
Right where Mary wore the beads!

There is lots of satisfaction
In the course that I suggest,
With each victim nerved to action
To abate this insect pest.
When you see a fly just pot him,
Nail him as, of course, you should;
Grab a baseball bat and swat him —
Swat him while the swatting’s good!



STARVING the fly was added to the swatting of it in Paterson, N.J. The board of health set apart a day for householders to wrap up their food so that the housefly will fail of sustenance.

It was even asked that all refuse food be well wrapped before it is put in the garbage cans.

In addition, every one of the 125,000 residents who was able to swat was asked to kill 200 flies.



Flies and dirt double the amount of sickness among New York city’s babies. This statement, made public by the department of social welfare of the New York Association For Improving the Condition of the Poor, is based on a two years’ investigation in more than a thousand families.

Don’t let that fly get away!

Kill him now!




If you were to walk into a room and then be told that in it there were 7,000,000 chances of catching a deadly disease, how long would you linger? The chances are 100 to 1 that you would get out as quickly as possible. According to scientists and doctors, a fly may carry as many as 7,000,000 germs on its feet. Typhoid and tuberculosis are the most common of these germs.

Kill the murderous insect.


Kill the murderous fly!

When we dwell on the great war in Europe words fail us.

Yet statistics show that disease transmitted by the housefly kills more than armies!

Swat the fly!

Starve the fly!

Adams County Free Press (Corning, Iowa) May 23, 1917

Swat the Fly, Ohio

June 19, 2012

Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) May 5, 1913


Flies make milk impure.

Flies do nothing but harm.

Flies are wholesale murderers.

Flies bring summer complaint.

Flies cause epidemics of disease.

Flies do not belong in this town.

Flies find nothing too filthy to eat.

Flies spread the hookworm disease.

Flies kill 100,000 people in this country every year.

Flies carry death about on their hairy legs and wings.

Flies cost the United States $500,000,000 annually.

Flies are responsible for the majority of deaths among children.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Apr 17, 1913


The four principal steps in organizing a campaign against the fly are as follows:

First. — To educate people as to the deadly nature of the fly.

Second. — To kill off all winter flies, those hiding about the houses, waiting their season to forage.

Third. — To do away with all breeding places for flies.

Fourth. — To trap all flies which happen to escape.

The extermination of the winter fly is a problem for the individual house-wife. Don’t let one fly escape. Hunt for them all and kill them early in the spring, for the winter fly is the parent of summer’s terrible swarms.

To do away with the fly breeding places is merely a matter of cleanliness. Clean houses, gardens and yards. Clean streets and alleyways.

Discourage the fly in its breeding proclivities.

Carrying out the fourth step, the sale of fly traps should be encouraged in every store.

To sum it all up, swat the fly before it is born.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) May 6, 1913


By ADRIENNE CODY, aged sixteen, of Central park school, Topeka.

I am a fly. I’m not very old and am just learning where to find the best things to eat. My favorite places are in the spittoon in the sitting room and the uncovered garbage can on the back porch. Of course some flies would be bothered about having to go out of doors to get to that can. But it doesn’t worry me. In the house where I live there aren’t any screens, so I can fly from the garbage can to the spittoon in perfect safety. I often stop on the way, though, to get in the sugar bowl or crawl over any eatables that are handy.

There’s a baby in this house who annoys me very much. Every time I leave the spittoon and crawl into that baby’s mouth it cries and spits me out. Of course I leave a few tuberculosis germs in its mouth, but it doesn’t seem like that would hurt the baby.

It seems to me like people don’t know what is good to eat. At least the people in this house don’t. Why, they throw away all the good things. They put them in the garbage pail. I am endeavoring to show them what good things are, however, for I get my feet all sticky in the garbage can and then go and wipe them on the bread. About a hundred of my companions are doing the same thing. I really believe that the people are beginning to like it, for they never trouble us any more. We wipe our feet on the bread in peace and quiet.

I heard the woman across the way say that she believed flies had something to do with the man in this house having consumption. I wonder if he got it from the bread.

The woman across the way is losing all her flies. They’re all coming over to our house. She won’t give them anything to eat. She covers up her garbage pail, has tight screens on all her doors and is a terror to flies in general. Her children are such happy, hearty youngsters, while the children in this house are always cross. They never get any afternoon nap. The flies won’t let them.

There’s a very great deal of illness in this house. Two of the boys have malaria and the father is never well. I hears the mother say to the woman across the way: “I really do not know what to do for all this sickness. IT drives me distracted.” What do you think that woman said? Why, “Swat the fly,” of course, at which I ducked. Oh, yes! The baby has typhoid.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) May 26, 1913

Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Mar 24, 1914


A YEAR ago the “Swat the fly!” slogan had a country wide vogue, and as a result probably billions of flies were swatted. But because of the enormous capacity of flies for multiplication — a single pair may produce billions of their kind — there did not seem to be a very appreciable diminution in the total number.

The wiser slogan “Starve the fly!” has been adopted this year, and the only means of starving the insect is by allowing it nothing on which to feed. Filth is its food, and not only should the city streets be kept clear of it and the vacant lots not be made the convenient dumping grounds for every kind of refuse, but every corner of a closet or cellar or kitchen should be cleared of its insanitary accumulations.

The most productive breeding places of the disease carrying fly are garbage cans, cuspidors and manure. To keep a large city absolutely clean with respect to these is no small task, but by the interested and intelligent cooperation of the municipal authorities and the citizens generally the danger of disease from flies can be reduced to a minimum.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Mar 28, 1914

Dealing With the Descendants of Beelzebub

December 2, 2009

{From the Boston Advertiser}

By a great misfortune, the early mothers of New England brought with them an insular prejudice against the spider, (Aranea domestica Linn.)

This is an industrious beast, often commended in Holy Writ, of whose excellencies the chief is that she devours flies.

The New England housewives aforesaid, not understanding the “battle for life” — as, indeed, how should they, Dr. Darwin having not yet lived? — did not know that the use of the spider was to keep the flies under.

Had they known this, they would have stood back to see a fair fight; and, on this blessed day, we should be all assembled, as in a colliseum, to see the last spider devour the last fly.

Instead of this, Mrs. Winthrop, Mrs. Dudley, and the rest, and their descendants after them, for eight or nine generations, have been brushing down cobwebs and killing spiders, so that the flies have had, and still have, very much more than a fair chance.

By another great misfortune, Uncle Toby, being bitten by a fly some hundred and odd years after, spared his life and said, “There is room enough in the world for thee and me.”

This may have been true. But if, as is probable, that fly laid 2,000 eggs within a month, and each of its descendants laid 2,000 eggs in the next month, and this process continued, winters excepted, for 120 years from his time, the world itself should not contain the zeros of the millions of her progeny in 1875, far less Uncle Toby thrown in.

It is to be wished that the recording angel had dropped his celebrated tear on this remark of Uncle Toby, and blotted it out forever.

As this did not happen, a mawkish philodipterism? has settled in, as friendly to the life of flies as Mme. Winthrop’s sense of duty was unfriendly to that of spiders.

An impression has gained ground that it is wicked to kill flies — while their weaker and humbler companions, the mosquitoes, far more harmless, are slaughtered daily.

In truth, flies are of the race of Beelzebub, the prince of the devils. This divinity, at the head of his crew, was rightly represented as the god of flies.

For flies are fitly described as beastly, sensual, devilish. Beelzebub has no children of less moral sense than they.

Thanks to the errors named, the human race in America is now maintaining, at terrible disadvantage, its contest with those children of Beelzebub.

For the next month a large part of the readers of these lines will shut themselves up in cages of wire gauze, or gauze made from thread, shutting out much of the light and air of heaven in the hope that they may exclude the flies from their beds or boards.

Even in these prisons they will be unhappy. Some miserable daughter of Beelzebub willingly shared their confinement. In some sequestered corner she laid her 2,000 eggs.

The morning approaches, O prisoner, when as you draw near the breakfast table, you will find that the omelette, the breakfast bacon, the potatoes Lyonnaises, the marmalade, the huckleberry cake, and even the oat-meal are to be partaken of by you, only as you sit down as number two thousand and one at the banquet.

A few recalcitrant grocers confectioners will show a sickly and vain rage, by rebelling against the multitude, and will place sticky paper in the window to entrap a few wretches to their ruin.

The number of those who thus perish is to the host but as the company of jelly fish drying on the shore is to the multitude floating happy in the ocean.

Happier to undue the error of Mme. Winthrop!

Happier to reverse the futile sentence of Uncle Toby!

For fortunately the flies are as stupid as they are beastly, selfish, and ravenous.

How easy for the race of white men who have abolished negro slavery to free themselves from their uneasy cages!

How easy to determine that the flies shall enter the cages, as children of Beelzebub, while men and women shall enjoy that glorious freedom to which they were born.

He deserves will of his race who pours molasses and water with vinegar into a glass custard cup covers the same with a cracker bored with a hole, and retires to other duties.

At the end of the day he will deliver two hundred flies to the sculliop for that execution in hot water which their father Beelzebub hath in reserve for him.

If the well-deserving Tell or Winkelreid had prepared six such cups he will have removed in one week from his study 8,400 flies, whose progeny, before Summer ended, would be counted in many millions.

With ten civic wreaths shall he be crowned, for he hath saved the temper of many citizens.

Let civilized mankind spend August in catching flies, rather than spend September in Philadelphia, at the buildings of the grand Centennial, one vast concourse of the human race avenging its wrongs with calm severity in the judicial execution of the last of the flies.

The Fitchburg Sentinel (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) Aug 24, 1875


The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent. (1759-67)

Uncle Toby is a character (“would not harm a fly”) in the above book. You can read it online HERE.