My patio has been overrun by swarms of flies. Bug zappers don’t work, and I’ve worn out three fly swatters. I bought a non-chemical trap ( the stinky kind) and hung it up fifty feet away where the smell can only affect my neighbor’s barbecue pit and picnic area. The trap, which is like a baited plastic bag with a one-way entry, has collected a monumental number of flies in two days. Curious, I started observing fly behavior at the moment of entry and this is what I discovered.
Most flies barge right in and are doomed. A very few take time to explore the opening and hesitate a lot before taking the plunge. An even smaller number start in and decide to come out. It could be random behavior, but I’m not sure this matters. Clearly, there is a small portion of the fly population that is either too dumb to enter the trap, or too smart to go in. What, I asked myself, if I put a lot of these traps around. Would I be creating a super race of smart flies?